7 Email Marketing Tips

Email marketing has been around long enough that I didn't think this kind of info would be necessary. Apparently it is.

If you want me to act upon your message, forward to friends, or at the very least READ your email, please follow these basic tips:

1. Pictures are fine. But if your message is embedded in an image I will not see it. I don't get email images on my mobile device and my Outlook prevents them as well. Use pictures/graphics to augment your message, not to be your message.

2. Send messages more often. Addresses change, people forget they signed up. Sending messages more often helps engage people and lessens the risk of unsubscribe.

3. Don't send messages too often. Really. You're not THAT important in someone's life. Send messages that are useful to your customers, don't keep sending just because you feel the need to talk all the time.

4. Make your messages timely. I got an email from a fast-casual place letting me know about FREE sandwich day. Great, that's useful info. But the message was 27 days before the date. If you want email to be an inexpensive communication channel, send me a reminder a couple of days ahead of time. This is a message I will forward.

5. It's not all about you. What have you done for the community? How have you contributed to your neighborhood? People get tired of hearing about "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!"

6. Give me an action item. What behavior do you want to effect? What reason have you given me to act on your message? Use dayparts and added value, not just discounts.

7. Email is just one channel of communication. Use it to reinforce your advertising, your in-store messaging, your local store efforts. It's part of a marketing mix, not a really large hammer that solves all problems.


CFA - Losing Money or Gaining Customers?

Chick-fil-A is giving away free spicy chicken sandwiches. The sandwiches aren't on the menu yet, but CFA is taking reservations.

Don't they know that will increase their food costs? They'll lose tons. TONS I say!

On its face, this seems like a contradiction to the NRN article of NPD's study on what's next, No More Free Lunches.

But a closer look shows that CFA is simply falling back on the tried and true tactic of product roll out: if the product is good, put it into people's mouths. Taking a reservation is a great addition to their arsenal. Now they can follow up.

But as Bonnie Riggs, NPD’s restaurant analyst, notes: “You want to get them into your restaurant and hopefully you can up-sell,” Riggs said. “But you have to have something to generate buzz to get them into you restaurants first.”

This isn't new for CFA. Their free food promotion to those wearing their favorite school's gear to kick off the college football season last year, or mailing out thousands of freebies to drive trial of milkshakes, both come to mind.

The trick is what they do with the customers after they've tried the product. That's the part most restauranteurs don't get about these kinds of specials.

Which is good for CFA and others who know what they're doing.