When local Mexican restaurant El Vallarta was looking for an alternative platform from print ads, Busy Blogs Plus proposed a digital newsletter and email marketing to help bring in new business.
Through the power of social media marketing and building an audience, Busy Blogs Plus was able to grow El Vallarta’s email list by nearly 150% from January 2018 to January 2019.
These are the steps that we took to build El Vallarta’s list as well as some insight on their social media strategy.
Client wanted to launch a newsletter, informing recipients of upcoming events, promotions, coupons, and other relevant and useful content.
Client did not have an existing email list to distribute the newsletter. Busy Blogs Plus took the newsletter from concept to completion all while building an email list base from scratch. The promotional platform for El Vallarta’s newsletter was Facebook.
Due to a strong Facebook following and active audience, El Vallarta’s newsletter is now at 1,025+ subscribers as of January 13, 2020.
While the newsletter was initially launched in June of 2018, Busy Blogs Plus grew the email list by 147% in 2019—giving El Vallarta a sufficient email base to distribute its newsletter.
Until the newsletter, the forms of marketing El Vallarta included our Facebook management along with circular print ads. Facebook was the only platform used for promoting the mailing list.
El Vallarta has two Facebook accounts to represent its two locations, Boardman, Ohio and Hermitage, Pennsylvania.
While El Vallarta’s email newsletter sign-ups remain consistent since its launch, the driving force behind its success is a strong foundational Facebook audience.
Since one of the purposes of the newsletter was to distribute promotional materials and coupons, we asked if they preferred to receive the content via US mail or digital format.
Paper or Digital Promos? Polling the Audience
We launched a poll to determine if the audience, around 2,000 people combined on the two accounts, asking how they’d prefer to receive coupons and promotions. The purpose was to validate the need for the newsletter and see how it stacks up against the client’s print ads.
These are the results:
Interestingly, both locations have nearly identical results with 74%-75% of the audience preferring a digital newsletter over US mail circular advertisements.
From there, we recommended a monthly newsletter for the client.
Promotion of El Vallarta Newsletter via Social Media
After the audience voiced a strong preference for digital promotions, we added a sign-up form on El Vallarta’s website. We directed traffic to this sign-up form through social media, informing customers that they will receive coupons and other promotions from the newsletter.
All mentions of El Vallarta’s newsletters were organic. It was mentioned more frequently when a newsletter was planned to go out on a certain date, typically posting it about it three times the week before it was set to publish. We promoted newsletter-exclusive content and coupons, as well as built anticipation for upcoming events.
While Facebook was used to promote the newsletter, it’s paramount to mention that the newsletter promotion happened after El Vallarta had a strong Facebook following. They also had (and continue to have) excellent engagement.
These are the engagement statistics for El Vallarta Boardman in December 2019.
These numbers represent the engagement that we typically receive each month with El Vallarta’s audience. It’s one of the key ways that we were able to organically achieve 150% growth over one year for the newsletter.
This is the process we used to build El Vallarta’s Facebook audience.
Building a Facebook Audience
Busy Blogs Plus manages El Vallarta’s Facebook since February 2017. The social media audience was built and nurtured for a solid year before the first newsletter was published.
Since then, we’ve developed multiple campaigns and a consistent strategy that repeatedly brings engagement.
The client receives three posts per day in the following categories:
- Spanish Word of the Day: Each day, we post a custom graphic with a Spanish Word of the Day translated to English. This is an educational and useful aspect of El Vallarta’s social media strategy.
- Lunch post: Each day, we post a custom graphic that shows one of the many available lunch options. The content is not duplicated, even with the photos are repurposed at a later date.
- Dinner post: This follows the same pattern as the lunch posts.
In addition to the 3 posts per day (7 days a week), El Vallarta also implements specials, major holiday announcements, and other unique content into its strategy. We promote Taco Tuesday each week and mix in polls that are relevant to current events, the time of year, or Mexican cuisine.
This is a poll that we did at Christmas time, asking the audience if they prefer receiving a gift or money for the holidays. The idea is to consistently create engagement, keeping customers interested in El Vallarta’s daily content
The ROI & Benefits of Email Marketing
While El Vallarta’s Facebook audience determined that a digital newsletter is a preferred way to distribute promotions and special offers, there are other statistics to back up the profitable return on investment of email and newsletter marketing:
- For every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect an average of $32 in return.
- Email marketing yields a much higher ROI than direct marketing, which provides only 7% ROI.
- 80% of businesses rely on email marketing for customer retention.
- Email reaches about 85% of people on your list. This is better performance than what you will find for most organic social media posts.
- Email and newsletter marketing builds trust and brand recognition. Since your name pops up in your customer’s inbox, they begin to recognize you and trust the content that you send.
When it comes to creating your own company newsletter, there are several lessons to apply during the process.
Key Lessons in Growing an Email List with a Newsletter
As we built up El Vallarta’s email list, these are the top lessons and tips for you to apply for your own email marketing
- You need a plan. Simply creating an account with MailChimp and having a Facebook account won’t yield results. You must have a strategy in place and be willing to test and tweak over time.
- A strong social presence will help increase sign-ups. When you have an audience that engages and interacts with your brand on social media, the same people will likely be interested in your email content. In the case for El Vallarta, Facebook was the only place where the newsletter was promoted.
- You don’t need a huge budget for paid Facebook ads. Although it took about 18 months to reach over 1,000 organic subscribers, you can still grow an email list without spending money on Facebook ads for promotion.
- You need a compelling offer. Whether you decide to grow your list organically or with paid ads, there must be an enticing offer at the end. El Vallarta’s audience was interested in coupons and monetary savings. This was the primary strategy used to promote the newsletter.
- You need to be consistent. Publishing the newsletter on a consistent basis, such as weekly or monthly, can lead to more shares and signups. It also tells your customers when they can expect to hear from you.
Create and Grow Your Email List & Newsletter with Busy Blogs Plus
Busy Blogs Plus offers social media marketing services, email marketing services and newsletter writing and design services. We can create a strategy for you from scratch and improve your online presence, whether it’s in your customer’s inbox or on your preferred social platform.