Email marketing and why it was wrong for us

I love having a business that can make decisions based on our own personal beliefs and what we feel is right – or not right. It’s that simple. It’s also a dream to have such a clear focus on certain types of restaurants – because we are serving a lot of people just like us – people that share similar philosophies on how they do business and how they treat their customers and their staff. Bottom line, because we respect what our customers do – we really don’t want to do things to try and grow our business that we would find annoying if it were done to us.

Years ago, in the early days, we emailed restaurant owners to let them know about our company. We were advised on the process and figured it was a good way to get started. For many kinds of companies it’s a good way to create awareness. But for us, it never felt right, so we stopped blasting emails soon after we started. Even though it does work if you keep at it, it’s expensive in more ways than one. Plenty of things work, but that doesn’t mean we should do them.

The thing is, it was not because of the lousy results we saw (which is normal, which is why you just have to keep sending), it was because how I felt about sending them. I, personally, don’t purchase items (for my business or myself) as a result of being emailed by the company that makes them. I love to discover things I need or our business needs when the timing is right and believe down to my core that most of you do too. Of course the company emailing us thinks they are selling a great product. Of course they think it will make our lives better or easier. But how do they really know that? I guess they can assume we might like it – but they really don’t know what’s on our mind and what wheels are squeaking the loudest in our business and personal lives. You know what I mean? I mean, I think it’s really all about timing and when the timing is right – most people seek out a solution to the problem. And they do so by looking at their options and by asking trusted friends and family and colleagues for recommendations on how they solved the problem and what they like.

So what made me the most uncomfortable about blasting tens of thousands of emails was that when the owners did actually hear good things about us – either from asking friends or being told without even asking, they might then recall our annoying attempts to pitch our product and company. Ugh! Because of those emails (that they likely tossed in the trash), they already had a first impression of us in their mind and had not even tried us yet.

It’s just not worth it.


This, by the way, is also related to why we don’t exhibit at trade shows.