5 Clever Ways to Build Your Email Marketing List

By ChowNowJun 20th, 2016

How to make an email list

How often do you click on marketing emails? While your initial reaction may be to respond with a resounding “NEVER,” according to a 2014 survey performed by Econsultancy, email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing channel. While social media and experiential methods have gained steam in recent years, email marketing still proves to be an effective way to generate revenue. Here are some clever and easy ways for how to build and grow yours.

1. Incentivized Sharing Options

Sharing is caring, especially if there’s a reward attached – at least that’s how many consumers view sharing a company’s content. In a world where free trials, money-back guarantees and incentives reign supreme, it’s more likely that your existing customers will spread your good news via email sharing if you give them the option. This is an efficient way for one customer to turn into several (especially if your incentive increases per share). This also applies for incentivized social media sharing – you’d be surprised at how many people are willing to feature you on their coveted wall space in exchange for a great deal. Incentives such as coupons for add-on items, restaurant merchandise or even a free dessert are simple yet effective types of incentives.

2. Make it Easy to Subscribe

Performing effective email marketing is vital for a business, especially for restaurants. Check out these tips on how to build & grow your email customer base. This may come as the most obvious item on this list but you’d be surprised at how many restaurants don’t see the value of offering a great digital user experience. If a customer is already on your website, don’t miss out on the chance to obtain their information. Make your email subscribe function easy to see, above the fold and as hassle-free as possible. Skip the lengthy questions, multiple buttons and “sales-ey” pitches. A simple, “Want to receive awesome discounts & deals straight to your inbox? Enter your email and they’ll be on their way!” is plenty. Because who doesn’t want an inbox full of awesome deals for delicious food?

3. Feed Them Great Content

According to HubSpot, an important part of building your email marketing list is to preserve your existing subscribers. Just as easily as a customer opted-in to receive your content, they will have no problem opting-out – if you give them a reason to. Many companies mistakenly view email marketing as more of a virtual billboard than a relationship. If all of your emails only broadcast the newest menu item or how Sundays are $1 off all craft beers, it will likely turn your customer off. Instead, strive to build a relationship with your customers by being a useful resource that offers blogs, tips and other buzz-worthy materials such as video, infographics and interactive content.

4. Sampling at Foodie Events

Performing effective email marketing is vital for a business, especially if you’re in the restaurant industry. Check out these tips on how to build & grow your current email customer base. It’s safe to say that trying new food is an American pastime and the hundreds of food-related festivals all over the country can attest to that. What does this have to do with growing your email list? It gives you facetime with the most valuable asset of all – potential customers. Not only are you able to introduce potential customers to your prized menu-items through sampling, it’s a great offline strategy for obtaining emails. Trust us, no one is more willing to give you their information than someone that just took a bite of some tasty food.

5. Make Them Feel Like a V.I.P.

While not a restaurant or food-related business, Sephora executes this strategy extremely well. The key lies in Sephora’s ability to expertly position their email marketing list as an exclusive club rather than simply a way to increase revenue. Sephora’s Beauty Insiders receive amazing deals, an awesome birthday gift and points every time they make a purchase – all in exchange for their email address. Most of their customers have no problem with this for obvious reasons. Restaurants can easily utilize this same strategy by creating an “exclusive” community of customers that get weekly deals, discounts and free-add ons. Everyone loves to feel like they belong to something. Making your customers feel valued and exclusive is a sure-fire way to organically build your email marketing list without using spammy tactics.
There’s no doubt about it – email marketing is vital to your restaurant’s business. As mentioned before, building and growing your email customer base should be more about fostering a mutually beneficial relationship, as least initially. Once you’ve established rapport and credibility, your email marketing list can lead to lots of revenue, new customers and loyal foodies.

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