I must be getting old. I went from my usual pop culture references to dad jokes in this weekly wrap. I even make a “This Land Is Your Land” reference. What is happening? Designing Email Templates for Men and Women I started to write a “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” joke here, but then I realized it wasn’t ten years ago and it probably wasn’t going to be funny (or maybe that’s just my excuse for not coming up with a good enough joke). Gender is a good factor to take into account when segmenting your email campaigns. Learn about Designing Email Templates for Men and Women. Email Personalization? Only if You Know Me, Please It sounds to me like Paul is starting to notice that Big Brother is watching and he doesn’t necessarily like it. Oh yeah. That was a 1984 reference (not the outdated TV show). I swear I’ll work in a more current reference soon. Until then find out what had Paul saying, Email Personalization? Only if You Know Me, Please. The State of Email on Its 50th Anniversary in 2015 You may say, how can Hal possibly know what it’s going to be like in 2015? If you frequently read Hal’s posts on our blog, you would know it’s entirely possible that he has these capabilities. He never ceases to amaze us with his knowledge and wit. I’m saying he might be able to see the future. You don’t need any other reason to read about The State of Email on Its 50th Anniversary in 2015. Support Update: What Is the Benchmark Free Edition? We’re telling you there’s a free edition of Benchmark Email. Do I even need to say something witty to get you to read about it? Check out Michelle’s latest Support Update: What Is the Benchmark Free Edition? How Small Businesses Can Attract Quality Recruits A friend was just telling me that her roommate has Rubik’s Cube Expert listed on their resume. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that would qualify as a quality recruit in your book. Children’s toy experts aside, find out How Small Businesses Can Attract Quality Recruits. Telltale Games Hires Knotice: Video Games and Email Marketing True story: I almost failed out of college my freshman year due to excessive playing of Halo. So you could imagine my excitement when I read a headline involving video games. For all my fellow video game nerds, check out Telltale Games Hires Knotice: Video Games and Email Marketing. Walgreens’ Autoresponder Campaign Has My Order Backwards I was very proud of my internet prowess the other day, until Walgreens almost had me pulling my hair out. Thankfully, the end result was not bald Andy. I would end up getting my autographed photo of Earth, Wind and Fire, but not before Walgreens’ Autoresponder Campaign Had My Order Backwards. Encourage Your Patrons to Share Your Restaurant Email Content You might drink too much tequila if you see the word patron in the context of a restaurant and don’t think of customers. It doesn’t even make sense as the tequila when you make it plural. Nevertheless...that just happened. While I hang my head in shame, find out how to Encourage Your Patrons to Share Your Restaurant Email Content. Yahoo Mail’s New Ad Targeting Software Puts the User in Control Sometimes you can hear a word a thousand times and never think twice about it, but then you really look at it and it just seems so weird. Yahoo is one of those words for me. My apologies if you waste the next 20 minutes of your life staring at the word Yahoo. When you get done with that, see how Yahoo Mail’s New Ad Targeting Software Puts the User in Control. New Event Marketing Manual from Benchmark Email! This land was made for you and me and, according to Pierce in this article, email marketing was made for event planning. I guess I missed that part of the song. It must be true though. Pierce hasn’t ever given me a reason to doubt him. Check out the New Event Marketing Manual from Benchmark Email!
From meager beginnings as a newspaper and minor network seen in a handful of American markets in 1993 to a global presence that encompasses subsidiary networks in Canada, the UK and Asia, the Food Network has played a major role in triggering the Foodie Revolution. Their shrewd marketing prowess is legend, and some of their techniques can be successfully applied to your restaurant’s email marketing. Solicit Recipes to Choose Your Own Dining Star The Next Food Network Star competition has produced such luminary superstar chefs as Guy Fieri, the spiky-haired juggernaut that has joined the ranks of top Food Network stars such as Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay and Mario Batali in making the jump to national broadcast networks. Unfortunately, Next Food Network Star castoffs such as Adam Gertler proved they can’t cook, so they’re given a show where they just wander around and talk about food. It can be argued that Tom Pizzica can’t cook or even talk about food, so why he has a show at all remains a question mark. Any way you slice it, foodies love to immerse themselves in the food scene, so why not invite your email newsletter subscribers to participate in your own version of Next Food Network Star by contributing recipes, with the winner getting a free dinner for four when their recipe is featured as next week’s special? Engaging your patrons via active participation will help your customers build a connection with your venue and accept dining there as a desirable habit. Bring in a Temp Star Chef Many faithful viewers of Iron Chef America were shocked when they tuned into an episode where Alton Brown took over The Chairman’s tasks since Mark Dacascos was busy high stepping the night away on Dancing with the Stars. Your star head chef may have to be AWOL on some occasions, so instead of temporarily promoting a sous chef and hoping none of your diners notice, why not invite a well-known local chef to pinch hit? Your diners may be thrilled to read in your email newsletter that they can experience a different star chef’s take on your fabulous recipes! Try a Little Good Eats Science Alton Brown of course is justly famous for his Good Eats series where he takes light hearted forays into the chemical constitution of a roux or analyzes the precise technique required to keep calamari from turning into rubber bands. Your diners may appreciate a little science with their email newsletters, perhaps focusing on your chef’s applications of molecular gastronomy or explaining why some garlic containing recipes change color to blue or pink due to the release of an enzyme that forms the colored pigments. Counter Bad Publicity with Apology & Evidence Surviving bad publicity can be the most challenging obstacle any restaurant can overcome. When Ina Garten informed a sick child from the Make A Wish Foundation she didn’t have the time to cook with him and was roundly slammed by critics, she quickly changed her mind and extended the offer. Similarly, when Marc Forgione was called out by a food critic for loudly humiliating his kitchen staff in the middle of service right after becoming the newest Iron Chef, a little contrition went a long way. If your restaurant has gotten slammed due to customer service, food quality or cleanliness issues, the best process is to immediately make clear and well publicized changes promoted in your email newsletters. Sometimes the bad publicity can be nothing more than a rumor, such as the recent fake story doing the rounds that Paula Deen had committed suicide. If your restaurant is falsely accused of serving long-dead lobsters or having rat droppings in corners, the best thing you can do is to include photos of your thriving and active crustaceans waltzing around your tank and close up images of your impeccably clean kitchen areas in your email newsletters. Special event programs on the Food Network can outdraw the major broadcast networks in the ratings game. Any marketing method that achieves that sort of success is certainly worth emulating in your restaurant’s email campaigns!
Experienced restaurant email marketers are well aware of the four basic archetypes that email newsletter subscribers adhere to. Learning the characteristics of each and how to best handle them is a valuable lesson in maximizing your venue’s bottom line. The Influencer This is the customer that subscribed to your email marketing newsletter but has let eons pass between their click-throughs. It’s not that they don’t love your restaurant or think that your Lobster Risotto with Cascades Chanterelles doesn’t rock their world, but they’re so engaged in keeping up with their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the dozens of other networks where they receive hundreds of tweets, bleeps and squeals that they couldn’t confidently tell you what day it is. Conventional wisdom would state that if they don’t click through they’re deadbeats, but the opposite is actually the case. Send them just one email that rings their bell and watch them forward and post it to an audience that’s larger than that watching the local nightly news. It is not at all unusual to trace back an entire surge in your night’s covers to a single original email recipient. In order to facilitate these unpaid salespeople, ensure that your email newsletters can be posted on the major social networks with ease by providing a wealth of links to the social universe. The Elite Diner While The Influencer is the equivalent of hitting the occasional jackpot, the Elite Diner is your foundation patron. This customer loves your restaurant so much that they act as the antithesis of the Influencer: they want to keep the excellence of your venue as their own little secret. While the Elite Diner would sooner ask you to pulverize and sprinkle the cyanide-rich pits over your Apricot Chocolate Kugelhupf than to forward anything at all about your existence to a friend, they are the essence of repeat business that translates into steady, long term income. You might as well just delete the forwarding links on their emails for all the times they’ll use them, but that doesn’t mean that just a handful of Elite Diners can’t make the difference between profitability and bankruptcy for your restaurant. The Quiescent This group constitutes at least four out of every five email addresses on your subscription list, and in some cases more than nine out of ten. They love your restaurant and can’t find anything bad to say about it from the perfectly starched cotton/poly damask table cloths to the dryness of the Marsala in the Fruit Compote Zabaglione, but they just don’t see themselves as your promotional vehicles as you haven’t made it easy enough for them. The Quiescent require your assistance in becoming informed how best to work for you. Every single possible offer that will engage and motivate them is in fair play for the Quiescent, as they will be glad to pass along your deals, vouchers, drawings and other offerings, but you have to s-p-e-l-l it out for them. The Spam Clicker This customer is an Influencer in reverse. They subscribed with high expectations and then found your emails to be pedantic, uninspiring or outright offensive, and they didn’t even bother to click on the Unsubscribe link but just noted your email address to be considered as spam in order to block it from their inbox. Just like the Influencer can pass along your positive message to their entire social circle, the Spam Clicker will pass along a very negative message to dozens or even hundreds of your potential patrons, not even taking into consideration the hit your email reputation takes with every single spam classification. It may be hard to believe but this is your single most important customer and you should stop at nothing to get back into their good graces. If you have their home address, send them an offer for your head chef to prepare a gourmet meal at their residence absolutely free of charge. Give away the farm if you have to, but stanch the bleeding of negativity that will permeate throughout your customer base if ignored. May you have nothing but Influencers and Elite Diners on your banquettes!