Monday, 16 July 2012

How Do You Sell Chicken Nuggets by Email?

I was delivering my Crash Course in Email Marketing for iContact at a small business event recently. After my presentation, I was approached by a lady who felt too self-conscious to raise her hand during the session.
She had an email marketing problem which needed urgent attention. At the time, I’m afraid to say, I didn’t really have the solution. I promised to think her problem over and get back to her. This blog post is my response.
I’m used to a wide range of companies asking me how they can build better email marketing campaigns. The answer normally follows a similar route, focusing on relevance, engagement, quality, value, selection and the positioning of the brand as a leading authority or thought leader in whatever sector they are working in.
The thing that threw me was the lady’s particular line of business. She sold frozen chicken nuggets to the wholesale fast food industry.  I, for once, was lost for words. How the hell do you sell chicken nuggets by email marketing?
I shouldn’t have been so flustered. Email marketing can effectively be employed to sell anything. And even when you are selling chicken nuggets the same rules of relevance, engagement, quality, value, selection and positioning can effectively be deployed.
So How Do You Sell Chicken Nuggets by Email?
  • Relevance: You’ve got to make sure your lists are targeted and have been segmented into specific groups. These groups could be broken down into wholesalers, distributors, retailers, food outlets (restaurants, take-a-ways, pubs, schools, etc.). You’ll then want to make sure you hit these various lists with relevant content. This doesn’t mean you’ll need to create new content from scratch for each list – but you will benefit if you adapt your messages accordingly for each group.
  • Engagement: Your emails need to be interesting. For those of us outside of the chicken nugget industry, this might seem like an impossible task for the lady in question. But remember, all she is trying to do is make these little nuggets as appealing as possible.  I suggest she invests in cooking guides, recipe ideas, serving suggestions. Written content in the form of downloadable guides, blog posts, etc. are all great. High quality video content would be amazing.
  • Quality: Even with such a low cost food item as the humble nugget the perception of quality can be enhanced with great photography and a nicely designed email template. It might also be possible to capitalize on animal welfare issues (free range nuggets), additional ingredients (low salt, etc.) and production standards.
  • Value: Price and potential profit margins will be incredibly important to potential customers. Do the math for them and show how they can make money by buying your product.
  • Selection: It turns out the chicken nugget company doesn’t just sell nuggets. In fact they sell a wide range of chicken-related products that can be consumed in many different ways ranging from late night take-a-ways to summer barbecues. The nuggets might be their best seller, but the depth of range should open new opportunities.
  • Positioning: Whether you are selling complex software solutions or tasty chicken nuggets to the food trade, your customers want to know that you understand their business and can provide useful solutions and ideas that makes their lives easier. Simple tips on how to maximize profit potential from your product would be especially welcome. Thought Leadership and chicken nuggets can and do mix.
Could your email marketing campaigns be more effective? Would you benefit from a quick review of email marketing best practices? Are you making common email marketing mistakes that reduce the success of your campaigns? Download iContact’s FREE 10 Rules for Successful Email Marketing
photo: tomcensani


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