One of the foundations of building a marketing automation program is populating your database of prospects, leads, and clients. However, many industries have regulations in place that restrict the methods by which you can contact individuals, particularly based on personally identifiable information (PII), such personal health information (PHI) in the healthcare industry.

 These regulations vary by industry, but in the healthcare example, they’re established by the federal government by way of the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

 There are several tactics you have at your disposal, however, to build a richly populated lead database without inadvertently compromising PII.

Start with Your Loyal Followers

If you currently communicate with your business partners or market consumers who have agreed to consume your content via email, social media, etc., you already have a baseline lead database for which your marketing automation naturally lends itself. Once you start automating your content and assets, include messaging that encourages peer-to-peer sharing between business leaders and the consumers you most want to reach. The best way to encourage peer-to-peer sharing is to provide authentic, original content that your loyal followers will naturally want to send to others—and drive net new opt-ins that automatically populate your growing lead database.

Segment by Demographic Information

In our healthcare scenario, we discussed how CMS imposes restrictions on using PHI as a means to market to health consumers. For example, hospitals or healthcare vendors may not want to specifically create automated messaging for COPD patients because that list would be based on PHI, in this case, a specific diagnosis. However, what if a health system wants to communicate a poor air quality alert to health consumers who might be at risk, such as COPD patients or runners?

One tactic would be to segment your lead database by demographics based on statistical data. In this case, COPD most often occurs in patients older than 40, according to the National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute, with 9 out of 10 cases diagnosed for current or former smokers. Did you know, though, that 1 out of 6 COPD patients never smoked? Additionally, you could target millennials who tend to be active and run or cycle outdoors. These types of alerts are exactly the kind of content that people share because it adds value to their lives—and to their friends’ lives. That’s how you drive more opt-ins.

The bottom line is that, even with federal regulations protecting PII, there are many ways marketing automation can augment your inbound marketing efforts and drive organic subscribers to your content, setting your brand apart in a crowded marketplace.

Author 9Rooftops Health

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