Master the art of e-mail marketing

Stand out from the crowd and reap the benefits
You don’t need a degree in marketing to do it like a pro. Using e-mail marketing to let former and potential guests know all about your latest deals and offers is a fantastic way to attract customers and build your reputation – but how should you begin to go about it? Nobody likes to open their mailbox to discover endless amounts of promotional e-mails, but done right it can lead to increased bookings, better reviews and leads for repeat business.

With these 4 steps you’ll be a marketing pro in no time:

Build your audience
Have a ‘subscribe to our newsletter’ option that features prominently on your website. You can do this in a few ways:

  1. A simple subscribe to our newsletter box which asks for their email address; or
  2. Have a page listing all the great benefits and special offers they’ll be eligible if they sign up e.g. you might include exclusive offers in each newsletter, information about your latest menu changes or even key activities around your area that will give them a real incentive them to stay.
  3. You can also encourage people to sign up to your newsletter on your social media pages – either share a link to the page directing visitors to your site or create a Call To Action button in the header of your page.
  4. Certain email newsletter tools such as MailChimp also allow you to integrate sign-up forms straight in to your Facebook Page.

Encourage guests to come back
Getting into the habit of asking all your guests for feedback whilst checking out is not only a great way to improve your service, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to get their e-mail addresses too. You can make this a more attractive proposition by following these three golden rules:

  • Offer deals which are exclusive only to e-mail subscribers
  • Promising not to spam their inbox with ten e-mails daily
  • Assure our customers their details will not be passed onto third parties

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and imagine what they will want to get out of this. It’s also important to note down whether they are staying on business or leisure, which will enable you to target your e-mails more wisely.

Stand out from the crowd

The way in which you present your offers is just as important as the offer itself – nobody wants to open up a badly designed and poorly written e-mail, no matter how good the deal is. There are several excellent e-mail platform companies who help you design awesome looking e-mails and send them out to your contacts, rather than doing it manually using your personal account.

MailChimp is a simple, easy to use e-mail tool and comes loaded with templates and innovative special features to enable you to create eye-catching e-mails that pack a punch. They even have an app so you can operate and monitor your campaign from your smart phone or tablet. It’s easy to upload images, fill in the copy and send.

Engage users with dynamic content
Three simple steps to great e-mail engagement:

  1. Interests – Is it going to attract the reader’s attention?
  2. Informs – Is the content interesting and/or useful?
  3. Entertains – Is the reader likely to find this content engaging?

If you can construct an e-mail that incorporates all three of these elements then you could be onto a winner. Remember, your content doesn’t have to always be offers-based, or even be directly linked to your pub, just as long as it is somehow relevant. For example, you may offer award-winning food at your pub and want to send your customers a festive greeting with a selection of mouth-watering heart-warming stews and other wintery recipes that you know will be popular. Or you may have been shortlisted for a prestigious award and so it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to thank past guests for their custom and ask them to vote for you.

You can encourage people to sign up to your newsletter through the content you have on your website. For example, if you write a piece about a current offer for the website, mention that similar offers can be seen only in the e-mail newsletter – therefore adding an incentive to sign up. Though if you’re not a natural when it comes to writing, then why not enlist the help with a member of staff who has a way with words, or hire a freelance copywriter via LinkedIn? This online database of professionals will help you find the right person for the job, and get you on track to making your marketing perfect.

Less is more
Once you have a database of customers, it’s important that you decide on a date on which to send the newsletter out, so people know when to expect it – the 1st of every month for example. Also, put your offers together carefully and try to target guests who have stayed at your pub before, first and foremost, as this is the audience who will be most likely to want to receive your newsletter.