How to Grow Your Restaurant's Email Marketing List
How to Grow Your Restaurant’s Email Marketing List
Email marketing is one of our favorite ways to share information with restaurant customers. We love it because it allows us to broadcast a lot of information with people who are actually interested in learning more. After all, they have given you their email address with the expectation that you will be sending them emails. If they're willing to share this with you, then they are probably a high-quality lead.
But how do you grow a list of interested subscribers for your restaurant or food business? Well, there are a couple of simple steps you can take to kick off your email marketing efforts. Check out a few tips below on how to grow your restaurant's email list:
This is a go-to strategy for all industries, but it’s particularly successful for restaurants. A compelling prize is one of the keys to a successful contest or giveaway, and truthfully, who doesn't want a free meal? Make sure your prize is worthwhile, however. Folks value their privacy, and if they are going to give you their email address, it has to be worth it.
Also, contests aren't a "set it and forget it" situation. You can't expect folks to enter if you aren't telling them about it. Make sure to share information both in-store and online. Visible in-store signage and staff training go a long way - and sharing details about your contest on social media is mandatory for success.
Keep in mind, these leads might not be of the highest quality, as you will certainly get contestants that enter simply because they want to win, with no intention of ever reading your newsletter. That said, a simple contest can be a great place to start when building your initial contact list, especially when promoting to your existing customers.
2. Get Online
One of the first places to start is on your own website. With some of the larger brands we work with, we see 300 or more people a day subscribing to the newsletters through a simple online pop-up (or sometimes called a lightbox.) Lots of email management services offer pop-up plugins for your website - take advantage of these! Simply by having one, you'll soon notice that subscribers will join your list without much additional work on your part.
3. Tap Into Your POS
Many POS systems like Square automatically collect customer email addresses and consent for you to send to them. They make it easier than ever to reach your customers over email. The best part? This requires no effort on your end. If you're using Square or another POS systems in your restaurant, take advantage of their advanced lead generating powers.
4. Make it social
You don't want to go overboard on this one because it can quickly come across as spammy, but it never hurts to push your newsletter on social every now and then. Sharing a lunch special on facebook? At the end include a message like: "Want to get the latest from us? Make sure to sign up for our newsletter!" and include a link where people can enroll.
5. Connect People
Does your restaurant offer free wifi? There are tons of options out there to allow you to require folks to subscribe to your newsletter before they can access your wifi. These services cost 20-30 dollars a month, but if you run a coffee shop or other restaurant where lots of people use their computers, this is a great way to gather email addresses.
6. Make an Offer
Another simple way to get people to subscribe: offer them a small discount! It's a compelling way to get folks to share their email address with you, and you don't have to give them too much. Just offer a 10% discount if they subscribe to your newsletter, and you'll quickly see your list grow.