Pet, Pet Food and Petcare ecommerce marketing strategies - Ideas, Benchmarks and Examples

Post by
Mehdi Boufous
Pet, Pet Food and Petcare  ecommerce marketing strategies - Ideas, Benchmarks and Examples

The pet industry can be a very lucrative enterprise. Why? If you are an animal lover and you own one, you know exactly the answer.

The industry has seen tremendous growth. There was a time when the only popular pet products were dog and cat food. In recent times, we’ve seen CBD products, pet supplies like luxury beds and toys, pet-oriented technology like DNA services, veterinary care, and even insurance for our furry friends.

If you are a pet brand (whether a startup or aspiring to be on the top player list) or perhaps an animal lover who possesses an entrepreneurial spirit, we know there’s no need to convince you of the reliability and effectiveness of email marketing. We’ve seen them firsthand on a panoramic view with the most popular pet brands - that is through our benchmarking platform Panoramata.

Here’s a handful of content ideas you can put to test.

  1. Pets are humanizing - add some humanity to your email
  2. Bark up the right tree - conduct a quiz for a reliable source of data
  3. Meet pets’ continuous consumption - offer subscription boxes for convenience when it’s time to restock
  4. Show that you are a go-to expert - regularly send informative, solution-oriented emails
  5. Share holidays with pet owners - celebrate and treat them during special events for humans
  6. Get them on socials - post fresh, entertaining, and lively photos of pets on your social channels

1. Pets are humanizing - add some humanity to your email

Just like any parent, they want to get only the best for their pet children. They consider them their best buddies - no wonder they call themselves cat mom, dog dad, etc. Thus, it is vital for your emails (most especially on your welcome email journey) to show up like a real human and not a boring robot. This can be a good starting point to establishing your reputation as a brand that cares about animal welfare. Customers' trust is your key to engagement here.

As promised, here are some content ideas we’ll share with you.

Welcome to Smalls 😸

Sent by Smalls

Smalls is a pet brand that offers human-grade, fresh food for cats. In this welcome email, you will find the word “family” twice on the banner. It can already boost your emotion as a cat person early on. Then you scroll down to read more. It’s backed up by their value proposition as “human-grade”. Two powerful words with just small reading.

Hey it's Sally & Michelle 👋
Sent by Rowan

Rowan, a dog care brand, shows the human faces of its founders who happen to be pet parents too. Needless to say, they experience the same kind of struggles and fun moments just like any other dog owner. Showing real humans is the easiest way to connect emotionally with your customers.

We don't make pet food
Sent by Nom Nom

Nom Nom is a brand that offers fresh food for dogs, delivered to your doorstep. This email (part of their welcome journey) can be a good inspiration too when it comes to emotionally motivating fur parents to choose your product over others in the market. Most of them, if not all, consider their pet as not just pets but almost like humans too. When they eat, their pet eats too. When they enjoy a good meal, they want their pet to enjoy it too.

2. Bark up the right tree - conduct a quiz for a reliable source of data

Just like humans, pets have unique needs too. You’ve probably heard about targeting and knowing your audience as one of the key points in marketing tactics. When it comes to pet brands (pet food, pet supplies, pet services), learning the demographics of your target is valid stuff. With so many misleading products out there, you’ll find that pet owners are willing to spend some time taking a quiz to be extra cautious in choosing the right product for their pets. The component of the quiz will depend on what product you offer. Of course, you can repeat this type of email after some time since pets are constantly growing and developing, so are their needs and behaviors.

Here are 3 examples of emails leading to a Quiz.

Quiz: What product suits your cat's needs?Sent by Tuft & Paw

Tuft & Paw is a brand that sells modern cat furniture. Since cats have different behaviors at home, they want to get more ideas from the owners themselves about how their cat behaves. This way, they can choose the most appropriate items from the collection. 

Hey there, get 50% off personalized pet nutrition!
Sent by
Tailored Pet

As the name implies, Tailored Pet is a brand that provides custom nutrition for any breed of puppies and dogs. And what is a better way to know the minutest details about your dog’s everyday life than a comprehensive quiz? They repeat this kind of email on several occasions in their welcome journey. Some might be busy right now so they can’t find time to take the quiz. No worries, they’ll have the chance in the succeeding emails (as a form of reminder too).

Find your perfect pooch food 🐶

Sent by Pooch & Mutt

Pooch & Mutt sells a wide range of dog and cat food, treats, and supplements. Having an array of choices can overwhelm their prospective buyers. It can lead to either a wrong decision (getting a product that does not suit well) or not purchasing at all. Scary! A quiz can be your life-saver in times like this. Why not incorporate it into your email marketing as well?

3. Meet pets’ continuous consumption - offer subscription boxes for convenience when it’s time to restock

We’ve talked about pets having unique needs. Now, we come to realize that these needs are continuous. They eat at least several times a day. They basically eat, play, rest, sleep, and repeat. 

After knowing what specific needs they have (usually from the result of the quiz), you can now  offer subscription boxes. Because, no matter how well they want to take care of their fur babies, parents can be so busy and tired (and sometimes lazy) to prepare food and stuff for them on a daily basis. Here is where subscription boxes come to play.   

Read on to see 3 different examples of emails with quite different approaches and layouts.

Subscribe now to save 30% off! 🤑

Sent by Zesty Paws

Zesty Paws offers dog and cat functional supplements. Given that this type of products is consumed regularly, they offer subscriptions. Savings almost always come with subscription. So here they give out a discount as well.Want your pet food direct to your doorstep?

Want your pet food direct to your doorstep?

Sent by Harringtons

Here’s another natural pet food brand for your cats and dogs - Harringtons. Similarly, they offer a “subscribe” and save option to give you one less thing to worry about. In the body of the email, they show the benefits of subscribing and steps 1-5 on how to go about it.

See why our subscribers give the Pusheen Box five stars!

Sent by Pusheen Box

Pusheen Box is a subscription service that offers cat kits consisting of wearables, treats, and toys for your feline friend. In this email, they show 4 photos of different merchandise posted by some good fans on Instagram. Good to serve as social proof too.

3. Show that you’re a go-to expert - regularly send informative, solution-oriented emails

One of the best ways to market your pet shop business is to establish a brand reputation in the market. It makes it easier for pet parents to put their trust and confidence in your brand. Trust and confidence lead to sales. But it takes effort and expertise to gain the trust and confidence we all want to achieve. You can showcase your knowledge and passion through email marketing as well. Note that the more you know, the more people will ask and rely on you. 

Create regular newsletters to guide, inform, solve problems, and entertain your audience. We guess you’ve already gained their interest since pet owners are mostly positive engagers of “all things pet”. So, it won’t be that difficult to get their reading eyes on the articles you will send out. Always strive to keep your copy fresh, lively, and fun - just like the characteristics of pets every owner loves to see.

🐩 Your Guide on Dog Fur

Sent by Finn

Finn is a brand that sells vitamins and supplements for your bestie dogs. One of the things we have tracked with this brand is that they send out informative emails 2-3 times a month. These copies are excerpts from the blog page of their official website. They send a variety of topics from behavior, nutrition and wellness, science, and training all related to dogs. Really, they just don’t sell, they also provide value to their audience. Also, time and again we say that blogs are a good way for audiences to find your brand on the wide web.

A vet’s tips for keeping your cat happy

Sent by Made by Nacho

“Vet” (short for Veterinarian) is a three-letter word with a powerful impact in the pet world. It equals authority and expertise. This email from a cat food brand Made by Nacho provides useful tips from their Veterinary Consultant. A Vet’s advice gives weight to the article and makes it sound reliable to most of the readers.

Keep your pet's skin and coat healthy
Sent by Royal Canin - US

Here’s another good read from Royal Canin, a brand that is focused on providing tailored pet nutrition for cats and dogs. This is a solution-oriented type of article about a common problem for pets and their concerned owners without directly selling a product from their store.

4. Share holidays with pet owners - celebrate and treat them during special events for humans

Aside from observing holidays intended only for pets, you can incorporate human holidays with their pets so they could celebrate together rather than alone. Not only do humans get the treat but you can also multiply it by two (one for the owner, one for the pet). Doesn’t that mean widening your market during holidays? It’s a win-win-win approach as we call it.

Fireworks 101 For a Happy 4th 🎆

Sent by Wild One

Here’s an example of involving pets in major celebrations. Wild One is a pet shop for essentials like collar, harness, treats and toys, supplements, grooming products, and a lot more. In this email, they incorporate tips from a Vet to keep pups’ welfare during a loud celebration. They also recommend products along.

🐶🧔 Happy Paw-ther's Day!

Sent by Dope Dog

Dope Dog, one of the pet brands that offer CBD products (from treats to oil to shampoo), found an exceptional way to celebrate Father’s Day with their pets. Yes we agree that if you own and care for a pet, you can already be considered a parent to them. This occasional email is an example of adding an element of fun and giveaways that can help you a great deal.

6. Get them on socials - post fresh, entertaining, and lively photos of pets on your social channels

Pet owners spend time on social platforms like Instagram because it matches their needs. Some of them even set up social media accounts just for their pets. They love taking selfies with their pets. They dress them up, walk them in the park, play with them, prank them - almost all activities can be posted. So, if you see they are talking about your brand or products on their channels, you can take full advantage of it and share that content with your followers and promote it.

Meet our adorable Instagram fans!
Sent by Because Animals

Because Animals is a brand that provides cultured supplements to support pets’ health. They sent out this email to showcase some Instagram photos posted by their customers. It is indeed a cute way to involve the end-user of your products in your marketing move. Along with a lively and colorful layout of this email, it creates good vibes and encouragement for future customers to join the community.

Let's be friends 😸😸

Sent by Tuft & Paw

Another example from Tuft & Paw here. In this email, they encourage audiences to tag them for a chance to be featured on their social channel. For sure, you’ll find time to submit an entry as the number 1 fan of your pet. It is, for marketers, a way to gather social proof, amazing visuals, and feedback from real customers.

We hope you find interesting insights and examples above. The goal is to convince your audience that your brand is the one to look forward to for their pet babies. 

Marketing strategies for the pet industry evolve with time. The only constant is people’s love for their pets and their desire to give them the best care and experience. We are here to track the trend and deliver best practices to you.