dogbiz: Email Marketing Tips for Pet Sitters

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Email marketing gets overshadowed by social media a lot these days, which is a great shame because email is a terrific marketing workhorse—free or low-cost, targeted, and much less time-intensive than social media.

Why Should I Put Out a Newsletter?

  1. Clients kept up-to-date about your offerings are more likely to take advantage of them.
  2. Already loyal to you, clients are a built-in audience for new services.
  3. People like to feel special. Checking in creates a sense of community and increases brand loyalty, which means you remain the one they come to when they need dog-related services.
  4. Staying in touch makes it more likely clients will think to refer a fellow dog lover to you. If their experience with your company is buried in the past, referral opportunities are easily missed.

Keys to Success

  1. Make it a really good value.
  2. Get the word out.

What’s valuable?

In this age of information overload (people are exposed to around 3,000 promotional messages a day), value means one of two things: Useful information or entertainment. Either give people something they can use or give them a good time.

For dog service businesses, the first category would include tips, information, and how-to articles about anything dog related: Training, exercise, home life, management out-and-about, local events, Did You Know-type items, recommendations of books, collars, food, etc.

The latter category could use quotes, fun sites to visit, and stories, both fun and serious. Before and After stories, for example, are very popular.

Aim to:

  • Be brief
  • Use straightforward language
  • Lay the text out so it is easy to scan, with bullets, small paragraphs, photos, etc.

Why Do You Need a Custom Email Address?

Getting the word out.

First of all, have a prominently displayed sign-up field on your website. Also, include a ‘Forward to a Friend’ button in the newsletter itself. Most e-mail marketing services (and you should always use a service) offer this option as standard.

Other than that, include a benefits-oriented call to sign up for your newsletter on all your materials, however mundane. Class sign-up sheets, handouts, brochures, postcards, rack cards, even business cards. Include it in your digital signature and on your stationery. If you write an article for a local paper, mention it in your bio blurb. If you are on Twitter, tweet about an interesting newsletter item and link to the sign-up box on your site. On Facebook, post the entire newsletter and include a sign-up box beside it (a free, downloadable application lets you do this).

As your list grows, engage your subscribers by including occasional content that encourages interaction. Contests, for example, where answering a trivia question gives the reader a chance to win a leash or a bag of dog treats. Other options are surveys (Google and SurveyMonkey offer free tools), a monthly ‘cutest photo’ client competition, or Ask The Expert-style items.

This article is re-published with permission from

Dogbiz helps dog lovers pursue their dream jobs through friendly, one-on-one business consulting, career counseling, business products, and the dogbiz Dog Walking Academy.

The Dogbiz Dog Walking Academy is a professional course for new and experienced dog walkers looking for the best in professional education. Learn more at

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