Email Marketing Tips For Your Restaurant
Email Marketing Tips For Your Restaurant
At this point, it's well known that email marketing is incredibly effective. With so many people using email as a primary communication tool, it's an excellent way to broadcast your message and ultimately get people in your doors.
While sending a newsletter does require some planning and dedication, we’ve found this can be more impactful than other forms of digital marketing for restaurants and other food businesses.
Here are some tips for building a successful email marketing program:
1. Great Content
No matter what blog, list, or book you read about email marketing, this is always going to be one of the top recommendations. The truth of the matter is that your customers are receiving tons of promotional emails on a daily basis, and the only way to get them to open yours is to provide value in your content.
While email marketing is great for telling your customers about your current specials or promotions, if you are only sending content to drive sales you're likely to see your open and click-through rates drop. A happy hour special might be enough to get someone to open your email, but this doesn’t build a meaningful connection with your brand. We recommend adding some additional content to these emails to help people build a relationship with your business. These value-added content pieces include things like: recipes, profile spotlights on staff members and vendors, and most importantly – telling your story! If you can link these content pieces to a blog on your website, well that’s even better.
We call this the "velvet steamroller." If you can hit your customers with interesting content that helps build a relationship, it makes it much easier to then include promotional offers without your emails coming across too sales-focused. People will open the emails because of the interesting content; and in turn they will also see and care more about what you are promoting in-store because of the relationship that has been built.
2. Build A Great List
Here's the deal: when it comes to your email list, think quality over quantity. While you certainly can cast a wide net and try to get as many people on your list as possible, unless these people are engaged and interested in your brand, they likely won't open your emails.
So, how do you build a good email list? There are several things you can do. Start with capturing emails on your website. Many email management services offer a pop-up that you can install on your site to prompt visitors to enroll. You can also run a contest in your restaurant and/or on social media, which is a method we have found to be highly successful.
3. Subject Lines Matter
You have a great email list built, you've developed awesome content… so how do you get people to actually open your email campaigns? There are a number of basic tips to get people to read what you are sending:
- Keep your subject line clean, simple and direct – we try to limit our subject lines to about 25 characters.
- "Front Load" the most compelling message. If you are offering a discount or a special, include that at the beginning of your subject line.
- Include a call to action and light a fire! Instill a sense of urgency using words that prompt people to take action.
- Use an Emoji! 😁 According to Campaign Monitor, 56% of brands who use emoji have higher open rates than those who don't.
- Test, test, test. Each approach will have different levels of success based on your target market and who is on your email list. Many email marketing platforms allow you to test different subject lines, so take advantage of this and try different options to discover what works best for your audience.
4. Send Frequently (but not too frequently)
We find that there is a sweet spot for how often you should send emails to your email audience. Typically, this is 1-2 times per month. You want to send often enough to ensure you are staying top of mind. If you are sending every few months, then people are probably forgetting about you, and you certainly aren't building a relationship with your list. On the other hand, you also don't want to send emails too often, because that can come across as spammy. If you have really great open rates and a highly engaged audience, you can add in a 3rd or 4th campaign, but just make sure to keep an eye on your metrics.