You’d never tell your HCPs to prescribe a biosimilar instead of your branded drug. Aside from the obvious business conflict, it’s a matter of quality. There’s no guarantee that the active ingredient in the biosimilar is equivalent to the branded version. Differences in manufacturing practices may also affect its purity or shelf-life. While the biosimilar may be used successfully to treat some patients, it’s unproven in complex cases.
A second-rate email database has a lot in common with a biosimilar drug. From a distance, it may be hard to distinguish it from a high-quality database. But a closer look reveals significant differences that will impact your ability to consistently reach and engage all HCPs in your target audience.
Risks of Using An Unauthenticated Database
A second-rate email database will undoubtedly contain some valid physician addresses, but it will include many more that are inaccurate, outdated, or completely irrelevant. Our blog “Are Pharmas Emailing Doctors or Porn Stars?” tells the whole story.
The problem stems from how these email addresses are obtained. Though web scraping–which swipes private data for any use, without the owner’s consent—is now considered unethical, some database companies still use it to compile inexpensive lists.
What these email providers don’t tell you is that emails sent to scraped addresses constitute spam. Worse, you can run into legal and regulatory trouble when you send pharma emails to the wrong recipients. In the long run, buying a lesser database is no bargain.
A Quality Email List Pays For Itself
On the other hand, when you choose a “branded” email database you can expect:
- Opt-in, first-party sourced addresses. Every address in your email database will come directly and voluntarily from healthcare professionals.
- Authentication. Your email provider will verify the domain of each address and link it to the corresponding physician listed in the AMA Masterfile.
- Multiple addresses. Like everyone else, HCPs have multiple email addresses. A quality database will indicate which address an HCP uses most often for professional communication.
- Daily updates. Email addresses frequently become invalid due to changes in employer, practice location, or internet provider. Your branded database will be updated frequently to ensure that your emails get to the intended recipient. A 95% deliverability rate isn’t out of reach.
- Coverage. It’s not impossible to obtain 90% coverage of all HCPs with email addresses, though some databases offer 60% or less.
- Supplemental data from your website. New technology makes it possible to link real-time data about individual website visitors to their corresponding profiles in your email database.
- Third-party verification. Your email provider should be able to back up their claims. To be sure, ask if their database has been classified as a verified source by a third-party auditor like BPA Worldwide.
Successful pharma email marketing begins with an authenticated email database. Before your next campaign, be ready to ask your email provider tough questions to be sure you’re getting the high-quality list you need.