The verdict is in – email marketing is not dead! In fact, research from this year shows that if your email mailing list and your Facebook Page have the same number of followers, you’ll reach far more people with a single email than you will with a single Facebook post. We’re certainly not advocating that you stop using social media marketing (find out why you should be using both here), but it’s impossible to deny the reaching power of a single email.
Of course, in order to successfully use email marketing, you have to have people’s emails. Naturally, you’ll have access to your client’s emails, especially if you send out email reminders about appointments. But if you want to use email marketing as a tool to encourage increased patient visits or even bring in new clients, you’re going to need to get more creative with collecting emails. After all, your clients who agree to receive email reminders aren’t necessarily on board for receiving your email newsletter – at least, not yet! But you can change that. With these suggestions, you’ll have clients and prospects alike volunteering their email to receive your practice newsletters!
Include an opt-in to your newsletter on your new patient form.
Before you take big steps to collect emails, use a small one to take advantage of the emails you’re already receiving. If you’re already gathering emails from new clients for appointment reminders, include a checkbox that allows the client to opt-in to your practice newsletter as well. Make sure you sell it! Include a brief sentence that lets them know why they should definitely check that box, e.g., “Sign up for our practice newsletter to receive relevant news, events, helpful tips and tricks, and special offers and discounts!”
Put your newsletter up on your website and let people know they can receive more great content when they sign up with their email.
We saw a real veterinary clinic using this technique, and we thought it was a great idea! Share your email newsletter each week on your practice website, and include a form for readers to sign up. This allows you to give viewers a sneak peek of the awesome content they can expect, and encourages them to sign up on the spot so they can receive that content right to their inbox.
Bring them in from social.
As we said in the introduction, a single Facebook post or tweet reaches far fewer people than an email. So why not get your followers on board with a platform that allows them to see even more of your content? Share a post every couple of weeks on Facebook that encourages your followers to sign up for your newsletter. And try pinning a Twitter card to the top of your timeline that allows people to sign up right on Twitter. And don’t forget to tell them why signing up will be worth it!
Offer promotions and coupons.
One of the primary reasons people subscribe to email lists is to receive deals and special offers. In fact, research by GetApp found that deals and special offers are the second most common reason that people say they subscribe to email newsletters (and the first reason was subscribing accidentally or unwillingly!).
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to offer email-exclusive deals (although that’s always an option). It just indicates that subscribers want to receive information in their inbox about your next special offer or discount. While not every email should be a special offer or discount, make sure you’re mentioning whenever you’re having one, whether that’s your dental month promotion or a microchip clinic.
Provide an incentive for signing up.
This is for those of you who really want to see an increase in email subscriptions. Depending on how valuable you feel those subscriptions are, this could be worthwhile. The incentive doesn’t have to be anything major, like a discount on an appointment. It could be something as small as a discount on food or a sample bag.
Change the language you’re using.
If your call-to-action says “Sign Up” or “Subscribe,” you may be missing a key word or two that can make all the difference. Try using language that speaks directly to the reader. Research has found that using the words like “I,” “Me,” or “My” can increase conversions. So instead of “Sign Up,” try “Sign Me Up!”
And as always, one of the top ways to get more subscribers is just to create great content!
The good news is, if you’re already creating a blog for your practice, you’ve got some content for your newsletter! However, you don’t need a blog to create content that gets attention. The importance is that you’re regularly hitting your subscribers with information they want to know, whether that’s how-to tips for pet care, important local pet-related news (e.g., outbreak of rabies, new pet laws, etc.) or deals and discounts. To learn more about writing great email campaign, check out our webinar recording: Email Marketing: From Spam to Bam!
Email marketing works best when you have a lot of subscribers to send emails to. Try this tricks to grow your email list with relevant subscribers that read your content, interact with your website, and come through your practice doors!