A Snarky Start
Okay, I'll admit it. I'm one of those humans who likes to eat. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that I try to get in at least three (count them!) meals a day. I guess that makes me a "foodie" now, because I like to eat and - just maybe - enjoy it. Can I join this elite food club now? I promise to get a Yelp account and drop in the word "amazing" at least five times a week. I'll even look up "snarky" and find out what it means so that I can work that into the personality of my online foodie persona.
All kidding aside, I do like food and appreciate all the cable shows, smart phone apps and enthusiastic people that turn me on to new grub. I don't know if that makes me a foodie, but it sure makes me hungry.
Don't Call It a Roach Coach
I also like a good surprise. A few days ago, I went to the local musical instrument superstore and found a row of short, shiny trucks parked in a seldom-used area of the parking lot. My senses were bedazzled by a string of lights, the buzz of portable generators and a small crowd of hip, happy smiling people stuffing their faces. The vans were the size of the old clichéd (and meanly nicknamed) roach coaches, but these were amazingly clean, new and super sanitary. The way the crowd of indie-music-listening-hipster-foodies were dressed, I'd thought I'd stumbled upon a "roachella Coachella."
Since this column is about email marketing
and not trying to coin a hip term for food trucks, I'd better just sum up the story here and tell you that my gourmet treat that came off the food truck was like nothing I have ever had. It was straight-up awesome, and I now know what all the fuss is about with the "food truck scene." There's a new generation of talented, mobile chefs who are bringing excellent food to unexpected places. Oh, and their mobile coaches are spotless!
You Can't Tweet the Unwilling
Many of these hip, gourmet food trucks drive around to different locations every day. The preferred way to find out about their daily whereabouts is via Twitter. Some of these trucks get more business than they can handle by way of Twitter alone. Of course there was a sign in front of this truck that implored me to follow their Twitter account.
Well, I'm not on Twitter much. I have an account and I just don't use it. I have a problem being snarky in 140 characters or less. Email suits me fine. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I had eight minutes to kill while waiting for my gourmet hot dog. I could have put my email on a form. Yes, this Asian fusion hot dog treat was good enough to email me about.
Trucks Too Fast for Email?
Maybe the food trucks move around too quickly and unpredictably for email campaigns
. But a quick visit to the website of a few of the best-known food trucks in Los Angeles showed their weekly schedule of locations up on their front pages. I couldn't find an email list on a few of the sites. Too bad, because I'd sign up for them and check my emails each morning in hopes of finding the gourmet coach that was rolling up near me and my taste-buds.
A Message to You, Food Truck
Listen here, food trucks, get some email marketing accounts. You can send out pictures, specials, menus and embed video
with Benchmark. You can even automatically post to your Twitter and Facebook accounts when you send your emails to your fans. You can put online sign up boxes on your website or Facebook page to collect new fans. You'd get some more fans, I guarantee. Come on, do it now. I'm hungry!