I was reading the other day that more people use email than Facebook and Twitter combined! That’s a lot of people! It’s just one reason to use email marketing for food businesses that want to build their tribe. It outperforms all online marketing channels. So if you’re not using email marketing, think again!

Like social media, there’s a lot of noise and competition for attention. So how can you cut through all the hundreds of emails people get and make sure yours is one of the 21% that people open and, more importantly, read and then act upon?

How to get people to open your emails

Firstly, getting people to open your email is key. If they don’t open the email, they can’t read it, click or buy. You need to ensure you have a subject line that grabs people’s attention and interest. You’ll learn this over time as you get to know your consumers, but a good way is split testing the subject lines – so sending title A to half your list and title B to the other half and see which gets most opens.

Creating emails people want to read – and share

The ultimate aim of your emails is that they are extremely interesting and beneficial to the reader. Not only are they read from start to finish and eagerly anticipated every week/month, but people feel compelled to share with their friends/colleagues. So how do we achieve this?

Effective email marketing for food businesses

  • Personalise the emails – address them by their first name and sign off with a handwritten signature
  • Make the layout easy on the eye – people’s attention span isn’t that long, and a big body of text can be off-putting – have subheadings, pictures, short sections.
  • Make sure the content is relevant to your readers – I suggest a mix of 1/3 education, 1/3 fun and 1/3 useful. Think recipe suggestions, book of the month, food pairing ideas, tips on how to stay healthy in the winter (if your product is health focused), gift wrapping ideas (if your product is primarily a food gift). It doesn’t necessarily always have to be talking about your product. The more you know your consumers and their interests, the more you can offer them interesting content that suits them.
  • Have plenty of links in your emails – to your website, social media, resources and other interesting, related articles so that your readers can find out more.
  • Make sure you have a link to your shop – so people that are ready to buy from you
  • Share the love – make sure you prompt them at the end and make it easy for them to forward the email to a friend

How will email marketing grow your food business?

Don’t forget this is a list of people who’ve expressed interest in your product and/or brand. If you’re consistently in touch with them, and are providing them with relevant, exciting information, they’ll get to know you. Help them get to know your products, trust your brand and, ultimately, buy from you.

Everyone will be ready to buy from you at different times, so using segmentation in your email marketing will be really useful so you can target other prospects/buyers with different messages at moments that are relevant to them e.g. sending people who have bought a product from you numerous times a little thank you message and a discount off a new product is a great way to keep your customers happy and loyal to your brand.  Don’t forget email marketing isn’t just about converting people on your list to buy once – it’s a really powerful way to keep your list loyal to your brand and products too.

If you have any questions about optimising email marketing for your food business, please don’t hesitate to arrange a discovery call.