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Email: Favorite Tool for Physicians to Learn About Social Media

A recent survey conducted by Medical Marketing Services Inc. (MMS) the industry leader in providing email marketing services to healthcare professionals, found that 94% of physicians prefer to learn about social media and new apps via email.

94% of physicians use email to learn about social media

The survey was conducted in February 2012 and the results presented at the ePharma Summit in New York on February 6th.

Here’s a summary of the key findings of the survey:

#1. Huge interest in email

94% of physicians still look to the email inbox as their favorite place to learn about social media and new mobile apps.

#2. Overwhelming use of PC’s/Laptops

Almost 71% (three-quarters) of physicians surveyed read their email on PC’s and laptops compared to only 29% who read email on their mobile devices. Even though email content should be mobile optimized it appears that physicians do not depend on their smart phones for email consumption.

#3. Afternoons, best time to read email

Most physicians read their email in the afternoon. About 37% read their email after 6pm and only 33% read their email before 9am. The trend in email reading times should give healthcare marketers are clue regarding send time optimization.

#4.  50-50 preference for HTML vs plain text

Half the doctors surveyed prefer HTML emails and half of them prefer plain text emails. Again, healthcare marketers should use both versions when communicating with physicians.

#5. More doctors on Facebook than Twitter

When it comes to social media, 36% of physicians use Facebook professionally, while only 5% use Twitter professionally.

#6. Rx Guides most sought after smart-phone service

32% of physicians prefer Rx Guides as the smartphone service of choice, while 21% prefer drug samples.  Only 9% of physicians want eDetails on their smart phones.

#7. Apple devices most popular with physicians

While most doctors download medical apps on their smart phones, Apple devices (iPhones and iPads) are the most popular platforms amongst physicians.

Key Takeaway

Physicians have a very high interest in email communication, so much so that they don’t want to be rushed through it. Their inclination towards afternoon consumption of email via PC’s or laptops, is a good indicator that they are setting aside precious time to focus on email communication and are doing so in a more leisurely fashion. Healthcare marketers have a great opportunity to get physicians to focus on their email content if it:

  • is sent at the right time
  • includes both HTML and plain text versions
  • includes information about Apple-compatible apps
  • includes social media and particularly Facebook information

What are your thoughts? How do you see email impacting communication between physicians and healthcare marketers? Please leave your comment in the box below.

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