December 16, 2016
As an independent community pharmacist, it’s your job to ensure people know about your business. How are you reaching potential patients?
If you’re looking to garner a larger patient base, consider email marketing. Email is free, simple and a tried-and-true mobile marketing technique your pharmacy may not be taking full advantage of.
For medical, dental and health care, the average “open” rate of an email is 22 percent, according to Dec. 5 statistics by MailChimp, an email marketing service. The “open” rate refers to the number of people who view or open an email. It may not sound high, but 22 percent is actually really good.
Email is an easy—and effective—way to communicate and market to patients. But it’s not always easy to get patients to provide their personal email address. Many may fear they’ll be barraged by spam messages and unnecessary clutter.
So, how do you encourage patients to sign up for your pharmacy’s emails? You step up your marketing game.
Check out these seven unique ideas for growing your independent community pharmacy’s email list.
Build your email list by promoting your pharmacy’s emails at local health fairs, community events, tradeshows, classes at community centers and more.
Building a local presence at events gives you a better chance of scoring email addresses, as event attendees will get to meet you firsthand, and you’ll have the opportunity to share your expert health advice and knowledge.
Give attendees a sneak peak of the kind of informative content they could be receiving if they sign up for your pharmacy’s emails. You can use a laptop or tablet to show attendees what kinds of emails you provide. And, don’t forget to reserve a table and place a sign-up sheet for attendees to write down their email address.
Ask patients to opt-in to your email list when they’re making a purchase at the checkout counter.
Be sure to let them know all of the benefits of signing up for your email list. Or, just set a sign-up sheet on the checkout counter where patients can write down their email address.
Patients may already be following you on Facebook or Twitter, so a simple tactic to gain subscribers is by marketing it on your social media accounts.
Insert a “sign-up” link in the bio section of your social media accounts.
Or, create a social media call-to-action that will encourage patients to sign up for your email list. For example, use specific action words and phrases, such as, “Sign up for our e-newsletter for more health tips today!” or “Click to learn more.” Make it clear what you want your followers to do after they read your post.
Your social media subscribers can also play a part in promoting your email. Encourage patients to spread the word or “share” a link to your pharmacy’s email subscription list on their own social media accounts.
Make it easier for patients to sign up for your email list by placing QR codes on pharmacy signage and other displays around your store.
When patients scan a QR code with their smartphone, the code will take them directly to a website that gives them more information to sign up for your email program.
Although your pharmacy may be sending snail mail to patients, it can cost your pharmacy fees for packaging and mailing. Meanwhile, email marketing services are free, and eco-friendly.
Encourage patients to go “go green” by opting in for paperless email updates.
If you want patients to follow your pharmacy’s email updates, you have to provide information that they’ll find helpful, compelling and informative. Otherwise no one is going to sign up for your emails or they’ll wind up going straight to the trash folder.
Be sure to incorporate trending pharmacy news, like pharmacists’ ability to prescribe birth control in certain states. Including information like seasonal health tips is another great idea to provide relevant content patients will be eager to sign up for.
Another idea to encourage patients to sign up for your email list is by giving them an incentive.
Offer a one-time reward, like a free blood pressure screening or bottle of vitamins, to patients who sign up for your email list. Or, provide weekly incentives for patients to join by offering downloadable coupons to your pharmacy’s front end.
You could even place a jar at your pharmacy’s checkout counter and ask patients to drop off their business cards. Give away a free service to whoever wins. This can be a simple, yet fun and effective tactic to get people to hand over their contact information.
Don’t know what to include in your pharmacy’s email? Try these ideas.