What 4 Popular Cocktails Can Teach You About Email Marketing Strategy

December 17, 2014


What 4 Popular Cocktails Can Teach You About Email Marketing Strategy image 3f135e54 e470 43eb 8d96 98a55b252299 728.jpgThere’s no tried and true recipe for email marketing, and things can change pretty rapidly, but you can’t go wrong by mixing up some old favorites and adding a little trendy flair of your own. Marketing is much like mixing cocktails. Your concoction may include the same basic ingredients, but the magic happens when you put it all together and serve it up with style.

Bloody Mary

What a classic! Bloody Marys have been around for a long time. Since the 1920s to be exact, although the original drink, vodka and tomato juice, has really come a long way since. Over the years, bartenders all over the country have spiced things up to make the lowly Bloody Mary a signature cocktail. A recent upsurge in popularity has taken the competition to make the best Bloody Mary in the land to new and unusual heights.

Customers expect a certain range of flavor from a Bloody Mary. You can add a rim of celery salt or adash of trendy Sriracha, but the base ingredients have to remain the same…or it’s not a Bloody Mary. So how do you build a signature cocktail from something as ordinary as tomato juice? Start with some tasty spices and then elevate your presentation. Deliver more than your customers expect and they’ll come back for more.

The email marketing lesson: Deliver all that you promised and more. When you present your customers with a call-to-action (CTA), give them an incentive to go with it, a freebie, a contest entry, or a special offer. If you’re paying attention to your customer data, you know what potential customers are searching for. If customers are expecting a ho-hum drink with a sad little celery stick and get a spicy masterpiece with a huge assortment of appetizers like the Bloody Mary served at Sobelman’s Pub and Grill in Milwaukee, you can count that as a win…because they’ll be back, and they’ll tell their friends.

Long Island Iced Tea

It may remind you of your mama’s front porch, but don’t let that fool you. Long Island Iced Tea has the advantage of stealth. While it contains a great deal of alcohol, it tastes so smooth and innocent that unsuspecting drinkers may not even realize they’re getting hammered…until it’s too late. Invented in 1972 by Robert Butt during a drink creation contest, it’s been a popular cocktail for half a decade and shows no sign of losing popularity.

The email marketing lesson: Stealth sales, also known as content marketing. Overt selling can turn customers off. Instead, offer them information, entertainment, and news. Well designed content doesn’t sell. It gives customers a reason to want to buy from you. Before they realize your potent marketing mix is alcoholic, they’ll be falling off their barstools.


Everybody loves Margaritas. That’s just a fact. (Disclaimer: May not be a real fact.) It’s a drink so versatile you can stick in just about any flavor and it tastes great. I recently had a cactus Margarita with sugar around the rim. It was kind of awful, but I was willing to try it. It sounded refreshing, somehow. And it cost 9 bucks, so surely it had to be good, right?

The point is, you can have an original citrusy Margarita on the rocks with salt on the rim, a sweet frozen strawberry Margarita, an exotic mango Margarita, or just about any other flavor you can imagine.

The email marketing lesson: Offer customers what they want, any way they want it. Marketing is much more effective when it’s targeted and not one-size-fits-all. Use your CRM to segment your marketing list and send customers that prefer peaches to pineapples an offer for a juicy Georgia peach Margarita…and not for a cactus juice concoction, because that just has no reason to exist. A feature-rich CRM makes easy to find your customers by keyword. For example, MailChimp integrates with Insightly to easily separate all the peach Margarita lovers in your contact database and send a targeted mailing with offers they’ll love.

Sex on the Beach

Have you ever ordered an Afternoon Delight or a Between the Sheets? Most drinks with titillating names are overly sweet and not all that appealing, but people still order them. Why? Probably for the most obvious possible reason, the names are provocative enough for people to wonder what’s in them. It’s something you just have to know. Especially when you’ve already had a few and your sense of decency can no longer prevent you from yelling, “Bartender, I’d like Sex on the Beach!” across a crowded bar.

The email marketing lesson: Don’t get me wrong, I don’t recommend using something like “Do you have an Extra Fuzzy Navel?,” but a provocative subject line that makes people curious about what’s inside is a great way to get recipients to open your email.Followed, once you have their attention, by reading your content and clicking on your CTA.

Whether you’re mixing up a tempting cocktail to entice customers or launching an email marketing campaign, your goal is the same. You want to please your audience and encourage them to come back for more. And like any tempting cocktail, your email marketing recipe should include satisfying content, dazzling presentation, an intriguing hook, and a little something extra.

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