Filed under: Email Marketing, Running a better business | Tags: email list building, email lists, restaurant email marketing
When customers provide their names and contact information to your business, they do so with certain expectations. While some of these expectations are simply classified as social etiquette, others fall more cleanly under federal laws such as the CAN-SPAM act. As a client-centric business, you would be wise to meet both your customers’ social standards and the legal requirements associated with customer sign-ups.
There are certain key elements to your customer signup marketing policy:
Collect only what you need. Remember that it is safer for your business if you collect the least personal information necessary. This is especially true when dealing with children. The Federal Trade Commission’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act sets guidelines for companies marketing products or services to children under thirteen. As a result, your site registration may require parental consent or may be prohibited from collecting information if the user is below thirteen years old.
Don’t abuse your users. You treat your clients with utmost respect, why not treat your online audience the same? Don’t hassle them by asking for all their information upfront: layer registration requirements to collect more information as they go deeper into your website. While the FTC regulates email marketing, it doesn’t ban unsolicited emails. Meet the requirements of disclosure and unsubscribe, but remember not to harass your users via email.
Take no for an answer. Legally, you must! To comply with federal regulations, you must maintain a suppression list, tracking every request to no longer receive emails or texts. If you outsource your email or textmarketing, make sure your vendor knows not to violate a user’s unsubscribe request.
Text Safely. Text marketing must include a ‘standard text rates’ apply disclosure as well as opt-in and unsubscribe tools. The legal intricacies of text marketing are constantly evolving.
Consistency counts. Keep your emails, websites, and coupons consistent, especially expiration dates and other stipulations.
Full disclosure. With social media growing bigger every day, it’s only natural to want to tap into that market by encouraging brand ambassadors to promote your product on their site. Remember that laws require disclosure if your business pays anyone to endorse or discuss the product on a blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
While you do not necessarily need to obtain legal counsel before developing your marketing plan, it may be a good idea to further research best practices and any laws which affect how you capture email signups.
Filed under: Email Marketing, Restaurants, Running a better business | Tags: customer service surveys, email list building, Email Marketing, mobile surveys
What’s more valuable than being able to reach your customers at any hour of the day? Sharing the right information in the most effective manner. Your business has ample opportunity to contact customers thanks to the prevalence of email marketing, but misuse of this tool can be fatal for your customers’ interest in your product.
Before you send out your next marketing email, be sure to read these tips on optimizing your email marketing to boost your business’ sales.
Give your clients what they want. While you might think new restaurant flatware or a recently replaced carpet is interesting stuff, your customers want to know about what’s in it for them. Customers want to hear about events, discounts, promotions and specials.
Be personal and relevant. When you collect email addresses, ask for other information as well. You will delight your customers with birthday greetings and rewards. The email promotions you send should be available at the locations most convenient to the client. Don’t pester your customers with promotions they likely won’t be able to use! Similarly, keep your promotions timely. Send seasonal specials as the season kicks off, when your customers have the time of year in mind.
Make an impression. Email boxes fill up quickly with company promotions. Make your email marketing stand out! Use a stimulating headline to ensure your message doesn’t go straight to the recycle bin. Highlight the purpose of the email, be it a sale, a promotion, or a new product, right in the headline. Of course, getting a customer to open the email isn’t the end of the battle. A well-written paragraph or two may adequately share your message, but only if the client bothers to read it. Consider adding design elements like photography and art to share your message efficiently and effectively. Of course, keep it short! Customers care about what’s in it for them.
Don’t be a pest. No one wants to hear from you daily. The more emails you send, the more your customers will find themselves deleting your messages as ‘spam.’ Determine what works best for your business, but set a regular interval. Maybe you have a weekly special that is worthy of highlighting; in that case, a weekly email may be perfect. Setting a seasonal menu? Bi-monthly emails will let your customers know what to expect as the menu changes. Try to be consistent with your frequency so customers know when to expect to hear from you. There aren’t any consistent published guidelines regarding email frequency, however one good rule of thumb is to base it on how frequently your customer makes a buying decision in your type of industry. It is important to keep an eye on your unsubscribe list. If your rate of unsubscribes goes up, you may be emailing too frequently.
Diversify and integrate. Email is effective, but many clients are proficient in and active on social media channels. Encourage customers to sign up for your Facebook page or to be a Twitter follower. This allows customers to become more connected to your brand and your business. Speak mobile fluently. With mobile device and smartphone use growing by the day, it becomes more necessary that your emails translate fully to mobile screens. This includes your text, images, and links.
Let them forward. Never forget to include an ‘share’ link in every email. This allows your customers to share their love of your product with friends. Word of mouth in the digital age extends to email forwarding!
Segmented Lists segmenting addresses based on interests or demographics can help your emails be more relevant, especially when promoting events or specials.