This post contains some affiliate links. Some referral links may also benefit the referred as well as the referree. You may contact me for more information about referral links, as always, I only recommend products that I actually use.
Imagine if you had the time to personally tell each customer about every new sale, product or service that your pharmacy is offering.
Imagine being able to have very personal conversations with each patient, speaking directly to them, on their time and in a place where they felt comfortable with receiving your information.
Now, think about the many modes of communication you use each day.
Interpersonal communication can be written or spoken; this can include the [digital] written word. Think about when you are most receptive to being "informed" of new services, sales or products from your favorite retailers. It probably does even occur that often if you think about it. But, if you are like myself your email inbox is filled everyday by companies that are marketing directly TO YOU as a consumer.
My question for everyone is this.
Why has your pharmacy not taken advantage of this very inexpensive, yet VERY impact-full form of marketing?
Having an email list is becoming increasing important for all businesses. Even older patients are no longer looking into the yellow pages or in the local paper for information. More and more of our patients are going online to find the information they need. If they are online, chances are that they have an email address. I mean, you HAVE to have an email address to get on Facebook, right?
So many businesses waste time on marketing that is now longer viable. Those that are looking into online marketing are looking in the wrong places, quite frankly. A Facebook page may be a great idea, but that page is actually very ineffective unless it is put in place to serve one purpose and one purpose only... to gather email addresses.
Does that surprise anyone?
How many times have you been asked for your email address today?
I challenge you to start keeping a daily count.
And notice that those companies are doing FOR A REASON. It is because you have shown an interest in their business (via a website or Facebook page) and they want to retail YOU as customer. They see your email address as an open invitation to market their goods and services to you on a weekly, daily, sometimes hourly it seems, basis.
This isn't a bad thing, because it allows you to process the information they are sending you at a good time for you. At a time when you will be most receptive to their marketing.
So you can take advantage of this very easy to use marketing strategy and implement it into your pharmacy business today.
Its called a subscriber list.
For a small monthly, quarterly or yearly fee a company like Aweber (affiliate link) or MailChimp will help you to gather email addresses from your website or Facebook page or you can enter them manually with permission from the customer. They are super easy to use and once you have set up your address gathering page people can subscribe or unsubscribe as they choose. You, however, do not have to do anything except send out a marketing email every once in a while when you have a new service that you want to promote.
Want to host a flu shot clinic? Tell your list, you'll get a great turnout.
Having a sale on some short dated OTC products? Tell your list, liquidate your inventory.
One can easily see that being able to market directly to a targeted list of active subscribers is going to be effective. It allows you to connect directly with your most active patients in a way that is easy for you both to communicate. It is a very cost-effective way of marketing and most importantly, it works!
If you could send an email directly to your patients RIGHT NOW, what would it say?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Blair Green Thielemier, PharmD is an independent MTM consultant pharmacist. She is the founder of BT Pharmacy Consulting, LLC. and works with pharmacists to create and build clinical services programs. More information about Dr. Thielemier and BT Pharmacy Consulting, LLC can be found at http://btpharmacyconsulting.com