I was recently tasked with recommending new pharmacy marketing ideas based on my analysis of an online pharmacy’s marketing channels.
It got the gray hairs spinning and reminded me of some pharmacy marketing ideas that can make a difference. I’ll be sharing them in buckets of quick wins and big wins.
Quick wins are best used to make a small impact, fast, and without much effort. Big wins are the projects that drive enough impact that the company will remember at the end of the year.
Pharmacy marketing ideas: 2 quick wins you can implement this week
First, we’ll look at a few quick wins. Quick wins are great little things we can do to gain a quick performance boost in marketing campaigns without doing too much or spending too much time. But the results are also limited.
Quick wins are not intended to change the business trajectory and will likely be forgotten soon but that’s beside the point. It serves well as a fast way to build momentum and morale when starting a new project and will eventually have to be overtaken by big wins — the few things that can truly make an impact on the business and its bottom line.
Quick win #1: Get more qualified leads on autopilot by improving your newsletter opt-in box
In many tech businesses, the email newsletter means access to a steady stream of interested people at a low cost. A digital pharmacy startup is no different – here is an example from forhims.com.
In some markets, customers don’t use email the same way we are familiar with in the west but instead, SMS or similar channels. Besides the technical setup, the idea is about the same.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s a simple barrier we can set up to qualify and separate those that are interested in more from those that are not. Rarely have we had a marketing element that requires so little work to improve and can make such a big impact!
Tweaking the newsletter opt-in box may take a couple of hours — or even an afternoon — but can effectively double the qualified leads overnight. Best of all it’s a great way to collect and segment groups of targeted people to test new experiments on to get rapid feedback without having to announce it to everyone and their mom.
I’ve found that email isn’t as effective for drive-by customers who just want one product at a random given time but it can be a powerful tool to build a relationship with segments with chronic diseases or on-going concerns, like hair-loss for men, over time.
In my experience, the biggest win within the newsletter opt-in box is tweaking the copy for specificity and clarity, along with offering something that people actually want. Often, the proposition is to get updates about new things which isn’t really that attractive to most as we tend to get plenty of email already (just look at the lame newsletter box I have on this blog!)
Another popular approach for ecommerce businesses is offering a discount or a voucher when someone joins the newsletter but that can feel like a stretch with the thin margins many pharmaceutical products have.
Quick win #2: Increase your conversion rate by improving the website loading speed
The loading speed of a website has been touted as a push by google to increase search rankings but in my limited experience, it had the opposite effect.
Anyway, it does help with the conversion rate overall as studies show a direct connection between an increase in CVR and a decrease in how fast the website loads.
For example, if we go based on the insights from the study above, we might gain a 4% increase in conversion rate if we can just speed up the website by one second. If, for example, we get 10,000 sales through a marketing landing page each month that comes out to another 400 sales without spending any more money or changing anything else.
It can especially make a difference if we are running ads or if a large portion of the website visitors are coming from mobile.
If you are still using the old google analytics like me, you can find your website loading speed under the behavior menu.
The page timings-overview can give a good idea of which pages are loading super slow and might be causing trouble.
There are also other external tools that can work well if we can find a place to check the site from that is near our customers.
Tools.pingdom.com is a great site to get an understanding of what kind of elements are slowing down the site – especially, since the google page speed insights tool tend to be a bit aggressive and lead people on a mission to get a perfect 100 score which, in many cases, seems to be an overkill. It’s really hard to please that tool.
Here’s an example from my own blog:
In this breakdown, you’ll notice that images make up the vast majority of the things that need to be loaded, which is exactly what I see on most sites when I run this test.
There are plenty of tools out there to resize images without losing any quality to the naked eye (kraken.io is a good example).
Resizing all the images on your site isn’t exactly a quick win with the manual labor required to switch them out (or writing a script to do it) but if you are using a stand-alone marketing landing page, that can be a great place to test this out and get a quick boost in performance.
Next, let’s look at wins that aren’t quick but can drive more impactful results.
3 big wins based on pharmacy marketing ideas to drive impact and continue the momentum
Big wins are the opposite of quick wins. As a general rule of thumb, I like to think of them as the projects we’ll look back on at the end of the year as having had a major business impact.
They are usually not a good idea to implement right away as it takes time and energy to drive results compared to quick wins. Quick wins can be great for creating motivation and quick results to build momentum before going after big wins.
Some of the biggest growth levers tend to be traffic, product inventory and delivery area, and big wins tend to follow those. In this section, we’ll examine different big wins that you might benefit from implementing if you are looking for pharmacy marketing ideas to fuel growth.
Big win #1: Increasing traffic
The most obvious one is traffic. It’s a cure-all in many situations where the product-market fit is honed in. Of course, all traffic isn’t created equal. Some types of traffic are more targeted and of higher quality than others.
In the online pharmacy world, search traffic is often a big driver since customers and patients tend to be aware of symptoms. They’ll initiate a repeat purchase, if they’ve had the problem before and know the solution, go to their physician if it’s a new problem or look for a physician if they don’t already have one they trust.
Referrals are also important but can be difficult to bank on and drive with purpose as the time between running the campaign and the referred person needing help can be far between, and it makes it hard to track and measure the results.
It’s tricky to drive traffic to a digital pharmacy as they often run with tight margins in the business and the CAC being the biggest cost per customer that threatens those margins. While ads often become expensive, channels that “only” require energy like organic search where we can get traffic by creating content, can be a good option if you can find enough writers to hire but partnerships tend to be a great solution as well.
Big win #2: Expanding the delivery area
One of the challenges with digital marketing, and especially search, is that it’s hard to drive targeted organic traffic from just one local area we can serve. Usually, our only choice is to target broader with our marketing and take what we can get.
That means we are overpaying for our marketing and customer acquisition compared to our ability to serve what we attract. It usually isn’t realistic to save on digital marketing but rather improve its effectiveness by expanding our delivery area to suit the marketing – where the math makes sense, of course.
Also, consider examining each neighborhood within the overall delivery area to see if any behavior sticks out. For example, there might be some areas of the city that fits better into your value proposition than others. If that neighborhood doesn’t have any pharmacy nearby, it might be particularly attractive and we might realize that there are other underserved areas like this one that we can expand to.
Big win #3: Expanding the product portfolio
Adding more products to the inventory portfolio allows us to sell products with higher margins and gives an opportunity to drive more targeted traffic that can eventually be turned into sales, new customers and repeat customers.
Like supermarkets do, one tactic is to use niche products or popular hero products at a low price to drive sales and bank on the customer adding other items to their order with higher margins, out of convenience, so it becomes a profitable transaction in the end.
In unity with looking at these different delivery areas, we might also discover that certain neighborhoods have different product needs when we dive deeper into the research. We might find pockets of repeat customers that we can serve with more inventory and increase our AOV for those segments. The obvious example for someone living abroad is the neighborhoods where mostly foreigners live and want products they are familiar with from home.
Pharmacy marketing ideas: turning quick wins into big wins
Finally, before we part ways, I want to talk about how we can use the momentum from quick wins to build big wins.
Sometimes we don’t see the point of a project and need a little motivation. I’ve found that starting with the smallest thing possible (e.g. updating one opt-in box or resizing one image) can be enough to get us going.
We can make it easy to continue the experiment in the future by systematizing it by, for example, setting calendar reminders to make a new opt-in box with another reminder to gather the ingredients you need (e.g. the copywriting and design) a week prior. That way, each step will be easy to digest and when you finally sit down to create it, it’ll be easy (another idea is to install easy-to-use image software on your computer if you want to resize the images and create a shortcut so it’s easy to find the next time you are uploading an image to your website).
- Quick wins are great for building momentum and motivation to get going but don’t deliver the necessary long-term impact compared to big wins
- Quick wins can be the thing that gets us started and systematize our process and turn it into a big win before we know it
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