Using Send Windows for Exceptional Targeting: A Restaurant Example
The Autoresponder Send Windows feature can help increase the relevance of your emails – that sometimes hidden factor that ultimately determines how well your email marketing campaigns perform. However, you may be at a loss for just how you might employ send windows in your campaigns. Fortunately, with some creative thinking, we think every email marketer can come up with a use that will make a significant difference in their results. Let’s take a detailed look at an example of how send windows might be used to boost the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign.
By Marc Kline July 6, 2009
However, you may be at a loss for just how you might employ send windows in your campaigns.
Fortunately, with some creative thinking, we think every email marketer can come up with a use that will make a significant difference in their results.
Let’s take a detailed look at an example of how send windows might be used to boost the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign.
How a Restaurant Might Use Send Windows
The owner of a restaurant wants to send a series of autoresponder messages to all new email subscribers to advertise regular events and promotions. They can use send windows to help ensure they reach the subscriber in their inbox when they are most relevant and likely to provoke a response.
Here is what this autoresponder sequence might look like:
Note: If you’re unfamiliar with Autoresponder Send Windows and how they work, you may want to learn a bit about them before reading further.
Message 1 – Welcome Message
Every autoresponder sequence should have a welcome message.
In this case, our restaurant may want to provide some basic information about their restaurant (e.g. link to menu, directions) and set some expectations about what the subscriber will receive later.
Note: This message has no send window, since it is always sent immediately after someone subscribes.
Message 2 – Mornings, Monday through Friday: Buy a breakfast sandwich and receive a free coffee
To promote a work week, on-the-go breakfast special, we probably want to catch our subscribers early in the day, the first time they check their email.
By setting a send window covering Monday through Friday, from 6:00AM to 9:00AM, perhaps we can hit them when they could really use some breakfast and a coffee.
Message 3 – Sunday through Thursday: Buy one dinner, get a second dinner at half the menu price
Sunday and weekday dinners are often relatively slow at restaurants, so our restaurant provides a price incentive to help fill tables.
By setting a send window covering Sunday through Thursday, from 6:00AM to 3:00PM, we can send messages advertising a discount that arrives in the inbox when subscribers are looking to solve their dinner plans for the week.
Message 4 – Wednesday Dinners: Free dessert on a bill of $25 or more
We send each subscriber a message giving them something for their sweet tooth to look forward to, with our send window for this message set to Wednesday, again from 6:00AM to 3:00PM.
Message 5 – Thursday Lunches: 20% off entire lunch bill when business card presented with check
Our restaurant has a large banquet room with a TV that has video inputs perfect for laptop slideshows. We send a message with a send window set for Thursday between 6:00AM and 12:00PM, to target subscribers when they might be thinking of planning their next lunch meeting.
See Them in Action
The calendar below shows an example of a subscriber who (conveniently) signs up on the first of the month for the campaign described above.
Toggle on and off send windows, hovering over the green highlighted calendar dates to observe how they affect this sequence of autoresponders.
Notice that with send windows off, we don’t accomplish what we set out to do with our message campaign – target our subscribers when each message is most relevant to them.
Only with send windows on do we deliver these messages to all new subscribers when they are most likely to bring them into our restaurant as patrons.
Send Windows Aren’t For Restaurants Only!
Of course, the benefits of targeting subscribers during specific windows of time are not unique to restaurants, and we’ll highlight some other examples we’ve developed in future blog posts.
For the meantime, we might all benefit from some real examples from real businesses like yours. Have you setup your send windows, or do you have any ideas about how your industry might use them you’d like to share?
For more information on email marketing for restaurants, view our complete Email Marketing for Restaurants Guide.