So where am I writing this blog from today? I’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with zornerbakery. Did you guess Corner Bakery – that excellent and delicious cafe? Good!

Checking in from the Edible Office

One of the benefits of this modern era of communications is that a blogger can do his or her work from almost anywhere. And though I do like our offices a whole lot and my home studio a little more, sometimes a morning type session in a café or coffee house is heaven. A small booth, a laptop, coffee and an omelet all make for a minimalist’s dream workspace.

Cloudiness Is Next to Godliness

Oh, you have to love the places that give you free wi-fi connection. Thank goodness for that! Our office uses online software to connect, so after I wipe the cookie crumbs from this keyboard, I can turn this piece in right here in my booth. When the software is in the cloud, all you need is a connection, no? Come to think of it, doesn’t Benchmark’s email marketing software fit in nicely here? Let’s dream a little:

The lady to the left of me – she could be sending out pictures and e-coupons for her store’s new spring shoe collection… The couple in front of me – they might be working on a community newsletter for the non-profit they run… And the man in the booth behind me – he’s taking ten minutes to send an email blast to his clients about this awesome vacation package his travel company just put together…

Okay, I don’t know this is going on, but it really could be, especially because email marketing is following me around this morning. Honestly. The following is 100% true.

Corner Bakery Shows the Email Marketer How It’s Done:

INT. CORNER BAKERY – MORNING

In Huntington Beach, CA, a MAN is furiously typing away on his laptop computer, working on the next feature set that the email marketing company is planning. Halfway through his omelet, a nice employee approaches with a plateful of cookies.

SERVER

Have you heard about our email club? We send out coupons and special announcements. If you sign up, I can give you a cookie or a coffee.

MAN
(beat)
I’ll take the cookie!

With that, the man furiously scribbles his email on the handout and then grabs the cookie. Not really being hungry, he sets the cookie and his work aside for later, then opens up a browser on his laptop so that he can see the Corner Bakery’s website.

I Wonder if They Knew I Was Looking for Something to Write About…

So that, my friends, is really how it happened. What’s the take away from this dining-in adventure? Corner Bakery really did all the right things in getting me on to their email list. You can do it, too. Of course I broke down their technique for you. Write it down and put it into play now:

  • You don’t have to ask for an email address at the point of sale. If possible, let your prospective subscriber settle in first.
  • If you can offer something of value while you’re asking for emails, do it. A little temptation goes a long way.
  • Sell the benefit, not the list.
  • Approach with a genuine smile.
  • Pick your targets wisely. Dude who can’t put his laptop down to eat is probably into getting lots of emails.

To close this all up, don’t be shy about asking for a birthday on the form you ask a prospective subscriber to fill out. Corner Bakery asked. I debated for about 0.003 seconds, then thought of all the great stuff they potentially could send me as a present. They now have my name, email, birthday AND they know I love cookies. Fair enough to me!