If you’re not doing email marketing for your restaurant yet, you’re missing out. Email is a cost-effective, easy-to-use channel for reaching customers and converting them into regular patrons. It can help you generate foot traffic, foster loyalty, and ultimately boost sales by keeping your tables booked and online orders busy.
Read on to learn more about restaurant email marketing and how to do it successfully.
How to Grow Your Restaurant’s Email List
Before you start a successful email marketing campaign, you need a hefty list of contacts to send your emails to. But how can you create such a list? Let’s have a look!
Landing Page opt-In Form
Having an opt-in form on your website is one of the easiest ways to get people to subscribe to your newsletter. Create a landing page dedicated to this form where people can input their contact information and agree to receive promotional emails from you.
To make it worth their while, draw them in with freebies and benefits, such as discounts for online delivery or access to exclusive cooking tips provided by your chef.
Make it clear that you’ll be using their emails to send them promotional messages, so they don’t feel duped. Also, always give them the option to opt out whenever they want to. This ensures you’re abiding by basic email marketing rules and regulations, including GDPR compliance, which protects your customers’ privacy and data.
Another way to draw website visitors’ attention to your email sign-up form is to create a pop-up that triggers whenever the user is about to leave the website or when they land on a specific page.
Since pop-ups should be short and sweet, you have limited space to convince users they’ll benefit from signing up for your email newsletter. Here’s an example of what you could say:
“Have you claimed 30% off your next meal yet? Just subscribe to our newsletter, and we’ll deliver it straight to your inbox.”
The old-school way of growing your email list is still alive and thriving. Print some business cards with an offer that customers can claim if they visit the URL on the card and sign up for your email list.
Put these cards on every table, next to the POS, and in every delivery and takeout bag that leaves your restaurant.
If you provide Wi-Fi in your restaurant, add a login step that customers have to pass in order to connect. In exchange for Wi-Fi, they’ll have to add their email address, thus giving you access to an impressive email list.
Remember to include the disclaimer that you will be using these email addresses for promotional purposes and have customers check a box agreeing to receive messages from you.
Finally, another way to grow your mailing list is to create a loyalty app for your restaurant. An app is an upgrade from regular, plastic loyalty cards.
Allow users to collect points, unlock new rewards, and be the first to find out about new menu items, and they’ll be more than happy to subscribe.
5 Types of Emails You Can Send as a Restaurant Owner
So, now that you have the tools to grow a sizeable subscribers list, it’s time to see what kind of emails work best for restaurant customers.
1. Menu Updates
Your subscribers should be the first to know whenever you add a new item to your menu. This exclusivity is one of the perks they signed up for.
As an additional hook, provide a discount code on the new menu item. Make it a limited-time offer, too, so they’re more motivated to take advantage of it before it’s gone.
2. New Features and Services
New features are as important as new menu items when it comes to securing customer loyalty. Have you started taking orders on your restaurant website? Have you added online payments? Maybe a new QR code menu?
This is all news you should share with your subscriber list. Give them a sneak peek into how it works, and they’ll admire your drive to constantly innovate.
If you’re still pondering over adding delivery to your website, here is a list of the best online ordering systems so you can pick the most suitable for your needs.
3. Review Requests
Positive reviews from satisfied customers go a long way in persuading other people to try your restaurant. Word-of-mouth is much more efficient than self-promotion.
Send your subscribers an email asking them to leave you a review on your website, Google, or some other third-party platform. Add an incentive to sweeten the deal, like a coupon code or a gift card.
Finally, make the process as easy and smooth as possible for them. Let them know it will only take a couple of moments of their time and provide the link that they must access to do it.
4. Special Promotions and Offers
Restaurant promotions are some of the most popular types of emails you could send. After all, who doesn’t love a good promo?
If you offer promos on a regular basis and you know them in advance, you can send a newsletter every Sunday detailing the promotions available next week.
If you don’t, simply send separate emails for each promo you create. Nothing compares to the feeling of getting a good deal.
5. Valuable Content
Do you have a restaurant blog or a YouTube channel where you post recipe videos? Don’t hesitate to share these resources with your subscriber list.
Like we mentioned before, customers need to feel like they’re getting enough value out of their subscription. As a result, provide valuable free content that they’d be interested in, like recipes, cooking tips, or cooking vlogs.
Need even more ideas? Check out some additional types of emails you should send that will help keep your subscribers engaged.
How to Do A/B Testing to Increase Email Engagement
To ensure you get the best results out of your email campaigns, we advise doing some A/B testing to see which format, design, and copy perform better. However, keep in mind you can’t test all these variables at the same time.
First, choose something you’d like to test first. Let’s take, for example, the call to action. Next, think about what your goal is with this CTA. Usually, it would be conversions.
Craft two different CTAs and divide your audience into two equal groups. Send the emails at the same time and see which CTA performs best. This will help you get more conversions from your future campaigns.
How to Choose the Right Email Marketing Service for You
All these tasks, such as gathering a contact list, sending regular emails, and performing A/B testing, may sound like a daunting process. Luckily, nowadays, there are ways to automatize these processes using email marketing software.
When looking for the right email marketing software for you, here are some essential features to keep in mind:
Benchmark Email comes with all these features and more. Test it out by signing up for free and watching your restaurant sales leap.
Laura is an online marketing specialist at Oracle’s GloriaFood. She is in charge of writing and promoting content and keeping up-to-date with restaurant industry news so she can help restaurant owners build their business using the latest digital tools at their disposal.