I just read an article about a restaurant owner who wrote a nasty email (careful, this contains SEVERE  language, folks) to his employees for not collecting email addresses. In fact, if they don’t collect at least 20 emails a week, he’s planning on fining them $100, and if they don’t collect at least 20 emails in 2 weeks they’re fired. This was reported by an anonymous tipster, but the owner does admit sending it.

Now I applaud that he sees the value in email marketing, however he’s crossing the line by his actions and demeanor (in my opinion).

Why not do it in a positive fashion, after all, email marketing will get customers in the door and stressing to your staff that the people who will benefit will be them, might just work in your favor. Here are a few more constructive ideas:

  • For every valid email address your staff gets give them $2.
  • If they get 20 valid email addresses they get a kicker of $50.
  • Have a contest with your staff, whoever gets a certain number of emails wins a prize like cash or a nice bottle of bubbly.
  • Motivate your customers to give you their email addresses by having “email only” offers in the bill holder. Test different offers to see what works like a free birthday dinner up to $xx, or free appetizers on their next visit. This gives your employees a reason to ask the customers for their addresses. Giving up something of value to get it in return can go a long way.
  • At the host stand or checkout, display a business card bowl or a sign up book, then have the host stop people on the way out the door and tell them about “email only” offers.
  • Give an automatic 5% VIP discount for any customer who is on the email address list.

These are just a few positive ways to get your staff excited about collecting email addresses instead of forcing it down their throats. If you’ve got any ideas of your own, please comment!

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