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How to increase revenue at your bakery using email marketing

Business is about making money. It’s also about reducing expenses. Email marketing is cost-effective. In fact, it is the cheapest and most powerful way to advertise your business. For every dollar spent on email marketing, a business can make $40 dollars in revenue. That is an incredible return on investment.

According to Statista, in 2020, the global email market was valued at 7.5 billion US. It is projected that the figure will increase to 17.9 billion by 2027. A report by McKinsey cited that email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping businesses find new customers. If your social media accounts are getting lots of likes but few feet through the door, it’s time to shift your focus to email marketing.

With email marketing, you have a captive audience who want to hear from you. In fact, these customers have already given you their personal email information. All you need to do is keep in touch. How can bakeries increase revenue through email marketing? Read on!

Build your mailing list

If you are starting from ground zero without a customer list, there are many ways to begin. With a brick-and-mortar location, you have ample opportunity to interact with customers every day. Ask customers when they make a purchase if they would like to be part of your mailing list. Think about offering an incentive with a percentage off the bill to increase the yes factor.

Customers love free stuff. Offering free products or gift certificates as part of a draw is a fun way to build your mailing list. All special occasions qualify for a draw from Valentine’s Day to Christmas. You just need ballots and pens to start collecting customer information.

If you have an ecommerce store or take reservations online, you already have the customer data that you need with every purchase or reservation. Another way to build your list is to create a landing page where customers have the option to sign up digitally. Let everyone know that you have this page and provide links to it through social media. You’ll notice some websites have discount pop-ups encouraging email registration the moment customers enter their site.

Choose your platform

Once you have your mailing list started, you’ll need to consider which email marketing platform you will use as your software tool. This will help you create, send and track your emails or what is referred to as campaigns. Some of the most popular platforms include Mailchimp, Constant Contact, HubSpot, Active Campaign, Omnisend and Drip. Many of these platforms offer a free monthly subscription to get started. For example, Mailchimp offers a free plan that is suitable for businesses that have up to 500 customers on their mailing list. This plan allows for up to 1,000 sends per month. With 500 customers this would start you on bi-monthly email campaigns to your full list.

Each platform offers various design templates to use or alter as needed. The interface is easy to use with simple drag-and-drop features. You can add your own photos and text, change fonts and colours. If you are technologically savvy, you can even build and code your own templates. Generally this isn’t necessary, as there are many options to choose from.

Each email marketing platform will track the results of each campaign or email that you send out. You will have access to data such as open rates and clicks. This enables you to see what is working and what is not. As your mailing list grows, your email marketing platform will enable you to segment customers based on demographics or buying habits, depending on your monthly plan.

Build a customer journey

Email marketing platforms allow you to set up customer journeys through automated emails. This, too, is generally considered an upgrade from the free plan. However, this feature is well worth it.

Automated journeys engage every new customer by automatically sending out a welcome email or series upon registration of new email addresses. This works manually when you type new customer emails into your list on the platform. You can also set up the platform to add new emails from website landing pages when a customer enters their email address.

Send out a welcome campaign

A welcome campaign is the first step in your customer journey. This is made up of three to five emails introducing your customers to your business, products and services. Think about the welcome email as a way of sharing information about your business. It’s not about starting to sell right away.

You’ll need to set up your customer journey with a timeline of when customers will receive each email. The first email in the series needs to go out right away, while your business is at the top of the customer’s mind. Then, using your email marketing platform, it’s up to you to decide when the other emails in your campaign will be sent out through automation.

Build customer relationships

Once each customer has been sent the full welcome campaign, their email address will be automatically added to the general email list for future campaigns.

Email marketing campaigns allow your business to build one-on-one relationships with customers. Once the welcome campaign has hit the inbox of your customer the next step is to continue to communicate.

Have you developed a new croissant? Let your customers know via email. Throw a new product launch party or offer a limited discount for customers who would like to be some of the first to test it out.

Are you offering a discount? There are ample opportunities throughout the year to offer something special such as Valentine’s Day or Christmas, so plan ahead and make email marketing part of the overall plan.

Stay consistent

How often should you send out emails? Omnisend data suggests 10 to 19 emails per month. However, recent email marketing statistics from HubSpot found 33 per cent of marketers send out email campaigns once a week, while 26 per cent send multiple emails per month.

Whatever you decide is a manageable goal for your business, the key is to stay consistent in your email marketing efforts. Continue to build and nurture relationships with your customers and watch profits at your bakery grow.


Karen Barr is a Canadian-based magazine journalist, copywriter and licensed chef. Helping clients unlock hidden revenue through email marketing, Karen has worked with small businesses and large national companies in the food and beverage industry.

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