Savings on menu of email campaign
By Denise Deveau for the Financial Post (Canada)
Ask Michael Sangregorio how his restaurant ended up on all the top 10 listings that matter and he’ll tell you getting the word out has been easy. In fact, it costs him only $20 a month.
The owner of Local Kitchen & Wine Bar in Toronto says getting on board with a subscription-based email marketing service to manage his mailing lists, distribute his newsletters and crunch some numbers has proven to be a very smart investment. “We didn’t do much besides sending an email newsletter and opening the door. It’s been hard for customers to get a seat ever since.”
He started his email campaign a few months before the restaurant’s launch just to generate interest. “Every day, people were coming by to ask about us, so we told them to sign up for the newsletter. We got 1,000 subscribers.”
Setting up an account was a simple matter of signing up online, and picking a template and graphics. Now, he just logs in and drops in content into his template and his newsletter is good to go. The program by Upaknee Inc. sends a test message back to make sure everything looks the way it should, and then a single click sends it to his chosen mailing list.
“It’s all done through one tool that’s super-easy,” Mr. Sangregorio says.
Built-in analytics also allow him to track how many people opened his emails, how many times they clicked on a link, and the number of emails they forward to others, among other things. Given the size of his mailing list, and the fact it’s a local business, he says he is not that concerned about target marketing at this point.
But Gregory Lam, director of online strategy for East Coast Connected in Toronto, a not-for-profit social networking site for Atlantic Canadians living in Ontario, is a heavy user of the segmenting features that his email service has to offer.
“We can slice and dice our database so we can point the right communications to the right people,” he explains.
“You just have to put in the parameters you want — such as postal code or age group –to create a segment.”
While a number of email marketing services exist for small business owners, it’s the quality of the analytics and segmentation features that are taking email campaigns to the next level, says Stuart Dow, managing director for Upaknee Inc. in Toronto.
“The right email marketing tools can help you get your news to the proper inboxes without ending up in junk folders, collect subscriber information securely, and send targeted messages based on the segments you choose.”
Email marketing also delivers the best ROI of any type of communications campaign, he adds. “Cost per email is below 1¢, and you can send out hundreds. Typically a campaign can get you a 5% to 10% conversion. Even if it’s only 1%, the ROI is quite high. The Direct Marketing Association says that every dollar spent on email returns $43.
“This is one tool where a little investment can go a very long way.”
EMAIL CAMPAIGN TIPS
- Personalize your messaging to target audiences when you can.
- Provide links in your emails to increase user click action.
- Encourage “forward to a friend” activities (e. g. offer a product discount) so your message can go viral.
- Test your messages on different readers to make sure they work on all platforms.
- Write headlines that get noticed — use the “what’s in it for me” principle.
Click here to view the full article “Savings on Menu of Email Campaign” in Ontario’s Financial Post online
(Image: Owner Sangregoria, right, and chef/owner Fabio Bondi, left. Courtesy of Peter J. Thompson, National Post Files)