Direct-to-consumer (DTC) medical marketing programs are essential to device and healthcare companies. Why? Because when you engage prospective end-users before they visit physicians, they are more likely to ask about, or request, your product or service during consultations.

When you craft messaging for DTC campaigns, it’s essential that you write in a conversational style that creates a two-way dialogue with your prospective patients.

Put simply, the days of telling patients how great your healthcare service is (“we does this, we do that”), or how wonderful your device is (“it reduces, it prevents”) and then asking them to call for more information are over.

Today, social media gives everyone the ability to interact with everyone else on a very direct level. Prospective patients have become savvy healthcare “shoppers” and they now demand that they be able to speak with companies, as opposed to being lectured to by them.

This is why it’s a must that you use your DTC materials to start an open, two-way dialogue with prospective patients. Here are a few tips that will help you do this.

1. Choose a voice that sounds like a person, not a company

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a global company or a young startup, your DTC materials must be written in a voice that resembles a trustworthy person, not a stuffy old company.

Be conversational with your writing. Avoid corporate buzz words and slick jargon that sounds like fluff and hype. Speak to healthcare shoppers in a voice that resembles how two friends would talk to each other.

2. Let patients know you feel their pain

Never open a DTC marketing piece by touting how special your company is and how innovative your product is. Instead, begin by talking about your patients. Make it clear that you relate to their challenges and understand what keeps them up at a night.

This approach lets your audience know you’ve done your homework, and it gives you credibility to introduce your product or service as a solution to the real-world problems faced by patients.

3. Give patients a few ways to interact with you

Every DTC marketing piece should conclude by giving patients one or two easy ways they can interact with your company. Here are three easy ways to this.

  • Create a web page where prospects can ask questions and receive answers
  • Maintain a blog about your product or service where patients can post comments
  • Build and maintain interactive Facebook pages and Twitter accounts

Again, DTC writing as a one-way monologue is a thing of the past. To engage patients and build trust, you have to start a human, two-way dialogue and communicate in clear terms how your product offers solutions to the problems that keep them up at night.