As marketing guru John Wanamaker famously observed, half the money spent on marketing is wasted; the problem is figuring out which half. For brand managers working with healthcare professionals (HCPs), this maxim is both frustrating and true.
However, digital marketing channels are changing the equation for marketing professionals. Email, in particular, is an agile channel, providing rapid access to campaign analytics so that adjustments and improvements can be implemented quickly. This is one reason more than 50 percent of businesses surveyed have increased their email marketing budget in 2014. Email is adaptive, responsive, and cost-effective.
Of course, the first step in planning an HCP email campaign is choosing the best physician email list. In many cases, even healthcare companies and agencies with proprietary HCP databases will supplement or replace them with purchased email lists in order to better support the campaign objective and value of the offer or opportunity. Since the physician email database can represent a significant investment, choosing one that maximizes your opportunities for success is the most important step. Here are the criteria to look at when choosing a physician email list.
Expanded HCP data
The face of prescribers is changing under healthcare reform. The rapidly expanding role of mid-level providers offers new opportunities for developing a target audience. In addition to physicians, the best email database includes affiliated physician assistants and nurse practitioners to extend the reach and effectiveness of your campaign. Further, NP/PAs can now be identified by specialty and co-location with their affiliated physicians so you can precisely target mid-level prescribers.
Comprehensive practitioner information
When choosing an email list, practitioner demographic data isn’t enough. To develop a target audience for maximum ROI, use detailed information, including practice data, hospital affiliations, payor networks, prescribing behavior, insurance claims data, and ICD-9, diagnostic, and CPT codes, to uncover new opportunities for micro-targeted campaigns that drive results. Partitioned data lets you develop segmented lists that avoid an underperforming "spray and pray" marketing tactic.
Email address authentication
In addition to generic CAN-SPAM regulations, marketing to HCPs carries unique regulatory compliance requirements, including those from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and Office of Inspector General (OIG). To avoid inadvertent exposure to risk, it’s essential that emails reach only the intended audience and no one else. Authentication minimizes your exposure to compliance issues and reduces overall campaign costs by ensuring that you pay only for intended targets.
Scrupulous email list hygiene
Deliverability is a key campaign metric, and list hygiene is key to deliverability. List hygiene involves more than just scrubbing outdated or invalid addresses, which can be done by most email service providers. Scrubbing, combined with email address performance data, results in robust and clean lists. However, list hygiene doesn’t end there. Removing unengaged recipients, who haven’t opened or clicked on an offer over an extended period of time, results in improved deliverability and better campaign performance.
Behavior data of target audience
Email service providers, who compile historical behavioral benchmark data over a plethora of prior campaigns, offer opportunities to optimize your marketing campaign. Open and click-through rates are standard performance benchmarks. To add context and depth to campaign planning and strategizing, analyze responses rates by including mobile versus PC, offer type, day-of-week, time-of-day and benchmarks by specialty.
Robust email testing and analytics
Email’s rapid deployment and turnaround offer ample opportunities to test and refine your message and implement any changes. Pre-deployment testing should include render testing on a variety of devices and operating systems to ensure readability. Perform A/B testing on the subject line, call-to-action, and preheader to optimize your message for maximum performance.
The components of a successful HCP email campaign include content, design, and deployment built around a carefully chosen, verified, and segmented physician email list. The six features above will help you choose the best HCP database for your next email campaign.