Whether professional, personal, or promotional, email remains an important means of communication. In fact, the total number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day exceeded 306 billion in 2020 and is predicted to grow to over 361 billion by the end of 2024.
As a bakery, you can and should use this forecast to your advantage. By utilizing an email marketing campaign, you’ll work to significantly widen your reach and get real customers into your bakery. Trust us; you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how well a digital marketing campaign will help you find and keep customers. Keep reading to learn how you can get started.
Collecting Email Addresses
Before you begin an email campaign to start generating foot traffic into your bakery, you will first need a solid list of email addresses. There are quite a few ways you could go about collecting emails in-store or online, but it’s important to remember that the emails you collect are going to real people.
Think about your own email habits. What entices you to open a promotional email? It’s most likely because you believe it will benefit you in some way, so keep this in mind when you ask for an email address. Offer them something in return for their information, like extra points on your loyalty program, welcome discounts, or a “thank you” promo code.
You can also instruct your front-of-house staff to ask customers for their email address or mention your email list as they’re ringing up sales. Adding this as a custom field in your point of sale system is a convenient way to keep track of email addresses and other customer information that can be added to your email list. Think about other fields that could hold meaningful tidbits to inform your email marketing campaigns better.
You can make it fun and casual by asking them about their favorite pie or cookie flavor. If you happen to have a special coming up on popular pie flavors or pastries, you can be sure to check back and see which customers should be targeted. Another way to get a hold of customer emails is by collecting birthday information. Let them know that if they provide their birthday, they can look forward to being emailed a promo to get a free celebratory treat. Think about what you would want as a consumer and run with it!
Once you have a strong email list, you can start thinking about the best ways to communicate with your subscribers. Since one of your main goals with email marketing is to get people into your bakery, your campaigns should include offers and information customers can’t get online.
In-store events or workshops bring people into your bakery and create a sense of community. Themed events are a fun way to create an email campaign that will catch people’s eye by playing on something familiar to them. Think about some popular culture interests that will draw in a large crowd.
For example, there are now more than 80 million Instagram posts with the tag “#cake.” The next time your bakery has a cake sale, promote the event by sending out emails that explain your mission to keep “#cake” trending. Tell them if they purchase one of your cakes, upload a picture of it to Instagram, and tag “#cake” along with your bakery’s Instagram tag, they will receive a percentage off their next order or a free treat. This will not only generate more foot traffic due to the added incentive, but it will also get your bakery’s name out there on social media.
For large in-store events, consider using a series of emails to generate buzz. This will increase the chances of someone opening at least one of your messages. Pique their curiosity with the first email in the series by letting them know something big is coming, but don’t give them any details just yet! This will keep them looking forward to future emails from your bakery. You can also use email campaigns to advertise and roll out the following:
- New product launches
- In-store discounts and coupons
- Secret sales
- New blog posts
Segment Your List
Depending on your bakery’s size or delivery area, you might want to consider segmenting your email list. Segmented emails are messages you send to specific addresses in your email list, leading to substantial increases in click-through rate. Breaking down your list gives you a chance to send relevant content to a unique group, encouraging them to come into your bakery. Most email marketing management software can help you manage your lists with clarity and ease.
If you are just starting and don’t exactly know how to segment your list yet, that’s okay! Take the time to really get to know what your email customers are most interested in by seeing what they respond to. This can give you a lot more insight than it seems!
Say you send out an email about a sale on all your bakeries gluten-free products. You’ll be able to see which customers clicked the link—indicating who is most interested in this news. The customers called to action by your email will probably be interested in other news about your gluten-free bakery treats as well. You can add these people to a list for future related items and coupons to entice them into your bakery.
If you already have a solid idea of your customers’ preferences based on the demographics you’ve collected, you can work on properly segmenting your email list. This process is all about getting the right message to the right people. If you have a group of customers you know will take full advantage of a pastry sale, send the sale info directly to their inbox!
Just like you can section your list by your customers’ preferences, you can also send emails based on their engagement with your campaign. A little bit of strategic forethought can go a long way to persuade customers to come into your bakery. For example, consider sending a follow-up email to the group of people who did not open your first message about a big sale coming up. And for those that have clicked on a link but haven’t committed to the purchase, you could send an email with a relevant coupon encouraging them to buy.
When it comes to your emails’ content, try to keep in mind that people’s attention is constantly being pulled in different directions. Your bakery’s promotional emails need to keep consumers’ interest long enough to get your message across.
This means your email marketing campaign will need to show a little personality to get your target audiences’ attention (one that coincides with your bakery’s brand). With that being said, you shouldn’t necessarily choose style over substance. Keep it to the point and easy to scan.
While it can feel like a delicate balancing act trying to keep your emails well rounded, we promise it will be well worth the amount of traffic you receive in your bakery. Here are a few more helpful hints to keep your own email marketing campaign effective yet balanced:
- Personalize: A simple “Hi [First Name]” at the beginning of the email will get people to open more emails. Compared to non-personalized mailings, personalized promotional mailings have 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates.
- Tantalize your subscribers: Showcase your creations with plenty of high-quality pictures and videos.
- Make coupons easy: Most people aren’t printing coupons out anymore, so make sure they are easily redeemable on mobile devices.
Email marketing is stronger than ever before, with 85% of executives agreeing that email marketing performance is increasing. There’s no better time to use email as a way to connect with your customers and promote your business. With this added traffic, you may need help keeping all the different aspects of your bakery in line.