Email marketing is a great way for pharmacies to drive engagement and build their brand, which in turn can help drive sales. In 2020, Salecycle reported that 59% of survey respondents said that email marketing influenced their purchase decisions while 1 in 2 respondents buy directly from marketing emails at least once a month.
To get the best results from email marketing, HubSpot found that 87% of businesses leverage email marketing while Litmus reports that 60% of consumer goods and services companies personalise email content based on past purchases.
What types of emails should pharmacies send?
For pharmacies who want to break into email marketing, here are a few different types of emails you can start sending out.
Welcome emails are usually automated emails sent to new subscribers introducing them to the brand, its products, and its services. Today, most welcome emails include an incentive to get new subscribers to make their first purchase, whether that’s a 10% discount or a free gift on first orders only.
Need to drive sales? Consider sending out promotional emails to your subscribers. Promotional emails are also a great way to let subscribers know what products and services you offer in-store and online. It’s also a chance for you to highlight any deals you might be running.
Here are a few common promotional emails you’re likely to come across in your inbox:
- Announcing seasonal offers, such as Christmas or Summer Sales, or even Black Friday
- Sales campaigns, such as a VIP sale, early access, or a birthday discount
- Promoting new products or services, online or in-store
Your promotional emails will perform better when the content is relevant to your subscribers. For example, consider sending promotional emails about new consultation services to subscribers who have previously booked a consultation with you.
Patient reminder emails
Reminder emails can be a great way to drive new bookings and sales and encourage repeat bookings and purchases. Platforms like HasHealth, which are built specifically for pharmacies, are able to deliver timely reminders that not only improve sales but are also a crucial aspect of patient-centred care.
Here are some email reminders you can send to patients:
- Reminders to schedule their next appointment
- Reminders of upcoming appointments (for example, vaccinations, NMS appointments or consultations)
- Reminders to collect prescriptions
When done right, reminder emails can help pharmacists reduce last-minute appointment cancellations or no-shows, increase repeat customers and boost signups for services.
Transactional emails deliver information about recent transactions on your site. This includes purchase and post-purchase emails such as order confirmation emails, email receipts and shipping notifications. These emails contain important information about purchases and transactions and should therefore feature clean designs.
Re-engagement emails, also referred to as win-back emails, are sent to inactive subscribers to get them to re-engage with your business. How you define “inactive” differs from business to business, but a common measure is the last time a subscriber opened an email or the last time they made a purchase. It is important that re-engagement emails are only sent to a segmented subscriber list.
Email marketing best practice for pharmacies
Now that you know what type of emails you could be sending out, here are some tips to get the best results from your email marketing efforts.
Keep growing your mailing list
Email marketing only works when you have people to send emails to. Over time, people will also unsubscribe to your marketing emails so you’ll need to continuously attract people to sign up for your mailing list to keep this form of marketing effective.
Pharmacies can start by including a field in their booking forms (both digital or printed) to allow people to opt-in to emails. With HasHealth, you can choose to add a marketing opt-in field to your online booking forms, allowing you to effortlessly capture emails for your growing mailing list. You could also include a short signup form on your website and social media channels to drive signups.
If you offer an incentive to get people to sign up, make sure to highlight it in your signup forms.
Divide and conquer
Get the most out of your email marketing by segmenting your subscriber list. Send the right message to the right audience to drive engagement and performance.
Depending on the amount of data you have on your subscribers, you could segment your subscribers based on demographics (e.g. age, gender, postcode), behaviour (e.g past purchases, online vs in-store consultations), and psychographics (e.g. interests and values).
For pharmacies, here are a few ways you could segment your subscribers:
- Age: Bucket your subscribers into different age groups and promote different services to different age groups (e.g. promoting video consultation to senior patients or their caregivers)
- Past Purchases: Group subscribers based on the services they previously booked (e.g. if someone booked a flu vaccination appointment last autumn, they’re likely to be interested in booking one again this season).
- Customer personas: Every business has a few groups of ideal customers and each group can be categorised into a customer persona with distinct characteristics. For pharmacies, this could be “Elderly caregivers”, “Young parents”, “DINKs” (Dual-income, no kids), “Healthy Nancy”, and so on.
Automate key workflows
You can automate drip email campaigns, which is where a series of pre-written emails are automatically delivered over a set period. You could, for example, automate your welcome email series so that every new subscriber receives one or two emails when they first sign up to your mailing list.
More advanced email campaigns can be triggered based on behaviour. For example, if a customer has not booked a service in the last six months, you could set up an automated re-engagement email campaign where a series of emails are sent out in an attempt to get that customer to book with you again.
The idea is to let these email workflows run in the background while you focus on executing more timely email marketing such as seasonal promotions or themed sales campaigns.
Design for mobile
According to Hubspot, a majority of emails are read on mobile devices (41%), followed by desktop (39%), and tablets and other devices (20%). However, only 56% of marketers make an effort to create mobile-friendly emails. Given how much email marketing can influence purchase decisions, creating mobile-friendly emails can improve the performance of emails that ultimately impacts your bottom line.
Here are some tips when designing for mobile:
- Keep subject lines and preview texts short and concise
- Use a simple one-column layout to avoid cluttering the screen with too much information
- Use images to compliment your copy
- Keep CTAs in the centre of the page
- Use a font size that is easy to read on mobile
For more ideas on how to optimise your email for mobile, check out this brilliant article on Drip.
Don’t forget about the General Data Protection Regulation aka GDPR
GDPR aims to protect consumers from unnecessary data collection, wrongful use of personal data, and personal data breaches. It was put in place to improve transparency between businesses and consumers, so consumers know how their data is being used.
With email marketing, you’ll be using subscribers’ personal data to send relevant messages, which means you’ll need to comply with GDPR. Here are a few things to consider when setting up your email marketing:
- Publish your privacy note, or use an email service provider that is GDPR compliant
- Always get consent before adding subscribers to your mailing list
- Let users opt out of your emails by providing an ‘unsubscribe’ link in your emails
- Never send promotional emails to users who have not given consent
For a more comprehensive guide to GDPR and email marketing, check out this post.
Email marketing remains the most effective and personal channel for marketers to reach out to their target customers, build a relationship, develop engagement and ultimately drive sales for your pharmacy. Your email marketing does not have to be complicated to start with. A quarterly promotional email, sent regularly with timely offers is a good place to start.
Now go forth and send those emails!
If you want to learn more about HasHealth’s new Marketing Opt-In feature, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team!