8 Things Email Marketers Can Learn From NYC Pizza

Walking to the subway, I passed two pizzerias, an empty, shiny new one and an older one with a line out the door. In addition to enticing me to get a slice, it made me thinking about how NYC pizza was like email marketing.

8 NYC pizza inspired email marketing lessons

Here’s my take on how the elements of New York City pizza can help improve your email marketing:

  1. Crust = support structure. As the pizza’s support structure, New York City pizza’s thin crust has to be thick enough to keep the pizza together without getting soggy. Similarly, to be effective, an email campaign requires a strong database and Email Service Provider (ESP) to integrate your information and deliver your emails in a timely way.
  2. Tomato sauce = content. To have a distinct flavor, a good tomato sauce needs the right mix of elements so that it isn’t just ground up lumps of tomatoes. For an email campaign, this translates to the information you’re trying to convey. Do you have the right mix of information including promotion, helpful tips and fun stuff? Or, are you just pushing the same old sauce?
  3. Cheese = organization. While holding the pizza’s ingredients together, the cheese has to be sufficient to cover the pie without being too stringy or rubbery. Similarly, your email needs structure including strong a subject line, consistent “From” and useful content.
  4. Toppings = targeting. Pizza toppings run the gamut from Parmesan cheese and oregano to a variety of vegetables and meats, which can make pizza a fuller meal. Likewise, the tailoring and segmentation that you apply to your emailings ensures that prospects and customers get valuable content to meet their needs.
  5. Sharable = social. The average pizza pie has eight slices so it’s always shareable, especially for those watching their waistlines. Can your email be easily shared via email or social sharing? Is your information worth passing along? Remember, if you’re only talking about your latest sale, then it’s not.
  6. Reheatable = evergreen. Pizza is one food that’s good leftover. (Of course, teenagers may bypass the reheating stage and eat it cold.) Similarly, does your email message give recipients a reason to use it again or refer to it? Or are they Teflon, sliding from the inbox into trash?
  7. Word of mouth = fans. In New York City (and I am sure that this happens elsewhere), pizzerias are known via word of mouth. Do your emails give recipients a reason to tell others about it? What have you done for your customers lately?
  8. Findability = branding. In New York City, Ray’s Famous Pizza Restaurant on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Eleventh Street, is a Greenwich Village institution. It’s so popular that a number of other pizza parlors have adapted variations of its name. When your customers receive your emailing, they know who you are? Is the person whose name is in the “From” line someone they can identify?

While many of these points are at the core of any good email program, it’s a good idea to revisit them periodically to ensure that your marketing is still on track.

Maybe you want to have a pizza party to brainstorm new ways to enhance it.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Photo credit: Ms. Tea via Flickr

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