Building a Mailing List For Your Veterinary or Animal Care Business
Why A Mailing List For My Animal Care or Veterinary Business?
Despite the increase in the use of social media to both generate interest in businesses and keep in touch with customers, a mailing list is still seen by many marketers as a vital tool, so you can email newsletters to your subscribers.
Although social media can be an invaluable marketing source, you are always dependent on the social networks algorithm. This means that your posts will only ever be seen by the people the social network decides on. Unless you pay to promote posts or you significantly engage in 'chat' and 'conversation' to generate awareness, even if you have tens of thousands of followers or 'likes' it's unlikely all of them will see your posts (even if they are actively using the network daily).
You can send a newsletter direct to your subscribers mailbox and it has a good chance of being seen. AND more importantly if someone has signed up to your mailing list, it means they are interested to hear more from you and your business. This is as important to a veterinary or animal care business, as it is to any other business type.
Here's five top reasons why a mailing list is important for your business
- Provide information to potential customers
- Keep in contact with your current customers and let them know of your latest news
- Give exclusive "behind the scenes" offers and news to mailing list subscribers.
- Regular e-mail updates can help maintain awareness of your business
- Use newsletters to provide advice and help to existing customers (and potential ones).
A key theme from the above list is "information". Of course you want to sell your services or products, but who likes to be sold to all the time? Not many people. So keep your email newsletters informative. By providing helpful advice and news, you can help build trust and people are likely to be more receptive to the idea of buying from you. Your news updates could include you letting them know about training you've completed, new equipment you have, new team members, etc.
You can set up different mailing lists, for instance if you work with horses, dogs and cats, you could have 3 lists for people interested in hearing more about cat news, equine news or canine updates. These enable you to be very targeted in your information.
How Can I Develop A Mailing List?
First of all don't try and maintain a database on your files! I say this because it's a quick way to create an administrative burden. Instead, there are many free or low cost email marketing management companies you can use, such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact. There are other more complex but effective systems such as Infusionsoft. These enable people to sign up to your mailing list (and unsubscribe if they want to), and choose which mailing list they want to hear from.
Importantly too is to consider privacy and data protection legislation. By using a reputable email management provider, they will help you operate your mailing list in accordance with any legalities.
Here's five top ways to get subscribers
- Have a 'subscribe now' button on your website
- If you use social media, include the link to subscribe in your posts
- Ask existing customers if they want to join your mailing list (perhaps when you invoice them or book their appointments)
- Offer incentives for people who join your mailing list - for instance at a 'client evening' if people subscribe to your mailing list enter them into a free prize draw for a free therapy treatment for their animal, or a free worm-test or other minor but important veterinary procedure.
- Encourage your subscribers to forward your e-newsletter to a friend/relative/colleague, (be sure to include a 'subscribe' feature in the newsletter).
How Can I Automate Newsletters?
By using an email management system like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Infusionsoft, etc you can write your email newsletters in advance and schedule them for when you want them to be sent. You may not want to do this for all your newsletters but it can be helpful particularly if you like to 'bulk' your work, so you can write a few at once.
You can also set up a welcome email for your new subscribers when they sign up, which they receive automatically and help you build a positive relationship with your subscribers.
If you've not got a mailing list to send updates to new and existing customers, then start one today. Use an email management system to easily and legally collect email addresses and automate the process of sending emails.
Get more tips and advice for developing your animal care business with my Animal Star Business Academy, click here for more details.