Getting to the Decision Maker’s Desk: ClinicalKey Direct Mail Campaign

Getting to the Decision Maker’s Desk: ClinicalKey Direct Mail Campaign

Marketing is a combination of messaging and frequency.

That’s something we say often, but when you’re promoting one of the thousands of marketing messages the average American is exposed to daily, it’s hard to stand out.

After rebranding their clinical search engine ClinicalKey, Elsevier needed a way to break through the noise and get the attention of healthcare executives and decision makers.

The best way to do that? Go back to the basics: powerful messaging. And frequency, of course.

Over the course of four months, we sent a targeted list of healthcare executives a series of direct mail pieces, each reinforcing the key attributes of the ClinicalKey product: fast, complete, convenient, and trusted.


Since the audience had just been introduced to the new ClinicalKey brand, it was important that we didn’t veer too far off message and confuse the market. It was also important to be memorable, but not gimmicky. These were c-suite professionals, after all.

Each direct mail piece was accompanied by a small item representing ClinicalKey’s differentiators:

  • A mug, because ClinicalKey is as reliable as your morning cup of coffee.
  • A desk calendar, because ClinicalKey makes finding clinical evidence as convenient as finding the date. (To add another level to the “convenience” theme, we invited recipients to download digital wallpaper versions for their computers, tablets or phones.)
  • A phone power bank, to keep your device as powerful and fast as ClinicalKey itself.
  • And a multitool, because ClinicalKey is a complete clinical solution for hospital care teams.

Each item was branded with the ClinicalKey logo, and chosen because of its long-term value to the recipient. Instead of another pen, notepad or cheap tchotchke, the items we selected were items that executives would actually keep and use every day. The desk calendar, for example, included inspirational quotes on health and leadership, including some from winners of ClinicalKey’s Key Innovators contest the year prior.

Atomicdust-ClinicalKey-CalendarAnd the direct mail cards and items didn’t stand alone. Instead, they were part of a fully integrated marketing effort. A corresponding email with additional product information was sent to each executive, timed to arrive just after the mailed piece. We also adapted the graphics for social media, broadening the campaign’s reach.


Atomicdust-ClinicalKey-SocialClinicalKey’s target audience is busy – and who isn’t these days? The last thing anyone has time for is another piece of junk mail selling you something. That’s a surefire way to end up in the trashcan. But by combining value, frequency and a targeted message, we were able to make a memorable, lasting impact.


Follow-up reading: The New Rules of Effective Direct Mail

Danielle Hohmeier

As Senior Marketing Manager at Atomicdust, Danielle Hohmeier develops focused and effective social media and content marketing strategies for clients. This includes identifying the audiences, appropriate channels and key content categories, and finding SEO and SEM opportunities.

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