When it comes to selling supplements, vitamins and nutraceuticals, email is king. In fact, when surveyed, most doctors across the country say that they prefer this type of communication over all other potential marketing channels. So why is email so popular in the supplements world, and how can you be sure that your emails are effective? Keep reading to learn all of this and more.

What’s the benefit of email for healthcare professionals?

You might be wondering why so many doctors prefer email over many other routes of communication. It all comes down to time. The benefit of email for healthcare professionals is that it can be done on their own time. Doctors are extraordinarily busy people, and making time to hear from a sales rep, download apps, or fetch their snail mail is unlikely to happen very often. However, emails can be opened quickly and easily when it’s convenient for them.

What’s the benefit of email for pharma marketers?

Sending a sales rep or snail mail can be sufficient in some cases, but these modes of communication make it hard to measure results and ROI. With email, however, getting results and measuring ROI is pretty simple and very effective.

When supplements eCommerce retailers have a good CRM program in place and use it to send an email, they instantly know who opened the email (or didn’t open it), when they opened it and what actions they took from it. Open rates, click-through rates, and bounce rates are readily available, which makes subsequent marketing efforts even easier. After a few emails, supplements marketers can reliably see what information is most important for the recipients and then create more effective emails going forward.

An additional benefit of email is that the vast majority of your recipients will actually receive your message. Emails have a delivery rate of 90% or more, whereas even viral posts on social media typically only reach about 5% of your social audience.

Top email marketing strategies

A lot of research has been done about what’s best to do (and not do) with emails in order to increase pharma sales. Here are a few key takeaways.

Make the emails mobile friendly. A whopping 80% of healthcare professionals say that they mostly read emails on their phones, not their computers. As a result, emails need to be adapted to various devices and screens in a mobile-friendly format.

Make the emails personalized and targeted. Doing this creates a better experience for each recipient. After you discover which person clicks on which content, you can use that information to personalize subsequent email communications. Your recipients will feel heard and thus become more engaged with your company.

Include tips and offers they don’t get elsewhere. Having unique tips in your emails is powerful for your audience. The most successful things to include in pharma emails include tips for remembering to take your medicine on time, as well as exclusive offers they can use when they order in your online store.

Do subject line testing. Subject line testing has been shown to exponentially increase your open rates and customer loyalty. This may sound simple, but it’s vital! If your recipients don’t like or understand the subject line of your email, they won’t open it… and that ends the line of communication. Subject line testing is crucial, but studies show that most email campaigns don’t take advantage of A/B subject line testing. Missing out on this means missing out on a lot of potential engagement. In addition, it’s often a good idea to include a teaser for the tips that are included in the email in the subject line.

Consider the frequency and timing of your emails. In general, it’s best to begin sending emails every other week and then increase it to once a week. Then, you can send them more frequently once someone is opening your emails and engaging with them. However, in terms of timing, things aren’t so cut and dry. Test the timing of your emails to see when your audience engages the most. Just like it’s important to A/B test subject lines, it’s also important to A/B test the best times to send emails. You’ll learn a lot from this and then be able to increase your open rates as a result.

Tips for supplements-specific emails

There are best practices for emails, and then there are best practices for supplement emails. The supplement space carries many unique limitations that must be considered when creating and sending emails.

To start, a supplements email must be completely optimized before the medical and legal approval process can begin. Ignoring this rule limits your ability to make changes that can improve open rates, click-through rates, and ROI. In addition, making sure that your emails are optimized before submitting them to the medical and legal team has been shown to get the project done much faster.

Another example of a supplements-specific email tip is to fill the email with pertinent, relevant, supplements-related information. The more specific the information, the more useful it is for the recipient—and the greater the chance that the recipient will engage with your brand. For example, if your company knows when each recipient should refill their prescriptions, you can send a timely email when it’s time to do so. Your recipients will appreciate your attention to detail and dedication to their unique needs.


With email on the rise, creating effective emails has never been more important. And with healthcare professionals relying more and more on email for most of their communications, it’s vital that pharma retailers optimize emails as much as possible. Employing certain strategies can pay off in a big way when it comes to customer loyalty and engagement.

To find out how InteractOne can help with email marketing for your supplements eCommerce website, contact us today.

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