Digital marketing, specifically through email, is an essential tool for any B2B healthcare marketing strategy. With the recent prioritization of digital-first healthcare communications, getting your products in front of the right healthcare professionals (HCPs) largely depends on you having a robust, high-quality email list.

When sourcing your HCP email list, make sure to know exactly who your campaign is targeting and how best to connect to that audience. The goal here is not to reach the largest number of healthcare professionals, but to reach the ones that are right for your marketing strategy.

You could scour websites for free or inexpensive physician lists from email service providers, but these often offer lower-quality email addresses, fail to drive engagement, and can generally be detrimental to your overall strategy. To reach your intended audience and communicate most effectively on your emailing platform, it’s best to use a data service provider or specialized company that deals in providing access to targeted and verified physician lists. 

While there’s no shortage of email lists out there claiming to target the right healthcare professionals—from physicians and pharmacists to nurses and counselors— the truth is it can be a challenge to find premium, clean lists that will help your campaign. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be!

Here are the top factors you should consider to find the best physician email list for your HCP digital marketing campaign.



List cleanliness means reaching active, engaged email addresses and talking to people who are listening. Otherwise, you’re throwing your money away.

To determine the cleanliness of a list, ask your provider the following questions:

  • How were the emails sourced? Does each physician on this list know that their email address is included? And are these addresses active and up to date? 
  • Is the list opt-in or double opt-in? While opt-in lists are better than spam lists (where the email addresses were taken without permission), double opt-in is even more so. Opt-in lists are by and large what’s called graymail, which means that members opted in but don’t really want to receive emails. (For example: If a company offers 10 percent off in exchange for your email, you’ll likely think: Eh, might as well. That’s graymail.) Double opt-in, on the other hand, guarantees the people on your email list actively want to receive emails from you. This is done by requiring them to sign up, and then, confirm they did indeed enroll, and want to receive communications.

Determining the cleanliness of your list also helps you determine whether it was compiled in an ethical manner. You don’t want to spam anyone or send unwelcome emails, which could not only hurt your specific campaign but also your overall business and reputation.


When developing your digital marketing strategy, it’s important to take stock of your budget to know what you can realistically invest in your HCP contact list. 

Email lists costs can vary widely based on a number of factors, and depending on where you’re looking, you can find rates ranging from pennies to more than $3 per contact. 

You can find inexpensive or even free lower-quality physician email lists, but these are often ineffective in reaching  your marketing goals. Having access to an authenticated and up-to-date email list will offer the greatest return on investment (ROI) for your overall digital marketing campaign. 

With a robust, first-rate list, you will have better overall delivery rates and lower bounce rates, ensuring your messages will reach their intended audience and you’re not wasting time, money and resources on invalid or unengaged email addresses.


Support From the List Provider

Much of the guesswork associated with developing an email campaign can be eliminated when you work with a trustworthy healthcare marketing partner who makes it their mission to maintain superior email lists.

There are plenty of healthcare marketing companies that compile lists, but in order to deliver a successful campaign to the right HCPs and pharmacies, you need to be sure you find a company that provides a greater level of support.



Segmentation refers to how the list is broken down by specific categories and traits. Having access to large, double opt-in email lists is all well and good, but not every healthcare professional is going to be interested in the same communications. 

For example: A physical therapist will not be interested in a prescription medication meant to help fight migraines; an ophthalmologist does not want to read about cutting-edge equipment for physical therapy offices serving people with knee injuries.

This means that you want your lists to be well segmented, so you know you’re sending the right message to the right people. Doing this effectively is a matter of identifying how much information is provided about each contact on the list. If a list simply includes names and email addresses without any other indication that they represent the audience you are trying to reach, it's likely it is not high quality.   

Looking for tips on crafting the strongest emails for your marketing campaigns? Download our free “Email Guidelines and Best Practice Suggestions” ebook.

PDQ Specializes in Maximizing High-Quality, Curated HCP Mailing Lists

So, where can you find doctor email lists?

At PDQ Communications, we provide access to the most robust and extensive email lists in the industry, encompassing all healthcare specialties including physicians, nurses, NPs, PAs, pharmacists, and many more. Not only is our database large enough to achieve extensive reach within hundreds of specialties, our team also works tirelessly to ensure recipients are well segmented and positioned for the greatest engagement.

PDQ can help you find the best physician email lists so you can target the right prospects for your products and services, every time. Contact Us to learn more.


Originally published August, 2020. Updated June 2021.

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