Your email list is the only marketing you truly ‘own’. As the recent Instagram shut down taught us, social media networks can leave you high and dry at any moment.
That’s why putting your eggs all in one basket = bad business.
Nurturing an email list, and providing them with quality content and offers, is a key driver for many venues and brick-and-mortar businesses to get punters through the door and spending their cash.
Depending on what email marketing platform you choose, the analytics can help develop your future marketing moves. At a minimum, open rates and click-through-rates determine what your audience is interested in and how your business can convert interest into paying customers.
The Difference Between Email Marketing and Newsletters
Let’s clear things up. Email marketing covers your entire strategy for converting browsers and lurkers into customers via email.
Email newsletters on the other hand are a part of this strategy. The informational content that doesn’t ‘sell’, but rather creates a relationship with the subscriber.
The best email marketing newsletters that land in inboxes provide lifestyle-relevant content that encourages readers and plants an idea that your venue has the potential to fulfil a lifestyle ‘goal’, rather than simply a price and product.
Other types of email marketing campaigns, not newsletters, may include:
- The Welcome Email: the first point of contact a subscriber receives after handing over their email address
- The Promo Email: you’re making it very clear that you’re selling, i.e. providing special offers, paid events, coupons, discounts, etc.
- The Retention Email: emails that engage with your current subscribers and ensure they remain engaged with you and your business
On the other hand, newsletters occur regularly, include informational content and a ‘roundup’ of interesting news, in which the receiver can pick and choose which content they consume.
So, how do you do it and are they worth it? Let’s start with growing a list to actually market to…
How to Grow Your Email List
The main mistake that marketers and venue owners make when creating an email list: Subscribe to Our Newsletter. Boring.
No one is interested in the newsletter anymore, it’s the offer that counts. What can you give your potential customers in return for their email address and a direct route to their inbox?
Tell your subscribers exactly what they are getting when they sign up to your list. Perhaps a 10% drink discount? A free cocktail voucher?
And finally, what content will they receive from you? When and how will you communicate with them? You don’t want people signing up just for the free offer, only to unsubscribe moments later.
Be specific. Position your newsletter a a digital magazine or a special club newsletter where you offer only exclusive events and cocktail specials. Digital marketer Neil Patel also says that telling your audience when they will get the newsletter updates (fortnightly, monthly, etc.) is a much more effective way of doing email marketing.
What to Include in Your Newsletter
If you don’t remember asking to receive it, it’s not a good newsletter.
Being memorable is the very first step of email newsletters. An unrecognisable email will simply get deleted, receive unsubscribes from receivers or you may get accused of spam. You can get yourself into this sticky situation by failing to keep up with your newsletter communications or adding someone manually to a list, through a business card or another contact -- that’s a no-go.
A good newsletter acts as an ‘update’ on your venue, but also remains personal. It should deepen your relationship with your customer and keep your business top of mind.
When and Why to Send a Newsletter to Your Audience
Primarily, your newsletters to your ideal audience should remain consistent. Pick a time and a date or day every month to blast your email list.
Your customers will expect and open your newsletters if they know the when, i.e. [Your Venue’s] October Newsletter. The content is relevant for that month, or for the season ahead.
Why monthly? Think about it: you rarely have new promos weekly, as a venue, they’re generally the same. A newsletter each week can become dry and filled up with the same-old content, which means more chance of people unsubscribing and losing interest in your venue.
Above all, you’re creating a narrative around your venue -- one where you make it clear why your venue is known for what you do best, i.e. epic fairy floss cocktails, Simpson’s Trivia, DJs on Thursdays, etc.
To wrap it up, a newsletter is just one part of your email marketing. It is the ‘main’ content that will encourage subscribers to take an interest and visit your venue based on the story you’re telling.
Be consistent. Provide value. Be known for what you do.