The 5 Worst Approved Email practices to avoid

Veeva CRM Approved Emails are effective ways for your reps to send approved content to your customers in a compliant & personalized way. With the use of Approved Emails, your reps can improve the reach, frequency of the interactions, as well as extend the value of the in-person meetings. This improves customer engagement and increases productivity. That’s why every life science companies must pay extra attention to their Approved Email strategies. 
Sometimes, the best way to learn the right methods for taking action is to evaluate approaches that lead to failure. So to help you with Veeva CRM Approved Emails, we will be sharing 5 of the worst Approved Email practices which you should stop using to help you get better results and enhance your field force productivity.


1. Using Approved Emails for the wrong reasons

Reps in a rush usually forget about the basic rules of Approved Emails. An Approved Email is a rep delivered email that has been internally approved and is therefore compliant without regulatory risks. The email template can be a single email, or an email with fragments linking to associated content. Approved Emails are typically used to complement face-to-face meetings with HCPs. Sending it before any interaction with the customer renders it an unsolicited email as opposed to a follow-up initiative where the rep has had a prior interaction with your customer. Thus, you shouldn’t be using Approved Emails for anything and everything but only for extending the value of the in-person meeting.

It is also important to set the context around Approved Emails and to know when it is feasible to send to them. Whether you deploy Approved Emails during the pre-visit, post visit or between visiting phases and whether your email is brand promotional, educational, registration-based or related to an event, you won’t build them in the same way. Therefore sending emails by business scenario is the key to success.

Scenario: Thomas is a sales rep for a big pharmaceutical company. He just sent an Approved Email to Doctor Smith regarding an upcoming event celebrating the launch of a new product. The problem is that he hasn’t talked to her in 3 months so Doctor Smith will probably sees it as a generic email that isn’t specifically addressed to her and that has nothing to do with what she needs. 

2. Overdesigning & placing too many CTAs 

The average time a person spends reading an email is 4-6 seconds; and because we receive an overwhelming average of 16 promotional emails everyday, we usually sort out emails with a quick cursory glance. So your Approved Emails needs to be optimized if you want a desirable open rate.

Have you noticed how you handle emails that look like work-related and immediately delete those that seem heavily branded and promotional? Simple designed emails with branding kept to a minimum often portray it to be “clinical” and can often yield more opens and click-throughs. An overload of information is confusing and can be seen as an advertisement or spam in the mind of the HCPs. 

Another bane of email recipients is being overwhelmed with too many CTA buttons. Placing too many CTAs dilutes the effectiveness and confuses the recipient of what actions you want them to take. An effective email should give people a single, compelling CTA leading to one clear goal. For best practices, experts advice on a limitation to 2 graphics and CTA buttons with white spaces around to isolate the buttons to encourage better CTR rates. 

Scenario: When the Marketing Manager created the Approved Email, he placed a large banner with the name of the brand and its logo, many fragments and several CTA buttons. As a result, the Approved Email Thomas is sending is very confusing, which will probably make Doctor Smith believe that this is an ad. If that’s the case, she won’t even look it at properly and will delete it right away.

3. Ignoring personalization 

Most Approved Emails display exactly the same content for different HCPs — no matter who they are and what they need. This is where personalization comes into play. In fact, you want to display targeted content and call-to-action buttons for each HCP in order to make them feel like they’re special and fulfill their unmet needs. Therefore, content must be always personalized and relevant, and offers something of value to them. 

For this, you first need to pay attention to the roll out of the email. In fact, 60% of the opened emails is based on sender’s name, 35% is based on the subject line, and 32% is based on the pre-head message. It is critical that all three work together to feature in the preview pane. This should be intriguing and catch recipients’ attention. To do this, make sure to be concise, place relevant keywords at the beginning of each section and personalize the email with the HCP’s name as much as possible. 

Then comes call-to-action buttons. Those are useful because people often don’t act until they are unconsciously guided to do so. But you don’t want to overload them with that. Every Approved Email has a specific goal and is related to a specific scenario. Keep that in mind when integrating calls to action. CTA buttons are linked to associated websites and content embedded in the email, such as PDF, Presentations, Event registration, Company website, Company terms & conditions, Online article, etc. 

Scenario: In his Approved Email, the Marketing Manager included 3 CTA buttons: one to register for the event, one to see the brochure of the new product being launched, and one to learn more about the company. Here it’s not clear what Doctor Smith has to do. Displaying several CTAs is just going to confuse her and shift her away from the real objective, which is to have her attend the event. Also, he didn’t use the name of the doctor once and created a generic template with no personalized item whatsoever.

4. Ignoring Key Metrics

Now that your Approved Emails are compliant, simple and personalized, it is time for your Sales Rep and his/her brand manager to use the incoming data for analyzing. In fact, getting feedback on your product or services directly from your customers is the best way to learn more about your audience and understand what they actually want. Here are some of the meaningful metrics or KPIs that you should be looking at to test your Approved Emails:

  • Number of emails sent
  • Number of emails delivered, opened and clicked
  • Deployment quantity
  • Click-through rate, etc.

It is also important to have field feedback sessions with your sales reps to discuss what is working, what isn’t, policies, products and customer engagement. Then, you can plan your next steps accurately based on the results. 

Scenario: Since he has a very busy schedule, Thomas barely takes the time to look at metrics such as the number of emails delivered, opened and clicked after sending emails. He never even discusses that with his Marketing Manager, who’s creating his Approved Email templates. So they don’t know what works and what doesn’t. Because of that, they keep making the same mistakes, which in turn makes most of the Approved Emails they’re sending irrelevant.

5. Neglecting field forces training & adoption

No matter how good your email looks like, how powerful your tool is and how well you know Approved Emails, you will never get decent results if your sales reps are not properly trained to create and manage Approved Emails. One way to overcome this issue is to make the Approved Email backend easy to use for them. 

At drcom, we’re working on two complementary actions to make that happen. Firstly, we’re working hand in hand with our clients to understand their backend system and make the user experience on these platforms better and more intuitive. If users enjoy using a tool, they’ll be better at making the most out of it. The tool we use with our clients enable them to send Approved Emails right in the slide they’re presenting so if the client ask them for a specific information they can share it with them right away.

Secondly, we put a lot of effort in focusing on the technical aspect of our clients’ backends. You can significantly boost adoption rate and improve productivity by doing workshops (face-to-face or e-learning). Our agency organizes training sessions for field force teams to show them what is possible to do with Approved Emails, how to use them and what not to do.

Scenario: Thomas has never been trained on how to manage the tool he uses for sending Approved Emails so he doesn’t know how to use it properly. He doesn’t know how to personalize content; this is why he never uses the name of his recipients to start an email. In his email for Doctor Smith, he wrote “Dear Doctor” instead of “Dear Doctor Smith”, which will make Doctor Smith believe that she wasn’t the only one to receive it and that she’s just one HCPs among many others.


Approved Emails has made life easier for sales reps as they can use an instant, compliant, yet personalized follow-up with the HCPs they have just engaged with. Knowing the fact that Approved Email is most impactful, using the best techniques can help you get the best results and drive better engagement. To support you in this process and maximize the use of Veeva CRM Approved Emails, a Veeva Multichannel Content Partner is your most trusted guide. In fact, as a long term Veeva Content Partner, our agencies certified employees are continuously trained and supported to assist our customers at every stage of the content journey.

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