Whether you cater enormous Wolfgang Puck-erian lavish bashes for Hollywood stars or just put together nibbler platters for small family birthday parties, there is no better promotional tool than a properly conceived and consummately executed email marketing newsletter. Here are the top five email marketing tips for caterers that might have Mary Giuliani, Peter Callahan and Andrea Correale envying your success.

Promote Your Specialties
Catering has evolved millennia past slopping rubber chicken and instant mashed potatoes on plastic plates. Every successful caterer now specializes in specific styles, types or nationalities of food as well as their accompanying events, so promoting these areas of expertise to your email audience will create a clear and vivid identity for your company. If you’re a food specialty caterer, describe the extent of your vegan, organic, halal or kosher cuisine; if you’re a Mexican caterer, remind your subscribers that any time is a great time to have a fiesta… not just for Cinco De Mayo; and if you’re an avant garde caterer, explain that your chef is a Wylie Dufresne or Ferran Adria level molecular gastronomer.

Provide Your Calendar
Incorporating a link in your email newsletter to your up-to-the-minute scheduling calendar will not only impress your readers with how heavily you’re booked and the top-ranked events you’re catering, but will also allow them to grasp at a glance how their desired event dates correspond with your availability. If you have the capacity to deal with more than one event at a time, ensure that it’s clearly spelled out so that your customers don’t get discouraged if your calendar shows a conflict.

Specify Order Dates
Holidays are traditionally the busiest times for caterers, so communicate via your email campaign what the final order dates are for Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and all of the other busy culinary weeks of the year. Depending on how much business you want to generate, you can provide discounts for early bird orders or promote last minute specials. Sending emails timed to correspond to just a few days before the holidays that advertise your capabilities to handle all aspects of holiday meals and events can get you booked solid right through the schedule.

Wrap It Up In Package Deals
With today’s hectic lifestyle, your customers may simply lack the time and organizational skills to pull off a successful party or event. When you promote your company’s ability to cater “turn-key” packages that completely free them from doing anything but showing up and enjoying the party, you will be appealing to this time-squeezed majority of your email prospects. Describe the extent of your full service catering and how every detail including the birthday cake’s candles, the perfectly brined roasted turkey and the hanging decorations will be handled expertly and professionally.

Hold a VIP Event
Your email subscribers are special people and they should be treated in a very special manner. You can invite the various, most lucrative segments of your list to a special VIP party where you can present a cross-section of your most delectable culinary offerings and impress them with your exquisite approach and attention to detail in everything from the waiters’ starched uniforms to the spotlessness of your crystal.

Email marketing campaigns have long been acknowledged to be one of the best ways that any caterer can generate new business and encourage repeat bookings. Cater to your email subscribers’ preferences and you’ll soon be catering their events!