We’ve been doing some great work with We Love Pets, a supplier of pet-based products that specifically focuses on the South African market and that aims to bring locally made and sourced pet products & services to pet lovers all around. Our Marketing Manager, Pauline Radford-Hayden, took some time to speak to Antonette van Tonder, Owner & Editor of WeLovePetsSA free pet friendly magazine, about what they do and how Mail Blaze has helped them improve their offer to their client base.
Let’s take a closer look at all the wonderful things We Love Pets offer their clients and what they're looking to do in the future.
Hi Antonette, thanks for making the time to speak to Mail Blaze about your company, We Love Pets, can you tell us a bit more about your company and what makes it so unique?
Antonette: With the start of the pandemic we saw an uptick in small businesses or cottage businesses in general, and especially so in the pet industry. During May of 2020, I launched my own dog gifts business and needed to reach a larger audience. WeLovePetsSA was born to provide a platform where these smaller businesses can showcase their products and services to a much wider pet audience. Initially we wanted to publish an annual Directory offering pet listings, but due to the effects of the COVID Pandemic it became clear that revenue for advertising was drying up and the tourism industry was particularly hard hit. We collaborated with a few pet businesses and a few friends came together and the first magazine was published September 2020. When we received so many requests to do more, we listened and are currently on our 9th issue and still going strong.
The global COVID pandemic has had some devastating effect on businesses across multiple industries, how have you and your team “weathered the storm”?
Antonette: WeLovePets has actually thrived during the Pandemic. So many pet owners were at home and spending more time with their pets. Because pet owners were restricted in movement we spent a lot of time talking about enrichment for our canine & feline companions to ensure that the pets do not revert to destructive behaviour due to boredom. Me and the trainer that I went to for puppy classes with my Ridgeback Kara, collaborated and created 21 daily videos with fun training games to help relieve boredom during the first 3 weeks of Lockdown. One video clip for each day of the first 3 weeks of LockDown.
Ultimately our goal is to establish WeLovePetsSA as a platform where pet owners can make one stop and find information not only on pet products & services but also about pet friendly hikes and accommodation & restaurants … anything pet related. So we listen to our readers & subscribers.
We’re proud to have you onboard as a client, how has your email marketing changed since joining Mail Blaze?
Antonette: Emails look a LOT more professional, which gives our service credibility.
What problems were you trying to solve by engaging with us?
Antonette: I was looking for a service provider with affordable price plans, great service and my preference is always to support local business. Mail Blaze ticked all those boxes for me.
What other options did you explore and why did you end up choosing us?
Antonette: I suppose like most who start, I opted for MailChimp, but as my list grew they just became too expensive. Mail Blaze was recommended by a friend who had used you guys for a long time and from the initial email, I’ve had friendly, helpful service from you. I can pick up the phone if it’s urgent or use the online chat function while building a campaign and pretty much have instant help from a real person. You guys are really helpful and for someone who is not necessarily born to be tech savvy, I can rely on you to fix my problem.
How has Mail Blaze helped you achieve your business goals?
Antonette: You continue to bring in new features, have added templates and it is really easy to build a campaign. In my business where we’re constantly under time pressure. Your service is easy to use and the analytics gives me campaign performance overviews at a glance, saving valuable time to spend on other activities.
What benefits have you realized from using our platform? Time saved, cost reductions, increased return on investment, more profitable clients, easier to use, etc?)
Antonette: Definitely easy to use and time saved. We have also seen an increased ROI.
Are there any specific programmes or products you’d like people to know about?
Antonette: Mail Blaze service in general is rockstar.
What would you say to someone else who is considering our service?
Antonette: I recommend you to all the pet businesses I come across. It’s a no-brainer for me.
What has working with Mail Blaze meant for you personally?
Antonette: It works. I can rely on you guys to deliver the service that I’ve signed up for. Trust is a big thing for me.
What makes We Love Pets so special and what would you like people to know about what you do?
Antonette: I am very proud of our digital magazine. The articles are written by experts in their field and we cover nutrition, training & behaviour. A lot of our readers also contribute to the magazine. When they visit their favourite pet friendly getaway, restaurant or venue, they love to share their experience with the other readers. That’s what makes this magazine so special to me, that it’s by pet owners. Oh and the fact that the digital magazine will always be available FREE to all our subscribers.
Take a closer look at We Love Pets SA on their online channels: