How is your customer list right now? If you haven’t been collecting emails from your customers, or adding their details to a database, then you are potentially missing out on huge business opportunities and literally throwing away cash.

Every time someone comes to your website, or orders food from you, you should consider that person to not only be a customer, but to be a lead. This is an opportunity for future marketing, it is someone who has shown an interest in your food and a willingness to buy from you – and if you ignore that potential then you are missing out on a fantastic opportunity.

Today, most online ordering systems will include features that allow you to build a list based on your customers and to manage that list. In this post, we’re going to explore why that’s so important and why you absolute must include this in your strategy.

The Power of the Mailing List

Mailing lists are not just used by takeaways and restaurants. Mailing lists are used all throughout business and are particularly common to find online, where they are used by marketers hoping to sell products.

And did you know that many of these internet marketers say that the mailing list is the single most important aspect of their business in terms of marketing and in terms of profits.

That’s because a mailing list gives them a way to reach their audience directly and without relying on a third party like Facebook or Twitter. It gives them a direct way to contact their audience in a format that is personal and that is hard to miss.

Not only that, but when people hand over their email address, they are demonstrating trust in the business and demonstrating interest in what they have to say. That means that the people who are on your mailing list are likely to be your most engaged followers and your ‘warmest’ leads.

That’s even truer for the takeaway industry, because the people on your mailing list are going to be people who have ordered from you in the past. That means they’re near, it means they like the food you sell and it means they’re not against ordering food online or eating takeaways. In other words, they’ve ordered once, so they’re more likely to order again!

Using Your Mailing List

Using an online delivery system is a fantastic way to build your mailing list, but what do you do with it once you’ve built it?

There are lots of options. Perhaps the most obvious is simply to invite your old customers to come back and order from you again. You can do this directly (by simply asking them to come back!) or you can try to entice them back with special offers and promotions.

For instance, if you have a new special in, you can send an email around to all the people who have ordered online before and explain why it’s so delicious. Maybe it’s a one-time thing. Maybe it’s an opportunity they can’t afford to miss.

Either way, you’ll likely pique their interest. Their details are already entered. They already know they love your food. And when it gets to Friday night, they just have to click the link, open the site and click ‘Order’.

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to build engagement and to gain repeat business. In the world of internet marketing, this form of marketing is widely considered to be more important than any other, including SEO or social media.

But what precisely does email marketing entail? Why is it so effective? And do you really need to incorporate it into your own business strategy?

Some Stats and Facts

Let’s start with some stats to get your attention.

Did you know that email marketing has a ROI (return on investment) of 4,300%? It huge not only because of all the potential yield but also because of how low cost it is to manage. For those in the food industry, all you need is an online delivery system and you can collect emails at no extra cost!

Did you know that 91% of consumers will check their email daily? So, if you have a restaurant and you send out an email about your latest new meal or special deal, then it’s going to reach 91% of your patrons within 24 hours.

Seeing as most of us get notifications on our phones, a lot of those people will see those emails right away. And that means that you can time precisely when and how you want to reach your audience: message late on a Friday and your business will be fresh in their minds when they’re thinking of somewhere to get some quick food!

It’s not just internet marketers that proclaim the importance of email marketing. When surveyed, companies respond that email marketing is more profitable than PPC, content marketing, mobile ads, social media, direct marketing or any other form!

Did you know that 66% of consumers over 15 have made a purchase as a direct result of an email they’ve received? Of course once they’ve done it once, they’re far more likely to do it again and again.

Ultimate Engagement and Targeting

And here’s the thing: anyone signed up to your mailing list is going to have done so because they want to know more about your business. Nobody signs up to a fast food list unless they’ve eaten there or unless they’re thinking of eating there.

And therefore, everyone you message is a potential customer. You will be reaching the most targeted and engaged audience possible in a way that will maximize the likelihood of them making a purchase.

Of course, it also comes down to how you use the mailing list. And in this case, the best strategy is to message only when you have something genuinely good to offer: a real discount or a new menu that people can get excited about. Nudge your readers in the right direction, at the right time and then when the moment comes, it will be highly likely that they’ll order from you.

But if you don’t have a mailing list? Then you’re missing out on all of those potential opportunities and you’re losing out to all the other takeaways that do have one.