How to Build an Email List for Your Food Business

July 17, 2023

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January 11, 2023

If you own a food business, you’ve probably been told that you need to have an email list. An email list is a great way to stay in touch with customers and make sure they come back for repeat purchases. Email can be an incredibly effective marketing tool, but many solo food business owners don't know where to start when it comes to building their first list. Keep reading for tips on how you can start growing your email list so that you keep your customers engaged and buying. 

First, Have a List to Sign Up For

Before you can get your customers to share their emails with you, you need to have something they can sign up for! A number of tools exist today to make it easy to send marketing emails, like HubSpot, Mailchimp, and Flodesk. Even better, Castiron’s food business management tools make building your email list and sending emails a totally seamless process, because all of your customer data, order history, and contact information is in one place.

Make It Easy For Customers to Sign Up 

The first step in creating a successful email list is to make it easy for customers to sign up. This means having a clear call-to-action on your website and social media pages that encourages people to join your newsletter or mailing list. You should also consider including a signup form at checkout or at farmers markets so people can easily join your list without having to search for it online.

Incentivize Joining the List 

Another great way to entice people into joining your email list is by offering them something in exchange for subscribing. This could be anything from discounts on products or services, exclusive content, early access to new products, and even free gifts like recipes or cooking tips if you're selling food-related items. No matter what type of incentive you choose, make sure it's something that will appeal to your target audience as this will help encourage them to sign up. 

Collect Emails When Customers Purchase

By far the easiest way to start building your email list is by allowing your customers to subscribe to receive emails from your business when they make a purchase. Make sure that your online store checkout gives customers a way to subscribe to receive updates from your business so that you can encourage customers to make repeat purchases.

How Can I Grow My Email List?

Now that you’ve built a foundation for your email marketing, it’s time to expand your email list! Use these tried-and-true strategies to grow your email list and you’ll start seeing sales growth from email in no time. 

Leverage Social Media

Social media continues to be a powerful tool for businesses of all kinds—including food businesses! Asking followers to join your mailing list or sign up for exclusive offers is a great way to grow your subscriber base and keep customers informed about upcoming events or promotions related to your business. It's also important to make sure that you're responding quickly and professionally so that potential customers feel seen and valued by your brand. 

With Castiron, you can add a link to your social media profiles that drives your followers directly to your email sign up page. Growing your list can be as easy as that! Learn how to find your email sign up link here.

Ask Happy Customers For Referrals

One of the most effective (and free!) methods of growing an email list is through referrals from satisfied customers or friends of the business who already subscribe. Offering incentives like discounts or freebies for new email subscribers can be an effective way to get more people interested in signing up for emails from your food business. It’s as easy as asking your subscribers to forward emails to friends and family who might be interested in your products. 

Go Offline

If you sell products at farmer’s markets, local stores, pop-ups, events, or other physical locations, it may be worth asking customers if they'd like to join the mailing list while they're interacting with you! This is a great opportunity not only to get more people signed up but also establish stronger relationships with existing customers by having face-to-face interactions with them directly at the point of sale. Plus, it's always nice when people feel acknowledged as soon as they purchase something from you!

Engage With Your List Regularly 

Why have an email list if you’re not going to use it, right? Once people have signed up for your mailing list, you need to engage with them regularly. This means sending out emails at least once a month (or more frequently depending on how often you have something new or exciting happening) with content that is relevant and interesting enough to keep them engaged in what you have going on. You should also consider hosting contests and giveaways, as these are great ways to increase engagement with your subscribers and reward their loyalty. 

Not sure when you should email your subscribers? Try sending an email to announce a new holiday product that can be purchased from your online store, or let your customers know that you’ll be selling at an upcoming local event. 

Castiron's email marketing tools are built for food business owners, so they're easy to use and do most of the work for you. All you have to do is choose a subject, add your message, and click send! 

Why You Need an Email List For Your Food Business

Building an email list is key when it comes to promoting any kind of food business—it’s one of the easiest ways for business owners like yourself to reach out directly with news, updates and offers without spending too much time or money on marketing efforts! There are many different methods available but following these steps should help get you started on building a larger subscriber base for your food business today.

Growing an email list can be a daunting task but with the right strategy, it doesn't have to be! By making it easy for customers to sign up, offering incentives for doing so, and engaging regularly with those who do join your list, you'll be able build an effective email marketing strategy that helps drive sales and repeat purchases for your food business.

Now that you've built your list, it's time to start sending emails. Use these tips to start growing your food business with email marketing.

About the Author
Emily Brungard

Growth Marketing Manager, Castiron

Emily is a sister, a friend, a cook, a world traveler, an interior design lover, and Growth Marketing Manager at Castiron. A career startup marketer, Emily has firsthand experience growing small businesses with marketing.

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