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How to Know if Your Email List is Authenticated

So here is a question. How is a bad list created? I get asked this question quite a bit and this actually comes down to an issue of responsibility and ethics. The most common way that a bad list is created is through scraping. Scraping with email is sending either bots or humans out into the internet, to the web, to pull email addresses off of websites and then people will take that note, compile it, and then you have compilers on compilers on compilers that put together this giant list. Now of course no one has consented to be contacted here because none of these emails addresses were gathered through legitimate means so there is no opt-in , and there is no authentication because you can have doctors all with similar names or the same names you end up having one email address and they ascribe it to several different doctors. You can end up having manufacturing and this would be that if you new the email address of one doctor at a Hospital and then you call up and you say “ I’d like to purchase the physician roster at the Hospital” which they will gladly sell you the names of the doctors that work there.

They can manufacture every other email address there based on the first name and the last name. So when we talk about people who are potentially scraping or manufacturing email addresses, not only this does not help us in terms of meeting physician preferences for contact, it’s actually illegal under the CAN SPAM Act. So today we are going to take a little test.

We are going to take a test that will tell us how to know if the list that you’ve either purchased or partnered for is authenticated and we’ve got 5 questions that you would want to ask anyone that you would ever potentially get an email list from. The first question on this test is to ask the vendor for that source of that list. If they give you an easy answer and if it doesn’t sound right keep pressing them. They should be able to give you the source, the exact source, all the sources of that list. If they can , great! . Give them an authentication point. The second one is that you want to ask them to be able to get a reference from at least a handful of these sources. Bare minimum one, I would think they would be set up to be able to provide references from all of their sources but you definitely want some of them.

The next thing you are going to want to do, is that you are going to want to ask them for a sample of their list. They should be able to give you 10,000 records for you to just take a look at, how many email addresses on there are personal, and by personal I mean your gmail’s, your yahoo’s , your hotmail’s you want their to be a lot of personal email on that list. If it’s all institutional email addresses, chances are they manufactured it or they scraped it. You want to also look at the domains that are there, and you want to ensure that they look reasonable for being healthcare domains or domains that were irrelevant relevant to healthcare providers.

Number 4. You want to ask them how often can I get a refresh of this list. There answer should be every two weeks, they should be willing to give a refresh of this list every two weeks if they are not, if they say “Well we refresh once every two months, we refresh once every 6 months”. Every month you are going to lose 2% of that list. Every month 2% of emails go dark. So if they are not updating you every two weeks or once a month with refresh additional email addresses, replacement e mail addresses and letting you know what email addresses are no longer viable, you are bound to hit a SPAM trap or you are bound to lose your list over time.

So you need to be able to get an authenticated, updated, validated, refresh list from them every two weeks, every month at the longest. And finally number 5 you want ask. Are you deploying yourself with this list ? If they are not deploying themselves with this list then they won’t know whose opening these emails, whose not opening them, whose opt-in out, what emails have gone dark. Unless they are doing deployments they can’t tell you any of that data and that is the data that you need to know. Being able to look at that deployment data is the key to ensuring that the list you get is the best possible list. For assignment this week if you purchased a list. If you are currently using a list from a vendor.

I want us to go back and ask these questions of the vendor of that list or the partner that gave you that list. So go back to them ask them for the sources, if they give you the sources ask them for the references. Once they give the references give those references a call figure out how they’re putting together the list and beyond that then we want to take a look. What is the mix? Is it mostly personal email? Is some of it institutional email or is it most of it institutional email? Try to do a quick calculation, rough calculation to figure that out.

And then take a look how often are they are refreshing this, ask them if you can get a refresh more frequently, ask them if you can get a refresh every two weeks. Say can I get a refresh every two weeks. Beyond that, you want to ask them. Are they deploying it? Can they give you deployment data from that list? Can they tell you whose active? Are they ensuring that the most active email addresses is the one that is being provided to you every month? If they score perfect 5, GREAT! If they don’t consider talking to us. I can guarantee that DMD’s list scores the PERFECT 5..

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