Deliverability of content and messages is crucial for the growth of brands within the health technology sector. And in an increasingly competitive landscape for digital health companies, more and more are opting to go direct to get the attention of key influencers and decision makers.
Alas, your bounce back and response rates have become an even more important marketing metric for your team.
Many experts suggest any email bounce rate over 2% needs to be resolved to increase the chances of success of your campaign. What are the common pitfalls for NHS mailing campaigns falling below this rate and importantly, how do you avoid your emails becoming undelivered or unread?
1. Spam filters
The NHS is a high-profile target for cyber threats with more than 746,000 phishing emails blocked in a month, so quite reassuringly in some respects, provider and commissioner organisations are becoming increasingly resilient to unwanted emails.
This challenge becomes that bit tougher when you are targeting more senior audiences, such as board executives, as their security controls will be more vigilant. You can remedy this by researching your audience, making sure you are targeting the right person for your campaign and understanding exactly what messages will resonate.
2. Merging NHS trusts
A steady stream of trust mergers over recent years has played havoc with marketing lists for digital health companies up and down the country. When some NHS trusts merge, they create a new email address format to keep everything uniform.
3. Switching to NHSmail 2
Around 60% of NHS trusts have completed their move to NHSmail 2 as part of one of the largest email migrations ever in a bid to deliver a ‘new, improved, [and] modern secure email solution for local NHS organisations’.
This seems a sensible approach, but what happens to staff who have the same name? Are you sure you are targeting the same Mark Smith? In these cases, getting confirmation from the trust that you have the right email address is essential.
In our experience around 8/10 bounce backs are due to human error such as typos in email addresses. The likeliness of this happening is increased when the people responsible for building or managing this data have little experience in targeting NHS prospects.
5. Dummy NHS email addresses
Some NHS contact data providers intentionally place fake email addresses so they can police the terms of the data use (such as number of times you can use it, or in what time period). This means you are sending out mailers to people that do not exist, altering your response rates for the worse.
High-quality, reliable NHS contact data has never been so important to brands looking to reach and engage with busy NHS leaders and influencers. Mailers have the potential to grab attention, tell a story and sell a benefit - but only if it arrives safely to the right person.
PS. Here at Elemental we build each bespoke NHS contact database by hand, from scratch. If there is an email bounce-back, we'll find out why. If someone has changed jobs, we'll see who has taken over. On the rare occasion there is a discrepancy, we won't sleep until its sorted. Call us to find out how we can support your next campaign on 0808 168 6426.