We’ve heard a few arguments that email as a marketing tactic for pet stores is dead, or even dying. That spending money sending advertisements to your audience when a 30% open rate is considered exceptional. That people don’t check their emails like they used to, that emails are thought of as spammy rather than valuable.
Email is the #1 driver of retail sales, and can be for your retail pet store as well. If you haven’t checked out our piece on pet store email marketing via segmentation, feel free to give that a look as we will be digging a bit further into those concepts!
Our general philosophy on email marketing is this: if done right, it can be hugely effective. Smart tactics like segmentation allow for marketing strategies that feel personal, not generic, and it’s those types of strategies that drive results. Pet stores are all about building personal relationships with pets and pet owners, and pet store owners should understand that with a cheap (almost FREE) tool like MailChimp, getting customers inside your pet store even one extra time per month already pays for the service. Those that subscribe to your email list are among the most brand-loyal customers you have! They have opted in and are welcoming you to their inner sanctum: the divine email inbox.
This post is all about how you can maximize your email effectiveness, with a TON of ideas on how to get more from your email marketing. If you’re not getting the success you want from your pet store marketing, schedule a call with us!
Building Your List
There are a number of ways to build your subscriber list! Here’s a few:
Ask at the time of purchase / register
Ask at Events
Every time you do a Raffle
On Your Website (with an opt in box)
Create an “Opt In” to use In a variety of places
On your business cards (QR codes are cool) , social media, website, emails, videos
Use a Texting Service
Make sure you are collecting as much data as you can. Customers can tend to grow more and more wary as they give you more information, but if you can show them the value in it, they will be comfortable. For example, if you ask for their birthday and they ask why, tell them you’d like to send them a gift card on their birthday! Who wouldn’t take a gift card to their local pet store? That’s good marketing and customer service. Here’s some data to collect that can help you in your email marketing effectiveness:
Pet Names & Birthdays
This doesn’t have to happen all at once! Collect it over time, in a variety of ways - you can create a customer portal online where they can fill out all of this information on their own, or you can update loyalty accounts in your point of sale system every time they’re in store. Lots of options!
Opt-ins are a great way to collect subscribers. Provide something cheap, or free, in exchange for subscriber information. Some of these products or services to provide can be E-Books or PDFs, videos or video series, podcasts, quizzes, how-to’s, checklists and resource guides, access to a private FB group, a free challenge or trial or workshop, giveaways, and so on. The list is endless.
Get creative segmenting that data!
Dog owners and cat owners
Size of dog (small, medium, large)
Puppies or senior dogs
Male pets or female pets
Multiple pet families
New pet owners
Loyalty program users
Training class attendees
Top or VIP customers
Types of Emails
Want to improve your email marketing for your pet store, but don’t know how? Here are some ways to promote your pet shop that are tried and true.
Newsletter (Monthly, Weekly, Bi-Weekly)
Lead nurturing (welcome to…)
Milestone emails (481% higher in open rate!)
Text only emails
So many of these can be automated! Set it once, and let em live!
What kind of content do you want in these emails? Totally up to you - your pet store, your pet store marketing. But here are some suggestions 😉: celebrations, team highlights, customer highlights, pet features, announcements, new products, breaking news/recalls, vendor stories, your story, events, FAQ, demos, charity, infographics, contests, do’s and don’ts, reviews, save the dates, benefits. Again, another endless list!
Last thing before we go. Sometimes it’s not all about building your subscriber list…don’t forget to trim and clean your list periodically. Have a customer that who has been subscribed for a year but hasn’t opened a single email? Probably not worth spending money marketing to that customer. So, separate your actives and inactives and speak to them differently, remove duplicate and bad emails, and remember segmenting properly will reduce disengagement. Pruning your email list will make your pet store marketing more financially efficient and more effective.
There are a countless number of strategies and methods you can use to improve your email marketing. Build your list, make those subscribers feel valued and special, and don’t forget to trim it occasionally as well! To those that say email marketing is dead, we say maybe you’re just not doing it well enough! Want to work with an expert? Reach out to us!