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How Low-Tech Lead Gen Fuels Engaging Emails at a Ramen Shop

September 20, 2019
By Lizzie Hoffman

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If you ask us, there’s nothing quite like high-quality data from great leads that convert and provide key customer insights … except maybe ramen. This month, we sponsored an event in San Francisco ramen shop The Story of Ramen, and they proved that old school, simple lead gen practices on a small scale can have a huge payoff. Here is what we loved about their lead gen tactics, their follow-up email, and what we can all learn from them.

Leveraging Low-Tech Lead Generation

The event at The Story of Ramen comprised of attendees making their own ramen bowls, including everything right down to the noodles. They hold 3 sessions per day with 30 participants on average at each session, totaling up to 90 daily attendees. Of course, since it is ramen we’re talking about, there were no forks in sight to use; we were provided single-use chopsticks with custom wrappers created by The Story of Ramen, and this is where their lead gen. genius kicks in.

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On the wrappers, there was space to write your name, email address to receive recipes, and then details about how you’d like your ramen prepared. Now, everyone is guilty at some point of losing a business card with a great lead or misplacing that napkin from the networking event with a potential business partner’s email, but The Story of Ramen turned what would be waste into lead generation gold by using the wrapper. It gets the job done for the business, but is absolutely scalable should they grow or create franchises in the future.

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Additionally, retail lead capture is notorious for erroneous data; not everyone wants to give a valid email to the cashier, or sometimes it’s difficult to hear correct email spelling over a shop’s music. Asking amateur ramen chefs to write their own email and name reduces the chances of invalid email address collection, especially when there’s an offer for ramen recipes right on the wrapper. 

Keep the Follow-up Emails Simple 

Not only did The Story of Ramen gather data efficiently, they put it to good use with their follow up email that reached our inbox the very next day. The email included a greeting to the “ramen graduate” (which we’re quite proud of), a link to the recipes from the night before, and a discount code for 10% off the next event accessible via a short survey. A few things make this a great follow-up email:

    • Relevance: The recipient “graduated” from their ramen class, so no mistaken sends to those who have never been to an event.
    • Recipes: We were promised recipes and we received the link in the email.
    • Retention: The 10% discount code is a great way to encourage people to return with their friends or co-workers. 

Story of Ramen - Welcome Email

Too often, businesses collect emails from customers who truly want more information but the business never follows up. This can be due to a lack of efficient follow-up process or, especially for small businesses, lack of resources. The Story of Ramen proves it’s possible though even with up to 90 new emails per day manually entered into a customer database that efficient, effective follow up is possible.

Wrapping It Up

There’s still something to be said for low-tech old school lead gen when it’s done right. If the wrappers were thrown away, this might be a different story, but a simple “form” on a chopstick wrapper with a short but sweet follow-up email is one of the more refreshing things we’ve seen in a long time. Thanks to great execution of a simple process, The Story of Ramen creates a great customer experience even after the delicious bowl of ramen.

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