Anyone who has pursued an athletic goal – whether running a 5K or earning a spot on a competitive team – knows that it requires training. To succeed, you have to put in hours at the gym, adopt a healthy lifestyle, and make adjustments as you reach milestones or face setbacks.
Achieving email marketing success isn’t so different. Creating campaigns that convert physicians to prescribers involves planning, persistence, and continual refinements. It also requires conditioning internet service providers (ISPs) to recognize and deliver your emails.
ISPs Act as Gatekeepers
Email marketers put a lot of effort into developing subject lines that will grab a physician’s attention. However, the subject line can’t do its job if your email never reaches the intended physician’s inbox.
At every health system and medical practice, an ISP determines whether or not that happens. ISPs deliver messages that appear trustworthy and filter out many others due to suspicious domain names or IP addresses, or because they look like spam.
Each ISP defines its own filters, but any of these common problems will trigger a red flag:
- Recipients haven’t opted-in
- Campaigns have low delivery rates
- Content is spammy, for example, messages include bait-and-switch subject lines or a misleading name in the “From” field
- Content violates CAN-SPAM regulations, such as the requirement to include an unsubscribe link
Help ISPs Recognize Your Domain
Use a quality list in combination with responsible email practices.
To get your email messages past the gatekeeper, you need to train ISPs to recognize your domain as reliable. There are two primary ways of accomplishing this: using a high-quality physician email list and adopting responsible email practices.
Use a high-quality physician email list. Email messages sent to invalid addresses bounce. If your campaigns frequently generate high bounce rates (and therefore, low delivery rates), ISPs may blacklist your IP address. This prevents delivery of all of your email messages at least temporarily.
The best way to avoid being blacklisted is to use an email list that is sourced directly from physicians who have completed an opt-in process. The list should be authenticated against the AMA Physician Masterfile, updated daily, and certified by a third-party like BPA Worldwide.
Adopt responsible email practices. Once you’ve selected a quality list, it’s time to focus on creating meaningful email content that respects your target audience’s preferences. Sending too many emails, even to valid inboxes, can force your messages into the spam folder. Instead, strive to understand how frequently physicians want to hear from you and what types of content they value most.
In general, physicians favor educational content over promotional messages. Specific preferences may vary by specialty, geography, or other factors, but a quality database will include segmentation criteria that can help you tease out the differences.
Training ISPs Pays Off
If you’ve struggled with high bounce rates in the past, it may take a few deployments with a quality list to see improvements. After a little training, though, ISPs will begin to consider your domain trustworthy.
Use a quality list in combination with responsible email practices. Bounces will become a thing of the past, and your intended audience will consistently receive your messages.