By Brad Pierce, President Restaurant Equipment World
Despite the advent of Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, e-mail marketing still delivers a very solid ROI and isn’t going to fall by the wayside anytime soon. While social media provides phenomenal marketing opportunities, the volume of content makes it easy for your message to get lost in the clutter. This is where e-mail marketing shines – it’s delivered directly to customers’ desktops or mobile devices and claims their attention long enough for equipment suppliers to entice them to absorb your message.
The first step to ensuring a good response to your e-mail marketing is to make sure operators actually get your message and it’s not filtered as spam. This is where a solid e-mail marketing company comes into play. Don’t skimp in this area; choose a provider who has trusted relationships with ISPs ensuring their e-mail communications are white-listed.
So, you’ve gotten your message past the spam filter, but now what? You literally only have a fraction of a second to engage or lose your recipients. This is where good copyrighting of your subject line comes into play. You need to entice your customer to click on your e-mail to view it, rather than having them click the delete button. A message’s subject needs to be interesting, concise and, most of all, relevant to recipients’ needs. The biggest mistake marketers make in this area is delivering a great subject line that generates interest, only to have the content of their messages differ greatly from what customers thought it would be about. Quite simply, don’t do it. It’s not worthwhile to burn away trust with your customers, many of whom will likely unsubscribe.
Now that you’ve gained your customers attention, your focus can shift to the actual content of your message. Just like with the subject line, you need to once again engage your customers quickly. They’re likely going to only give your message a quick glace before deciding whether to read the full content or go on to the next message. This should be done by presenting an easy-to-read headline that grabs customers’ attention. In the case of restaurant promotions, pictures with big bold text announcing your promotion are the best way to get people to read further. In the case of e-newsletters, the best examples I’ve seen have a concise listing of the topics covered in each issue so that readers can quickly decide if a particular newsletter is of interest to them.
The bottom line is that e-mail marketing can be very effective and can have a very solid ROI. Just remember, the key is always clear communication, engagement, honesty and being attentive to the fact you’ve only got a fraction of a second to grab your customers’ attention during each step of the process.