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Email Marketing 101 for the Independent Community Pharmacist

Email Marketing 101 for the Independent Community Pharmacist by Elements magazine |

August 10, 2016

Have you been considering implementing an email marketing strategy for your pharmacy, but are you hesitant to pull the trigger?

While email marketing is a great way to keep in touch with patients and ensure their loyalty to your pharmacy, it’s sometimes difficult to properly execute.

Here are some basic principles to follow when creating an email marketing campaign for your independent community pharmacy.

The do’s and don’ts of your email list

Your list is the most vital part of your email marketing strategy. Without an email list containing the right prospects and current patients, the emails you send will fall flat. Use these tips to craft an email list of the right contacts.

Always get permission from your patients to send emails.
If you’re sending emails to patients who don’t want to receive them, you’ll see less engagement, hurt your open rates and your campaign will result in a higher number of unsubscribes.

Only send emails to patients who have opted in and agreed to receive your emails.
Ask patients to opt in via a link on your website, or get their written permission. You’re also legally required to include an unsubscribe button (or another way to unsubscribe) in the email, so patients always have the option to opt out. This button or link usually goes at the end of the email.

Build a quality email list.
It’s important to build a quality email list to ensure higher open rates and encourage more engagement. You can start by offering an incentive for patients to choose to receive emails, such as a discount on an over-the-counter (OTC) product or a free consultation for a patient care service.

Start segmenting your list.
Once you begin to build your list and get to know your subscribers, you can segment the list to make sure the right content is going to the right people, such as segmenting it based on patients’ ages. This will help to prevent patients from unsubscribing due to receiving content that is irrelevant or uninteresting to them.

For example, if you want to promote your diabetes education service, you can segment the list to only include those patients with diabetes for that particular email campaign.

Send email content that wows

The content of your emails should grab patients’ attention and be easy-to-read, so patients will want to view the email in its entirety, and not click out of it right away. Use these tips to create content that wows.

Use a mix of text and images.
Make your emails visually pleasing by using text and images. And, include links to your website for patients to click through to get more information. Consider the basics, such as font style and color, to ensure the text is easy-to-read and looks professional.

Link to your social media accounts.
In addition to linking to your website, include links to your social media accounts to increase engagement.

Make your content relevant.
When writing the email, think about factors, such as seasonal trends, that could pique patients’ interest. For example, during the summer or before a holiday weekend, remind patients to stock up on the vacation essentials and travel-sized items available at your pharmacy.

Email patients consistently.
Send emails to patients on a consistent basis, and make sure the content always reflects what your pharmacy promised. For example, if you promised to send weekly health tips or special coupons on over-the-counter (OTC) products, then that’s exactly what you should do.

Create a call-to-action that works

When sending an email, it’s important to have a good call-to-action. In other words, what’s the purpose of your email, and what do you hope it will drive patients to do?

Tailor your call-to-action.
If you’re trying to promote a new OTC product or patient care service you’re offering, such as a smoking cessation program, then make the call-to-action about that. Or, if you’re simply trying to drive more traffic to your website, make the call-to-action “Visit Our Website.”

Create a goal for your call-to-action.
Have a goal in mind, and tailor your message and call-to-action to align with it.

Test your email.
It’s also beneficial to test different elements of your email to see what prompts patients to do the desired call-to-action. Try testing the email verbiage, the layout of the email or the time of day you send it out.

Once you’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t for your email campaign, you can tailor all emails accordingly and achieve better results.

Check out these five common email marketing mistakes your pharmacy could be making.




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