Delivering Messages to Healthcare Professionals for 87 Years


Medical Marketing Service, Inc. (mms) is celebrating 87 years as a leader in the healthcare marketing industry. For over eight decades and four generations, the family-owned business has progressively advanced with the fast-paced and ever-changing technology that has continually changed the ways of marketing to healthcare professionals.

To get a glimpse of mms’ rich history and exciting future, click here to view mms’ highlight infographic.

Understand the value of subject lines, preview text, and headlines


We are all creatures of habit even when it comes to checking our email. Individual habits may vary slightly, but most of us including HCPs can relate when it comes to the steps we take to tackle email and clear our inboxes.

Scroll through inbox to check what’s there

Delete emails that are not relevant, useful, or of interest

Repeat, and respond to emails most important and time-sensitive

Repeat, and respond to emails that can be responded to quickly

Repeat, and scan email content to delete, file, or save for further reading later

Click here to view the full article.

200 AMA Physicians Provide Insight Regarding CME Course Preparation and Marketing


In mms’ 2016 Physician Continuing Medical Education Survey, doctors were asked specifically about their opinions and behaviors related to CME course preparation and marketing activities including:

  • How they prefer to receive CME information
  • What their primary reasons are for choosing/attending a CME course
  • Who they prefer to provide a preparation program for a board certification exam

To learn more about the survey and its results, click here to view the full infographic.

200 AMA Practicing Physicians Provide Insight for Future Pharmaceutical Marketing Campaign Planning


In mms’ 2016 Physician Pharmaceutical Survey, doctors were asked specifically about their opinions and behaviors related to pharmaceutical marketing activities including:

  • How they prefer to receive pharmaceutical information
  • What is of most interest in pharmaceutical emails

To learn more about the survey and its results, click here to view the full infographic.

Yes, it’s already November. Wrap up your holiday marketing… Plan now to kick off 2016.


As 2015 winds down, ramp up your healthcare marketing and end the year with a bang. By taking advantage of these last two months you will be better prepared for the New Year and won’t have to resuscitate your plans in January.

If you worry about sending emails during the flurry of the holiday season, last year’s holiday Med-E-Mail campaign response patterns might surprise you:

Thanksgiving – Response was normal the week prior to Thanksgiving, increased the week of Thanksgiving (including Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday), and returned to normal after Cyber Monday.

Christmas – Response was normal the week before Christmas, remained normal the week of Christmas, and increased the week after Christmas. The same pattern held true for New Years.

Remember that with the hustle and bustle of the holidays also comes adjusted, relaxed work schedules providing HCPs more time to view and sort through emails. This provides hope for marketers who want to take advantage of the holidays to connect with HCPs because they are still active, engaging, and responding!

Keep in mind, however, that during the holidays there is indeed an influx in the average number of daily emails hitting inboxes, just as your mailman fills your mailbox chock full with retail catalogs and Christmas cards. In fact, research conducted by Return Path shows that the holiday push and increase in the average number of emails begins as early as Halloween and holds steady through Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


The average number of emails received daily increased from seven between July and September to nine from Halloween to December 15, 11 on Black Friday, and 12 on Cyber Monday.

The good news is that this increase is more evident in B2C than B2B. So take advantage of the excitement of the season and experience successful deliverability rates and an end-of-the-year ROI that will help jump start the New Year.

To get started, use the five tips below to make your holiday marketing shine:

  1. Keep email message simple and to-the-point
    Begin communicating your message starting with a short subject line. Build on that with your pre-header followed with the body of the email that delivers the pertinent facts including who, what, why, when, where, and how.
  2. Provide a clear, strong CTA
    Make it easy for users to navigate through your message to get to the CTA. Even boost font size to a minimum of 16 points and button size to 44 points. Instead of labeling your CTA button “click here,” it should read exactly what you are asking your users to do by clicking the button.
  3. Mobile first – ensure that your email is responsive in design
    Use single column or “skinny” layouts for ease when using thumbs to scroll. Overall, email interactions are up largely due to increased mobile viewership and engagement. It is important that your email can be easily viewed whenever and wherever the user goes.
  4. Personalize a special holiday message
    This is a great time to extend thanks or best wishes for a holiday season and personalize your message for an added touch.
  5. Fun it up
    Take this opportunity with the holidays to be creative with your message and design by possibly using light-hearted, whimsical lead-in text, playful fonts for a headline, or bright colors.

To wrap up the year with effective email marketing and connect with HCPs, contact mms at 800-MED-LIST (633-5478) or

mms wishes you a safe and happy holiday season.

How Does the AMA Physician Masterfile Continue to Provide the Most Complete List? Answer: QUALITY DATA


Choosing the right list is like picking the perfect pumpkin at the patch for the most delicious pumpkin pie. You aren’t going to choose the little, disfigured one. You will pick the one that is most robust, well-rounded, and will provide you with the best results – the most flavorful pie. Best pumpkin is to best pie, as best list is to highest ROI.


Email and direct mail campaigns also are only as effective as the lists used to reach the right target audiences. Detailed and up-to-date physician lists, obtained through continuous extensive data collection and verification, are critical to a successful marketing campaign. mms, the first database licensee of the American Medical Association, provides the highest degree of list accuracy and gets your message delivered.

The AMA Physician Masterfile has set the industry standard since 1906, with a guaranteed 98% deliverability rate. Learn what continues to give the AMA file the edge over other physician data sources making it the only logical choice for healthcare marketing.

It’s all about the data…

100% of all MD physicians are included in the file
There are more than 1,168,000 physicians including members and non-members, MDs and DOs, practicing physicians, and residents.

Over 2,000 sources are used to gather information on each and every physician
Information collected includes data from medical schools, residency training institutions, state licensing agencies, and the American Board of Medical Specialties.

The AMA Masterfile is updated daily with an average of 65 million updates annually

350,000 outbound calls are on track to be completed in 2015 to verify physician information including name, address, phone, specialty, and practice setting. Over 150,000 inbound calls from practices are leveraged to validate physician information.

A 98% deliverability rate is consistently maintained
USPS Address Change Service (ACS) and the National Change of Address (NCOA) service are used to maintain the integrity of physician addresses of which an average of 30,000 are updated monthly.

The file contains Preferred Professional Mailing Addresses (PPMA) for every physician
The preferred addresses on file are where physicians want  to receive their mail. Over 100 million mail pieces utilizing PPMA are generated every year. Preferred office location also is available on 95% of office-based physicians.

Data is collected when MDs enter medical school
This makes the AMA Masterfile more comprehensive than other data sources. Physicians are assigned a unique identifier, the AMA Medical Education (ME) number, which stays with them throughout their career for consistent, correct, and reliable data.

Physician identifiers are available to match AMA data with other databases
ME and National Physician Identifier (NPI) numbers allow cross-referencing to select your ideal target audience.

AMA data is used by over 80% of hospitals and 400+ healthcare plans
Healthcare organizations can use the AMA Masterfile to verify information submitted by physicians when applying for clinical privileges or participation in a payer network. Over 450,000 profiles are provided to hospitals, ambulatory care, and payers to meet this need every year. Additionally, an average of 100,000 physicians order their AMA Masterfile profile annually to review, update, and/or provide to licensing boards during renewal.

The AMA uses only the best data – its own
Physicians are the AMA’s business and they communicate with them every day.  The AMA relies on the Masterfile for its own business activities including publishing, CME, membership, advocacy, and the AMA Insurance Agency – so it has to be superior data.

Multiple targeting options using detailed demographics allow you to customize the Masterfile to your specific marketing needs

Multiple data elements including over 250 primary or secondary specialties, board certifications and expiration dates, geographic locations, state of birth, year of birth, state trained or state of license (ties to states), type of practice summary, and residency programs provide options in targeting the right audience and personalizing your content.

The file is effective for targeting physicians for various healthcare marketing needs
AMA Masterfile data can be used for multiple purposes including continuing medical education, physician recruitment, pharmaceutical direct marketing, journal distribution, physician verification, market research, and other healthcare marketing campaigns.

Don’t use lists that include most  physicians with information that is pretty  up-to-date. That would be like throwing your budget to the wind and blindly gambling on the outcome of your campaign.

Instead choose to use nothing but the best – the AMA Physician Masterfile – a list that is all-inclusive in its data collection, verified and updated daily with effective, real-time tracking for effective campaigns and a high ROI.


The AMA Physician Masterfile is like the great pumpkin, rising above all other physician data sources to deliver the most comprehensive list for successful results.
For more information about the AMA Physician Masterfile and mms’ complete line of products and services, visit or call 800-MED-LIST (633-5478).



Email Pre-headers: What are they and why are they so important?


The same is true about your emails, and more specifically your email pre-headers that serve as your billboards. Are they getting looks? Are they being opened, read, and clicked through?

Healthcare professionals – Millenials. GenX. Boomers. HCPs across all age categories share one thing in common: life. Regardless of age, they juggle priorities and struggle with time. The reality is that between conference calls and back-to-back meetings there are only a few minutes to grab coffee, update Twitter feed, peek at Instagram, and check emails… and about those emails… read all 100+ received in the last hour? Not hardly. You’ve heard it before, “There’s just not enough time in the day,” so you can guarantee that only emails that are important or stand-out, will be opened, clicked through, and paid any attention at all. So, how do you make sure your emails pop from the clutter and catch the eye of busy, multi-tasking healthcare professionals? Pre-headers.

As HCPs quickly scroll through emails, it is important to grab their attention, peak their interest, create intrigue and curiosity, and move them to open your email. You accomplish this with a pre-header that is like a billboard for HCPs as they move through their inbox. Pre-headers boldly state, “this is what the email is about,” “stop here,” “open now,” and, “read more.”

What are Pre-headers?
Pre-headers are snippets of text extracted from the body of the email. They also are commonly referred to as snippets or preview text because that’s exactly what they are: snippets or pieces of information found in the copy or preview text because pre-headers provide a preview or introduce the text that will be communicated in more detail in the body of the email.

The idea of pre-headers is similar to the “Johnson Box” which is commonly found at the top of direct mail, containing the key message of the piece. It has been adapted to the email format, providing the additional benefit of allowing the most important message in the email to be visible in the preview pane of an email reader.

Where are Pre-headers in the structure of an Email?
Pre-headers are located underneath the “From” name and “Subject” line, and before the company header (hence, the name pre-header) or body of email.

Why are pre-headers important?
When healthcare professionals are checking email between appointments, meetings, and paperwork, pre-headers serve as one of the most important elements in the design of an effective email to grab their attention and cut through the clutter. In addition to the subject line, pre-headers are yet another tool to catch the readers’ eyes and stop and encourage them to open and click-through your email instead of skipping or even deleting. Ultimately, by optimizing your preview text, you may increase your open rates sometimes up to 45%.

How can pre-headers improve open rates?

  1. Grab recipients’ attention encouraging them to open
  2. Influence behavior by moving HCPs to open, scroll, and click increasing overall engagement in content and call-to-action

Tips for Effective Pre-headers:

  1. Construct a teaser message that is on point
    Make sure your pre-headers are straightforward and to the point summarizing the content of the email message. Don’t waste the opportunity to grab your reader’s attention and curiosity. The pre-header is like a Super Bowl ad… it’s gotta be good. Use the pre-header as a “teaser” for the rest of the email with the purpose of making the reader opening and scrolling for more.
  1. Elaborate on the subject line
    The shorter the subject line, the better it performs. Pre-headers allow you to add a little bit more detail while keeping the subject line at the most optimal length.
  1. Include strong action words
    Pre-headers can create a sense of urgency with a strong call to action. They can move readers to open sooner instead of being skimmed over in the inbox, put off being read until later, or deleted after some time when the inbox has become inundated with other off-topic emails.
  1. Limit characters and length
    The pre-header box does not have a character limit. However, the number of characters that actually display varies among desktop, mobile, and webmail email clients and depends on whether or not they even support the feature. Try to keep characters between 35 and 40.

    For example:
    • Gmail and AOL display two lines of pre-headers right after the subject line
    • iPhone 6 renders up to three lines of pre-header text
    • Windows phones only show 40 characters before cutting off the message

  1. Test Pre-headers
    Use A/B testing to determine what works and adapt as needed to guarantee that the pre-header resonates with the audience as intended. Not only will this help increase open-rate success, but it may teach you valuable things about your readers in the process.

How do you add pre-headers to an email campaign?
Make sure your pre-header adds value to the overall open strategy, email message, and readers’ time. Be careful not to repeat information, but instead keep it fresh, building off of the subject line, and leading into the main point of the email.

The pre-header can be as simple as using the first line of copy in the body of your message or can also be hard-coded and even hidden with a code/snippet/hidden div. It is important to remember that some email clients such as Gmail either strip or ignore styles in the head of an HTML email.

If you are using a pre-header, make sure that link text or default settings such as “Having trouble viewing this email?” or “Forward to a friend” are coded elsewhere in the message. Placement of generic text in a pre-header adds no value to the campaign and excites no one.

The Measure of Your Success: 5 Key Metrics Email Marketers Can’t Afford to Ignore!


Email metrics are critical to evaluating your online campaign. The information that metrics provide serve as a gauge as to whether or not your email messages are effective — and also tell you what steps should be taken to make your communications more impactful.

Following are top five email metrics that should be reviewed on a continual basis to ensure that your campaigns are delivered, opened, and engaging:

  1. Overall delivery – The number of emails that were sent and accepted by a receiving server

    Having a high delivery rate is crucial. Lists are optimized by eliminating invalid, duplicate, opt-out email addresses, and spam traps. Overall delivery rates take the total number of messages received and subtract the number of abuse complaints, emails marked as spam, and hard and soft bounce-backs. Soft bounce-backs may happen when recipients’ inboxes are full, and in this case it is okay to resend to those recipients. Hard bounces mean that email addresses failed permanently, and those addresses should be removed from marketing lists.

  1. Open rate – The number of recipients who opened your email message, and how many times they opened the email

    Boost your open rates with these tips:

  • Write compelling subject lines and continually try new ones to see which subject lines work best.
  • Choose the right “From” name and email address. Recipients are more likely to open emails from people they know and trust.
  • Craft pre-headers carefully. Pre-headers — the lines of text that follow a subject line when an email is previewed — can add value to your message by providing context to your subject line, offering a strong call to action, or incentivizing recipients to open your message with a special deal or exclusive content.
  1. Click-through rates– The number of clicks each of your emails generates

    Click-through rates of an email deployment are calculated by dividing the number of clicks you get by the number of email messages that were delivered.

    Here are some proven ways to boost your email click-through-rates:

  • Make sure your message delivers on the promise of your subject line.
  • Provide a clear call-to-action near the top of the email so recipients don’t have to scroll down to click on it.
  • Entice action with a bonus, incentive, or discount.
  • Optimize your emails for mobile devices. If your emails are receiving poor click-through rates, make sure they are easy to click on a phone.
  1. Opt-outs – Email recipients who have chosen to opt-out or unsubscribe

    Do you know how many people have opted out/unsubscribed from your email messages? A spike in opt-outs could indicate that you are over-messaging your audience or sending content irrelevant to their interests. Opt-outs should immediately be removed from lists.

  1. Viewer engagement – The many different ways you interact with your audience

    To gauge your audience’s initial level of interest in your message, combine the number of opens and clicks.

    This will give you a click-to-open rate (CTOR) percentage.You will also want to answer questions such as:

  • How much time did recipients spend reading your message?
  • What type of email client did they use to read it?
  • Which devices were used?
  • Which links were most effective?

Reviewing this data can help you determine how to improve your message and your results.

To assess long-term engagement, measure all audience actions including open rates, click-throughs, downloads, and purchases or sign-ons over a defined time period. You can then assess the active percentage of your audience — for example, 65% of your recipients interacted with you during the past 6 months — to determine which messages were most effective, and in what areas you need to test different options. email summary reports include all of the above metrics for an in-depth analysis of your email marketing efforts.  In turn, the information provided enables you to further customize your campaigns and improve overall results. We’d be glad to help answer any questions you may have, and to create a program that works for you. For more information, contact us at 800.633.5478 or

Garth Elliott, President
mms, Inc.