Welcome to your Journey
Ed Barret
Feb 04, 2018

Engaging healthcare professionals and patients with interesting relevant content is a constant challenge for healthcare marketing professionals. It’s not enough to send a single piece of information or message. You need to connect with your audience on continuing basis via frequent touchpoints that are personalized to solve problems or add value. This is often achieved through integrated marketing campaigns that include multiple content pieces sent at various intervals and through different channels, based on the recipient’s preferences and response.

These campaigns can drive the desired outcome, but they demand a lot of busy work, and lack of transparency  can make it difficult for marketers to understand what specific content is working and why. 

It doesn’t have to be this difficult. 

One of the most valuable yet underused tools in the Nexxus Marketing system is Journeys, a feature designed to create highly personalized, multi-channel marketing campaigns. Marketers can use automation to craft complex campaigns that adapt to audience response, ensuring every customer gets the right content at the right time and through the right channel.

Three journeys, one tool

Marketers should think of Journeys as a path they want the customer to follow with an ultimate destination or goal at the end. Journeys can be varied based on the campaign goal, timeline, audience(s) and content and they can be reused and/or customized to address the needs of future campaigns.

Promote a webinar. To encourage registration for an upcoming webinar, a Journey might include a series of emails sent over the course of four weeks including: an initial announcement on day one, a follow-up three days later providing a registration link, and subsequent timed emails promoting the event, providing speaker bios, and sharing dial-in information. The campaign may also include a separate path for customers who don’t register, encouraging them to sign-up and offering incentives or value added messaging to encourage participation. Once they do register, they can be steered back to the main Journey.

Address multiple audiences: A single Journey can be customized to meet the needs of multiple audience types. For example, a campaign to promote disease awareness to patients and caregivers might include an email used to send patients information about what to expect at doctors’ visits and how to track symptoms, while a caregiver might get tips on transportation or where to find support groups. These parallel Journeys may have overlapping formats and timing, but provide each recipient with content uniquely designed to meet their needs.

Repurpose content and format. To save time and effort, marketers can repurpose the same Journey, with small adjustments to content and/or timing. We have one client who uses Journeys to deliver allergy awareness campaigns in different regions throughout the year. Each campaign is aligned to the allergy season in that region and includes different graphics and tips based on local triggers, however the structure and base content is the same. In this way, they can use a single template to deliver multiple campaigns that meet the unique interests of their audience -- without having to reinvent the entire process.

Many paths

One of the most compelling features of Journeys is the ability to create multiple paths within a single campaign based on any defined set of criteria. For example, if a customer doesn’t respond to an invitation to register, they can receive a different follow up message than someone who has; or if they fail to open a certain number of messages, the system can flag them to receive content via another channel, including direct mail or phone. The number of paths and intersections is limited only by their need and imagination. This “weaves versus trees” approach provides marketers with incredible flexibility to craft multiple paths and improve outcomes.

Using Journeys will require more time and planning on the front-end, as marketers have to create the entire Journey as part of the campaign before launching it, but this approach ultimately drives time savings and strategic benefits. Taking the time to craft journeys within the campaign planning process ensures all messaging is focused and consistent throughout, and that marketers have time to think through the audience’s experience to optimize results.  Once it’s launched, the campaign requires little additional effort as every piece of content is automatically sent based on the Journey criteria.

One of the great values of the Journey features is that it automates features of the content experience, and allows for personalization without a lot of “one-off” emails. Journeys let you plan out a cohesive, comprehensive strategy that could run over weeks or months, and you can stop and revise it based on where and when consumers are responding to content, including the speed with which emails are opened, number actions taken, and time to respond.

Being able to review the statistics, means you can verify whether a campaign is having the desired effect, and adapt the content as needed based on real time feedback to have the greatest impact.

Tips for Users

  1. Start with a simple journey.  Tying a campaign to an event or a simple set of messages over a short timeline can be easier to develop, and will provide quick lessons learned that can be applied to future campaigns.
  2. Define the strategic goals, format and timeline for your Journey’s campaign. This includes determining how many messages you want to send in what time frame, identifying branch points, and defining cause and effect scenarios – i.e. if the recipient does not open the first email, they receive a follow up two days later.
  3. Set goals and track statistics. Set reminders to review key metrics, such as the number of emails opened or number of registrations to determine whether the campaign is working. If you see anomalies, review the content, timing, format of the email to determine what went wrong.
  4. Save Journey templates for future campaigns. Once you have a Journey that works, you can repopulate it with different content, dates or timing and reuse it over and over. This reduces the up-front time investment and ensures the best campaigns are replicated across the organization.
  5. Ask for help. If creating a complex journey feels too complicated or time-consuming let us know. Our managed services team can create them for you.
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