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'Emails Work!' This Entrepreneur Says Email Marketing Is Still the Best Way to Connect and Sell. Here Are His Top Tips. Fishbowl CEO Adam Ochstein breaks down effective email marketing and explains how a hotel chain helped shape his idea of data personalization.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Key Takeaways

  • With all of the technological advancements available in the marketplace, Adam Ochstein still finds extreme value in email marketing. If done correctly, he believes email to be a powerful tool for building brand awareness, customer acquisition, and loyalty.
  • Ochstein says the personalization he experienced by being a Marriott Bonvoy customer helped him shape the Fishbowl customer experience using data.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Adam Ochstein, CEO of Fishbowl, is an advocate for the enduring power of email marketing and data-driven personalization. Through his insights and initiatives, Ochstein is reshaping the way restaurants connect with their customers and leverage technology to drive brand awareness, customer acquisition, and loyalty.

Fishbowl is the CRM platform for more than 50,000 restaurants. In a digital era dominated by social media and quick scrolling, the CEO believes that, when executed effectively, email campaigns can serve as a potent tool for cultivating brand loyalty and generating business.

Related: 'Don't Be Afraid to Do Something That Nobody Understands': How This Entrepreneur Re-Invented His Career and Found Happiness

"Email marketing is still really relevant for restaurants," Ochstein told 'Restaurant Influencers' host Shawn Walchef of Cali BBQ Media. "If you are getting emails from a restaurant and it's well-crafted and pithy, or has a relevant offer, it works."

In 2023, Fishbowl introduced its new CRM and marketing automation platform, Delightable. To Ochstein it represents a pivotal advancement in guest data management for the restaurant industry.

The Fishbowl team recognized the fragmented nature of customer data across various platforms — POS systems, reservation databases, online ordering portals, and more — and sought to consolidate this data into a comprehensive, actionable resource. Delightable aims to be the central repository for guest information, enabling restaurants to leverage comprehensive insights for personalized marketing and improved customer experiences.

Related: Chef Says This Is the No. 1 Thing That Makes a Restaurant Successful or Not

"If I'm a marketer, I want to have this single version of the truth for all my guest data," asserted Ochstein. "Let Delightable/Fishbowl be the CRM or system of record for all that guest data."

Ochstein was inspired by his experience as a Marriott Bonvoy member and brings that level of personalized service for restaurant guests through Delightable by leveraging customer data to anticipate preferences and enhance experiences. By harnessing even the simplest insights, such as seating preferences or dining habits, Ochstein believes that restaurants can create tailored experiences that resonate with individual guests.

Related: The Philly Cheesesteak Was Invented At This Spot in 1930. Here's Why Fans Can't Stay Away 90 Years Later.

"I think guests are willing to share data as long as they're going to derive some value and benefit from sharing that information," he explained of his vision.

As technology continues to shape the future of dining experiences, Ochstein and Fishbowl's insights and initiatives are looking to shape industry standards and elevate customer engagement strategies across the restaurant landscape.

"Keeping your restaurant brand on top of mind is always important."

About Restaurant Influencers

Restaurant Influencers is brought to you by Toast, the powerful restaurant point-of-sale and management system that helps restaurants improve operations, increase sales and create a better guest experience.

Toast — Powering Successful Restaurants. Learn more about Toast.

Shawn P. Walchef

Founder of Cali BBQ Media

“Be the show, not the commercial.”

Cali BBQ Media Founder Shawn Walchef helps brands and leaders leverage the new Business Creator Economy with strategic Smartphone Storytelling and Digital Hospitality.

His Cali BBQ restaurant company has generated more than $35 million since opening in 2008. They operate numerous locations in San Diego and beyond.

Shawn’s weekly video series Restaurant Influencers (published by Entrepreneur Media and produced by Cali BBQ Media) has been seen by over 25 million people.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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