Pharma marketers know that emailing physicians has a lot of potential. You can reach more of the right doctors faster; customize your messaging; and analyze vast quantities of data from past campaigns in order to improve future deployments.
However, success in each of these areas depends on the quality of your physician email database. A quality database offers breadth, depth, accuracy, and automated testing. To be sure you’re getting what you paid for, you’ll want to verify that your physician database delivers on each of these critical elements of email marketing.
Breadth of Reach
Some physician email databases offer 60% coverage. That sounds pretty good, until you discover that the best databases contain up to 91% of HCPs with email addresses. When you choose a list provider, it’s not unreasonable to expect access to more than a million HCPs, including both physicians and NP/PAs.
Depth of Knowledge
The most effective email campaigns are highly customized for specific target audiences. Yet creating truly relevant copy for each of your audience segments requires a lot more knowledge than a name and email address can provide. To develop a complete picture of your target HCPs, you really need each individual’s NPI number, practice location, specialty, prescribing data, claims data, and hospital affiliations.
Behavioral data that indicates which emails specific HCPs opened and which offers they clicked on is also essential to identifying your best-performing subject lines and CTAs. Taken together, this detailed data enables you to develop and deploy consistently valuable messages for your target audiences.
First-party sourcing refers to obtaining email addresses that were submitted by the HCPs themselves. This is the only way to guarantee that the addresses you’re using are accurate, active, and opted-in. If your database provider has established relationships with the medical publishers who collect this information, you’ll have access to this data.
Your database should provide multiple first-party sourced addresses for each HCP so you can send messages to each doctor’s preferred address. If necessary, you can then follow up at one of their other addresses. Data should be cleansed daily so it always reflects the most accurate information, regardless of job changes or retirements. Finally, you should expect your list provider to have all addresses audited and validated by a third-party organization such as BPA Worldwide.
Email marketing returns reams of data, but it’s only valuable if you test regularly and apply the results of your learning to future campaigns. The best databases provide automated testing platforms that make it possible to evaluate almost any aspect of a deployment as frequently as you like. For instance, you should be able to test subject lines, pre-headers, first paragraphs, and the body of your message in various combinations. Your platform should also enable you to analyze HCP response to different design, color, and photographic elements. Testing specific subsets of your audience -- for example, different specialties or high prescribers versus low prescribers -- is useful for determining optimal deployment time frames and messaging.
At a glance, one physician email database may seem a lot like another, but email is not a commodity. A closer look reveals significant differences that can make or break your email marketing campaigns. To avoid costly mistakes and maximize your digital marketing ROI, be sure your email database meets the highest standards of coverage, segmentation, accuracy, and testing.