While most business owners are busy figuring out their best social media strategy, others are focusing their efforts on email marketing. A cost-effective method to engage already loyal customers, email marketing proves that the return on investment outweighs the time and effort it takes to engage customers.
“Email is the most important” thing, says Daniel Stedman, co-founder and president of The L Magazine. “Email is still a reliable way to get the message in front of people and build trust with an audience and readers.”
Helen Wood, director of marketing at Tavern Hospitality Group, which has nine locations and three bars and restaurants in the Denver area, says email marketing is about building brand awareness and strengthening guest loyalty. “We’re able to connect on a regular basis with people who’ve chosen to receive our emails,” she says. “It allows us to engage with them and let them know about specials and promotions that we have that might entice them to visit us again.”
In order to capitalize on your email efforts make sure to think about the following four steps.
To create a strong email marketing campaign, bar and nightclub owners need to gather email addresses from their clients. Wood says the Tavern staff asks guests to join their mailing list whenever the opportunity presents itself. “For instance, we created an online survey for guests to share their experience and feedback with us. On the survey, we ask them if they’d like to receive our emails. We do the same for various promotions, contest entries, etc.,” she explains.
Although Stedman says Facebook and Twitter are very important to any business; email marketing is still the best way to attract business, if done correctly. “Every email should have a purpose and a direct call to action,” he says. “I would have each and every email be about something unique and exciting happening at the restaurant—not just about the same special or same deal.” Stedman explains that not everyone will open an email and read it, but when they do, “you want to give them a call to action, ticket or RSVP” to an event.
Inundating inboxes with emails won’t do a bar or nightclub owner any justice. The influx of emails will make guests delete before they even open, but Stedman advises to “send emails as often or infrequent as required to make the message interesting and stand out.”
“I wouldn’t hit people over and over with the same type of messaging; it requires hard work and thinking, and figuring out something fun.” Also, using short, concise and to-the-point subject lines will entice more guests to open those emails, says Stedman.
Since there is very little cost to create and send emails, the “return on the investment for email marketing is excellent for us,” says Wood. The increased business has always outweighed the costs, she adds. “For the best ROI, it’s important to: know your demographic; design an attractive email that is relevant to that particular demographic; create a call to action that engages customers; and continuously update your mailing list,” she says.