Restaurant email marketing is a strategy that implies using email campaigns to achieve multiple marketing goals: promote a restaurant, attract new customers, interact with clients, and boost the popularity of a business. It can help increase the customer base and strengthen relationships with existing clients. With emails, restaurants can update clients on events, promos, new menus, and many more.
In this article, we’ll uncover why use email marketing for your restaurant and show you how to create an email marketing strategy step by step. We’ll also review the top 10 tips and 5 excellent examples.
Why should you use email marketing for your restaurant?
Email marketing is a helpful marketing approach that enables all businesses to grow and expand. There are many powerful reasons to consider using it for your restaurant and we’ll unveil the most crucial of them in this section. So let’s dive in.
- Interaction with clients. With email marketing, you can contact your customers directly and communicate your main message. It can be an update on your restaurant, information about new items on your menu, or an invitation to join a special event. You can personalize your messages and send information about promos, special offers, or discounts.
- Trusting relationships with customers. With email campaigns, you can build strong connections with customers. By sending updates on your restaurant, you encourage loyalty and let your restaurant be top of mind. It means that customers will instantly think of your place once they want to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- Customer loyalty. You can establish customer loyalty by interacting with your clients regularly. If you share special offers, discounts, and promos with your customers, you encourage them to visit your restaurant. When you value your clients and send them discounts, you can make them stay loyal to your restaurant and come back.
- Showcasing new menu items. You can use email campaigns to share seasonal specials, new menu dishes, and chef's recommendations. Creating enticing email campaigns with visuals encourages clients to visit your restaurant as soon as possible.
- Updating on special offers and promos. You can use email campaigns to inform about offers, promos, and discounts your restaurant offers. This way, you can direct all the information straight to your clients without hoping they will see your traditional ads on the streets. This is a reliable way for customers to discover some attractive deals.
- Events’ promotion. When you have some interesting events, live music, or themed nights, you can send information about them to your clients via email campaigns. This way, you increase the chances of more people visiting your event.
- Increased number of online orders. If your restaurant has an online order option, promoting it through email campaigns is useful. It will help you educate clients on this feature and increase the number of orders online. You can do it by sending personalized messages encouraging customers to purchase online.
- Cost-effectiveness. When choosing between traditional and email marketing, it’s much more affordable to use email campaigns. This also doesn’t require much effort from your team.
Now that you know the pros of email marketing for your restaurant, let’s check out a guide on creating an email marketing strategy.
How to create an email marketing strategy for your restaurant?
Creating an effective email marketing strategy requires you to follow specific steps. We’ve compiled a detailed guide for you to consider.
1. Choose the right email marketing service
First and foremost, you need to find the right bulk email solution to send your email campaigns and bring your restaurant to the next level. If you don’t have any skills and knowledge related to email marketing platforms, consider selecting a no-code builder. To find the right service, you should look at its usability and interface. You also need to pay attention to the number of emails you can send, segmentation, and personalization.
There are many great services out there, and SendPulse is one of them. Moreover, it’s an all-in-one marketing solution that will help promote your restaurant not only with email campaigns but also with chatbots, Automation 360, and CRM.
Drag-and-drop builder from SendPulse allows you to use tags to segment your customers based on your subscribers' age, gender, interests, needs, and actions and send email campaigns to people interested in your restaurant. The platform’s personalization feature enables you to address subscribers by name when sending email campaigns.
If you want to follow up with your customers, consider utilizing Automation 360. With its help, you can send welcome emails, bonus offers, or thank-you emails based on user actions. Moreover, you can reach your customers through chatbots, web push notifications, emails, and SMS.
Below is an example of a flow created with Automation 360. All recipients who registered for your restaurant event will see this type of email. The flow will start once a new participant registers for the event and then continue with email address verification. You can set up Automation 360 to send emails notifying participants about the start of the event and its details.
2. Create a content calendar
Map out all email campaigns you want to send to your customers as a follow-up. You’ll need to develop a calendar to standardize the send-out and avoid spamming your clients. Everything should be planned and thought out. This is to make sure that your content is relevant and on time.
Consider planning out your moves in advance so that you can automate the sending and set it up on a specific date and time or do it manually. You should align all restaurant's events, promotions, and seasonal offerings with the right timing. If you succeed in doing it, you’ll be able to build consistency and encourage engagement.
3. Track and analyze the results
Keep an eye on key performance indicators, including open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and revenue, to figure out how effective your campaigns are. They will help you find the gaps and search for solutions. You’ll need to change your approach, subject line, or call to action. Bulk email service’s analytics will help you with that. Consider checking it regularly to know when you have issues with your email marketing strategy.
4. Engage with customers after they visit your restaurant
Customers visiting your restaurant for the first time is an excellent opportunity for you to keep up communication with them. Establish interaction with people who can become your loyal customers. Consider sharing your story, informing them about your new dishes on the menu, and updating them on events. It will be another reason for them to visit your place when they wish. Moreover, you should send feedback forms, ask for testimonials, and invite customers to share their suggestions. It will show them you appreciate every guest and the value they bring by providing feedback.
5. Establish transparency and compliance
Now that you know how to develop your restaurant email marketing strategy, it’s time to uncover some effective tips that will help you do it successfully.
Top 10 Email Marketing Tips for Your Restaurant
With email marketing, you can achieve your business goals faster, yet you should know how to do it right. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most effective tips for your restaurant.
- Segment your email list. Consider dividing your customers and prospects into groups based on their characteristics. By segmenting clients according to their preferences, location, or past ordering behavior, you can send them only relevant email campaigns that match their needs. Personalized emails are more likely to convert prospects and resonate with existing clients.
- Entice with attractive offers. Offering offers, promos, and discounts is always a good idea. These will help you grab customers’ attention and get them to visit your restaurant when they want it.
- Find the right time for sending emails. Conduct tests to figure out when your customers open emails most often. It will help you identify the perfect time for sending email campaigns that will bring you the highest open rates. According to MailChimp, if you want better engagement and open rates, it’s better to send your emails on Sundays when customers have their free time from work. The study says that you can also do it on weekdays like Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and avoid Mondays when clients’ inboxes are flooded with dozens of emails. Time also influences the effectiveness of your email campaigns. It’s better to send email campaigns before lunch or around 2 PM to have higher open rates. At this time, customers can open your emails and consider your restaurant where they are about to have their meals.
- Use eye-catching subject lines. The subject line is the first element a customer pays attention to when opening an email, so you need to make customers want to open and read your email. It should cover your restaurant name, customer name, and a CTA. For instance, “Happy birthday, William! Ilys Restaurant has a little gift for you!”
- Add mouthwatering images. Make professional images of your food and add them to your emails. Adding mouthwatering images to your restaurant's emails can significantly improve the effectiveness of your efforts. Such images of your dishes evoke a strong emotional response, making your clients more likely to engage with your restaurant. Besides emotional connection, you can showcase your culinary skills and stimulate guests’ appetite, increasing click-through rate.
- Avoid sending too many emails. You need to send email campaigns wisely, using a specific schedule. Remember that customers receive dozens of emails daily, so there’s no need to overwhelm them with too much information from your restaurant. Consider creating a schedule and sending emails automatically at the assigned time. This way, you’ll bring value without spamming your clients.
- Keep your CTAs simple. You can define the next steps you want clients to take by providing clear and simple call-to-action buttons. Whether you want customers to make reservations or order online, CTA buttons connected to specific links allow customers to take the desired actions.
- Remember about mobile-first design. Since more and more people use their smartphones to check email inboxes, ensuring mobile optimization for your email campaigns is a must. You should optimize content and design for phone and tablet screens to provide a smoother user experience.
- Provide localized content for various chains. When you have several restaurants in different locations, we recommend you include geo-targeted content in your email campaigns. Consider informing about events only to visitors who live near the venue or the location they prefer to visit. Moreover, you can add localized content visible to segments located near specific venues. When you open new restaurants, send emails informing customers living in the neighborhood.
- Use the holiday season to text customers. The holiday season is an excellent occasion for emailing your customers. However, you need to be creative to grab their attention since there will be dozens of emails these days. Consider using information about special events, offers, and promotions to catch customers’ eyes and encourage them to open your emails.
Now that you know the tips, it’s time to review 5 outstanding examples of restaurant email marketing that works. Let’s dive in.
5 Examples of Restaurant Email Marketing
Businesses approach customers through email campaigns and succeed in reaching their key objectives. Here are five examples of restaurant email marketing campaigns that will inspire you.
Blue Apron — Discount
Blue Apron entices customers to make an online order or visit a physical location to try its new meal. The restaurant makes it even more attractive for customers by offering $50 off for first-time meal plan subscribers.
White Dog Cafe — Cocktail Class
White Dog Cafe does a good thing by sharing events with its visitors. The cafe invites guests to order a cocktail-making kit and join a virtual cocktail-making class to cook the dish. The email includes all the necessary elements, like clear CTAs and comprehensive content for customers to complete purchases.
Cracker Barrel — Christmas Bonus Card
Cracker Barrel reaches out to customers with email campaigns containing a bonus card. The American chain of restaurants offers to order Christmas Head and Serve dinner and receive bonuses valued at $5 and $10 depending on the meals customers choose.
Sweetgreen — New Items
Sweetgreen's email has a catchy subject line and attractive elements. It includes tasty images of the restaurants’ dishes and a clear description of the meal’s ingredients.
Jefferson’s — Birthday Gift
Jefferson’s entices customers to visit its restaurants by offering a free dessert on clients’ birthdays. They’ll need to buy meals to claim the offer.
Congrats, now you know what restaurant email marketing is and why it’s essential. Hope that our tips will help you create email campaigns similar to those we demonstrated as excellent emails. Register in SendPulse to create free email campaigns and enjoy automation's benefits.
- This article unveils how to get started with restaurant email marketing.
- In this article, you’ll find 10 outstanding examples of restaurant email marketing.
Last Updated: 23.01.2024