wagamama: positive eating + positive living – negative email

Have you ever eaten at wagamama?  They’ve expanded quite a bit since I first ate there in Leicester Square and have even expanded into the US, with two Boston locations.  I’m a fan of the restaurant/brand (yes, they have a Facebook group).  They may know how to run a good kitchen, but their email marketing needs some work.

You probably know that I don’t research email for a living – I’ve only managed campaigns as a client-side marketer.  But I know enough to be dangerous, or at least to write a decent blog post about how to improve email marketing.

So here’s the body of the message:

Wagamama email

  1. Pretty pictures, right?  Well first of all, this message displays terribly in text – it’s just a bunch of hyperlinks.  Lesson:  deliverability matters.  How much attrition are you willing to suffer by relying on a link that says "can’t see this email? click through to our website."
  2. Look at the content.  How does this relate to a noodle house?  [answer: it doesn’t]  Wagamama says it won’t sell your information to 3rd parties, but this promo/promo/promo/promo is pretty much the same thing. Lesson:  make it relevant.  Why not a message like "Harvard Square now open" or "new summer menu"?
  3. I haven’t heard from wagamama via email for months.  Actually, I can’t remember if they ever sent me an email prior to this one.  When a consumer opts-in, it’s permission to build a relationship, not to ping them for money randomly like your alma mater.  Lesson: relationships matter and they need to be cultivated and maintained over time to thrive.

Forrester’s analyst Julie Katz does this for a living and is worth contacting if you’re responsible for this type of marketing.  As for me, I think I’ll go unsubscribe from the list now.