3 Easy Email Marketing Hacks for Hell's Kitchen

Aurelien Guichard, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Hell's Kitchen: Comeback Kid. May Have to Do it Again.

Few may believe that up until the late 1980s, Hell's Kitchen (HK) was not considered a safe place to live. To look at it now, you would never have guessed its colorful history full of gangsters, ghosts, and disappearances. Hell's Kitchen saw a major renaissance in the 2000s through the present. It's now known for its posh eateries, theaters, and high-rise luxury apartments.

Hell's Kitchen was part of the northward migration of gentrification that started in Chelsea and continued to move northward and westward. Those eateries, theaters, luxury apartments, and bars have been devastated by COVID in its aftermath. Many didn't make it. Many are struggling to survive.

So, now HK is back in a familiar role as the comeback kid. As we finally climb out from COVID, there are some unique marketing challenges HK businesses will face. Namely, bringing people back to the neighborhood after such a long hiatus.

Why Web Design Matters in Hell's Kitchen?

Great web design is important no matter where you are located. However, in densely populated areas like Hell's Kitchen, where mobile usage is high. These best practices are highly important especially when

  1. Re-engaging with a lapsed audience: An excellent mobile experience lets your customers know you're back and ready to serve.
  2. Reaching a New Audience: A fast design is important when making connections to new clients, who won't waste waiting for a site they don't know. 
  3. Fast Mobile UX: It lets neighbors know you are nearby, open, and accessible, especially as we dig out from COVID in back half 2021.

½ Will Decide to Open Based on the Headline 

According to research by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 51 percent of all U.S. online readers identified a compelling headline as the reason why they clicked on a given story. 

How to Be One of Them

There were a number of key points, which cover in detail in our post small business email marketing. However, today, we will touch on three

  • Conciseness. 
  • Utility. 
  • Urgency.
email marketing for small business subject line is everything

We only have a 55-60 character subject line, so this is why we chose to narrow the list.  


This is one of the hardness tasks when creating a headline. It is a balance between not being too concise as to be generic and overly verbose that the headline is truncated. 

Conciseness is generally aided by the next two points, utility and urgency. A concise headline tells me what value it brings to me and why I should read it now.


Utility means ‘what’s in it for me’, ‘why should I care?’. These are the two questions your headline should answer. This seems simple enough. However, it can be very challenging to boil down a complex subject into 3 or 4 words.

Even people who do this for a living find it challenging. Add it cultural differences, context, and other general noise, and you see why communication is so messy. Keywords can be a useful place to start, as this the language people are using to search for content like yours.


We live in a society of urgency. Everything is now, don’t miss out, etc. that we are almost numb to it. A genuine sense of urgency based on a limited time value or event can still catch someone’s attention if it is tied to a clear benefit (utility).

As you can see, all three of these elements are tightly bound. It is nearly impossible to do one without affecting the other. This is why we have them as our top 3.

Don’t Wait Your Reader’s Time!

email marketing for small business brevity is key

Email design follows the same principles of web design.  Communication is messy, and design helps aid in getting our intended message across quickly and efficiently.

An email is an intrusion. We need to recognize this fact. Therefore, we need to make that intrusion as brief and clear as possible by sticking with one clear message.

We cover email design in great detail in our post on small business email marketing. We will just touch on the high points here.

email marketing for small business communication is messy

Design Choices Can Help or Harm Communication 

A grid pattern is the most common design tool. There are several elements to a grid. First, there are rows and columns that break the page into equally sized blocks, called modules. Rows or flowlines aid in reading. Columns aid in organization. Headers, footers, and margins give structure. 

For an intuitive email design, a hierarchical design is very effective. With an e-mail, we chose to communicate one thing, and one thing well. In this case, a hierarchical design can be very impactful. 

The hierarchical pattern that is the most pleasing to the eye follows the golden ratio. The golden ratio is a pattern common in nature. It is a fixed ratio of 1.618, which means the size of the more important block is 1.618 times larger than the less important one.

email marketing for small business golden ratio for design

Our eye is naturally drawn to this pattern, so it is very useful when communicating a simple, focused message.

Creativity Wins Points.

According to Best Designs, original graphics are the most successful. 

“Original graphics make up 40% of all successful visual content that accomplishes marketing goals, but 43% of marketers struggle with the consistent production of captivating visuals.”

Since we are communicating one message, the artwork that supports it must work very hard to support the message. This is where local market know-how can really help. Original photos and images of your business in Kipps Bay interacting with your neighborhood can add value.

It also helps with when your calls to action focus on local events in and around Hell's Kitchen or at your business location.

email marketing for small business call to action

Call to Action

Every email, no matter how trivial, should have a call to action. This is where all the hard work above pays off. If we omit one, we just wasted resources that could have been spent more cost effectively.

We cover email list building in great detail in our post on small business email marketing. Again, we will just hit the highlights here as it pertains to Hell's Kitchen. Every neighborhood has summer fairs. While these were severely impacted by COVID, in our post COVID world they should roar back with a vengeance. It would be smart to see if you could piggy-back off one or more of them.

Incentives, deals, free trials, and samples are all great options when developing your calls to action. See if you can partner with your neighbors to create a shared promotion. This way one shopper in Hell's Kitchen has two or more places to visit while out in the neighborhood.

Why Local Digital Marketing Matters in Hell's Kitchen?

A key ingredient in Hell's Kitchen's comeback post COVID is re-engaging with lost customers while developing relationships with new ones. Local digital marketing can help you do just that. 

  1. Local digital marketing in Hell's Kitchen is about re-engaging with a lapsed audience.
  2. Digital is important to raise awareness among both lapsed customers but also making connections to new ones. 
  3. It lets neighbors know you are nearby, open, and accessible, especially as we dig out from COVID in back half 2021.

Invest in Building an Email List

This should go without saying, but I still see it used every day. Never use SPAMmy tactics. They do not work. Plus, they can damage your credibility. 

Take the time to build a legitimate list. There are a million “how to” ways when you search Google for this term. We use two for reliable results:

  1. Create an Amazing Incentive for your readers.
  2. Have an Email Signup Form in Your Sidebar where people can easily see it.

If the reader finds value in your offer, they will give you their email. The key is not to abuse it, which leads to our next topic.

Caring for Your List

email marketing for small business cultivating your email list

An email has value, so we need to treat it as such. We have seen that value squandered time and again.

As a small business owner, it is hard to dedicate the time to do all that is required for the proper care and feeding of your email list.

Full disclosure, we are an agency that does this work. Therefore, it will not surprise you that we advocate for finding the right partner to do it for you.

However, to provide fair balance, there are marketing automation tools that can help you. They tend to rely on email templates and automated emails, but for many small businesses this is enough.


In closing, I’d like to leave you with these three thoughts.

  1. Nail the Headline: If you do nothing else, make sure that your headline does its job.
  2. Don’t Waste Your Reader’s Time: Your audience has little time to spend on an email. Ensure your communication is single minded and provides value quickly.
  3. Avoid SPAM tactics: While it may be slow, it is worth taking the time needed to build a legitimate e-mail list.

See more about Small Business Marketing in Hells Kitchen. If you are more interest in the borough, you can see our Small Business Marketing in Manhattan. If you want the full city, you can see our Small Business Marketing in NYC.