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Exploring Online Possibilities

Grocery Email Marketing

Grocery Industry Discussion
It would be difficult to create a comprehensive list of all the different types of businesses within the grocery industry. The grocery industry encompasses ethnic food stores; convenience stores; supermarkets; hypermarts; delicatessens; butchers; bulk food warehouses; natural and organic food stores; health food stores; specialty food stores that cater to diabetic or gluten-free diets; farmer's markets; and even the roadside fruit and vegetable stands found in rural areas in the summer and fall.

The profile of the grocery industry consumer base is equally varied. An ethnic food store in downtown Los Angeles specializing in home grown Filipino staple products has a different client demographic profile from an imported wine and cheese boutique in Beverly Hills just a few miles away. Though income demographics may be taken into consideration, the fact is that these two stores do not share a single SKU!

Within every consumer base exists a number of specific groupings of characteristics. These dictate not only the products people buy but also incentives and motivations to obtain their loyalty and ongoing business that can be harnessed through an online marketing strategy. In hard-hit economy zones, such as Michigan, Ohio, Nevada, Arizona and Florida, there are places where housing vacancies exceed 50 percent, and families must be frugal to make ends meet: in these cases, an online promotional strategy emphasizing economy, bulk food purchasing and deep discounts will be the most effective methodology. The process of motivating your customer base in a tough economy when competition is high and margins shrink on a daily basis can be vexing for grocery business owners and managers.

Honing the content of your email marketing campaign to suit the particular needs of your retail locations and your specific customer profiles is critical to success in any grocery business' online outreach program. The best way to achieve focus is through extensive segmentation efforts in your subscriber list. By sectioning out the entries according to demographic, geographic and behavior-based segments, you will develop specific content that meets the requirements and preferences of your consumer base and serves their needs more comprehensively.

Once you have identified the particular segments present in your subscription list, it is time to determine and implement incentives for fulfilling your call to action. Invitations to private events, prize draws, membership in a VIP club that presents specific discounts, sneak peeks at new products and access to other particular facilities or events can be used as incentives to motivate your email newsletter subscriber to take the actions you have designed your content to facilitate.

The question that often stymies grocery business owners and managers is how to collect these email addresses in new ways. The solution lies in consistent and focused efforts to garner as many email addresses from every avenue. Some of the locations where grocery businesses have had success in gathering email addresses include:

At community events
At food fairs, trade shows and expos
At fundraisers and food bank events
At restaurant openings
At sports events
At the customer service desk through a business card drop
By sponsoring little league and other local teams
By training staff to ask for the email address in person and on the phone
From collaborative local businesses in the field of nutrition or health
Via a guestbook
Via a website signup page

Every email address collected by your grocery business must be accompanied by evident permission from that specific customer to be placed on your newsletter subscription list. By proceeding in the collection of email addresses for your newsletter ethically and legally, your list will soon grow by bounds and the additional entries will provide you with opportunities to further segment your permission based email list and drive sales in your grocery business. Taking the time and care to craft a coherent and alluring email marketing campaign is your best promotional investment, bar none!