Growing an email list is probably an activity that you associate more with internet marketers than pet sitters – am I right? But as a  pet sitter that can harness the power of the internet to find new potential clients via their website, engage them, and then build a relationship with them by keeping in regular contact, you will have a big advantage over your competition who is not taking advantage of this opportunity.

If your pet sitting website ranks well in the major search engines or is listed in many online directories I’m sure you are getting many people each day visiting your site. Some of these visitors are looking for pet care services today and some are browsing for information for a future need.  It is important that you have a system in place to engage customers ready to use your service today (by clearly listing your contact details or providing an online reservation form) and that you also have a system to capture the contact details of potential clients who are visiting your site but not yet ready to make a buying decision.

When these potential clients are ready to buy from you, you want to make sure that your service is the one at the top of their mind. A very effective way to keep in touch and educate these potential clients about your company is by using an online newsletter (ezine) or a blog.

Of course to be able to keep in contact using an ezine or blog you first have to collect a visitors contact info. The easiest way to do this is by placing an opt-in or sign up form on your website.  Many people are hesitant about giving this information so you have to give these visitors a good reason to sign up by offering them information that they perceive to be valuable.  You can see an example of a sign up box at my pet sitting site on the right side bar of the site http://www.protectingmax.com.

You’ll notice that I offer visitors two free gifts in exchange for their information – a free pre-travel checklist and a Tarrant county pet services guide which is a list of pet resources in my local area such as groomers, trainers, and pet stores. Once a visitor signs up they will then receive my regular email newsletter delivered to their inbox. Feel free to sign up to see how this process works.

Once you have their permission to send them regular information you can use your email newsletter or blog to :

1. Educate them about the benefits of your service

2. Update them on latest pet news and local pet events

3. Send them surveys to find out more about their pet care needs

4. Get them engaged by running competitions

5. Tell them about your referral programs

6. Send them informative pet care and pet health articles

7. Let them know about new services as they are introduced

8. Send them discount coupons or special offers

9. Involve them by running a pet of the month column so they can show off their pets

10. Build your credibility and become a trusted advisor

I hope you can see how powerful it can be to be to have a system in place that keeps you in contact with potential pet sitting clients!

In my next post I’ll explain the easiest way to set up a online ezine and place a sign up box on your website.

Please let me know what questions you already have  – or tell us about your experiences using an ezine to keep in touch. Just leave me a comment!