What Chipotle Can Teach You about Your Email Marketing Strategy

Published by: Meredith Thornton    |   Category: Blog, Email Marketing, Holiday Marketing, Optimization    

Hi, my name is Meredith, and I am addicted to Chipotle.

There you have it. They say that acceptance is the first step to recovery, so it looks like I’m well on my way, right? Maybe, not so fast.

What Chipotle Can Teach You about Your Email Marketing Strategy

As I made my 5th stop at Chipotle this past week, I realized that there is something to be learned here. As the line is out the door almost every time I make an appearance, you’ve got to assume that they are doing something right. So what is it that we can take from Chipotle, besides a “foil wrapped, hand-crafted, local farm supporting, food culture changing cylinder of deliciousness?”

Chipotle prides itself on the quality of the food they offer, using meat from animals raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones. Apart from the addictive taste of all of the menu items, Chipotle has adopted a marketing strategy that is far from an “in your face” approach. They provide valuable information on their website, from nutritional facts, diet information, their sustainable efforts involved in protecting animals and the environment, community building efforts, and more. Lastly, they have a story to tell that is readily available to the public to enable them to make informed decisions.

As you are analyzing your email marketing campaign for this upcoming holiday season and for the new year, consider the following three things that Chipotle has mastered in its strategy to build a positive brand image.

1.    Permission

No one is holding a gun to my head, forcing me to frequent Chipotle five times a week. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It is my choice to go there, day after day, and order the same thing, over and over again. The success of this Mexican chain is not because marketing executives are harassing anyone and everyone on the streets, looking for new customer who may or may not even be partial to Mexican food. It’s all about communicating with those who have already opened the doors, enjoyed a tasty meal, and left completely satisfied and ready to go back.

2.   Get to know your customer

It’s time to get personal. Every time I go into Chipotle, I am consistently greeted with a smile by the same people with the gloves behind the counter. When it’s gotten to the point where they now have my order down pat, either they recognize my addiction, or they are simply making the extra effort to let me know that they care. I prefer to believe the latter is the case. Acknowledging that people are driven to buy again based on the level of customer service they experience and the quality of the food they are devouring, it becomes ever more important to connect with them on a personal level and make their visit worthwhile. Maybe it’s Time to Start Dating Your Customers.

3.   Consistency

We all know that consistency is key. Nothing ruins my day more when there’s not enough cheese on my burrito, or they drizzle too much sour cream on top so that the burrito looks more like a soggy towel than an appetizing dish. I don’t know about you, but I like my burrito made just right every time. Also, I can walk into a Chipotle located on the opposite side of the country, and know that my burrito will be wrapped the same exact way that they do it in my hometown. The minute that our food is no longer served to our specifications, what it stopping us from switching to one of Chipotle’s closest competitors? If you consistently meet and exceed the expectations of your customers, they will continue to be loyal shoppers.

So, there you have it. In the planning stages of your next email marketing campaign, know that a successful return on investment is dependent on sending emails to permission-based, optin data. When you go above and beyond by adding an element of personalization to your message and consistency to your email marketing strategy, you can be rest assured that you are taking full advantage of this marketing platform and providing a service to your customers that they want to receive.

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