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The Secret Ingredient for a Successful Email Campaign

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A tasty Mexican treat turns into a lesson about targeted email marketing.

Pepe the Hot Chili Pepper
Pepe the Hot Chili Pepper

I always enjoy experiencing real-life examples of how clever marketers can influence everyday purchasing decisions.  Recently, my family's indecision about lunch on a warm, sunny Saturday in Atlanta proved to be a great lesson in targeted email marketing.

Anyone who's familiar with Atlanta knows about the city's swanky, eclectic Buckhead neighborhood.  High-priced homes, high-end fashion, and highly flavorful food are all staples there, making cheap, tasty eats a bit of a harder find.  Recently, my mother decided to visit my twin sister in Atlanta, and the two of them eventually sauntered over to Buckhead during lunchtime. Famished and jetlagged after a long flight from Houston, my mother prodded my sister to find them a modestly-priced lunch—a tall feat since the two of them were smack-dab in the middle of this pricey, uptown district.

Leave it to the crafty marketers of Barberitos to solve my family's dilemma.  My family eventually made their way to the Peach Shopping Center, off of Peachtree Road (virtually every street and shopping center in Atlanta has the word peach in the name), where there are a few reasonably priced options, including Barberitos, a Southwestern grill and cantina chain that serves up Mission-style burritos.

My sister and mother were walking along the sidewalks at the shopping center looking at the menus posted outside each restaurant, including this small southwestern-style eatery.

Enter the wily marketers at Barberitos.

A well-timed offer pinged on my sister's phone: Pay It Forward today at BARBERITOS. Save your receipt from today and take the same amount off when you come back next Saturday 04/26.

Timely. Relevant. Enticing. Valuable.

 Barberitos used beacons to identify potential customers (my sister and mom) who were in the area (Hotlanta) looking for a cheap lunch (ostensibly a Barberitos burrito). Increasingly, marketers are leveraging Bluetooth-powered beacons, devices that communicate with a shopper's smartphone in the hopes of improving the shopping experience and prompting an in-store purchase. During a previous visit, my sister and I had volunteered our email information, but neither of us had received an offer from Barberiots until she was actually in the area to make a purchase.

So, Barberitos managed to do two things: First, collect information on customers who were previously at the point of sale with the goal of providing a relevant offer at a later time. Second, capitalize on the moment to send appropriate ads, coupons, or supplementary product information.

A recent customer loyalty survey from ClickFox shows that 64% of those surveyed prefer to be contacted via email or text, compared to direct mail (15%) and website promotions (8%). As Barberitos strategy shows, sending the right offer, at the right place, and the right time can prove to be profitable. It certainly was on that sunny Saturday in Atlanta.  My mom and sis decided to take Barberitos up on its offer and have lunch.

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