You might observe the aches and pains companies, like DMD, withstand in order to authenticate an email list and wonder why we go to all that trouble. After all, is it really the end of the world if you have some bad email addresses or a few non-healthcare-professional recipients? What's the worst that could happen? In reality, an unauthenticated email list exposes you to all sorts of risk and liability, both financially and legally.
For one, failing to authenticate your email records opens you up to compliance risks if you run afoul of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Second, sending marketing messages to an unauthenticated list is like trying to fill up a bucket with a hole in it. If you're sending to bad addresses, you're squandering precious marketing dollars. Finally, sending too many emails that bounce might force your messages into the spam folder and/or get you banned as a sender from certain domains.
Comply with FDA Regulations by Verifying Recipients' Identities
When you use a basic opt-in system, you may ensure that the email address you get is valid, but you have no way of knowing whether the person providing it is a valid healthcare professional (HCP). As a result, you risk sending professional emails to non-professionals, which is a major FDA no-no. The FDA prohibits pharmaceutical companies from sending professional communications to consumers.
Furthermore, you could be sending your message to the wrong specialties in violation of a corporate integrity agreement. For example, a pharma company can't send the same content on a heart medication to both cardiologists and pediatricians because approved messaging is specific to certain specialties. Corporate integrity agreements and FDA rules prohibit you from serving ads to unapproved specialties, which explains why HCP verification is absolutely essential.
Improve the Accuracy of Campaign Data with Better Deliverability and Targeting
It's no secret that your email campaign's ROI depends heavily on whether you actually reach the physicians you want to reach. Relying on office- or site-based email lists sets your campaign up for failure and wastes marketing dollars because you have no idea what you're getting. The best way to reach your audience is to secure an authenticated email address for your target.
Once you know your messages are reaching the right targets, your campaign metrics will more accurately represent your audience’s behavior. You can then set benchmarks and improve your next campaign’s results by segmenting your audience and analyzing data from previous campaigns.
Avoid the Spam Folder, Keep Hard Bounces to a Minimum
A hard bounce doesn't just affect the message that bounced; it can potentially derail your campaign as a whole. When you send to an unauthenticated email list, you're inevitably going to have messages that bounce. If you get enough hard bounces, your messages will eventually be relegated to the spam folder, never to reach the eyes of your target HCP.
What's worse, enough bounces will get you flagged as a sender, which means some domains might ban you as a sender altogether. Authentication avoids all this by vetting addresses initially and on an ongoing basis, immediately removing opt-outs and invalid addresses.
As you can see, authentication can make or break an email marketing campaign. Compliance, campaign data, and spam concerns are the most compelling reasons to thoroughly authenticate your HCP email list.