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Re-Engaging the “Forgotten” Prospects Within Your CRM Database

JJ Chestney, Evoke VP, StrategyBy JJ Chestney, VP, Strategy

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Brands that have been on the market for years likely have databases filled with prospective patients who haven’t engaged with the brand in quite some time. At one point, these prospects considered starting or switching to a new treatment and provided their contact information and other personal information in order to learn more about the brand. While it’s probable that no communications have reached these audiences in some time, instead of forgetting about these “forgotten” prospects, creating a strategy to re-engage with them may help convert a percentage into new patients.

Switching or starting on a new treatment can be a big decision. People may need time to weigh the risks versus the benefits, as well as fight feelings of inertia, fear of potential side effects, and financial concerns. Whatever the case, lightly re-engaging with these prospects can help remind them of your key brand benefits and support offerings. And now that they’ve had time, it may just be what they need to hear to convert.

So, where should you start with this unique audience that’s been sitting idle in a database?

Carve out the right pool of prospects

When building a re-engagement strategy, the first step is to determine which prospective patients from your database you’d like to re-engage. These are likely the registrants that haven’t been exposed to your latest brand messages or updated creative campaign. Beyond just a time-based approach, you may also have other details about these individuals that you can use to create a segmented approach if differentiating messages and content are needed to move these audiences.

Feature new messages, content, and tools

If it’s been some time since you’ve last communicated with this audience of prospective patients, then your brand likely has new things to say and offer. It’ll be important to showcase new brand messages and content, new tools that have been developed, new support offerings, new patient testimonials, and if one is available, a new creative campaign. If these prospective patients weren’t ready to convert previously, informing them of this new information may spark their interest.

Don’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel

Consider what you may be able to repurpose from existing assets. If you’ve updated your CRM program since last engaging with these prospective patients, you won’t need to create a whole host of new communications for them. However, you should consider creating a new introductory email that helps to send a warm welcome message while also being transparent around how making a switch to a new treatment can take some time: “It’s been some time since we last connected, but we wanted to let you know about some exciting new things.” After that initial email, consider using other existing communications that help showcase those new messages, content, tools, and support.

Move beyond email

While email may be the least expensive approach, it’s likely that this audience will not be expecting to receive email communications from your brand given that they haven’t heard from you in a while. Consider mailing this audience a letter first, since the open rate of direct mail is far greater than that of email. Within the letter, inform prospective patients about the exciting new information you’d like to share and drive them to check their email for important messages. This will help alert these prospects to be on the lookout for email communications. Additionally, if you have an updated product brochure, consider including that with the letter.

Drive action

For prospective patients who are ready to convert, providing them with an action plan can help both flag their interest and speed the process along. To empower them, provide key materials, such as a doctor discussion guide, to help them advocate for your brand while talking to their healthcare team. Or provide them with resources they can reach out to if they have questions, such as the number to your support program.

Recognizing that not all prospective patients may be ready to convert when they sign up for information is understandable—change takes time, especially when that change involves a switch in treatment. However, we shouldn’t give up hope for converting these individuals, which is why creating a simple re-engagement strategy for this audience can help drive additional conversion to brand.

The Evoke CRM Center of Excellence helps pharmaceutical and healthcare marketers enhance the value of their CRM programs. Our cross-disciplinary experience includes staying abreast of best practices, exploring new and unique channels to engage with both customers and consumers and alerting our clients of newsworthy alerts as they happen. To request case studies or more information, contact