Around the Web: Email Marketing Lives On in 2013; Healthcare Professionals and the Power of Patient Activation

Welcome to Bridgeline Digital’s daily links post on the B-Line blog named “Around The Web.” We’ll be checking in every morning with relevant (and entertaining) pieces found across the Internet about Content Management, Marketing, SEO news, and General Business News. This (hopefully) will become part of your morning, a detour you enjoy as you sip on your third cup of coffee before noon. And fear not, this space is not a one-way street: We want you, dear reader, to interact with us; tell us what you like, what you hate, and what you want more of in the comments section and on Twitter.

Around The Web

Turns out, Reports of Email Marketing’s Demise May Have Been Premature

We omitted Email Marketing Campaigns from our Seven eCommerce and Marketing Trends To Watch For In 2013 column. Let’s delve into why, shall we?

Email Marketing never died, guys. It just has a place at a bigger table.

Without question, a great deal of analysts are forecasting a big “comeback” year for email; and while our Gartner Report offering, entitled “Using Digital Marketing to Differentiate Yourself from Competitors,” states less than 1% percent of recipients open up email blasts, we never really saw it fade.

Look, Email blasts will always be a valuable marketing tool (and essential), just like Press Releases will always have purpose (and are essential, too). These strategies are at the fabric of what we do and were never in danger of being obsolete (thinking so would be, for lack of a better term, presumptuous). Yes, Email Marketing now shares the dinner table with Social Media, Blogging, and other digital age trends; but make no mistake about it, distribution list management and effective email campaigns are still paramount.

And sometimes — like, I don’t know, say, the holidays — Email steps up and is the driving force behind sales.

Via eConsultancy, per an eCircle survey, that’s exactly what is happening:

  • More than 40% of respondents said email is ‘very important’ for driving sales, followed by SEO and SEM (both 33%).
  • More than two-thirds of companies (70%) rate email marketing as ‘excellent’ (23%) or ‘good’ (47%) in terms of return on investment.

I think we can all agree, reports of Email Marketing‘s demise may, in fact, have been premature. Email can’t comeback, because, you know, it never actually died.

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The changing healthcare landscape, riddled with reform and a reimbursement model with emphasis on patient outcomes, has made engaging patients critical to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment. The web, over any other medium or outlet, is growing in influence (one in every two people use a hospital’s website to contact or learn about the organization before any other resource). According to Mashable, this is trend is growing into the realm of social media.

A Survey by Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group found the following:

  • 90% of people ages 18-24 said they would trust health information they found on social media channels.
  • One in two adults use their smartphone to look-up health information.
  • 44% of people said they would share positive or negative experiences of a hospital or medical facility
  • 42% said they wouldn’t hesitate to post comments about a doctor, nurse or healthcare provider on social media.
  • 60% of doctors say social media improves the quality of care.

I see mobile use, social media impact, and much more in these statistics. Moreover, it jives with our latest webinar, “How Your Website Can Drive Patient Activation,” held last week. Using the web to educate patients and foster a community on your website will only help in this new playing field. (Especially given how, these days, word-of-mouth actually means, “I saw Hospital X had great reviews on Twitter.”)

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