With all the popular social media sites and the myriad online listing opportunities, it’s easy to forget the original digital communication tool: EMAIL! Sometimes email marketing seems “so last century” but it remains the single most cost-effective method of marketing to your customers.
But don’t stop reading hereand drag out an email list you got from your Chamber of Commerce or purchased from a list broker! That’s not email marketing! Successful and effective email marketing results from a list that you have built yourself from customers who have given you permission to communicate with them via email.
Although this takes some time to build, it’s not hard and it’s an unbelievable boost to both customer loyalty and repeat business. Email communication—done right—is how to stay in the forefront of your customer’s mind. I know there are a number of really good restaurants in our community that my wife and I have enjoyed immensely but not visited in maybe a year or two. Why? We just don’t think about them when we’re planning a meal out.
So what is “done right”? Well, here’s what it’s NOT: it is not a daily or even weekly discount coupon or BOGO! Doing email marketing right is a good balance between frequency and content. Every day? NO WAY! That’s the quickest way I know to get sent to the spam bucket! And a coupon with every communication just trains your customers to expect discounted pricing.
What keeps them looking forward to your emails is getting interesting and useful information—plus, an occasional VIP customer offer is nice. Things like new menu items, special promotions, events you might be having and, of course, special greetings and offers on their birthday and anniversary .
A restaurant in our area shares one of their recipes for a seasonal ingredient about once a month and I always look forward to that. Sending an email about twice a month seems to be a good frequency—often enough to make sure they don’t forget you and not so often that they are tempted to unsubscribe.
Because this is so effective, so economical, and so essential to your visibility, it’s worth taking the time to get it implemented correctly and obeying all the legalities of email marketing. So get started today!