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Spice Up Your Email Marketing Plan

By: CHEF Sonia, Success Manager, The Chef Alliance & Chef Insurance

Ask any marketing professional, and they will resoundingly agree that a sound email marketing campaign is THE most effective tool in your advertising arsenal.

But how, as a small business, do you go about doing this without breaking the bank? The key is to make your emails valuable to the reader and avoid 'email fatigue.'  It's important to remember to balance the number of emails being sent to your contact list.  

1. Value-Added Emails

This category of emails contain interesting, educational and/or valuable content related to your business. 

For example, a Lebanese prepared meal business, selling traditional Lebanese meals directly to consumers, may send out:

  • nutritional and health-related information about some key spices and ingredients typically used in Lebanese cuisine 
  • the history of Lebanese dishes that are on the menu
  • cultural information to engage the customer

2. Promotional Emails

This category of emails encourages subscribers to make a purchase by providing a deal, discount or promotional offer.

For example:

  • a Personal Chef service may offer new clients a 25% discount of their first weekly service
  • a Pastry Chef & Culinary Instructor may offer a BOGO deal - book 1 cake-decorating lesson and get the 2nd 50% off
  • a Caterer may reach out to past clients offering them a discounted add-on service to their next event

3. Announcements

This category of emails allows your contact list to learn about new menu items that you have introduced, new services and other changes to your business.

For example:

  • a boxed meal kit business may have grown so much that they can no longer personally deliver the meal kits to clients, and are now offering to deliver via Uber Eats
  • an East Indian sweets and savouries business may have introduced a new selection of products to their current line, in time for Diwali celebrations
  • a protein shake business may wish to announce a new line of vegan protein shakes, ready to be picked up from the commercial kitchen they use to prepare their products
  • a Personal Chef may announce a cross-marketing partnership with local personal trainers, offering special packages of healthy nutritious meals for clients trying to keep fit or lose weight.

4. Transactional Emails

These emails include password resets, purchase receipts, account confirmations, shipping confirmations, etc. Since they are 8 times more likely to be opened over regular emails, according to Experian, these emails are a great way to increase sales. 

For example:

  • a prepared meal business sending an order confirmation may include information about similar meal suggestions to try next time
  • a Personal Chef sending a booking confirmation for a weekly meal service may include information about other services offered, such private dinner parties
  • an artisan baker, selling cakes and pastries direct to consumers, may include a discount coupon for the next order, if used within 30 days

Using an Email Service

Using a service like Constant Contact makes the task of email marketing simple and time-efficient - a perfect combination for every small business.  Their superior service allows you to take control of your email marketing without breaking the bank.  Some key features that Constant Contact offers include:

  • You can create eye-catching emails using Constant Contact's extensive catalogue of templates for every occasion and business type, e.g Thanksgiving, New Year, Valentines Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and many, many more. 
  • The simple drag-and-drop format means that you don't need any experience to create professional emails with Constant Contact.
  • Even within Constant Contact's templates, the design and colours can be changed to suit your business and the message that you are trying to convey.
  • Need pictures to enhance the look of your emails?  No problem!  Constant Contact even have an extensive library of images that can be added to your email with thousands to choose from.
  • Your contact list can be added to with Constant Contact's sign-up forms on your website; it also allows tour messaging to be integrated with your social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Constant Contact allows your contacts to be divided based on their interests, order history, location etc - whatever way makes sense to you and your business.  And there are ways to sub-divide and tag within the broad categories, making targeted email marketing even easier.  For example, you may decide to first categorize clients into prospective and existing clients; then, they can be further divided by location (so that location-based emails can be sent out, e.g. to try to encourage clients from the same neighbourhood to request deliveries on the same day), interests (so that contacts with similar interests can be emailed the same offers e.g. vegetarian clients can learn about new vegetarian menu options), order frequency (e.g. clients who order weekly may need to receive more frequent emails than those who only order a few times a year)... and so on. It's your contact list and you can customize it to suit your needs.
  • Constant Contact also keeps copies of all of the marketing emails that you have sent out without having to pay for extra cloud storage, so that you can refer back to them, reuse some of the content, or recycle them for new subscribers.
  • The better you understand your clients and how you can better address their needs, the higher your sales will be.  Constant Contact also provide great insights to help you understand your clients and how you can better address their needs.  For example, who opened the emails and how often they opened them, who unsubscribed, which links were clicked and who clicked them.  
  • Unsure of what to do or how to best utilise Constant Contact's platform?  Their team is dedicated to making your time using the service as productive as possible.  They are dedicated to working with you to get the most out of the service.