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Text YOGURT to 12345 and get a coupon for $1 off a frozen yogurt!
Have you ever given away your email address or phone number for offers like those above? The total value of what you get may only be $5, but how can you pass up the savings when all you have to do is share your email?
This is the kind of decision we as consumers make every day. But when we are on the other side of the offer, we become afraid of asking. This is especially true with pharmaceutical brands that are asking patients for their personal information as part of the activation process. Brands that haven’t had these requirements in place before might be afraid of taking this step, fearing that adding extra requirements might decrease the number of patients using copay cards, and ultimately decrease the number of patients using the product.
At Truveris, we’ve worked with brands that don’t want to collect any patient information, and others that want to know their patients’ entire medical history. As long as you keep the request reasonable, we have not seen a large drop off in completions – in fact, one dermatology brand saw no change in completion rate when asking their patients additional activation questions. It’s very possible to get patients to opt-in if you follow a few best practices.
1. Ensure you are giving your patients value.
Since asking for an email or a phone number is an extra step for patients, it will be worth their time in order to get potentially hundreds of dollars in savings. Think of the examples we listed above – if people want to save $1 off a $3 frozen yogurt, imagine how much they’ll want to save off their prescriptions – and this can certainly lead to them opting in.
2. Give the people what they want.
Your patient engagement programs are providing content that patients want—it’s in their interest to opt in! Our patient engagement programs can provide patients with useful information including refill reminders and broader patient education. While no one wants to be bombarded with messages, patients do want meaningful, useful content that helps them live better lives.
3. Reserve the benefits of your program for your patients.
We work with brands to keep the activation process comprehensive but effective. It is so tempting to use this opportunity to connect with patients and ask them tons of questions so that you can better tailor content to them later or analyze the responses that you get. Resist! The most important thing in activation is to get patients to opt in to the program - save the market research questions for later.
Patient engagement programs can be very effective for your brand and your patients. With one program, we were able to increase first fills by 13% and total refills by 6%. These programs are effective and offer value to the brand and the patient—so don’t be afraid to ask for a little more patient data up front if it allows you to deliver value later.
Once you have the patient enrolled in the program and you are providing useful information to them, you can—and should—use the program to ask relevant and timely market research questions. The responses will help you better tailor your future programs and marketing materials – and if you’ve been providing them with useful information, they are more likely to respond. Here at Truveris, we worked with a cardiology brand that implemented a full HIPAA opt-in to enable targeted messaging through their patient engagement program. Even with that extensive change, they saw less than 5% drop in completion rate, and no drop in overall redemptions.
But keep in mind, this is not the forum for a long, detailed survey. Make sure to keep your questions short and sweet and know what actionable decisions you might take based on the information that you gather. While this might not be the channel to ask patients for a detailed explanation of why they would recommend your drug, it can be a great place to identify trends and changes that you can later follow up on.
In today’s digital age, there isn’t one person you pass on the street that isn’t looking down at their phone. It’s the best way to connect with patients and is no longer stigmatized as a bothersome method of communication.
As a pharmaceutical company, you are already at an advantage as these patients are consuming your product on a regular basis. Providing patients with timely, relevant information builds trust in the brand. Use this opportunity to build connections with your patients, and you’ll reap the rewards.