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Would you send an email to a friend that started with “Dear Friend”? Then why would you impersonalize an email newsletter to your customers? On that note, why would you treat them like customers at all?

Maker’s Mark isn’t a small business, yet they bring their marketing to the first-person level by referring to their customers as friends. According to this Word of Mouth article, “It’s one of the reasons they don’t put fancy graphics in the emails they send to ambassadors—because you wouldn’t do that when you email your friends.”

Looking at your own marketing through this lens, does it become impersonal?

Restaurant 524 in Tiverton, Rhode Island, addresses their customers by their first name. Their introduction to this email, which addresses me by name, tells me that they considered my suggestions and they’ve updated their menu.

Restaurant 524 held a series of free dinners for local customers while they were re-building their menus. It wasn’t for good Yelp reviews and it wasn’t a blogger dinner to get buzz, but a legitimate effort to make food that their customers love.

This personal and friendly service carries though to their Facebook account too, where they introduce their chef and post photos of food going in and coming out of the oven. This brief “from Chef Ryan” resonates with customers where they feel comfortable addressing the chef by name in their comments.

This decoupage of personal branding is only amplified by your in-person persona. Does your chef come to the table and ask customers how their meals were? Does your hostess make the best of her time by walking around refilling wine glasses and building rapport? Does your store’s cashier recommend his favorite products?

Discover more ways to treat customers like friends by reading our customer loyalty marketing tips.

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As part of Upserve’s family of more than 10,000 restaurants, The Chef is Restaurant Insider’s secret weapon in the kitchen. As a restaurant expert in all things marketing, menu building, management, training and more, restaurateurs trust The Chef and the award-winning Restaurant Insider to dish out the ingredients needed to make your business a sweet success.
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