There are many things to consider when ordering any list, but medical lists have some unique things to consider. Some questions to ask yourself:
1) Do you want counts for research purposes (knowing how many doctors are in a given area regardless of whether they have valid mailing address), or for mailing purposes (reducing number of doctors to only good and mailable addresses).
2) Do you want to mail to a physician at his office address or his home address.
3) Only office based physicians, or do you want to include hospital based physicians? Do you want hospital based physicians to include Residents?
4) Do you want to mail to each individual physician (coming from specialty files) or one mail piece per office location (data coming from business directory file) Note: Specialty medical files are much more expensive than business directory files)
5) Do you want the mailing list for one time use, or a one year license to use multiple times.
What are the differences in the various sources for physician data?
Business Directory Files:
These addresses are compiled from various business directories, including phone book listings, city directories, state business filings, plus other proprietary sources. These addresses are the least expensive, but also have a higher rate of returned mail. A 10% return rate is industry standard. The rate of returns is so high because, for one reason, when doctors change locations, they are not always putting in a change of address with the post office, which is where the list compilers would pick up that a doctor now has a new address. Also, some of the directory sources gives the physical address, but not always the full mailing address - this can result in undeliverable records. The post office might recognize the address as being a mailable address, but if it is within a medical center or some other large facility it might not get delivered if it doesn't include a suite number or mail stop number.
AMA (American Medical Association)
This file contains data from doctors belonging to the AMA. Keep in mind that not every doctor belongs to the AMA, but the file is also overlaid with data sourced from state licensing files as well as other proprietary sources. About 50% of the AMA file is the home addresses of the doctor instead of the office address. The address given to the AMA is their "preferred" mailing address for communication coming from the AMA. A large majority of state licensing files also include home addresses as this is the address a large number of doctors use when getting their license. The AMA file has a much higher deliverability rate so number of returned mail should be much lower. Orders for this file requires a 5,000 record minimum order (or same price equivalent) and requires a licensing agreement to be signed. If you mail frequently to doctors, but in very small quantities, there are some new programs available that can save you money. Call us to ask more about about this program.
Medical Specialty Files
There are a large number of medical files available that are sourced from directories, licensing files, subscription based files (ie subscribers to medical journals or associations). These are the most reliable as far as valid mailing address, but are also the most expensive with higher minimum costs.
None of the sources guarantee that every doctor will be on any particular list. The compiled business directories have the highest chance of reaching most of the doctors. The AMA and other specialty lists only have doctors that subscribe to a particular service or association. Direct Response lists, like attendees of conferences or subscribers to medical journals would be limited to actual subscribers or attendees.
Of course this doesn't cover everything there is to know, but hope this helps in identifying some of the issues and things to think about when ordering physician data. We also offer other mailing lists for reaching households with specific demographics or businesses in your surrounding area.
Call us to help identify the best list for your marketing needs or to place an order.
480-346-1114 / 303-257-2923 / Info@DBSLists.com