Subscribers and newsletters might seem like they don't have anything to do with hospitality, but it's really just another form of online content that can help draw in new guests and return customers alike. There are so many upsides to communicating openly - and newsletters are another way to help you do that!
In today's blog post, guest contributor Gigi Baker has some great tips for creating a successful, engaging newsletter to help you communicate with your customers.
Email marketing isn't a thing of the past – far from it. Due to the current upheaval across the world, there's been a surge in email marketing, with brands communicating to their customers how they are responding to the pandemic in an attempt to inspire confidence and trust in their consumer base.
Marketers are taught from the get-go to always be in tune with consumer trends. Traditional marketing courses instill lifelong skills like adaptability and flexibility. But today's marketing degrees take that one step further, as graduates are equipped with the skill of combining traditional techniques with forward-thinking, digital strategies.
This combination is best seen with the comeback of good 'ol newsletters. These marketing tools have the ability to rebuild direct connections with people – and the best part is, you don't have to fight an algorithm to reach your audience.
Reel them in with discounts and special offers
More often than not, email subscribers expect exclusive discounts when brands send a newsletter to their inbox. This is a tested and proven method for restaurant owners who have been doing this for decades, at least in terms of generating sales.
Customers love coupons, so make sure to include at least one coupon or discount code in each of your newsletters. Having a unique code not only entices customers to buy from you, but it's also an effective method in tracking conversion rates. You'll be able to see how many people opened your newsletter and ordered from your restaurant to use the coupon.
If you notice that your customers are regularly using the discount code, then you'll know that your email marketing strategy is working.
Provide engaging content
Just because we're in the middle of a pandemic doesn't mean that your newsletter has to sound serious all the time. In fact, every bit of levity helps. If possible, try to incorporate entertaining and valuable content, so your audience will continue engaging with your subsequent emails.
All your efforts will be rendered futile if only a small number of your subscribers make an effort to open your emails. It would help if you experimented with catchy copy, dynamic visuals, relatable videos, and so much more.
Great email marketing can help get customers in the door - but their experience in your venue will determine whether they come back. The best way to give the best service possible is to ensure you have a team full of highly skilled, passionate people.
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Plan a deliberate content strategy
It's simply not enough that you send emails just because you feel like it. For your email marketing campaign to be effective, you need to have an elaborate plan and publish your newsletters based on what you've mapped out.
Before diving in, define the purpose of your newsletter. Figure out whether you want it to be informational or entertaining – or even both. It's also good practice to take into account your target audience and identify what motivates them. Through this approach, you'll be able to craft content that they will find valuable.
Making your business come across as an expert in the field can instill trust in customers, but avoid using complicated terms that they most likely won't understand. Even if your target audience comes from the same industry, you should still veer away from using confusing terminology.
Write your stories in a way that will be easily digested and understood by your readers. Likewise, it would help if you didn't use big words when smaller ones would work just as well. It may appear informal at times, but you are more likely to get a response when you talk to your customer and not at them.
Whatever strategies you use, never forget to add your personal touch. While it's always recommended to incorporate the best practices into your marketing campaign strategy to generate more leads, you also have to keep in mind that every business is different, and customers want to know what you, specifically and uniquely, can offer them.
You can follow all the techniques in the book, but ultimately, the thing that will separate your newsletter from everyone else in your industry is a unique touch only you can offer. Growing an email list is one thing, but infusing something special can take it from average to remarkable.
Gigi Baker is a marketing consultant who is passionate about bringing the best out of small businesses. When she's not busy on the phone, you'll find her unwinding with a cup of tea in her backyard.
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