December 13, 2018
Inside: Your email marketing is only as good as your email list. Use these nine tips to collect more patient email addresses and increase your reach.
As an independent community pharmacy owner, you’re always looking to find new patients and keep existing patients coming back. There are numerous ways to market your pharmacy, but email marketing is one of the most effective methods to reach potential patients—and to convert them to loyal customers.
Email marketing offers three major advantages:
1. Customers are open to it. According to MarketingSherpa, 91 percent of U.S. adults like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with.
2. It’s more effective than social media. McKinsey & Company research indicates email marketing is nearly 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter when it comes to acquiring new customers.
3. It pays off. For every dollar spent on email marketing, experts say you can gain $44 in new business.
Given these advantages, focusing on collecting more email addresses is a must to keep your pharmacy growing.
An email marketing campaign is only as strong as its distribution list. If your email list isn’t growing, neither will your patient base.
Even if you’ve been using email marketing for a while, you still need to proactively collect new addresses. Otherwise, your database decays by almost 23 percent each year. As people move out of market, abandon old email addresses, or opt out of your messages, your list becomes less useful.
Whether you’re just getting started or nurturing a thriving email marketing program, here are nine ways to add more potential patients to your list.
Shoppers are accustomed to handing over their contact information at the cash register, but you’ll still have to explain why you’re asking for it. Tell patients about the benefits to receiving emails, whether it’s discounts, special offers, or a newsletter.
Your point-of-sale system should allow you to input their email directly into your database under their patient profile. If you have to write the address on paper, set aside a designated time each week to make sure you input the email address into your electronic database.
Convince patients to sign up to receive emails by promising to send them exclusive discounts in the future. Place a sign on your pharmacy counter that lets patients know that signing up to receive emails means coupons and other freebies.
Offer an immediate discount on a regularly priced front-end item or a coupon for a future purchase just for signing up.
Sending emails with promotions or coupons won’t just get you email addresses, they’ll also get people back into your pharmacy and boost your bottom line.
Incentivize patients to give you their information by entering their names in a drawing for a giveaway when they provide their email address.
Giveaways attract more patients, and people are more likely to share their information with you when they get something out of the deal.
For the giveaway, ask patients to “tag” their friends or family on social media along with providing an email address. Offer an additional entry for every person they tag. You’ll get more signups and reach a wider audience.
When patients sign up for your loyalty rewards program, it’s a win-win. You’ll receive your patients’ contact information so you’ll be able to send them promotional emails. And your patients will get the rewards or discounts that come with your program. Patients will feel more comfortable about sharing their information when they get something, too. (Learn more about starting a loyalty rewards program.)
Ask your patients how you’re doing with feedback cards and include an opportunity to opt into your email list. You’ll get helpful information from the feedback and an interested audience in the email.
Originally pushed by the Apple Store and several small startups, e-receipts are an increasingly common alternative to carrying around a wallet full of crumpled paper.
About 45 percent of consumers want their receipts emailed to them, and many others are open to digital delivery.
To tap into this new channel, include an opportunity to opt in to your newsletter with every e-receipt. As a bonus, many digital receipt systems like FlexReceipts and iZettle save purchase history data that can help you with future marketing efforts.
If you’re already sending postcards or other print collateral through the mail, invite those patients to go digital by including sign-up information on your mailers. Switching from paper to digital can also be presented as “going green,” which appeals to the quickly growing environmentally conscious demographic.
Capitalize on your web presence by setting up a pop-up to collect email addresses when users visit your home page. This is a natural fit because visitors to your site have already shown some interest in learning about your business through digital means.
MailChimp has a step-by-step guide to creating and implementing a website pop-up. For additional reach—especially if you’re building a list from scratch—consider setting up a paid Facebook ad soliciting email addresses.
If your pharmacy holds off-site immunization clinics or hosts a booth at community events, use that exposure to introduce your brand and collect potential patient information.
At your booth, use a giveaway to entice patients to sign up. You can hand out something small to everyone who provides their email address or enter everyone into a raffle for a bigger prize.
Keep collecting email addresses to keep growing your business.
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