If you’re like most people in 2016, you probably receive at least some marketing emails, maybe from your favorite clothing store or an online newsletter you subscribed to.  Whether you hate those emails or look forward to them, most of them tend to have something in common – they’re beautiful! Very few marketing emails look like plain old regular emails. Instead, they’re often attractively designed, with logos, headers, and images.
It might feel like your veterinary practice doesn’t have the means to create emails that good looking. After all, big businesses have entire marketing teams with the design and programming people to create those amazing attractive emails as their only job. Naturally, your team is likely more focused on providing excellent care for animals than you are on sending out fancy emails.
But that doesn’t mean that creating attractive emails is too hard or time-consuming for your practice. Professionally-designed emails are well within your reach. All you have to do is sign up for an email marketing service.
Sending emails directly from your Outlook or Gmail accounts works fine for every day individual correspondence, but it shouldn’t be where your marketing emails come from. This is true even if you don’t want to create beautiful emails. An email marketing service offers the ability to manage and segment your email lists in a way that’s simpler and more practical than regular email service providers. But as an added bonus, they also send out HTML emails, which is how you can take your emails from plain text and pasted images to something that looks attractive and professional.

Don’t worry, it won’t cost a cent!

I know what you’re thinking – great, another thing to pay for! Well, put away your wallet, because it’s not necessary. Yes, there are plenty of email marketing services that cost money, and even the free ones on our list have upgrades that can cost money. But for your small business, the free services of an email marketing service should be all that you need. They may limit how many subscribers you can have or emails you can send out in a month, but chances are, your email list isn’t big enough to require more emails than that anyways. If it is, then congratulations! Your email list is next level, and you should consider investing money into it to make the most of it!

Which service should you use?

There a few services to choose from. Our personal favorite is MailChimp. It’s got an easy-to-use interface, almost 100 free templates to choose from, and it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers, and 12,000 emails a month. That’s a ton of free stuff right there! To access all your free templates in MailChimp, just click on the Templates tab. You’ll be impressed with the selection, and their interface makes it easy to change the template to your taste.
Another great service is MailerLite. Like MailChimp, you can get MailerLite for free for your first 1,000 subscribers. Unlike MailChimp, they offer unlimited emails! You can build campaigns, create drag and drop emails using pre-existing design elements, or browse their template gallery for some beautiful designs. You can also set up email automation, to send automatic responses to emails if you so desire. MailerLite might be a little less friendly to first time email marketers, but it’s still a great option.
Our final recommendation is Vertical Response. Not as generous as the other two providers, this service gives you 300 subscribers and 4000 emails a month for free. They do include helpful examples during the email building process, and they do provide email templates, but their selection is smaller than the other two options. However, they are a big name in the email marketing business, and if you were looking for a provider, they’re worth checking out.

A few things you should know.

First, you cannot use your Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL email to send emails through an email marketing service. Those email providers prevent you from sending emails through third party providers. The goal is to stop spammers, but unfortunately, it will effect you too. So if you have a LifeLearn WebDVM4 website, make sure you’re using one of your clinic’s personalized email addresses to send emails through the marketing email services.
Secondly, make sure your email is not too image heavy. Some email providers will penalize your email if it contains too many images and not enough text. This doesn’t mean you should avoid images altogether, but try to ensure that the ratio of images to text in your emails favor the text. You want to make it past that spam filter and straight to the inbox!
Finally, to get started with an email marketing service, you need to upload your list to the platform. If you’re collecting a list somewhere, see if you can convert into a CSV or excel file. It will make your life a whole lot easier when it comes time to upload the list.
There you have it! With one of these amazing email marketing services, it is so easy to build attractive emails that catch your subscribers’ eyes and make an impact. You’ll have them begging for more!
 

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