An Introduction to Email Campaign Marketing for Water Lab Managers

Emailing clients can be a bit intimidating, especially if you're a water lab manager without a marketing background. But these campaigns can be so effective that it's worth getting out of your comfort zone. Here are some tips on using email campaigns to nurture relationships with current and prospective clients.

Benefits of Email Marketing for Water Labs

An email campaign is an excellent way to foster customer loyalty and drive conversions, without expending a ton of resources. Phone calls are a nice personal touch, but they require more of your staff's valuable time. Email correspondences can be done in bulk and scheduled in advance.

Email has the highest return on investment of any marketing channel, according to Litmus. A survey by the company found that for every dollar brands spend on email marketing, they receive $42 in return. And clients are likely to engage with email: In a HubSpot survey of email marketers, 78% cited an increase in email engagement in 2019.

  • Devise an email campaign strategy that aligns with your overall business goals.
  • Reach the right people at the right time by creating custom distribution lists.
  • Send personalized, thoughtful messages that align with seasonal deadlines and customer needs.

Types of Email Marketing Campaigns to Consider

Your email marketing strategy should align with your lab's larger business goals, whether that's growing revenue, building trust with clients, promoting a new test or service, or all of the above. Defining these objectives will help you focus and streamline your efforts — i.e., you won't be wasting valuable time sending unnecessary emails.

There are a few email campaigns that work especially well for water labs:

  • Newsletters: Consider sending a monthly newsletter to boost customer loyalty and generate leads. These can include water testing news, tips for sample collection, and details on your services. You'll want to avoid overly salesy content, keeping the focus on helping customers safeguard their water sources.
  • Offer emails: If your lab is slipping behind its quarterly revenue goals, you could do an email campaign offering a discount or special promotion to boost sales. These campaigns drive direct responses, making them valuable during seasonal testing lulls, too.
  • Announcement emails: If your lab's offering something new, include it in an announcement email. These can be expanded hours during the busy summer season or a new service, such as Legionella testing. New certifications are also worthy of an announcement email. Use these campaigns to build industry authority and promote conversions.

Ways to Reach Your Target Audience

Emails should feel personal, not like junk mail. To strike this tone, you'll need to define your intended audience. Consider who you want to reach, and what you hope they'll gain from your messages. Then, compile email addresses for contacts you want to reach.

You may already have many customer email addresses in your laboratory information management system, so that's an easy place to begin. You can also add a checkbox to chain of custody forms so clients can easily opt in to your emails. Just be sure that you're following privacy and anti-spam laws before hitting send, advises marketing expert Neil Patel. Ultimately, you should only send emails to those who want them. Otherwise, customers may distrust your lab for using their contact information without permission.

Make it easy for users to subscribe to your emails by using pop-ups and calls to action on your website and social media. For example, adding, "Sign up for our monthly newsletter" on the top of your homepage is a great way to entice new subscribers. Give them incentives to sign up, too, such as educational content or discounts on your services.

Your ultimate goal should be reaching the right people at the right time. Consider making separate distribution lists for different customers, such as one for wastewater clients and another for recreational clients. You can also make lists for frequent customers, inactive customers, and prospective customers. Targeting emails to a specific audience increases the odds of engagement.

How Often to Send Email Campaigns

Let your water lab marketing calendar and seasonal needs guide your email distribution strategy. During the peak spring and summer testing months, you'll want to schedule emails far out so they don't conflict with lab deadlines. Check in with recreational customers before summer is underway, encouraging them to get their samples in. This helps them stay compliant and keeps your lab from getting too backed up. Nudge your real estate agent customers during their busy spring season.

Email frequency matters, too. If you email too often, subscribers will start to ignore your messages and unsubscribe. If you email too infrequently, you won't see any results. Mailchimp suggests sending emails at least once a month to drive engagement. Experiment with your cadence by tracking how often subscribers open messages. You can also poll your subscribers, asking them what frequency they prefer, Entrepreneur suggests.

Email marketing can be an excellent tool for growing your water lab's business. By using these quick tips, you'll be able to harness the power of email to forge connections with current and future customers.

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Kelly McSweeney
Science and Technology Writer
Armed with a master's degree in writing and a decade of professional work in scientific publishing, Kelly McSweeney writes about science and technology innovations. She translates complicated topics into stories that capture the curiosity of everyone from casual readers to technical experts. Kelly has degrees from Emerson College and the University of Vermont, and has worked on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics publications at Wiley, In Compliance magazine, and Pearson. Her articles about the latest research are published by ZDNet, Northrop Grumman, and Wiley.