Food Sheriff's powerful email marketing cocktail

July 20, 2015 McKenzie Gregory

If you’ve ever listened to a country song, you’re probably familiar with just how much Southerners love their booze. This side of the Mason-Dixon line is famous for its libations, and cool new brands continue to pop up all the time – think Corsair, American Born Moonshine, Belle Meade Bourbon and Blue Chair Bay Rum (country star Kenny Chesney’s own creation).

And if you’re searching for an authority on marketing all things served neat, straight up or on the rocks, look no further than Jesse Goldstein, aka "Food Sheriff.” He spent years as the brand manager for the Loveless Cafe, helping transform the restaurant into a Southern icon, and these days, his Nashville-based marketing agency builds brand awareness for an impressive roster of food-and-beverage related businesses.  

Marketing for a wide range of clients

Despite his long list of clients, Jesse is careful to never use his any of his marketing strategies as a catchall for his different brands. “One of the things that’s really important to me from an agency standpoint is to not just think, ‘Oh, this tactic worked for one of my clients, so let me do it for this one, too.'"

Discretion is also a top priority for the marketing guru. “When you’re an agency working with different accounts,” he explained, "you don’t ever want to give away the secrets of your individual brands. I develop strategies alongside each brand I represent, so what we produce together belongs to them. I’m not going to reproduce it for someone else, even if they’re also my client."

It’s where Emma’s Agency Platform comes in handy. Jesse can keep his clients’ campaigns, audience and results separate and manage it all from one central dashboard that makes it easy to stay organized. “It makes things so much easier for me – it’s great to be able to go in and easily see what each of my clients is doing.”

Smart tactics from a marketing veteran

From the agency dashboard, Jesse can quickly see if one of his clients isn’t getting the kind of results they expect and dig into their account to see where he can help them improve.

“One of my clients in particular was actually doing all of their own emails, and with the Agency Platform, I was able to see that they were including an overwhelming amount of content, which is why their click rates were way down. So I was able to quickly intervene and help them solve that problem."

Alongside his knowledge of design and content production, Jesse is a pretty savvy email marketer. “It's amazing to me how many people use email incorrectly. The number one mistake I see people make is that they include all the information they want to share in an email. In most cases, you should be trying to pull people back to your website. That way, they’ll fall down the rabbit hole of discovering everything it is that you have to offer."

For Jesse, marketing is all about creating strong pathways between a consumer and a client. "All you’re trying to do when it comes to marketing is build a synapse in the brain that connects a person's life experiences to your brand, and hopefully you’re finding multiple ways to do that, whether that’s through one-on-one personal connection, recipes or interesting blog posts."



A great example of how Jesse deploys these concepts is the email marketing he does for his innovative cocktail series, 3st of the Month. Held on the third day of every month, each 3st event aims to gather like-minded people and introduce them to new drinks. But even though the primary focus of the series is event-based, Jesse uses 3st emails for much more than event promotion.

“If all I'm doing is pushing,” he explained, "I think it’s really important that I also do a little pulling. If most of your content is promotional or you’re trying to push sales, you’ve got to give your audience some breathers.” So in 3st of the Month emails, Jesse promotes events, but he’ll also send emails that contain nothing but recipes or an email that’s just a cool playlist. By mixing up his content and keeping it fresh, he ensures that his recipients never know quite what to expect.

And it works – Jesse’s 3st of the Month emails average an impressive 45% open and 21% click rate!

Using email to make a personal connection

Email is a marketer’s most personal channel. By combining his clients’ audience data with powerful features like segmentation, dynamic content and automation, Jesse can help his clients make sure they’re reaching the right people with relevant content. And that’s huge because relevant emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails, according to Juniper Research.

“When you’re working with strong brands,” Jesse said, "in many cases you’re not trying to appeal to everyone – you’re really just trying to appeal to a core audience.”

He’s also a big fan of using Emma’s Automation feature as a way to create a personal connection between his clients’ brands and their subscribers. "I preach to people all the time the importance of speaking to an audience as quickly as possible. But automation has been a tool I use for clients for multiple resources beyond just the welcome series standpoint. For instance, one of my clients really wanted to get feedback on a particular customer experience, so we set up an autoresponder that encouraged customers to go online and fill out a survey. It’s been really successful for that client as an easy way to grab some quick feedback and encourage engagement."

Key takeaways

1. Find a platform that fits your needs. Managing email marketing for multiple clients can be challenging for agencies, so find a platform that makes it easy to stay organzied and has all the features you need to create high-quality client emails that drive results.

2. Don’t cram everything into a single email. Rather than sharing everything at once, focus your email content on a single idea with one call to action. You'll drive more clicks and – ultimately – engagement with your brand.

3. Keep your message relevant and timely. Reach subscribers with just the right message at just the right time and watch your conversion rates skyrocket. 

About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a content writer on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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