In July 2010, Emma established a presence in the Big Apple. I opened our New York City office, and I lead up our business development efforts here. In 2011, I was joined by my colleague, Claire Burns, who helps our largest clients with some personalized email strategy. Claire and I are located in SoHo, which puts us in an excellent location for some of the (many) culinary delights that NYC has to offer.
Choosing a restaurant in NYC is both exciting and overwhelming. In Manhattan alone, which is only 23 square miles, there are over 4,000 Zagat-rated restaurants, and in all five boroughs, there are nearly 26,000 restaurants. As a patron, you almost have too many options.
I generally decide where I'm going to eat based on what's at the top of my mind on any given day, and guess what I think is the best way for a restaurant to stay top of mind? Why, by sending emails, of course.
What makes email marketing so successful for restaurants?
First, it allows you to trigger a customers's vicarious experience. They're looking at well-placed images of your food, hearing about your specials-of-the-week and picturing themselves sitting down to happy hour on your porch. (It's such a lovely porch, after all.)
Now, let's imagine someone's already been to your restaurant. A few times, even. In that case, your emails have the opportunity to strengthen your fan base. Use personal stories to let them know more about your brand and your beginnings. Profile particular waiters, waitresses or chefs, so visitors have a feeling of getting to know them.
In the end, you've created an experience that's more than just about the food. And that helps encourage repeat business – and word-of-mouth recommendations.
Three restaurants who do email well
I love signing up to receive emails from Emma customers in NYC, and some of my favorite restaurants have recently caught my eye.
Monument Lane, a favorite new restaurant in the West Village, does a great job of gathering email addresses with a card placed in the bill. (Folks are most likely to sign up for your emails right after they've had a great experience with you.)
Their email stationery mimicks the styling of their menu – that continuity of branding is a fabulous idea, as it triggers customers' memories of the place.
I'm also a big fan of Mario Batali. May I go ahead and call him a genius in the kitchen?
He's also got talented folks in his marketing department, and they share recipes, videos and more with their email audience.
Their new Monthly Molto! newsletter is a great example of how to make email content relevent, timely and replicable.
Finally, Danny Meyer uses Emma to keep folks up to date – and announce new locations – of one of my favorite burger joints, Shake Shack.
He's also using email to promote his newest restaurant, Maialino. Email is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to leverage your existing customer base when you've got a new announcement to make.
What can email do for your brand?
Of course, in these three examples, I'm talking about established restaurants, but the nice thing about email is that it's cost effective and equally easy to implement whether you're running a large brand or just getting started. Emma's tools are simple to use, so they work well for businesses with marketing and graphic design teams, as well as one-person shops.
We want to help you by ...
- Finding the design option that works. Whether you choose one of the templates from our template gallery or order a customized email design, your email will look like it's coming from your brand.
- Giving you creative control. Our drag & drop content editor allows you to flexibly build your email layout, any way you'd like. Add a text box here, an image box there, then drag and drop to reorder and rearrange your content.
- Working with you one-on-one. Have you chatted with our support team yet? They're real people, ready to answer the phone and solve your email marketing quanderies. (Unless those quanderies involve superstring theory. In which case, you're on your own.)
Know of other brands doing email marketing well? We'd love to hear of them. Comment here to keep the conversation going.
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