The healthcare industry isn't for the faint of heart. It comes with piles of regulations and legal requirements, life-or-death stakes, and liability threats at every turn. For this reason, the first thing we do is authenticate a client's email list. Without authentication, a bad list can open a Pandora's box of problems, many of which can be fatal to your email campaign.
Our List Authenticity is the Closest Thing You'll Get To a Guarantee
When we give our clients a healthcare professional's (HCP's) email, we're confident that it's actually that HCP's address. Confidence is rare in the healthcare business. Try asking one of our competitors how sure they are that the email address they have actually belongs to the HCP for whom it's listed. When pressed, most of our competitors would say, "Well, we're about 60 percent sure."
Sixty percent is unacceptable – that's a D-! We're more like 90 to 95 percent sure. Of course, we can't guarantee every email address, but we can come very close. That's the biggest benefit to entrusting us with your email campaign.
One Spam Trap is All it Takes To Derail a Campaign
Our authentication process is especially valuable when clients lease an email list not from DMD. About a year ago, we deployed to a client-supplied list without subjecting it to our quality checks first. One of the email addresses on the list was a spam trap, or an email address that is used to detect bad email lists. Instantly, certain ISPs (Internet service providers) sniffed it out and blocked that deployment. Just one spam trap derailed and delayed our campaign for days.
A Cautionary Tale of What Happens When you Send to Bad Lists
So why do bad lists cause so many problems? What actually goes wrong? Say you're Manufacturer ABC and you purchase an unverified list that contains bad addresses. You don't clean or authenticate the list at all; you just throw it into your ISP platform. You start sending out email, but you hit a spam trap about a third of the way through your deployment. That lone spam trap gets you blocked at Yahoo!, which means you won't reach any HCPs with a Yahoo! address for the remainder of your deployment.
The truth is that the sender might not even notice the bottleneck in the first place because few companies monitor the numbers as closely as we do. We monitor our deployments in real time, all the time, so any kind of a delay at an ISP prompts a notification from our platform. ISPs are very finicky – they act with complete independence and are not accountable to any sender. If you deploy outside of their standards, you can encounter blocks that sink your deployment.
That's the process for one spam trap, so just imagine how unwieldy things would get with a list infested with them. On any given non-DMD list, you might be dealing with as many as 10-15 percent invalid addresses and a dozen spam traps. You couldn't possibly call the ISP every time you hit a spam trap with numbers like that; it's simply unsustainable. Even worse, when you continue delivering junk to ISPs because of bad addresses, eventually you'll reach the point where ISPs refuse to unblock you again.
Bad lists may come cheap, but they're not worth the trouble they cause. At their best, dirty lists are inefficient. At their worst, they can permanently prevent you from reaching certain HCPs.