While you already know it’s the loyal customer that deserves special attention, getting the contact info from your customers can be a difficult first step to creating that deep relationship. Research does demonstrates that 72% of consumers show a strong preference for email communication from companies they do business with, but only 61% say they like to receive promotional emails weekly with only 28% saying they like even more frequent communication (MarketingSherpa). Finding that crucial balance starts with building a strong list of customers excited to hear from you. Let’s look at 5 ways to build your email list!
Social media is a great starting place for connecting with customers. Free platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow you to get a read on customer preferences while providing customers with real-time information on your brand. This is why Smart Pickle allows users to post straight to Facebook and Twitter with ease. You can drag and drop using one of our pre-made templates or dynamically tailor a promotion to gel with the platform of your choice.
Consider adding a popup to your homepage that invites new users to join an email list.
Social media is also an excellent tool for building a customer email list. Social platforms like Facebook allow you to host online contests, such as free giveaways, where entrants can sign up using their email addresses. Similarly, Twitter polls are a great way to assess customer preferences. Just create a poll on your account and allow customers to participate by entering their emails. If you are just getting started on social media, check out our blog about Using Social Media to Your Advantage.
Grow your email list by keeping signup sheets visible in your restaurant. Keep an email signup by the register and invite customers to join to hear about upcoming promotions. Have your servers check in with customers about their interest in receiving a newsletter or being notified of business news such as new menu items or location openings. Remember, many customers appreciate email notifications and may jump at the chance for a regular update. Smart Pickle provides a printable email signup sheet for you, check your dashboard under Settings > Subscriptions.
Adding a form to your website may also increase customer reach. Consider adding a popup to your homepage that invites new users to join an email list. Take things a step further by encouraging customers to create a site account using their email address as a username. At a minimum, create a “Subscribe” tab on your site to avoid making customers stumble around searching for subscription options. And remember–always incentivize subscription. Offer 10% coupons or free items to customers that opt in to receive emails.
Get customers excited about joining an email list by hosting an in-person event at your restaurant. Get creative with special group meetups, conferences, educational panels, or classes. Invite a local band to play at your restaurant or host a wine tasting. During the event, pass around a signup sheet to collect email addresses from attendants or a large bowl to collect business cards. You can also incentivize the signup or business card transaction by offering a prize to a lucky raffle winner!
Finally, create a long-term content creation strategy. The only way to maintain and grow an email following is to keep content relevant to your customers. Spend some time creating a roadmap of the content you’d like to deliver to customers. If you have a vision of where you’re going, customers will want to be along for the ride.
If you have any questions about how to create a content strategy or would like more helpful tips on how to build an email list, check out our blog Writing Emails That Work, or talk to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!