As new technologies and platforms come onto the healthcare marketing scene, it can be tempting to allocate resources to develop them into a viable communications program. Yet, data doesn’t lie. Even though email has been around for a long time, it’s far from tired. Email routinely outperforms other channels, including social media outlets.
However, a tenuous trap to fall into is that because email has proved “tried and true,” some marketers feel so comfortable with email they think they’ve mastered it. Alternatively, those new to email may have been drawn to this channel by its seeming simplicity and take on deployments themselves.
Both are a misstep. Email is always evolving, making it consistently challenging for marketers to get their messages into healthcare providers’ inboxes.
So Much to Consider Before You Hit Send
Healthcare marketers want to see that their campaigns are working, so they look to analytics such as opens and clicks. But, there’s so much that has to be considered when deploying emails in order for those sends to even reach your target audience’s inboxes.
Email routinely outperforms other channels.
For example, your sender reputation is a critical component of deployment. If you have a bad reputation, it’s likely many of your messages are being filtered out or blocked. This is especially important in healthcare marketing, as medical institutions are known for building strict, customized firewall protections. One way to ensure your messages get through is to form whitelist relationships with these institutions, but that’s somewhat challenging unless you’re working with a sending partner who has a bit more “clout” with them based on past performance and credibility.
Another significant obstacle is deploying to Gmail addresses, which is one of the most popular internet service providers (ISP). Gmail routinely changes its content filters, sometimes by the hour. If you have an email partner who can help you develop a really great email—one that features great content, doesn’t contain any spam triggers or broken code, avoids attachments, etc.—your email has a much better chance at being delivered.
If Your List Falters, Little Else Matters
The logistics of email deployment can all be in place and up to par, and yet you can still fail if you are using a poor quality list. Sending to non-active users, individuals who have not opted in to hear from you, invalid addresses, or past/known complainers are all instances that will damage your sender reputation and potentially get you on a blacklist.
Email is always evolving.
While mistakes do happen in deployment, you can largely avoid being blacklisted by only using high-quality email lists that are 100 percent opted-in, third-party verified, and updated daily. It should also be noted that blacklists aren’t necessarily permanent, but it’s easier to get off one if you have an ESP deliverability team to negotiate such situations—which is not always viable with small or mid-sized marketing teams.
You’re Doing Email, But Are You Doing It Well?
As much as you want control over your deployments, these are all considerations for choosing a sending partner. Ultimately, it comes down to this: You might be able to do email on your own, but the question is, are you doing it well?