Small Business email marketing
Read how email can transform your business at minimal cost.
Running a small business like a Restaurant, Home services company or ecommerce business is not easy. One big constraint is limited resources to deploy on advertising or customer acquisition.
Money doesn't go far on Facebook ads or print media such as local newspapers. This is why investing in your own media is so profitable in comparison. It's not Rocket science to run low-cost digital marketing campaigns, but it is a science.
A Tale Of Two
Here I have Illustrated a situation using two fictional businesses.
""Fat Francos and Luigi's Restaurants"".
Restaurant number one, we'll call Fat Franco's (Sorry Franco)
Franco was a brilliant chef and restaurateur. He loved his business and was dedicated to customer satisfaction. After he opened, word spread far and wide about his delicious home cooked style of Italian cuisine, made from family recipes handed down through generations of family restaurateurs.
After the initial fanfare of his restaurant died down a bit, Franco realised that he had to do something to keep the momentum of interest in his business going. Franco decided to advertise in the Yellow pages online and off. Plus advertorial spreads in the local media including newspapers, free sheets, and small magazines.
Franco was happy with the results but not the cost. He eventually realised that his profitability had plummeted and was only getting busy on 2 nights a week.
When the pandemic came, he was already in trouble.
Worse, at around the same time, a rude aggressive customer left a bad review for no reason at all.
Franco had some good reviews appearing online, but not enough to 'Bury' the bad review.
The future was bleak for Franco.
Restaurant number two, we'll call Luigi's Bistro.
Luigi was similarly a talented Italian chef (Yes, they're great at cooking as well as football! 🤔
He opened his restaurant with a similar rush of interest and full bookings.
Only, every time a customer paid the bill, he gave the table some free shots as a thank you.
He then asked for two things (This technique uses the law of reprocicity. (if you give someone something or help them with something, they wish to reciprocate the kindness.)
A/ Assuming they enjoyed their meal, he asked them for their email address so that they could be entered into the restaurant's monthly draw for a free dinner there, with a bottle of wine. (other prizes could obviously be offered).
B/ He asked the diners if they could possibly give the restaurant a short review explaining how they felt about their dining experience.
The review request is then sent to the diner(s) via email, although I've known some restaurants use a tablet or iPad to let people post a review before they've left the restaurant. 😀
The reviews are then uploaded to the customer's website automatically when they come in.
This action ensures that people searching online for restaurants in the area are presented with a lot of glowing reviews which result in bookings.
Luigi also had a similar bad experience with a rude aggressive customer, probably trying to scam a free meal.
He also left a bad review, but because Luigi had so many glowing reviews, it stood no chance of damaging his excellent reputation.
He's still at the top of the tree for reviews locally.
Luigi is now so busy that he asks Cleversocial.io to help out with some of the marketing (Come on, I had to seize the opportunity to put that in! 😁😁)
So, at the beginning of the month, we send an email newsletter to all people on Luigi's existing list, plus all the diners that signed up that month.
However, we also invite everyone to take part in the competition I mentioned earlier.
We then incentivise those customers to share the competition with other local people who may or may not have visited Luigi's before.
They also get the newsletter which gives details of events, specials promotions, and promo drinks for quiet mid week dining.
This act means that Luigi gets clients and new clients dining on quiet nights.
Furthermore, the list is growing and growing month after month.
These techniques are far from expensive but so easy to use. For your restaurant or any business really.
Does it make sense to consider how YOU could implement something similar?