Awesome Emails: California Tortilla

Every week, a group of hungry AWeber workers pile into cars at precisely 12:02 on Tuesday afternoon. We quickly buckle up and head to the nearest California Tortilla for what has become a weekly lunchtime tradition: Taco Tuesday.

It all started on a whim, really. Our web designer Bob had a hankering for a burrito and his partner-in-crime Eric suggested California Tortilla. Soon enough, developers and CS members caught on and began to tag along.

One day, as sometimes happens when you work for an email marketing company, the lunchtime conversation turned to the topic of email. “Dude, California Tortilla sends me awesome emails,” Eric stated mid-bite.

Dude, awesome? After such a bold claim, I had to see these “awesome” emails. Skeptical, I asked Eric to forward them to me when we got back to the office so that I could see for myself. He was right! Their emails are pretty awesome and they include easy things that you can do so that your email marketing campaigns are awesome, too.

Send an Informative Welcome Email

When you dine at California Tortilla as much as we do, it’s beneficial to become what they call a Burrito Elito, or a card carrying member of their loyalty reward program. From the moment you sign up, they shake up your inbox with fun and informative emails about your account.

Their welcome message is particularly engaging, because it does a few important things that every email campaign should do. It clearly explains:

  • What they will receive: The first email summarizes exactly what members will receive as Burrito Elitos.
  • How they will receive it: The message explains how members can redeem their reward points in the restaurant of their choice.
  • When they will get further messages: They explain that subscribers can expect to receive further emails from California Tortilla on a monthly basis.

Offer Free Stuff

Part of the reason that we go back to California Tortilla every Tuesday is their rewards program. After a few trips, each of us earns enough points to enjoy a lunch for free.

When we’re close to receiving a free burrito, Cali Tort sends us a reminder via email to let us know that we have free goodies coming our way. Giving freebies via email is a great way to build a loyal subscriber base. If it’s something you’re interested in doing, you should always:

  • Make sure the giveaway is relevant to your list: If you sell men’s shoes and you’re giving away a pair of high heels, chances our your subscribers will stop taking your messages seriously.
  • Write up a quick guide to your industry or offer a free sample: As long as your free gift is relevant to the content of your newsletter, it’s the perfect incentive for prospects who might be on the fence about signing up.

Send Birthday Messages

While lots of businesses send birthday emails, California Tortilla’s message is extra sweet. On your birthday, you get a free burrito! In our office, this is a big deal and grants the birthday girl or boy bragging rights for the day.

Sending a special message to your subscribers at the beginning of their birthday month, you can really catch them by surprise with a personal touch by:

  • Offering an exclusive coupon or discount: When sending a Birthday gift, remember to send something that’s actually of value to your subscribers. Something that really says thank you for being a subscriber, please come back!
  • Boosting return business throughout the year: Perhaps your subscribers visited your store or restaurant earlier in the year and signed up for your email list, yet haven’t been back since. Birthday emails get them back in the door and encourage return business throughout the year.

Why Do California Tortilla’s Emails Work?

As you can see, their emails aren’t intricately designed. In fact, each one contains only an image or two and some text. Their content is what makes their series a success – they infuse personality into each message.

California Tortilla has fun with their subscribers and the playful atmosphere of their restaurants carries over to their emails. After all, subscribers don’t want to read emails that sound too corporate or too impersonal. They want to know that companies are human, too.

Do your emails set the tone? Are they playful and welcoming? We’d love to know! Tell us more in the comments below.