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Engage Your Customers with Interactive Emails.

May 25, 2011

More times than not, a restaurant social media specialist—if they have one—may find themselves in a content desert lacking material to share with their customers. “What should I say?” they may ask. The answer is, “ANYTHING!” Anything unoffensive, that is. Your restaurant is made up of so many little details that your customers find interesting and unique. Find out what they are and talk about them. It doesn’t matter if it’s on Twitter, Facebook, or good ol’ emails. Take this Raising Cane’s email for instance. They know that their customers love their lemonade and their sweet tea. Honestly, it’s some of the best of both. I love their lemonade so much that I wrote a brief article about it and created a poll for the best lemonade and that they won. I’ll tell you why a little later. Here’s the link. http://eatinfood.com/2011/04/06/dadgum-good-lemonade/

Back to engaging your customers… Since Raising Cane’s knows how much their customers love these two beverages, they decided to create an interactive competition/poll just for the fun of it. Once the image is clicked, the customer is sent to a special page where they can vote for the drink of their choice. Raising Cane’s customers are very loyal and find emails like this to be fun and a break from their average emails. This is a great example of why knowing your customers is so important. It makes marketing a non-strenuous activity.

Also, notice the “SHARE THIS” social media links at the bottom. That is golden if you want to get a more bang for your buck and if you want to get more followers. It’s also no. 5 on the Email Marketing Best Practices list below.

So this is why Raising Cane’s won the poll… When I first created the poll, I sent a link out on twitter and copied the all of the restaurants who were competing. Chick-fil-A was actually mentioned twice in my tweet—once for corporate and once for DFW locations. While a few people who read the tweet participated in the poll, Raising Cane’s retweeted it. It makes one customer happy—me—while engaging other customers. Can you say, “Smart Move!”

Email Marketing Best Practices

No. 1: Ensure Your Emails are Requested

a. Request that your customers opt-in before sending emails. A double opt-in might soon become the standard.
b. Avoid over communicating to make sure they don’t opt-out.
c. Enable easy opt-out just in case they choose to.

No. 2: Ensure Your Emails are Relevant and Personalized

No. 3: Ensure Your Emails are Timely

No. 4: Ensure Your Emails are Valuable

No. 5: Ensure Your Emails are Engaging

a. Encourage your recipients to pass the email along to their friends—hopefully to the right target audience.
b. Consider rich media in support of the call-to-action.
c. Do not include attachments.

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