E-mail marketing is tried and true — don’t neglect it
In today’s tech-savvy world marketing has become a balancing act between the many options presented to us. Unfortunately many are swept up by the shiny new object and overlook the tried and true. They literally step over a dollar to pick up a penny.
Over 20 years ago we saw the introduction of e-mail marketing. Now with numerous new marketing mediums, business owners wonder whether it’s still worthwhile to invest in e-mail marketing. Going by current statistics the modest e-mail is as relevant as ever, though. Many marketing gurus emphasize the adoption of popular social media sites. While social media platforms can’t be ignored, e-mail boasts the highest number of worldwide users; just over 3.8 billion users in 2018, and this is expected to grow to over four billion by 2020. E-mail is the most universal mode of business communication, encompassing millennials through baby boomers. Recent studies have shown that e-mail marketing produces 174 percent more conversions than social media. E-mail has rightly earned its place in our marketing mix.
E-mail is direct and can be personalized right down to the person’s name. These same people have signed up to receive your messages. They already show trust and interest in your brand, so don’t abuse or ignore that trust. Jeff Aufdencamp, owner of Mama Mimi’s Take ‘N Bake Pizza, based in Columbus, Ohio, has been using e-mail since 2003 and says: “It is effective because the customers opt in and are already engaged by our business. We send out twice a week; Monday and Thursday.” Ethical marketers agree that the increased focus on legal regulations within the e-mail marketing realm is a good thing since we are responding to consumer concerns and this should improve brand perceptions. These laws protect consumers and help marketers to stay within the law.
How can we get customers to opt in for our e-mails? Adam Matt, owner of Slice of The 80’s located in Westland, Michigan says: “I have a template on our Web site where the customer can enter their name and e-mail address, and I also have collection cards on my front counter that people can fill out while they wait for their pizza.” Aufdencamp adds that he also “asks Groupon redeemers if they want to opt in on their redemption visit.” These methods involve getting your whole sales team involved to help gather information and point people towards your Web site. Bounce back offers for signing up, employee contests for gathering e-mail addresses or a fish bowl on the counter can all be effective. Be creative and diligent in your list building efforts and it will pay off. Flour and Barley is a Gen3 Hospitality pizzeria located in Las Vegas and operated by executive chef John Alers. Talia Schafer, Director of Marketing at Gen3 Hospitality, mentions these tactics for collecting e-mails: “a mix use of social media promotion, internal promotion, Web site SEO and review platforms.”
Upon building a database, you have a list of contacts that you can have regular communication with, no matter what the latest algorithm is. This database serves as a foundation that business owners can interact with past and potential customers on an affordable, long-term basis. This database has proven effective for Matt to communicate on a semi-monthly schedule. Matt adds: “I usually send out one great coupon that grips people’s attention, then I trickle in some of our daily specials or lunch promos. If there is something new or exciting, like a new product, we may lead with that to get that new product the spotlight so it starts selling.” Like most marketing platforms, e-mailing your database does not have to be done manually. There are a variety of automated programs available to send and help manage your database. E-mail marketing has become an enduring method that is usually so effective in many areas that it ends up in the top three most effective ways to drive people to your Web site and generate sales now and in the future.
These prime target customers deserve to find a well-crafted message in their inbox. A worthy e-mail utilizes the subject and body of an e-mail along with branded design to obtain the desired results. A concise subject line encourages high open rates, while an enticing offer stimulates a boost in sales when e-mails are sent out. Flour and Barley accomplishes this by sending “A mix of offers, upcoming events / happenings, new menu item releases and rewards to drive to visits,” Schafer says. “It is incredibly important to stick to the same color themes, fonts and messaging to portray a consistent brand image. Keep your audience in mind when crafting the message and ask yourself, ‘would you read this e-mail and what you would think of it if you were the consumer?’”
Aufdencamp follows this principle: “We always send an offer. Our customers want special offers for their loyalty. We give the e-mail database the best offers, making it worth their time to be a subscriber.”
Keep e-mails minimal, with a concise and catchy subject line and a branded body that gets right to the call to action. Be cognizant of your purpose. Having a fast, reliable form of communication that is inexpensive and easily accessible is worth its weight in gold. Don’t ‘step over a dollar to pick up a penny.’
Scott Anthony is a member of the World Pizza Champions and owns Punxsy Pizza in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. He is a frequent speaker for the Pizza Expo family of tradeshows.