Picture a really great small town pharmacy.* The people behind this pharmacy have a strong sense of ethics, are deeply involved in the community, and go to great lengths to be that special kind of business that matters to people’s lives. Their email newsletter, on the other hand, looks like a grocery store ad, packed with little boxes and graphics and mostly ads for products. In other words, it is useless, and it doesn’t match the pharmacy’s ethics.
*Based on a real business case I read about online. No, not the business in the photo.
- Eliminate all boxes, ads and clutter.
- Make it look like a personal email from the pharmacist to a valued customer.
- Tell one story only per issue, and send one email per week.
- Community involvement: talk about what the business is doing to help support the community and explain the reason behind it. You’re in a small town. Community matters.
- Strong ethics: choose one decision or ethical principle that matters to the business and explain why it matters. No need to reveal any personal info, just explain why things matter.
- People: introduce each person who works at the pharmacy. Tell what they care about and like to do in off hours. Why do they choose to work here? Getting to know people is especially important in small communities.
- Be useful: explain something useful pharmacists know that most people don’t, like when to throw away old medicines, where to dispose of them safely (which can be an issue in small towns), or what kind of questions you should ask when you pick up a prescription. Plenty of ideas that don’t involve offering actual medical advice.
- Change voices but keep the style: allow other key staff people to take over one week and tell a story from their part of the business, but don’t ever abandon the personal style.
If your business has a crowded, cluttered mess you’re sending as email marketing to customers, do me a favor and test this more personal approach in your business for a full three months.
More email marketing basics:
- Rural business idea: Rent chicks for Easter - February 19, 2018
- What hours should a retail store be open in a small town? - February 12, 2018
- Want more young families to shop downtown? Consider family parking - February 5, 2018
- How independent retailers can trick Alexa, Siri, and Google Home to capture orders from local customers - January 29, 2018
- Who are the next 5 people who will hire you? - January 22, 2018
- 2017 was the retail apocalypse. What does the future of retail hold for small town stores? - January 15, 2018
- New after-conference rule: the 2-to-1 rule - January 8, 2018
- For better planning, assess your strengths - January 1, 2018
- The end of year checklist for small businesses - December 26, 2017
- Survey of Rural Challenges 2017: What Small Town People See as Their Biggest Challenges and What Topics They Most Want Help With - December 18, 2017