The phrase “More is not always better” has great validity—otherwise it wouldn’t be such a well-known quote. What’s often left off is the second half of the truism, “Sometimes, it’s just more.”
It’s an attitude that applies to healthcare marketing in a few ways, but particularly when you’re considering physician email lists. You can buy a database from any number of vendors and get hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of email addresses—and believe you now have the avenue to reach all those healthcare providers’ inboxes.
Just having that data at your disposal is not enough
It doesn’t end there. Just having that data at your disposal is not enough. There are certain standards of quality every database should meet if they are to be effective. If your list isn’t in line with these quality standards, you’re not only not reaching those physicians, you’re harming future email marketing efforts.
Don’t Buy a List Without Knowing This
When contemplating which vendor to partner with, these are the important questions you should be asking.
1) Where do your email addresses come from? First-party opt in is a must, especially given the new regulations surrounding digital marketing across all industries. Physician email addresses should be collected from trusted professional sources, such as medical publishers, education companies, and staffing organizations. These sources should have a direct relationship with physicians who have opted in to receive their services.
2) Are your lists authenticated? All physician email addresses should be authenticated and verified by an independent third party, such as BPA Worldwide—the gold standard in data validation.
3) How often do you scrub for invalid email addresses? Across the healthcare industry, one percent of the addresses on an email list become invalid every month. A quality list provider should capture these changes as they happen and update all email addresses daily.
4) How many physicians on your list have multiple email addresses? Most physicians use multiple email addresses. A quality list will include several email addresses for every physician and indicate which address is used most often. Interestingly enough, physicians often prefer to receive important communications to their personal accounts rather than their professional ones.
5) What are the opportunities for segmentation in your list? It’s not too much to expect geographic data, prescribing data, hospital affiliations, claims data, alumni association, and more. These data points allow you to speak to physicians in a way they find valuable of their time.
6) Do your sourcing methods stand up under scrutiny? New personal data protection and privacy laws are raising the standards for permission-based marketing. Only a fully authenticated, opted-in email list can meet these standards.
Good Data Sets the Stage for Optimized Engagement
First-party opt-in is a must
“More data” can be useful if it checks all the boxes listed above. Once you know you’re working with a high-quality physician email list, you can focus your efforts on using the data in that list to optimize engagement. Knowing physicians have opted in to hear from you, using their preferred email addresses, and deploying messaging that is relevant and valuable all set the foundation for not only reaching your audience, but also engaging them in meaningful—and repeated—conversations.