Are you looking for the secret sauce to help your online nutrition business take off? Try adding email marketing to your inbound marketing strategy! It’s one of the most effective ways to grow your business and maintain a steady stream of clients.
Keep reading to learn why email marketing is important for dietitian entrepreneurs and how to use it to grow your online nutrition business.
Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing
A solid marketing strategy is vital to growing any business because it helps you attract and connect with potential clients. When considering the best types of marketing for you, it’s helpful to understand the differences between inbound and outbound marketing.
Outbound marketing is when you push your message out to the world. You can run print or online ads, cold-call potential customers, or buy an email list and send out letters of introduction. While it has a place, outbound marketing is often expensive. And there might be more effective ways to attract nutrition clients.
With inbound marketing, instead of pushing your message out, you help potential customers find and engage with you. They might find you through:
- Your social media posts
- Online articles or blog posts you write
- Media mentions when you’re interviewed for an article or podcast
- Word of mouth from your current clients or colleagues
An important benefit of inbound marketing is that your audience is already interested in what you offer. Therefore, they’re more likely to visit your website to learn more about your services. You just have to convince them you’re the right dietitian for them. And one of the most effective ways to do that is through email marketing.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is an essential part of inbound marketing. It’s a way of sending periodic targeted messages to your audience through email. People who visit your website and share their email addresses are already interested in your expertise and content. Connecting and engaging with your audience via email helps build a relationship (often called “nurturing”), making them more likely to convert to clients.
Email marketing is effective for several reasons. First, everyone uses email every day. Unlike social media, where your marketing messages might or might not appear in someone’s feed, email messages have a much better chance of being seen.
Compared to paid advertising, it’s also an inexpensive way to connect with consumers and maintain relationships. Most importantly, you’ll always own your email list. That’s not true with social media followers. If the platform’s algorithms change or users lose interest in a platform, your followers will disappear.
How To Get Started with Email Marketing
You don’t need a large marketing budget, but you must have these essential website tools in place:
Your website serves as your home base, where potential clients come to learn about you and your expertise, ask questions, and schedule appointments. Your website also allows you to highlight your brand and show visitors what sets you apart from other dietitians.
Always optimize your website for search engines (Google), so people looking for a dietitian with your expertise will find you. Add keywords (like “gut health dietitian”) into your headlines and page descriptions. Make it clear to a visitor who you are, what you offer, and how you can help them.
Strong SEO-optimized content will make it much easier for the right clients to find you.
Tools to connect with visitors
Make sure your website includes:
- A contact form, your phone number, and your email, so people who find you can easily connect with you. Make these clear and easy to find in your menu, footer, and landing pages so people don’t have to search.
- A link to your calendar and client intake form to use for discovery calls.
- A link to your scheduling and payment tool if you offer one-on-one appointments.
- Landing pages for any programs you offer or items you sell.
- Pages for your blog, YouTube channel, or podcast. These provide valuable content for visitors. They’re all methods of inbound marketing, which means they’ll bring potential clients to your website.
A call to action (CTA) and a lead magnet
Once someone comes to your website, what do you want them to do? They may be curious but not ready to schedule an appointment. Prompt them to schedule a discovery call with you or download some free helpful information when they sign up for your email list. A call to action (CTA) is a marketing term that refers to the next step you want your visitor to take.
Free downloads are known as lead magnets. They can be a meal plan, newsletter subscription, ebook, coupon, or anything else. These provide value for your visitors, but they’re invaluable to you because visitors must leave an email to collect their freebie.
An email opt-in form and email platform
Collecting those emails allows you to nurture and convert visitors into paying clients. So, a lead capture form connected to an email platform is essential. The email platform will collect and maintain your email list.
Choosing the best email service takes some research and comparison. It’s helpful to ask your colleagues for recommendations. Many email services are free to use if you’re starting and don’t have a large list. Once your list grows, or if you offer multiple services and different types of email campaigns, it might be worth upgrading to a different (and often more expensive) platform. Some email platforms are also easier to use than others, especially for designing newsletters.
These are some popular email platforms to consider:
- Mailchimp (what we use)
- ConvertKit (what many of our clients use)
Once you start building a list, don’t forget about it! Send new contacts a welcome letter followed by a series of prewritten “drip emails” (also called a “nurture sequence”) introducing your brand, services, and the benefits you provide your clients. Then, send regular emails with valuable information to keep them engaged and build trust. Each should include a call to action to entice them to become paying clients.
Email Content Ideas for Dietitians
There is no one-size-fits-all email marketing strategy. The most important thing is to send emails that add value for readers and keep them engaged. Think about the emails you receive every day. You’re more likely to read and act on those that provide helpful information or offers. On the other hand, you’ll probably hit the unsubscribe button for pushy emails or those that don’t provide anything you find valuable.
Any content you create as part of your inbound marketing strategy can be repurposed for email content. That can include:
- Blog posts or recipes tailored to your niche. Link your email list to your RSS feed so that each time you publish something, it automatically goes out to everyone on your email list.
- Seasonal meal plans (or teasers).
- A monthly or quarterly newsletter to email subscribers. Focus on a theme or include a round-up of your most popular blog articles, recipes, or nutrition tips.
- Occasional offers for packages or other discounts.
- Curated content like nutrition news you’ve shared in social media posts.
- Links to your most recent podcast or those where you’ve been a guest.
- Links to articles in any online magazines you’ve written or been mentioned in.
If your marketing content provides value to your potential clients and addresses their pain points, it can make great email content.
Want more guidance for creating marketing content that sells?
Download my Dietitian’s Guide to Marketing
Use my worksheets and exercises to learn more about your ideal customer, what they need, and how to connect with them.
And finally, make sure your emails include another CTA. Someone who appreciates the information you just shared is more likely to click your link to schedule a discovery call or learn more about your new program.
Building an online nutrition business takes time and effort, but email marketing helps demonstrate value to your audience faster and more efficiently. With the right tools on your website, your email list will grow, and your contacts will soon become active clients.
Email marketing and lead magnets are a topic we cover in our 6-week website course, The Dietitian Website System. If you’re struggling to get your email marketing off the ground, consider enrolling in our course to get our live support and guidance so you can begin marketing your business using this powerful tool! Explore the program here.