A new campaign from Pei Wei Asian Diner that tied together elements of social media, mobile, and e-mail marketing helped the concept’s new Caramel Chicken entrée become one of its most popular dishes.

The various marketing elements directed customers to Pei Wei’s e-mail subscription list by offering to send a buy-one-get-one deal. The campaign helped add almost 20,000 new e-mail subscribers in just two weeks, a best for Pei Wei, and the BOGO had nearly a 20 percent redemption rate.

Jason Miller, digital content and community manager for Pei Wei’s parent company P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, said in an e-mail to QSR that social media, mobile, and e-mail marketing can work together to create loyal customers.

Social media, he said, can be used to find fans of the brand, and then they can be directed toward the e-mail subscription database.

“Those fans that find you want increased interaction and content from the brands they love, and using the real-time communication and conversations found throughout social media to drive e-mail traffic allows those fans the ability to get greater content from a brand,” Miller said.

Miller said that even in an age of social media, e-mail still plays a major role in the marketing efforts for Pei Wei and P.F. Chang’s.

“Some digital and social tools can be very limited to certain target demographics, but e-mail is the most universal,” he said. “Plus, the growing penetration of smartphones has revived e-mail, and made it a marketing channel that now appears in the palm of everyone’s had.

“Trying to get messages across at 140 characters at a time is challenging, but e-mail doesn’t have that issue.”

While the BOGO campaign for the new Caramel Chicken entrée, which was powered by marketing provider ExactTarget, was successful in both padding e-mail subscriber numbers and driving traffic to stores, Miller said Pei Wei will still actively communicate to new and old subscribers to fuel its multichannel marketing.

“Anytime you use an incentive like a BOGO to grow a lift in sign-ups, it is very difficult to sustain that level of growth organically through regular day-to-day business,” he said. “Those who signed up aren’t in a marketing vacuum though. We hope that through our standard marketing outreach, our new sign-ups find our messaging and content relevant enough to stick with us.

“We do send communications regularly, and we are always working on improving our content.”

By Sam Oches

Marketing & Promotions, News, Pei Wei