Establish Email Lists to Promote Special Deals for Your Food Truck

By Richard Myrick

Email marketing is great from a customer retention standpoint, not only because it enables you to include promotional information for your food truck, but also because it helps you develop a more intimate relationship with your customers. Email is personal. When a customer gives you access to his inbox, it’s a sign that the customer trusts you and your brand and wants to further the relationship

You can use your email list to update customers on what you’re up to, share personal business stories, and include information about promotions and special events you plan to attend or host to bring people back to your service window.

So how do you build an email list? After a customer has finished ordering her meal and is waiting for it, have your staff ask her to provide an email address (or business card) for future correspondence. You can add this information to a paper list that you keep near the cash register and then enter into a computer later, or you can use a point-of-sale (POS) system that allows for this type of data to be manually entered at the time of purchase.

There are many Internet email marketing sites you can use to monitor your email lists online. A few options are A weber, Constant Contact, and Mail Chimp. Explain that your food truck occasionally offers specials and free meals to its most valued customers and that you’d like to include the customer’s email on the list. Most likely, customers will provide their email addresses, which allows you to create a database of information (including email, name, and zip code) about your customers.

You can ask for more information, but many customers are leery of providing too much personal information at the point of purchase. If you want to gather this information at a later date, you can request it during an email marketing campaign.

Use this database to distribute special offers to previous customers and drive business to your service window on slow days. For example, if your food truck constantly sells out quickly on the weekends but typically sees little business on Tuesday nights, send out an email on Tuesday morning to invite customers to redeem a gift certificate for a free side dish. Explain that the offer is valid only for that Tuesday evening, and encourage your customers to stop by and redeem the gift.

Suddenly, your line will fill up with customers who may have otherwise had dinner at home that Tuesday night. By reaching out to your customers with a few simple emails and giving them a reason to visit you again, you can turn a slow night into a busy one.

The goal of this strategy is to keep your business clearly positioned in the forefront of your customers’ minds. Your customers likely won’t think of your business unless prompted by an email, advertisement, or special occasion. In fact, they may always think of your truck as their Friday lunch stop unless you give them a reason to track you down on Tuesday night as well.

Make it your goal to casually remind them of the fun they had the last time they visited your truck, and invite them to repeat the experience with a special offer. By doing so, you’re encouraging repeat business by reaching out to customers who you know already enjoy your services. It sets them apart and lets them see how much you value their loyalty.