Just as nourishing food is a part of a healthy lifestyle, food is also an integral element of a healthy event atmosphere. According to Market Research, event planners are seeing a rise in demand for customised catering both in corporate and household settings. By 2021 the contract catering market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 4%.
The expansion of catering services isn’t a result of people eating more or events growing bigger. Event organisers today actually have to make larger investments in food and drinks because of the rising expectations on the side of attendees. People want a more balanced menu catered to their dietary habits and requirements. Because of this, securing a partnership with an amazing event catering vendor is something that carries a lot of responsibility.
So how do you find your one-in-a-million caterer? And most importantly, how do you build a mutually beneficial relationship with your caterer? The answer is pretty obvious. If you want to generate value through catering, offer value to a caterer first.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to build a stellar catering-focused email marketing strategy for your event in six simple steps:
- Choose the best way to notify your attendees about food and drinks at your event.
If done right, the promotion of your event catering partner through email marketing should be a win–win. Not only will you generate extra value for the catering service, but a food-focused email helps you better understand the preferences and tastes of your event guests.
Start your planning with a goal-oriented strategy. Why do you want people to know about the food and drinks at the event, and what exactly do you want them to know? Here are several messages where your contract caterer can be mentioned:
- Introducing your event caterer: This is a smart thing to do, especially if your catering partner is widely known for their use of ethically sourced ingredients, premium service, or special approach to menu development.
- Clarifying food preferences: As we’ve mentioned before, event guests are picky in terms of food and drinks. Embed a simple survey on menu options to your email marketing campaign, and add some short info about your catering partner to the body of the message.
- Building engagement through a contest: You can use catering email marketing strategies to drive attendance for your event. Here’s the idea: cooperate with your caterer to build a fun and engaging onsite contest. From a cook-off to a Masterchef quiz, pick an interesting idea and then encourage your caterer to create a delicious prize for the winner.
- Segment and personalize your event catering emails.
Before building any email marketing campaign, you should first inspect your audience: 33% of marketers prioritize personalization over the other capabilities of email marketing. Indeed, generic messages kill the quality of your interaction with attendees, which also means you won’t generate any value from a catering promotion because recipients simply won’t feel the message is personal. To build targeted communication, explore the journeys of your event registrants, adjust messages to the gleaned information, and use their personal names to address them.
To improve your email open rates, we also recommend using segmentation techniques. By segmenting a database based on behavior, background, and demographic, you will get more capabilities for the creation of targeted content. If the right people get the right messages, you can expect that the two will make up to each other.
- Test subject lines about event catering.
A catchy, targeted message with great visuals will most likely perform well. To make sure it performs well, you need to make sure people open your emails in the first place.
The basic rule you should follow with a foody subject line is it should answer the “What’s in it for me?” question. In most cases, your recipient doesn’t care about how many years of experience your event caterer has or what number of meal choices will be presented at the event since your guest will most likely need only one. Instead, focus on building targeted, value-focused subject lines.
Feel free to generate as many subject line ideas as possible and then put them to the test. Here are some important testing considerations you can leverage:
- Personalisation: Tie the value offer to your recipient’s journey, experience, or preferences.
- Length: It can be short and catchy or communicate a number of details in one statement.
- Human nature: How does your recipient feel about the message? Ideally, a subject line should stimulate curiosity and cause a sense of urgency.
- Use tasty visuals.
Awaken your attendees’ appetite for delicious desserts or a stunning selection of cocktails that will be presented at your event through visuals. You can use photos or video from the portfolio of your catering vendor or just add a nice foody image to grab their attention
- Create content in advance.
Whether your catering promotion campaign is a complementary offer or an integral part of your marketing strategy, automation is always the right choice. Pick a platform for email marketing that has pre-made templates or an easy-to-use email builder tool.
- Pay attention to timing and mobile optimization.
The time frame within which your emails are being sent impacts the open rates. Three time slots that work the best in the world of email marketing are early morning, lunch time, and evening. You should also consider the frequency for message dissemination. Based on analytics from your previous campaigns, deduce the optimal rate that works with specific audience segments.
Although you’ve certainly heard about the importance of mobile optimization, after looking at the recent Litmus infographic below, you might want to scale it up. With iPhone being the key email client in 2018, whether it’s a catering promotion email or just a registration confirmation, catering to mobile is a key priority.
By using information about catering for email marketing, you can generate extra value for your event guests as well as strengthen your relationship with a caterer. Use these six simple hacks to drive registrations, elevate attendance experiences, and build smart joint promotion strategies with your caterer.