Email marketing is one of the low-cost yet effective solutions when it comes to building a connection and trust with your clients. In this blog post, we’ll share with you how email marketing for veterinarians works along with some tips that will help you improve the number of loyal clients to your clinic!
Benefits of email marketing for Veterinarians
Email marketing is one of the most powerful digital marketing strategies you can use in promoting your veterinary services. It allows you to directly communicate with your target audience. When done right, it could also help you drive more appointment bookings and grow a larger community for your brand!
Aside from those mentioned, here are other reasons why you should invest in email marketing:
It delivers your message right away
You probably know that Social media and Google Ads are great for brand awareness, but another way to make your audience familiar with your brand is through email marketing. It’s one of the most efficient ways in keeping your clients informed when it comes to the latest updates in your practice (e.g. limited-time promos, new blog posts, best-selling pet products, etc.).
You can also send emails based on a user’s behavior on your website or brand. For example, if you’re also selling pet goodies and one of your clients has left an item (e.g. dental bar) in their cart but didn’t push through in placing their order, you can automatically send them a cart reminder to win them back through email software. This way, they will be able to finish the action that they are supposed to take.
It boosts your client retention rate
Email marketing can also help improve your client retention strategies. Whether your goal is to push potential clients to the conversion funnel or re-engage with your past clients, email marketing allows you to do that.
Here’s an example of an email marketing template:
Take a look at Duolingo‘s marketing strategy. Aside from sending notifications through their app, they are also very consistent in reminding their users through email. They never miss a chance to remind them whether they’re about to lose their daily streak or lose their position on the weekly leaderboard.
Their customer retention strategy is effective because Duolingo uses emotional triggers to win back its users. For example, If you missed your daily lesson, they’ll send you a personalized email that looks like this:
Through re-engagement emails, you can win back your inactive subscribers or clients and improve their loyalty toward your brand. If one of your marketing goals is to retain your existing clients, then you should definitely try email marketing!
Building meaningful relationships with your clients doesn’t have to be expensive. The cost of email marketing is lower compared to other digital marketing strategies. In fact, according to Direct Marketing Association, email marketing brings in an average of $40 USD for every $1 USD spent.
Are you still wondering if email marketing suits your veterinary practice?
Types of email marketing campaigns
Now that you have an idea of how important email marketing is when it comes to your veterinary practice. The next thing you should know is the types of email marketing campaigns you can implement in your vet clinic’s marketing strategy:
Welcome emails are the ones you send to individuals who have recently signed up for your email newsletters. It’s important to send welcome emails right after a person submits their email because it offers a wide range of opportunities to your new subscribers such as showing how much you appreciate individuals joining your mailing list, increasing the credibility of your brand, and more!
Here are some of the elements that typical welcome emails have in common:
- A proper introduction of your brand (i.e. services offered in your vet clinic, location, and contact details)
- The story behind your practice (e.g. beliefs, mission, advocacy, etc.)
- Offer a discount or incentive to welcome new subscribers. (e.g. special offer for new subscribers, checklist, or e-book)
- A clear call-to-action
Here’s an example of a welcome email:
Email newsletters refer to content you send to your subscribers on a weekly or monthly basis. Its purpose is to drive pet owners to your website and visit your vet clinic, build a stronger bond between you and your clients, and provide the latest news about your practice.
Who are your subscribers?
Your subscribers could be your existing or potential clients. These are individuals who have given their consent to receive emails from your veterinary clinic.
Here’s a list of what you can share in your email newsletters:
- Upcoming promos
- Make your new subscribers or clients feel special by providing incentives. It doesn’t have to be something grand. A simple pet check-up, free nail trim, or a coupon could be a great idea.
- Latest events/ news that is relevant to your practice
- Another thing that you can share with your audience is if there are events that your veterinary practice will be participating in. Whether it’s community service or if you get featured in a morning show or news, letting your clients know about these events helps establish trust in your brand.
- Links to blog posts for pet owners
- You could also write an overview or a sneak peek of some of your latest veterinary blog posts. Adding a call to action will prompt them to read the entire article and will help you get additional traffic to your site.
- Spotlight an employee from your vet clinic
- If you have an additional member in your vet clinic, try sharing the good news with your email list! This will make them feel that they are an important part of your business considering that they get informed whenever there’s a new staff in your team.
- Case studies
- Case studies serve as proof that you’re offering high-quality services to your clients. It’s also something that adds value to your business. As a matter of fact, you can also use this to persuade subscribers, who are in the consideration stage of deciding which vet clinic to choose from.
Tips when writing newsletters:
- Focus on one topic for each newsletter
- Have a consistent schedule for sending newsletters
- Write a compelling subject line
- Use a conversational tone
- Add eye-catchy images (could be a picture of a cute pet) so that the content will be easier to digest
Promotional emails typically include special offers, discount codes, vouchers, or access to the exclusive content of your vet clinic. Its purpose is to persuade potential clients toward the conversion funnel.
Tips for writing promotional emails:
- Highlight the benefits of what you’re promoting
- 47% of emails are opened based on what’s written in the subject line. So, make sure to mention your promo in your subject line
- Add CTA and relevant images
- Use branded headers (with your vet clinic’s logo in them)
Acquisition emails are the type of emails you send to expand your client base. This includes gated offers like blog posts, checklists, or e-books to your audience in exchange for their email addresses.
What you shouldn’t do when sending acquisition emails:
- Sending the same email to everyone in your email list
- Buying an email list
- Not checking grammar and typographical errors
- Make it convincing enough for your clients to open your mails
Retention emails are the ones you send for your existing clients to stick around with your veterinary practice.
Why send retention emails?
- It helps you improve the experience of your clients
- It increases your client’s lifetime value
- Getting more new clients costs 5% more than keeping existing ones.
A few examples of retention emails you can send to your audience are the following:
- Birthday emails
- People usually get sentimental whenever someone is reminded of their birthday. So, don’t miss the chance to greet your clients and their pets on their special day!
- Special occasions
- Aside from birthday greetings, you could also send emails to your clients on national events or special occasions like Thanksgiving, Halloween, or clinic anniversaries.
- Client reminders
- Pet owners don’t visit a veterinary clinic that often if they see that their pets look healthy on the outside. However, as a veterinarian, you have to make sure that your client’s pets get regular check-ups because most people don’t notice if a pet is sick unless the condition gets worse. So, reminding your clients of their pet’s monthly check-up is one of the retention email ideas you should also try.
- Client feedback
- Another retention email idea is by asking your clients to share their experiences in your veterinary clinic. This lets them know that you really care about the quality of services you’re providing and is open to suggestions for improvement.
- Thank you emails
- Sending your clients or subscribers an email saying that you appreciate them whether it’s by registering from your monthly newsletters, referring your clinic to their friends, or continuing to do business with you is another effective client retention strategy as it allows you to build stronger relationships with your audience and make them a part of your brand’s journey.
How to Start Email Marketing for Veterinarians
In this section, you’ll learn 5 easy steps in creating an email marketing campaign for your veterinary practice.
1. Define your email marketing goal
Before creating a draft of the emails you want to send to your audience, you should first identify your marketing goal. Think about what you want to achieve from your email marketing campaign.
Having a clear understanding of the reason behind your marketing efforts is important because it’s something that gives your marketing strategy a sense of direction and makes it easier for you to track results once the campaign starts.
To give you an idea, here’s a list of email marketing goals:
- Improve email click-through rates
- Grow your email list
- Increase open-rates
- Retain existing clients
- Reduce the number of unsubscriptions
2. Build your email list
Before you send out your email campaigns, you have to build your email list first. There are several ways how to build an email list which can be done online and offline.
Ideas on how to build your email list online:
- Make the steps easy when signing up
- Use exit pop-ups
- Use Embedded sign-up forms
- Use Timed pop-up forms
- Run a contest on social media
- Offering valuable content.
Ideas on how to build your email list offline:
- Place sign-up sheets at your front desk
- Add a link to your business cards
Tip: On your veterinary website, you could also use social proof and phrase it in a way where potential clients will be tempted to sign up for your monthly newsletter. For example “Join over 150,000 subscribers.”
3. Choose an email marketing service
Having lots of options to choose from can be quite overwhelming. With that, here are some tips that will guide you in choosing an email marketing service:
- Think about what your veterinary clinic needs.
- Evaluate what your vet clinic needs and make sure that it aligns with the features offered by the email service company.
- For example, do you need help creating a segmented list of email recipients, need to improve customer loyalty, or grow your audience?
- Have an estimated number of emails to send.
- Most email service companies are offering monthly or annual plans based on the number of subscribers you have or emails you send. Knowing an estimated number can help you decide on which email service company to choose from.
- Customer service
- There will be instances where you encounter errors and need help in sending emails to your target audience. With that, you have to make sure that your chosen email service company should have reliable customer support (e.g. a 24/7 live chat feature). This way, you don’t have to wait for long until you get a response and can immediately get back to business.
- Company’s portfolio
- Lastly, you also have to check their portfolio. It shows a sample of how they worked with their previous clients. This serves as proof of how effective they are when it comes to delivering email marketing services.
4. Start creating your email campaign
If you already have a chosen email service company, they usually have templates that you can use along with the steps that will guide you in creating your email campaigns (e.g. where to put your call-to-action buttons and other elements).
5. Measure results
After sending your email marketing campaigns, give it some time before you measure how effective it is (until it gives you enough data to analyze). Knowing how well your marketing efforts are performing is important because it gives you an idea of which areas should be improved to reach your marketing goals. Here’s a list of email marketing metrics that you should be measuring:
KPIs in email marketing
- Open rate refers to the percentage of email recipients who have opened the email you’ve sent them.
- Click-through rate refers to the percentage of email recipients who have clicked on any of the links that can be found in your email.
- Conversion rate refers to the percentage of email recipients who have finished taking an action toward your brand/ website.
- For example, submitting a form to schedule an appointment or purchasing a product from your veterinary clinic’s website.
- Unsubscribe rate refers to the percentage of email recipients who no longer wants to receive emails from your vet clinic.
- Return on Investment shows you the amount of profit you gain based on what you’ve invested in your email marketing campaigns.
Need help analyzing the results of your veterinary clinic’s email marketing campaigns?
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Email Marketing Tips for Vets
Now that you have an idea of how to start your email marketing campaign, here are some tips on what you can do to make a successful marketing strategy.
1. Optimize for mobile users
85% of users are viewing emails using their mobile phones. When users see that an email is not compatible with their devices, 42.3% of users will simply delete them. With that, you have to make sure to check your emails on mobile devices before sending them.
- check the length of your subject line
- don’t go overboard when adding images
- use responsive templates
- put the most interesting points in the front (or else, you’ll lose the attention of your email recipients)
- keep paragraphs short and simple
- when using CTA, leave enough space around it to make it visible and avoid clicking other elements
2. Personalize content
Another thing that you should be focusing on when sending emails to your audience is by adding a personal touch to it. For example, you can mention in the subject line of your email something like “Thank you [name of subscriber] for subscribing to our monthly newsletter! Get 20% off on your first appointment!”
Here are other ways how you can personalize your emails aside from mentioning the name of your subscriber:
- Personalize emails based on the user’s browsing data on your website
- Send your emails from a person’s email address, not from a company’s email
- Remember essential dates for your audience (e.g. birthday or the first time they subscribed to your newsletter)
- Add a touch of humor
- Avoid using jargons
3. Segment your email list
Once you have an email list, segment your subscribers based on a certain criterion (e.g. depending on their buying journey). The reason is that people are more likely to interact with a message if it is relevant to their experience.
Segment your email list based on:
- new subscribers
- curated content based on interests
- lead magnet
- abandoned form
- clients who haven’t left a review
- buyer persona
4. Call To Action
CTA is something that drives your clients into taking action toward your veterinary practice. Some examples are “Claim your coupon” or “Schedule an appointment today.”
Tips when using call-to-action:
- should be clear and visible
- use action words
- place it where readers are ready to take action
- should create a sense of urgency
- use first-person pov
- should be relatable
5. Use images
65% of the entire population are visual learners. Meaning, more than half of the population has the ability to retain information as long as there are images incorporated into it. It’s because images can easily grab the attention of readers and make it easier to digest chunks of information about a certain topic.
Best practices for images:
- Make sure that the images you’re using are your own images or from Free Stock Photo sites like Unsplash, Pexels, or Pixabay.
- Use the right size and format for your images
- Use alt-tags (in case the image used fails to load)
- Make sure the images used are relevant to the message of your email
- Optimize images for all devices
6. Provide high-quality content
When sending emails, you have to make sure that you’re sharing something that your clients will find useful. This could be in the form of infographics, reports, tips, or checklists on how to care for their pets and attach links so that if they want to read more about the topic, they just have to click the link and they’ll be directed to that page.
Need help creating high-quality content for your veterinary practice?
7. Send timely campaigns
Another tip is by planning ahead or creating a schedule for sending your emails. You should be sending your emails to the right people with the right message at the right time.
One example is on or before the holiday season or the celebration of national holidays. Some of them might be busy preparing but some of them might be scrolling through their phones, you could use that opportunity to send your marketing campaigns.
Not only does it help you grow your audience through special offers and holiday promotions but it also helps you create relevant content for your potential clients.
You could also send post-holiday emails where you thank clients who engaged with your brand during the holidays or send post-holiday deals for those whom you haven’t heard from in a while.
8. Use automation tools
If you don’t have enough time to send emails to your email list, automation tools like Mail Chimp and SendInBlue can make the task easier. Email automation tools allow you to save time and make the most of your marketing strategy such as personalizing your messages, selling your services to existing clients, scheduling messages, and more!
9. A/B test subject lines
Subject lines are where your subscribers set an impression about your brand. It determines whether they should or shouldn’t open your mail. That’s why testing your subject lines is one of the most important strategies in email marketing.
It gives you an idea of which type gets more clicks, and open rates, and leads to more conversions.
Tips for testing your subject lines:
- Keep it short but sweet
- Personalize based on client engagement
- Use emojis if applicable (but don’t use more than 1 emoji)
- Length should not be more than 60 characters
- Too many punctuation marks will make your mail look spammy
- Be honest with your audience (don’t use clickbait subject lines)
Additional tips on how to get your email recipients to open your emails:
- Segment your email list
- Carefully choose the words you use on your subject line (avoid using email spam trigger words)
- Don’t use deceptive subject lines
- Ignite curiosity in your subject lines
- Remove inactive subscribers
10. Opt-out option
According to US’s CAN-SPAM legislation, there should be an easy and clear way for an ordinary person to unsubscribe from your email marketing campaigns. Usually, the unsubscribe link along with an option to change email subscription preferences can be found in the campaign footer.
Email marketing helps you stay on top of the minds of your clients. It’s one of the effective tools especially if your goal includes keeping in touch, building relationships, and trust with your audience. Just follow the tips we’ve mentioned earlier and you will surely notice an improvement in your email’s open rate!