Published on July 24, 2020
Email marketing is an effective and affordable way to increase customer loyalty, build credibility and generate potential sales.
However, designing a good newsletter is an art in itself and requires sustained efforts to get it right.
Here are 8 useful tips to help veterinary practices ensure an effective email marketing:
1- Respect your brand
Your brand must be consistent across all your marketing tools. The communications you send reflect your practice, so remember that the overall design of your newsletters must be homogenous. Be consistent in the use of the logo, slogans and typography that define your brand, notably by using predefined templates. As an added bonus, you’ll save time!
Another important element is to include your contact information as well as links to your website and social media.
2- Create a high-quality and legally compliant mailing list
Include a “Subscribe to our newsletter” button on your website and promote your emails on your social networks and in-clinic. Tell your visitors about the advantages of subscribing to your digital communications. What kind of advice, exclusive benefits or time-limited offers will they get access to?
To comply with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), make sure you obtain the client’s consent before sending them a first newsletter. Don’t forget to update the email addresses of all your clients in your clinic’s management system each time they visit. No email address means no newsletter!
3- Choose an angle for your newsletters
What do you want to accomplish with your newsletters? Do you want to announce new services? Make your readers more aware of the importance of preventive care? Promote seasonal offers? Think about your clients and what they would be interested in reading.
You should always strive to create content that your readers will find practical, timely and useful.
4- Create original and relevant content
Use high-quality content to engage your readers. For example, you might consider discussing parasite season or the impact of nutrition and exercise on pets’ health. These are relevant topics that will capture the interest of many readers.
Tip #1: Keep it simple! Above all, don’t be tempted to say everything at once: focus on one main message and limit the length of your newsletters to about 350 to 500 words. An added word of advice: display the first paragraph of an article and add a link to your website so that users click to read the rest. Adding attractive images is also a good idea!
Tip #2: Be consistent. Before you begin, develop the structure of your newsletter, making sure you cover the most important aspects of the subject. To avoid going off in all directions and losing your reader, keep it clear, concise and, above all, use a friendly tone. In this way, you’ll become an accessible expert!
Tip #3: Always include a call to action. Explain clearly what you want clients to do after reading your newsletter: call, make an appointment, visit your online store, etc.
Adding a call to action button can result in a 28% increase in clicks!
5- Write a good subject line
The subject line of your email is the bait. It’s the first thing a reader sees, so it should be concise, focused and attractive. It could be something like “How to protect your pet from parasites?” or “5 fun activities for your pet!” The subject line should be convincing, but not misleading… and most importantly, it should reflect the content of the newsletter(!).
Did you know that a study has shown that adding an emoji in a subject line increases the open rate by 56% compared to text-only subject lines?!
6- Use a responsive template
Most people read their emails on their smart phone.
In 2019, 62% of newsletters were opened using a mobile device, compared to 10% using a computer. That’s why it is important to make sure that the design of your emails is adapted for both computers and mobile devices.
7- Establish a publication frequency and stick to it
As with social media in general, the content of your newsletters should be determined in advance. Find the messaging frequency that best suits your practice and make sure you stick to it. If your content is compelling enough, your readers will look forward to your next email.
8- Measure the impact of your efforts
Important data are available that you can measure to get a better idea of the success of your email campaigns:
Open rate: this refers to the percentage of emails opened by your contacts out of the total number of emails sent.
Click rate: this corresponds to the percentage of emails in which subscribers clicked on a link in your newsletter out of the total number of emails sent.
It’s a good idea to keep track of these statistics, as they can help guide you in the choice of future content.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy to ensure the success of email marketing campaigns. However, by following these tips on best practices, you can create newsletters that generate an increase in appointments and potential sales, not to mention referrals from satisfied clients!