Experienced restaurant email marketers are well aware of the four basic archetypes that email newsletter subscribers adhere to. Learning the characteristics of each and how to best handle them is a valuable lesson in maximizing your venue’s bottom line.

The Influencer

This is the customer that subscribed to your email marketing newsletter but has let eons pass between their click-throughs. It’s not that they don’t love your restaurant or think that your Lobster Risotto with Cascades Chanterelles doesn’t rock their world, but they’re so engaged in keeping up with their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the dozens of other networks where they receive hundreds of tweets, bleeps and squeals that they couldn’t confidently tell you what day it is. Conventional wisdom would state that if they don’t click through they’re deadbeats, but the opposite is actually the case. Send them just one email that rings their bell and watch them forward and post it to an audience that’s larger than that watching the local nightly news. It is not at all unusual to trace back an entire surge in your night’s covers to a single original email recipient. In order to facilitate these unpaid salespeople, ensure that your email newsletters can be posted on the major social networks with ease by providing a wealth of links to the social universe.

The Elite Diner

While The Influencer is the equivalent of hitting the occasional jackpot, the Elite Diner is your foundation patron. This customer loves your restaurant so much that they act as the antithesis of the Influencer: they want to keep the excellence of your venue as their own little secret. While the Elite Diner would sooner ask you to pulverize and sprinkle the cyanide-rich pits over your Apricot Chocolate Kugelhupf than to forward anything at all about your existence to a friend, they are the essence of repeat business that translates into steady, long term income. You might as well just delete the forwarding links on their emails for all the times they’ll use them, but that doesn’t mean that just a handful of Elite Diners can’t make the difference between profitability and bankruptcy for your restaurant.

The Quiescent

This group constitutes at least four out of every five email addresses on your subscription list, and in some cases more than nine out of ten. They love your restaurant and can’t find anything bad to say about it from the perfectly starched cotton/poly damask table cloths to the dryness of the Marsala in the Fruit Compote Zabaglione, but they just don’t see themselves as your promotional vehicles as you haven’t made it easy enough for them. The Quiescent require your assistance in becoming informed how best to work for you. Every single possible offer that will engage and motivate them is in fair play for the Quiescent, as they will be glad to pass along your deals, vouchers, drawings and other offerings, but you have to s-p-e-l-l it out for them.

The Spam Clicker

This customer is an Influencer in reverse. They subscribed with high expectations and then found your emails to be pedantic, uninspiring or outright offensive, and they didn’t even bother to click on the Unsubscribe link but just noted your email address to be considered as spam in order to block it from their inbox. Just like the Influencer can pass along your positive message to their entire social circle, the Spam Clicker will pass along a very negative message to dozens or even hundreds of your potential patrons, not even taking into consideration the hit your email reputation takes with every single spam classification. It may be hard to believe but this is your single most important customer and you should stop at nothing to get back into their good graces. If you have their home address, send them an offer for your head chef to prepare a gourmet meal at their residence absolutely free of charge. Give away the farm if you have to, but stanch the bleeding of negativity that will permeate throughout your customer base if ignored.

May you have nothing but Influencers and Elite Diners on your banquettes!