Effective Email Marketing For The Food & Beverage Industry

Jun 3, 2024

In the food and beverage industry, getting your brand’s name out there can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! In this blog, we will go over some of the most effective email marketing techniques that work best for brands in the food and beverage industry, helping brands sustain repeat customers and increase revenue. 

Stick around as we discuss the use of loyalty/rewards programs, product recommendations, abandoned cart emails, upsell/cross-sell techniques, seasonal product promotions, and the importance of social proof.

Loyalty/Rewards Program Emails

An email marketing technique that is a good return on investment and retains customer attention is the use of loyalty or rewards programs. Food and beverage brands that don’t utilize reward programs miss out on a great opportunity, as 83% of customers are more likely to continue doing business with a brand that has a loyalty program. The goal of these programs is to turn one-time buyers into repeat customers. This starts with a welcome email, point reminders, and a referral program.

Welcome Emails: Start by sending the customer an email welcoming them to your brand and thanking them for their purchase. Then, suggest they can save on shipping or deals by signing up for the loyalty program and explain the benefits of joining your brand’s loyalty program. 

Points Update:  Customers need some way to track their progress with your food and beverage brand; the best way to do this is through a points system; with each purchase, they get a certain number of points that can be redeemed for discounts, free shipping, or free products. Be consistent, send reminders about how many points a customer has, and suggest what they can do with those points. If your food and beverage brand also integrated a tier system into the rewards program, remind the customer how close they are to the next tier and what they can do to reach it. 

Referral Program: Also known as word-of-mouth marketing, referral programs are one of the simplest to bring in new customers. Opinions about brands go a long way with customers; 92% of consumers trust referrals from friends and family over other forms of advertising. This number is staggering, and food and beverage brands should use this to their advantage through referral programs. Provide loyal customers with a referral code or link to give to friends and family and offer discounts on their first purchase or a freebie. When the person referred makes a purchase, let the loyal customer know and give them a discount. Rewarding both parties keeps the returning customer eager to refer more friends and encourages the new customer to turn from a one-time buyer to a repeat one. 

Loyalty and reward programs are excellent tools for the food and beverage industry to build lasting customer relationships and increase revenue. By crafting engaging welcome emails, keeping customers informed about their points and rewards, and implementing a referral program, brands can foster loyalty and encourage repeat business. As the statistics show, the impact of these programs on customer retention and word-of-mouth marketing cannot be underestimated. So, take advantage of the opportunity to turn one-time buyers into repeat brand advocates and ensure the success and longevity of your e-commerce food and beverage business. 

Need some extra help utilizing loyalty programs in your food and beverage brand’s email marketing? Schedule a  free 30-minute consultation with us at Spark Bridge Digital; we will run through the troubles your facing and let you know what we can do to help!

Email by Tropical Cafe

Product Recommendations

You don’t have to wait for the customer to come to you; sometimes, it’s best to get ahead of it and let the customer know you’ve got some products they might like. This is where product recommendations come in. Product recommendations refer to utilizing customer data to suggest products based on their previous purchases. For example, an energy drink brand can recommend specific flavors based on a customer’s past selections. If the customer purchases a lot of strawberry-flavored drinks, they may also like the new raspberry flavor. This level of personalization not only enhances the shopping experience but also encourages repeat purchases.

In addition to driving sales, product recommendations contribute to customer engagement and retention. Studies show that 74% of consumers are frustrated by website content that isn’t personalized. So, receiving relevant and enticing suggestions results in customers being more likely to interact with your brand’s emails and revisit your website. This engagement builds a sense of connection and loyalty, fostering a long-term relationship between you and your customer. 

Product recommendations are an effective email marketing tool for brands looking to thrive in a competitive food and beverage industry. By harnessing data to send product recommendations and insights, your brand can create a more personalized, engaging, and profitable customer experience. Effective product recommendations have the potential to elevate customer satisfaction, drive sales, and position your food and beverage brands above others in the ever-evolving e-commerce landscape.

Abandoned Cart 

With the average cart abandonment for the food and beverage industry sitting at 72.26%, Cart abandonment can be a major challenge in the food and beverage brands, where shoppers often browse, add items to their carts, and then leave the website without completing the purchase. This can usually be frustrating as it represents missed sales and customer engagement opportunities, but don’t panic- you can recover lost sales through strategic email marketing. 

Send a series of reminder emails to customers who have abandoned their carts. Remind them of the items they left behind and offer an incentive, such as free shipping or a discount, to encourage them to complete their purchase. To make the products look even more enticing, you can include reviews and testimonials, letting the customer know that someone else loved the product, and they will, too!

Because customers often browse for products and don’t have the funds to make a purchase, offer buy now pay later platforms such as Afterpay, Affirm, Sezzle, and Klarna, to name a few. This, combined with discounts or free shipping, can go a long way in convincing a customer to return and buy those items left in their cart.

Cart abandonment rates can be high for the food and beverage industry, but proactive email marketing efforts can make a significant difference. By sending compelling reminders, offering enticing incentives, and making the shopping experience as convenient as possible, your food and beverage brand can recover lost sales and turn abandoned carts into completed purchases. Don’t become disheartened- Remember, every abandoned cart represents a perfect opportunity to re-engage your customers and start the journey of building long-lasting relationships.

If your food and beverage brand needs additional assistance navigating around the challenges cart abandonment can present, check us out on our Facebook page, Email Marketing BFF, where we host live workshops, offer information-packed videos, and provide free email templates for your brand to use. 


A particularly effective email marketing tactic for the food and beverage industry lies in the combination of upselling and cross-selling products. These are often used to boost significantly revenue and enhance the overall customer experience. These strategies involve offering customers complementary or upgraded products to increase their purchase value. Here’s a closer look at how upselling and cross-selling can be applied in the food and beverage industry:

Upselling: Upselling in the food and beverage industry involves encouraging customers to purchase a higher-priced item or a more significant portion of the same product they originally intended to buy. For example, a wine brand might suggest that the customer buy a more aged, luxurious, and expensive bottle of wine than what is in their cart. To increase the likelihood of getting that upsell, make sure the customer is aware of any buy now, pay later services your brand provides. This doesn’t just increase the average transaction value – it also provides customers with an opportunity to enhance their experience by investing in more valuable products.

Cross-Selling: Cross-selling, on the other hand, involves suggesting additional products or complementary items that go well with the customer’s initial choice. For instance, if the customer adds pasta to their cart, you can suggest a pasta sauce, cheese, or herbs that can be added to enhance the pasta dish the customer will make.

Upselling and cross-selling strategies in the food and beverage industry offer a chance to elevate customer satisfaction by providing tailored recommendations and enhancing their overall shopping experience. By suggesting the right products at the right time, food and beverage brands can not only drive revenue but also foster customer loyalty and create memorable moments that keep patrons coming back for more. Embracing these techniques can transform how food and beverage brands engage with customers and turn every transaction into an opportunity to satisfy and exceed expectations.

Seasonal Products:

The holiday season is the perfect opportunity for food and beverage brands to promote seasonal products, connect with their customers, boost sales, and build brand loyalty. Because seasonal products are only available during specific times of the year, building hype and anticipation makes products more sought after by consumers. 

 Consider changing your email design for the season – try implementing some seasonal colors, themes, and wording into your emails. These tweaks, though small, can help your brand stay on top of popular trends and get in on the seasonal excitement. Customers who associate your brand with their favorite seasonal products are more likely to return year after year. For example, offer a limited-time pumpkin-spiced tea, coffee, or even beer for the fall and trending refreshing fruit flavors in the summer. Limited-time seasonal product launches create a sense of exclusivity; this motivates customers to make more purchases while the products are available.

Seasonal products present a great opportunity for the food and beverage industry to engage with customers, drive sales, and strengthen brand loyalty. By strategically marketing seasonal products, you can make the most of these limited-time offerings and create memorable customer experiences.

Keeping your customers engaged and excited for the Holiday season can seem a daunting task. If you’re looking to build anticipation and even get ahead of Black Friday sales, check out our previous blog post to see the best Black Friday Email Ideas For 2023.

Social Proof

People tend to make decisions and form opinions based on the actions and behaviors of others. In email marketing, this is known as social proof. For the food and beverage industry, social proof can be a game-changer in seeing an increase in sales and customer engagement. Here are some ways social proof is leveraged in the food and beverage industry:

Reviews and Ratings: Positive reviews on social media platforms and your website can significantly impact your brand’s reputation. When customers see that others have enjoyed your products, they are more likely to buy from you. Use this to your brand’s advantage and include positive reviews in your emails when recommending products to customers.

User-Generated Content: Encouraging customers to share photos and videos of them enjoying your products can create a buzz around your brand. Include this content in your emails, as it piques interest and can lead to purchases when people see their friends, family, or influencers enjoying your food or beverage products.

Collaboration: Collaborating with social media influencers, critics, and creators popular in your food or beverage niche can be an effective way to showcase your products. When influencers endorse your products, their followers are more likely to trust their recommendations and give your business a try.

Leveraging customer opinions, actions, and experiences in your email marketing is more useful than one might think. When customers see others enjoying your products, this leads to increased trust, credibility, and excitement around your products and brand, which ultimately boosts your business’s success.

Now that we’ve gone over some of the most effective email marketing strategies for the food and beverage industry, give them a try for your brand! Implement loyalty/rewards programs, product recommendations, abandoned cart recovery, upsell/cross-sell techniques, seasonal promotions, and social proof to create engaging and persuasive email campaigns that drive customer loyalty and revenue growth.

By using these email marketing strategies, your brand can stay connected with your audience while simultaneously flourishing in the food and beverage industry. 



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