Effective email marketing campaigns for food businesses

In the age of social media algorithms, it’s easy for food manufacturers and CPG brands to get lost in the shuffle.

But there’s a secret weapon that can help you stand out from the competition: email marketing. Here at Audacious Food Marketing, we’re huge fans of email marketing. If you’re interested, you can check out our newsletter here.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of email marketing, why it delivers a better ROI than social media, and share some examples of successful campaigns. So let’s dive in and explore the world of email marketing for your food business!

But isn’t email for old people only?

Absolutely not. Let’s look at some statistics:

  • 99% of email users check their inbox every day, with some checking 20+ times per day.
  • 58% of consumers check their email first thing in the morning – guilty as charged. This is why we send our newsletters at 6:00 am.
  • 74% of baby boomers think email is the most personal channel to receive communications from brands, followed by 72% of Gen X, 64% of millennials, and even 60% of Gen Z.

Thos are numbers Social Media cannot even dream of achieving.

The Benefits of Email Marketing in the Age of Social Media Algorithms

Even with the rise of social media platforms, email marketing remains a powerful tool for food manufacturers and CPG brands. Here are some key benefits of email marketing in today’s digital landscape:

  1. Direct communication with customers: Unlike social media, where your posts can be buried by the platform’s algorithm, email marketing allows you to directly reach your customers’ inboxes.
  2. Higher engagement rates: Studies show that email marketing consistently boasts higher engagement rates than social media, with average open rates of around 20-30% and click-through rates of 2-5%.
  3. Personalization: With email marketing, you can personalize your messages, tailoring content to your customer’s preferences and behaviours, resulting in more targeted and effective campaigns.
  4. Control over your message: Social media platforms often limit the format and length of your content. At the same time, email marketing gives you full control over the design and messaging of your campaigns.
  5. Data-driven insights: Email marketing platforms offer robust analytics, making it easy to measure the success of your campaigns and optimize them for even better results.

Email Marketing Delivers a Better ROI than Social Media

Email marketing has been shown to deliver an impressive return on investment (ROI) for businesses across industries. Here are some of the top outcomes:

  1. Higher conversion rates: According to a study by DMA, email marketing has an average ROI of $42 for every dollar spent, far surpassing the ROI from social media marketing.
  2. Increased customer retention: A well-executed email marketing campaign can help you build and maintain customer relationships, leading to higher retention rates and long-term revenue growth.
  3. Cost-effectiveness: Email marketing can be much more affordable than social media advertising, especially when you consider the cost of sponsored posts and other paid promotion methods.
  4. Better targeting: With advanced segmentation tools, email marketing allows you to target specific customer groups based on demographics, purchase history, and other factors, ensuring that your message reaches the right audience.
  5. Measurable results: Unlike some social media metrics, email marketing data is easily tracked and analyzed, allowing you to make data-driven decisions for future campaigns.

Examples of Successful Email Marketing Campaigns from Well-Known Food Brands

  1. Chobani: The popular brand used an email campaign to promote their limited edition Pumpkin Spice flavour, incorporating eye-catching visuals and a strong call to action that drove customers to their website.
  2. Ben & Jerry’s: This iconic ice cream brand leveraged their email list to promote their annual Free Cone Day event, utilizing clear messaging and a sense of urgency to encourage customers to visit their local scoop shops.
  3. NatureBox: This snack subscription service successfully used email marketing to introduce new products and offer exclusive discounts to their subscribers, resulting in increased sales and customer loyalty.

Email Marketing Platforms and Their Specific Strengths

There are numerous email marketing platforms available, each with its own strengths. Here are a few of the top platforms and what sets them apart:

  1. Mailchimp: Known for its ease of use and extensive range of features, Mailchimp is a popular choice for small to medium-sized businesses. With built-in templates, automation capabilities, and robust analytics, it’s an excellent option for food manufacturers and CPG brands looking to up their email marketing game.
  2. Constant Contact: This platform offers a user-friendly interface, making it easy for businesses to create professional-looking emails. It also provides a wide array of integrations with other tools, such as CRM systems and social media platforms, allowing you to streamline your marketing efforts.
  3. Sendinblue: Known for its powerful automation features, Sendinblue is an excellent choice for businesses looking to create advanced, targeted campaigns. It also offers SMS marketing capabilities, enabling you to reach your customers through multiple channels.
  4. GetResponse 3: With a focus on marketing automation and conversion optimization, GetResponse is ideal for businesses looking to create highly effective email campaigns. It also offers landing page and webinar tools, making it a comprehensive solution for your marketing needs.
  5. Klaviyo 4: Specifically designed for e-commerce businesses, Klaviyo integrates seamlessly with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce. It offers advanced segmentation and personalization features, making it an excellent choice for food manufacturers and CPG brands looking to target specific customer groups.
  6. Substack: Substack is a unique platform that combines email marketing with content creation and monetization. Initially designed for writers and creators, Substack allows food manufacturers and CPG brands to share their stories, recipes, and behind-the-scenes content with their audience. By offering paid subscriptions, you can turn your email newsletters into a revenue-generating channel. Substack’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to create and manage your newsletter, while its integrated payment system simplifies the subscription process for your customers. If you’re looking to build a strong community around your food brand and establish yourself as an industry thought leader, Substack is definitely worth considering.

Challenges and Difficulties of Running an Email Marketing Campaign

While email marketing offers numerous benefits and opportunities for growth, it’s not without its challenges that need to be understood and managed.

  1. Building and maintaining a quality email list: A successful campaign starts with a strong email list, which requires ongoing efforts to attract new subscribers and keep existing ones engaged. Offering valuable content, exclusive offers, and easy sign-up processes can help you grow and maintain your list.
  2. Deliverability issues: Getting your emails to land in your subscribers’ inboxes is crucial, but deliverability can be affected by factors like spam filters, incorrect email addresses, or a poor sender reputation. To improve deliverability, ensure you comply with email best practices, use a reputable email service provider, and monitor your bounce and spam rates.
  3. Creating compelling content: Crafting engaging content that resonates with your audience can be challenging. It’s essential to strike the right balance between promotional and informational content while maintaining your brand voice. Regularly analyzing your campaigns’ performance and soliciting customer feedback can help you refine your content strategy.
  4. Staying compliant with regulations: Email marketing is subject to various laws and regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States and the GDPR in the European Union. Understanding and adhering to these regulations is crucial to avoid fines and maintain a positive brand image.
  5. Managing frequency and timing: Finding the right frequency and timing for your campaigns can be tricky, as sending too many emails may lead to unsubscribes, while sending too few may cause your audience to lose interest. Analyzing your audience’s engagement patterns and testing different sending schedules can help you optimize your campaigns.
  6. Segmentation and personalization: To create more targeted and effective campaigns, you’ll need to segment your audience and tailor your content accordingly. However, this can be time-consuming and requires the right tools and data to execute effectively.
  7. Keeping up with technology and trends: Email marketing is continually evolving, with new tools, techniques, and trends emerging regularly. Staying current with these developments and adapting your strategies accordingly can be challenging but is crucial for long-term success.

By acknowledging and addressing these challenges, you can overcome potential roadblocks and optimize your email marketing campaigns for success. Remember to continually monitor, test, and refine your strategies to ensure your campaigns remain effective and engaging for your audience.

Learn more

Andreas Duess, food marketing expert
Andreas Duess, Food Marketing Expert

Whether you need help figuring out how to make your social media deliver positive ROI or your packaging actually support sales off shelf, or any other food-related challenge, we’re here for you. 

Book a free 15-minute discovery call with me. I am happy to discuss your food or drinks business and any questions you may have.

 No sales, no obligations, just straightforward advice. 

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