What Should an Email List Cost?

It's something of a paradox that the highest-performing digital marketing channel receives the smallest piece of the digital spend pie. According to Cegedim Strategic Data, a healthcare marketing and promotions audit provider, of the 6 percent of total marketing spend devoted to digital channels, email receives a meager 15 percent. It's no wonder that brand managers look for ways to squeeze the most bang from their email campaign buck.

One of the commonest places that campaign managers look for ways to economize is with the physician email list. This may be a shortsighted approach. Of all the factors affecting your digital marketing, the email list may be one of the most consequential.

Factors Influencing Total Campaign Cost

The list of factors that go into an email campaign includes developing campaign objectives, identifying the target audience, making segmentation decisions, procuring creative elements such as copy and design, and changing the website to accommodate new landing pages. It's not uncommon to spend six-figure sums designing a well-planned campaign. The cost of a physician email list cost is just one among many.

The quality and cost of purchased email lists vary considerably, however, from as little as $0.50 per contact to $3.00 each or more for specialized high-quality contacts. But an authenticated and meticulously maintained email list is an investment that guarantees a high rate of success for the campaign. A high-quality list means better delivery rates and lower bounce rates; money isn't wasted on invalid addresses and your message reaches the intended targets. A list with domain verification and real-time authentication ensures you're getting full value from your investment. 


Calculating Cost of Communication

Email itself is an inexpensive medium; some vendors have broadcast rates of just a few pennies each. These low-end prices can distort the perception of cost for a verified, authenticated, and carefully segmented list, which can cost many times as much.

A better way to look at email list costs is to put it in the context of the total asset build, including creative and technical elements. Assume that the total campaign budget divided by the number of targets yields a cost per communication of $5. Vendor A quotes a price of 25 cents per email and Vendor B charges 50 cents. While it's true that 50 cents is double the price of 25 cents, as a percentage of the overall cost per communication of $5, the difference in price between Vendor A and Vendor B shrinks to just 2 percent, an amount that is easily justified against improved campaign performance.

Elements of Campaign Success

Ultimately, a campaign is successful if your emails are effectively delivered to, opened, and acted upon by a carefully selected target audience receptive to your message. If your message can't be delivered or isn't opened by 90 percent of its recipients, your rate of return on investment plummets. These performance metrics rest on the quality of your physician email list.

When choosing an email list, three factors contribute to campaign success: Quality analysis in developing a target audience, an authenticated and meticulously maintained email list, and well-planned and well-timed deployment services. Underperform in any of these three components and overall return on investment suffers. 

According to statistics by the CMO, 64 percent of marketing executives plan to increase their overall digital budget this year. Of those, over half plan to significantly increase the percentage that they spend on email marketing campaigns because email is cost effective and yields results. Building a campaign around a poor-quality physician email list can handicap the effort before it begins. Even if it costs a bit more, choosing a top-quality list leads to better long-term returns. 

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