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3 Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

By David Litchman

One of the biggest wins from customers using your online ordering channel or signing up for your e-newsletter is the acquisition of your customer's email address! As your list grows, not only do you increase the value of your business but more importantly you now have the ability to market back to your best customers easily!

There are right ways and wrongs ways to send out an email blast. While I am no expert, below are some basic things that I have learned.

Mistake 1: An email campaign is sent using outlook express or a conventional email account often without using the Bcc function. These accounts are not designed well for large email campaigns and more often than not these emails will go directly into a clients spam account. Additionally, if not sent properly your customers email addresses are exposed for others to see!

Solution: Email marketing providers offer monthly services for as low as $15 month. Companies like Constant Contact allow you a free trial basis and will manage your email list properly for you. They are very user friendly and have 100's of templates to choose from. Your email will look professional and your email list will be managed for you properly. Those customers not interested in receiving emails can opt out and you will be in full compliance.

Mistake 2: Restaurateurs send out a promotion via email and then don't give the recipient the ability to redeem the promotion online. We all recognize the value of having customers order online, so if you send them an email with a coupon attached make sure there is a redemption code for them to use.

Solution: Make sure there is a corresponding coupon code on all your campaigns. The iMenu360 platform allows you to easily create coupon codes and allows customers to enter them at the ordering platform. Many of your customers want to order online and creating a coupon code that they can enter online is a must. It also allows you to see how many of your customers used the coupon.

Mistake 3: Email campaigns aren't being open by your customers. This happens because emails are being sent out too often or possibly the subject line is not powerful enough to entice an opening.

Solution: Limit the frequency of the amount of campaigns you send out. Your customers will value your message if it doesn't come all the time. More than 2 times a month is too much. Also, make sure the message you use in your subject line will increase the chance it will be open. Try to be creative and try to think of something that would make you want to open that email.

Sending out emails to your customers is a great way to stay in front of them. Properly managed you can drive sales higher and do so very inexpensively. The big win of online ordering is the acquisition of your customers email address. Make sure the provider you use allows for easy access to this data. Most importantly make sure you are the only one that gets to market to your customers!

David Litchman is owner of Pocket's - which has 10+ locations in the Chicago area. David is also the owner of iMenu360, an online ordering website system for restaurants.

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