Knowing email marketing importance is one thing. But executing a successful email marketing strategy—in other words, a strategy that helps you grow your base of animal-loving customers and increase sales—for your pet brand is a different ball game.
So if running an email marketing setup makes you feel like you’re chasing your own tail and getting nowhere, you’ll find our best practices for creating an email marketing strategy for your pet business purr-fect!
This guide also includes examples of pet marketing emails you can start sending to your contacts right away. 🐾
How to create an email marketing strategy for a pet brands
1. Define your target audience
Part of pulling off a successful email marketing strategy is knowing for whom you are creating it. So if you haven’t already done so, define your target audience.
In other words, who are your ideal customers?
For example, if you sell pet care and food products for cats, then your target audience will include cat owners—but probably not dog owners.
You could even niche your target audience down even further to just, say, owners of cats with food allergies, if you sell hypoallergenic cat food.
2. Define your “buyer persona”
After getting a rough idea of your target audience, flesh out their personal characteristics in “buyer personas.” These are profiles of your target customers with details such as their age range and gender, interests, pain points, and spending history.
Buyer personas are extremely useful as they offer a bird’s eye view of who your target customers are. They thus provide a reference point as to how you can create emails that resonate with such customers.
Of course, not everyone will share the exact same character traits. (For example, not all of your customers will be exactly 22 years old!) But this doesn’t mean you should create separate buyer personas for each of your potential customers.
Instead, try and identify shared trends in your customers’ demographics and shopping behavior. Doing so gets you a good general picture of your customers, so that you can put together a couple of buyer personas that accurately represent segments of your customer base.
3. Build your email list organically
Building your email list “organically” means growing it naturally and without buying email contacts. When you buy contacts, they may not have consented to receiving your emails—and emailing them anyway can cause you to breach email marketing laws.
A tried-and-tested method of building your email list organically is to:
- embed opt-in forms on your website or social media platforms for collecting email addresses, and
- link these opt-in forms to lead magnets that people will receive when they share their email address with you.
(Your opt-in forms will typically also have a short message stating that users consent to receiving your emails when they submit the form.)
Lead magnets are small freebies, such as a discount, free shipping, or even quiz results, that users get in exchange for subscribing to your email list. In the case of The Tail Story, users can get 10% off their first order when they sign up for the brand’s newsletter!
4. Choose an eCommerce email service provider
Once you choose an email marketing software for your store, switching it later on can be highly troublesome. So as far as possible, pick one that meets your needs perfectly from the outset.
We suggest looking for an eCommerce email service provider that offers all the features you’ll need to:
- Grow your email list, such as by creating intelligent pop-up forms
- Nurture contacts automatically with the help of powerful email automations
- Boost conversions and sales by promoting relevant products to segments of contacts, and sending abandoned cart reminders
5. Segment your contacts
Remember the buyer personas you created earlier? Use these to segment your contacts according to their differing characteristics.
For example, if one of your buyer personas indicates that some customers own rabbits, you could carve out a segment of contacts who are rabbit owners.
This segmentation process lets you send your contacts more relevant emails that appeal to their characteristics. That’s because you can craft your email content with their unique interests and pain points in mind.
And when you do so, your contacts may spend more time reading and engaging with your emails—which are the first steps to driving them to shop your store!
6. Decide on the types of emails you’ll send
You probably have email newsletters in mind, but there are so many other types of emails you can send, too.
We won’t jump the gun here as we’ll be sharing examples of email marketing campaigns to increase ROI for pet businesses below. For now, we’ll just say that every extra email you send is an extra opportunity to interact with your contacts and nurture the customer relationship.
Therefore, finding a good balance between emailing your contacts frequently enough to keep them engaged, but not too often that you come off as an indiscriminate email spammer, is key.
The right email platform can also help you automate the sending of many of these emails, so you won’t have to spend time doing so yourself!
7. Schedule regular email performance reviews
Keeping track of your emails’ performance will help you understand how they’re contributing to your bottom line and how you could get even more out of your email marketing budget.
eCommerce email marketing metrics to focus on include:
- Open rate
- Click through rate
- Revenue to open rate
For example, if your email links aren’t getting many clicks, this could be a sign that your calls to action need work.
Make it a point to review your email metrics regularly so you’re always up to date on your email marketing ROI. Pencil in your review as a recurring calendar event if needed!
5 Examples of marketing emails for a pet brand
1. Seasonal emails
If you’ve subscribed to an email newsletter or two, you’ve probably received marketing emails when special seasons roll around. (Think Christmas, Fourth of July, and so on.)
These emails also usually don’t just say “Happy [insert name of season here]!”, but include offers or discount codes to celebrate the occasion—and get contacts opening their wallets.
And since you’re a pet brand, you don’t have to limit yourself to just holidays for humans. You can send emails for pet holidays, too!
For instance, Finn sent this email in celebration of Love Your Pet Day on February 20:
Here are some more pet-related holidays you may find worth sending emails for:
- January 14: National Dress Up Your Pet Day
- April 10: National Hug Your Dog Day
- June: Adopt a Shelter Cat Month
- August 28: Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day
2. Pet birthday emails
Have your contacts share their furry friends’ birth dates with you so you can send them a gift when it’s their birthday! 🎈
This gift could be a free product, free shipping, or a discount coupon. You could even recommend pet birthday-related products, like party accessories and birthday treats. Just like this email sent by BarkBox:
(This tip also works for adoption dates, in case your contacts’ pet was a rescue!)
3. Feedback emails
What did your contacts’ pets think of your products?
You probably can’t ask them directly, but their owners may be more than happy to share if you send them a feedback email. Afterward, use their input to enhance your products and the shopping experience for future customers.
Providing an incentive to contacts who take the time to reply can also improve your feedback emails’ response rates. AATU Dog and Cat Food did just that when seeking feedback on its product packaging:
4. Back-in-stock emails
Back-in-stock emails inform contacts that you have fresh supplies of a product they’d been interested in. This way, they can order it before it goes out of stock again!
Your back-in-stock emails don’t need to be anything fancy. Go straight to the point and say that the XYZ product they’d been eyeing earlier is now back in stock.
Add an image of the product to jog your contacts’ memory of how it looks. Finally, end off with a killer call to action that gets them making a beeline for your store!
This email by Roverlund checks off all the above boxes:
5. Abandoned cart emails
Some users may add products to their cart and then get too busy or distracted to complete the purchase. It’s a bummer to lose revenue in this way, so try to rescue it by sending an abandoned cart email.
This email reminds contacts of the items they’ve left in their cart and invites them to check out. Here’s an example of such an abandoned cart email, courtesy of Chewy:
Using a sophisticated email platform like Sendlane, you can even send dynamic abandoned cart emails that display the exact items in your contacts’ abandoned carts! Neat, eh?
Unleash your pet brand’s email marketing strategy with Sendlane!
Using the best practices and pet email marketing examples we shared above, you’ll be all set to develop a comprehensive email marketing strategy for your pet store. Just don’t forget to pair your strategy with powerful email marketing software for B2C pet stores, such as Sendlane!
Integrating with BigCommerce, Shopify, and WooCommerce, Sendlane offers paw-some email marketing features such as:
- Beautiful opt-in form and email templates for creating forms and emails that are a visual treat
- Extensive contact segmentation, which lets you send targeted emails to the right audience of contacts
- Powerful sales funnels to automate your email marketing, all the way from sending welcome emails to following up with unengaged contacts (and pre-built automation templates so you don’t have to create your funnels from scratch!)
Claim your free trial of Sendlane here to experience how it can power up your pet brand’s email marketing efforts and drive more revenue for your store.
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