Using email marketing to promote brands, companies, products, special events and more has been accomplished successfully for years. It’s a great way to get your message out to your customers.
The downside to email is too many marketers have abused their relationship with those they send to and making email not as well received as it once was. Even with a tarnished reputation email is still a solid way to reach customers, it’s economical and when done correctly can be a great way to get your message out to your customers.
Let’s Cover Costs
Unlike free (non-paid) marketing efforts like Social media avenues of Facebook and Twitter, there is a monthly cost to doing email marketing. Why should I pay to do email marketing if the Social channels are free? It’s a good question, email provides opportunities that Social doesn’t.
Things You Should Know About Social Media
Even though Facebook and Twitter have many registered users, that doesn’t mean everyone is actually using their account, there are still many people who aren’t registered. According to Pew Research Center 68% of the US population have a Facebook account, and 22% of Americans have a Twitter account, but 90.9% use email. Only around 50% of Facebook users will log in on a typical day. So even though you have followers it doesn’t mean those followers are active.
We are hounded to Follow, Like, and Share wide variety of pages and accounts, from TV shows, to big brands, to anyone with a large advertising budget. The downside to some of these types of social channels is they don’t have that personal touch we discussed in earlier trainings.
A better idea to get these types of messages delivered in a timely fashion would be to have them show up in your customers email Inbox. One of the reasons we schedule daily posts for our social efforts is to make sure that we have something for our followers to see when they tune in.
Another thing to remember about email is it allows for a much more complete message, you can share your schedule, do a spotlight on a new menu item, give detailed info about a special event you will be at, provide coupons, promote some type of contest or anything your creative brain comes up with.
Segmenting Your List
Segmentation of your list is important and it should be done on the sign up form if possible.
When it is part of your option form it will allow your customers to let you know the most useful way you can provide them your information. For instance you might want to know what zip code they eat in the most or whether they found you at a special event or one of your normal locations.
Adding Your Opt-In Form To Your Website
Depending on what company you decide to use or are already using some of those companies include, Mail Chimp, Weber, Constant Contact…, will determine how you go about adding your opt-in form to your website. The process includes adding a bit of code created by your email service to your website. If you made a face at that last sentence I would get someone to help you. It’s not hard to do for people who do it all the time and I don’t want it to slow you down.
Also remember there is a rule that your subscribers must double opt-in. The double opt-in was made mandatory by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. What the CAN-SPAM Act mandated was to require that all new email subscribers to first enter their email address into an online form (and other info if you ask them to) and then submit their information to a website owner.
The subscriber would get an immediate email requiring the them to confirm that they indeed want to subscribe to the newsletter or be on your email list. They would have to click a confirmation link in order to be added to the list. This is the double opt-in.
People are very used to this because it is legally required by law. Don’t worry, this part
is completely automated by any reputable email service, so don’t think you have to constantly monitor this activity!
Coming Up With What You Want To Send Your Subscribers
There are 2 ways you can approach the content you send to your subscribers. You can create and send an email blast that goes to your entire list, this would include the examples we talked about earlier like letting people know this weeks schedule and locations, or if you have a new menu item for the week.
The second way you can send to your list is to use your email services autoresponder. This allows you to schedule a series of pre-written emails at pre-determined intervals. The messages in these pre-written emails should contain “evergreen” content meaning they should not mention anything that is relevant to a date or time of year.
These emails are automatically sent after a subscriber completes their confirmation email. If we go back to our fictitious example of Jimmy’s Taco Truck, the automated messages could look like this:
Day 1 – Welcome to Jimmy’s Taco Truck Newsletter & Updates
Day 2 – About Jimmy’s Taco Truck
Day 4 – Chef Jimmy has a degree in Taco-ology
Day 7 – How Jimmy’s Taco Truck Got It’s Start
Week 2 – How We Locally Source Our Ingredients
Week 3 – Meet the Jimmy’s Taco Truck Staff
Week 5 – Jimmy’s Taco Truck Can Cater Your Event
Week 7 – Jimmy’s Taco Truck is on Twitter
Week 9 – Order Your Jimmy’s Taco Truck Hat’s & T-Shirts
Month 3 – We Taco Love Our Customers!
Month 4 – Winner of Miami’s Best Food Truck
Month 5 – We’ll Make Your Special Event Tacolicious!
Month 6 – Look Stylish in our Jimmy’s Taco Truck T-Shirts
That’s six months of autoresponder emails, these emails don’t have to be long, just make sure they are fun, interesting and deliver your message. It’s a great way to add top of mind awareness.
Take a look at the scheduling of these emails the time between the in the beginning are shorter, and then the time increases to the point you are only send one per month. You do this because you don’t want to burn them out on your messages, and you will also be send out email blasts so it’s good to find a happy medium of how much you are sending them.
I included a couple of merchandise subject lines, if you have merchandise this is a great place to remind your subscribers about it.
To recap, the best thing about an autoresponder series is it’s automated, as long as everything in them stay relevant (you might need to adjust them over time) you could use these emails for years.
Scheduling Email Blasts
So we covered the automated emails, let’s cover one time email blasts (also called email Broadcasts) and the convenience of scheduling them to go out when you want them to drop.
Let’s say you know it’s important to send out your weekly schedule email before people arrive at work on Monday, you can create the email and schedule it to send out at 7:30am so it doesn’t get lost in all the email they received over the weekend and high enough in the inbox that it gets notices before work emails start pouring in.
This also gives people the ability to spread your message and forward your email to friends they want to eat lunch with. It also adds an in to companies who do not let their employees surf the web, which would rule them out of seeing any of your social posts.
Food Truck Email Marketing Wrap Up
So we’ve covered a lot, and hopefully you have gotten a lot of good ideas to promote your food truck via email marketing. One thing to keep in mind is this process takes time. It’s more of an accumulation process, and we will cover ways to encourage people to sign up for your email list.