Making dough with Diane

Eight ideas for fun and informative newsletters
Diane Chiasson
March 31, 2009
By
A key step to building a solid marketing plan is reaching your customers outside your pizzeria, stretching beyond what they see or receive while inside your store.

Everyone is familiar with the bills, junk mail, flyers and coupons that get stuffed into their mailboxes every day, but have you considered a newsletter? This can be a great way to communicate with customers and promote your specials. Whether newsletters are delivered by mail, e-mail, available in your store, local offices or even the street, they provide useful information about your pizzeria to customers, potential customers and staff.

Newsletters are an excellent way to boost sales, build repeat business and increase customer loyalty. Most importantly, they are an ideal form of advertising.

You can also use the newsletter to build your database by having customers sign up for it via mail or e-mail. Give them an incentive to sign up by offering them a useful coupon when they receive their first newsletter, or by holding a monthly or quarterly draw whereby winners are announced in the newsletter.
First you have to decide how your newsletter will look. Be consistent with your graphics and layout. Your newsletter should convey your brand immediately. Use your brand colours, fonts and style in the
newsletter so that your business is recognized immediately when someone picks it up.

If you want to print and/or mail your newsletter, decide if you want to go with a single eight-and-a-half by 11 inch page or a 11 by 17 inch format, whether print will be on the front and back, and if you want full colour or black and white. 

Make sure you come up with a catchy name for your newsletter that readers will be able to associate with your operation.

Here are a few ideas that should get you started for at least the first year, and by then you’ll be an expert at writing newsletters.

1.  Information that should be in each one
Your newsletter should always include information about your company, the specials or promotions you might be running that month, highlighted menu items or any new products you might be debuting, as well as reminding customers how valuable they are by offering a special coupon.

2.  Introduce yourself
In your inaugural newsletter, you should tell your readers something about yourself and your great team. What is your pizza operation about? How did you go about starting it? Why did you decide to open a pizzeria? Make sure to include a photo of yourself and your team so that people will recognize you when they see you.

3. Offer Recipes and tips
You might want to include recipes of different styles of pizza sauces, or your secret salad dressing. Or you could educate readers on which wines would work well with your pizzas. You could also share some great and healthy topping combinations. Mention your chef’s latest creations.

4. Feature local farmers,cheese makers
Provide some information about where you source your food. You could have a spotlight for the local farmer or artisan cheese maker from whom you purchase your produce and cheese.

5. Save the environment
You could write about what an environmentally friendly operation you run, what products are recyclable in your store, what eco-friendly materials you use in your kitchen, and what efforts you are putting in to make your store as green as possible.

6. Sponsor charities or sports teams
If there is a particular charity you sponsor, you could write about what that charity does and what your store has done to help. Or, if you sponsor a local sports team, you could write about their wins and losses.

7. Profile Employees
Introduce your staff to your customers. It could be fun to feature one employee per newsletter offering short anecdotes about him or her, so that customers can get to know your staff better, and get a chance to share something personal with them. Include their picture and maybe a nickname. Good customer/staff relations also lead to better business.

8. Appreciate your customers
Let repeat customers feel special by giving them a chance to be in the spotlight; print comments from satisfied customers, and include photos of customers enjoying their pizza.


Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. She provides innovative food and retail merchandising programs, interior design, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at1-888-926-6655, or
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com .

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