As awareness about a healthier lifestyle, ageing populations across the world, and a heightened sense of building immunity, losing weight and a stronger body thanks to the Covid19 pandemic abound, people are turning en masse to various kinds of healthier lifestyle choices. “As populations in the U.S., Europe and Japan age, more and more people are looking for remedies to cure what ails them, and elixirs to help them stay healthy well into their twilight years.” As a result, online sales of various OTC vitamins, minerals, nutritional and herbal supplements is a booming consumer market, that’s estimated to $48 billion in 2020, and is on the rise year on year. But hot and happening as this market is, marketing nutritional supplements is another ballgame altogether.
For the purpose of this article, we will stick to email marketing as that is what we do. We currently work with over 5 nutrition supplement stores making up a significant chunk of our overall clientele so we do get a thing or two about marketing supplements with email marketing.
But not all is hunky dory with email marketing for supplements. Due to some of the bad actors in the society – read spurious products, unverified claims, and frequent run-ins with the FDA, supplements have earned themselves a bit of a reputation with the marketing overlords, including Facebook, Google, and not excluding email servers.
But if you’re a legit store with effective, genuine and honest products, your inevitable growth doesn’t have to be hampered by the bad apples. You can still create a lot of value for your customers and extend the customer lifetime value with email marketing if you follow these effective email marketing strategies for nutrition supplement stores.
1. Build credibility for the product
Given the nature of the product, it’s very important that you focus on building credibility for your brand and your products. Make sure your store only stocks products with FDA-approved, if applicable, products that have gone through necessary tests and are fit to be consumed. Nothing is worse for your reputation than stocking a nefarious product which will give your overall store a bad name. Include trust-building callouts like how we have done for one of our clients here:
2. Do not make tall but unbacked claims
No, noone’s falling for that “lose 100 pounds in a week” or the “Your skin will glow like silk after a pack of Vitamic C tablets” trope anymore. Keep.It.Real. Nutritional supplement marketing has taken a hit because of such claims that are placebos at best and criminal deceit at worst. Besides nothing triggers spam filters like an abashed use of terms like “weight loss” in an email. Even without using any unrealistic promises, you can build a nice premise by being honest about what the product can and cannot do. For example, try using something like “This product will help reduce food cravings and make you fuller for a longer time, leading to less binge eating and hence keep your weight in check”, rather than going with a full-on “Use this product to lose 100 pounds this week!” Focus on “being healthier” rather than slimmer or claiming to “cure” a disease like this store (one of our clients) does.
3. Induce social proof by including customer testimonials in the email
Testimonials are an excellent way to incorporate a social proof into your emails. And they’re all the more important for marketing nutritional/dietary supplements. Your emails should include genuine reviews from your customers sharing their experience of using the products and thereby endorsing your product. You can include customer testimonials in any of your emails, including the welcome flow, cart abandon flow or campaign emails. Not every testimonial needs to be a 5* review, but it should be an honest, detailed, and the kind of testimonial that reassures the potential customers.
4. Provide educational content in the emails
Consumers are increasingly relying on self-diagnosis and attacking targeted health needs so it’s important you leverage your various marketing communications as educational touchpoints to allay their concerns. Since all nutrition supplements have a number of ingredients, uses, and side effects, it’s very important to write well-researched and medically sound content about the supplements you sell. Include the benefits of the supplements, instructions to use them, disclaimers, health warnings, and also any approvals or studies the product may have been a part of. Host these long-form, detailed and well-researched articles on your store’s blog, and then share a snippet on the email. Or you can share a shorter version of the blog in an email like so:
5. Enlist a credible influencer in the health and fitness space
With the influx of health and fitness influencers, leverage their credibility and reach to help establish trust for your store. Get them onboard to test your product and share a genuine video review/social media post. Once they produce some content for you, make sure to run a couple of email campaigns around it.
6. Decrease spam rate in supplement store emails
Due to the nature of the products, supplement stores sometimes get caught up in spam filters. Here’s some tips by Glock to reduce spam complaints on supplement stores
- Re-write your email content and avoid using words and phrases related to weight-loss and other medical spam.
- Your email contains images with huge HTTP URLs. It can be a red flag for some content spam filters and adds to your overall spam score. It is recommended to use links with less than 120 chars. You can disable email tracking in your email service provider and use G-Lock Analytics that allows you to use a custom tracking domain and generates short tracking links. If huge http URLs are the only issue with your email content and the mailbox providers accept your email to the Inbox, you can ignore this issue.
- Remove text related to food and drugs not evaluated by the FDA warning or recall warning from the message.
- Reduce the number of links in your message content because your message contains too many links. It’s also a best practice to limit the number of different domains linked in an email.
- Reduce the number of images in the message. The best practice is to have a 65/35 text to image ratio to avoid deliverability issues.
For other evergreen tips on reducing spam rate of your emails, here’s a good blogpost written by our experts
7. Personalise your email content according to the customer’s targeted concerns
If you’re a store that stocks various kind of health supplements addressing different concerns, it’s prudent to tailor your messaging to the specific health concern of your customer. You can segment your customers by various concerns either by relying on their past purchases or by asking them yourself. You can use Shopify apps like Octane.ai to build custom quiz forms on your website that ask visitors about their specific concerns, and then allows you to customise your emails. For eg. if weight loss is a health concern of a visitor, your first email to the customer can include a selection of curated emails on weight loss products.
If all else fails or you find that marketing supplements is not your cup of herbal tea, get in touch with us. As we mentioned earlier, we work with multiple nutrition supplement stores that see an average of 15-30% increase in revenue with our advanced email marketing service. We’re happy to do to your revenue what your products do to people — make it healthier.