Over 4 billion people check their email each day, and this is a prime opportunity for restaurants to promote:
- New products
Email marketing in the restaurant industry is popular, and it’s something that every eatery owner should be doing to improve sales.
Benefits of Email Marketing for Restaurants
You have likely seen restaurant email marketing examples and wonder how the restaurant sees a return on these emails. However, there are numerous benefits that can be achieved that include immediate monetary benefits and then long-term value benefits, too.
A few of the many benefits of adding email marketing to your restaurant’s marketing strategy include:
Email marketing is affordable. You do have to pay for a provider who will provide you with the ability to send emails to your list and offer a dashboard where you can intuitively create and manage campaigns.
However, most of these platforms come with very low pricing tiers that make them affordable even when you haven’t served your first customer yet.
You will have to write the emails on your own or hire someone to do this for you. But the return for every $1 spent on email marketing is $44, so there’s an immense amount of money to be made if you stick to it.
Increase Customer Engagement
Restaurants need to stay in their customer’s minds. Yes, good food keeps guests coming back for more, but you also need to engage with guests when they’re not in your eatery.
Email marketing empowers you to increase customer engagement by:
- Staying fresh in the customer’s mind
- Showing them new products or deals
Improve Brand Awareness
A lot of restaurants have people sign up for their newsletters or mailing list who may not have eaten at your establishment yet. You can improve brand awareness by creating an email series that shows how you:
- Cook your food
- Hire employees
- Treat customers
If you use email to discuss your journey or how the food gets to the table, it will make people more aware of your brand. For example, perhaps you order organic food from local farms, you can show this in your email and explain how the food you cook has only the best quality, organic ingredients that other eateries don’t provide.
Finally, you want to see a monetary return on your investment, and this is possible if you send out promotional emails. Perhaps you live in an area where football is a popular sport, you may find that offering discounts when the team wins will generate sales.
And how do people get these discounts?
They have to be signed up to your email list. Using lists to promote special offers or deals is a fantastic way to drum up business during slow periods, too.
Promote New Menu Items
When you have new dishes or menu items that you want to promote, email is one of the best forms of communication. People who sign up for your newsletter want you to reach out to them with offers and to tell them about the new menu items that you have.
Promoting new menu items will help:
- Build awareness that these products exist
- Promote sales of the product
You can also provide a coupon for your subscribers to use when they order to save on the menu item. If you offer a lot of value through your email marketing, it will be an invaluable tool that generates business week after week.
How to Start Using Email Marketing as a Restaurant
If you have a few restaurant newsletter ideas or have seen food advertisement examples in your own inbox, you may be wondering how to get started on creating your own campaign. There's a lot that goes into this, so we’re going to provide a very high view of how to get started.
- Choose a provider. An email marketing provider will handle the technical logistics of having the email sent. You'll find a lot of options in this space, including MailChimp, SendGrid, AWeber, and more.
- Get contacts. You need to get people to sign up for the newsletter, so promote this in your store and on your social channels. Email marketing providers will have tutorials on how to add a form to your website to allow people to sign up and build your list.
- Create a welcome email. New subscribers should receive a welcome email, and you don’t need to go crazy with restaurant copywriting here. Instead, welcome the person by name and provide them with basic information about your restaurant, menu, and operating hours.
- Reusable templates. While you’re on the email provider’s platform, be sure to review any templates they have or create one of your own. Templates allow for consistent emails to be sent with as minimal time investment as possible.
- Work on subject lines. Restaurant email subject lines are what entice people to open your mail. You can use a lot of subjects, but the best often start with your offer or announcement, such as “25% off on Taco Tuesday” or “Fresh Out of the Oven: Shrimp Tacos are Here”.
- Test and test again. Take your time to test out the email and preview it. You can often send a test mail that will go to you and show you what the email looks like. Refine the email until it looks 100% perfect and the way that you want it to be.
- Schedule. Start scheduling your emails to nudge people to order.
Inside of your email, be sure to have a call to action. This is a way to encourage an action, whether it be to click on a link to your online ordering or to call and place an order. “Click here to save 25% on your order on Tuesday only” will work perfectly if that’s something you offer.
Continue tracking your results and refining your approach to increase open rates.
Leveraging email marketing as a restaurant is something that you should be doing already. If you’re not using email to your advantage, you can use the steps above to get started.