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8 Ways to Upgrade Your Email Marketing for Restaurants

Reap the rewards of email marketing for restaurants. Upgrade your restaurant email marketing strategy with these fresh ideas.

With more than 1 million restaurants in the United States alone, it can be difficult to stand out in the restaurant industry, whether you run a small family restaurant or a famous chain with multiple locations.

Luckily, thanks to email marketing, getting your restaurant’s name out there and building a relationship with your customers is easier and cheaper than ever.

Not only is email an essential mode of communication in our day-to-day lives, but compared to other digital marketing channels such as social media marketing and influencer marketing, email marketing has a much higher ROI.

New to email marketing but want to learn more about how it can benefit your restaurant? Don’t worry. In this article, we will take a closer look at what makes restaurant email marketing so effective and leave you with some restaurant email marketing examples and tips to help you get started.

Is email marketing for restaurants worth the money?

As mentioned earlier, email marketing campaigns are one of the most cost effective ways for restaurants to attract new customers and build rapport with existing customers. In fact, not only does email marketing have a much higher ROI than social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, but it is also 40 times as effective at acquiring customers.

Overall, restaurant marketing emails are well worth the money, and having a clear and actionable restaurant email marketing strategy is one of the best things you can do. Other than a high ROI, there are multiple ways your restaurant can benefit from email marketing:

Drive more traffic to your website

Email campaigns that contain interesting subject lines, strong call to actions, and a direct link to your restaurant website will help you effortlessly gain website visitors without them even seeing your Google listing.

Develop customer loyalty

Reward loyal customers with personalized promotions. Send a birthday email that gives them a free dessert. Even encourage them to sign up for your loyalty program.

The more you take care of your customers, the more likely they are to repeat visit and recommend you to their family and friends.

Establish your restaurant branding

With a weekly or monthly restaurant newsletter, stay in touch with your customers and tell them what you’re all about.

No matter if you are a farm-to-table restaurant or one that serves tasting menus, marketing emails can help demonstrate your values, culture, and mission.

Stay connected with your customers with automated messages

Trigger automated emails after certain customer actions. For example, leave a good first impression by sending automatic welcome emails to customers who sign up to be a part of your email database.

An email service provider like Mailchimp has free marketing automation tools that can help you grow your business.

8 email marketing ideas spice up your restaurant campaigns

Now that you have an idea of how restaurant email marketing can benefit your business, what do you need to do to make it happen? Here are a few email marketing campaign ideas that are sure to attract customers and promote your business.

Chef profile

Cultivate a more personal relationship between your customers and your business by familiarizing them with your head chef.

In an interview-style marketing email, present your customers with a closer look at their everyday life and hobbies. In addition, give them more insight into how your chef creates their culinary masterpieces. Don’t forget to include other relevant content such as photos of the delicious dishes and your chef in action to increase click through rates.

Seasonal menu overview

During the holiday season, give your customers an overview of your seasonal menu in your marketing emails. Invite customers to try out new dishes that have an extra festive flair. As a part of your email strategy, get in the holiday spirit and impress your customers by setting a food drive or giving out gift card incentives.

Highlight a menu item

Highlight specific menu items to differentiate your restaurant from the competition. Whether you choose limited-time menu items or popular menu items that are making their comeback, calling attention to what makes your restaurant special can appeal to new and old customers alike.

Recipe newsletter

Keep in constant contact with your customers with a weekly or monthly restaurant newsletter featuring popular recipes or recipes from past menus.

Create an email template that works well to showcase recipes and take your email subscribers step-by-step through the cooking process. As the restaurant owner, end every newsletter with personalized messages to show your customers that you really care.

Promotions and special offers

Think about the goal of your restaurant email marketing. Ultimately, if it’s to increase sales and get more customers in the door, including promotions and special offers in your email campaigns is the way to go. Let your email subscribers know it is worth being a part of your mailing list and stay competitive in the restaurant business.

Email campaigns that encourage restaurant customers to sign up for your loyalty program can also be a good idea. Let your loyal customers know how much you appreciate their business.

Reviews and awards

Restaurant marketing can be hard, but showing your customers social proof can never go wrong. Feature reviews from food critics and awards from magazines in a restaurant marketing email. Let your customers know that there are people who are willing to vouch for your business, whether you own a new small business or already benefit from local SEO.

Get customer engagement by asking for reviews in your email campaigns as well. Use feedback forms to get input and include the good reviews on your restaurant website.

Spotlight your social media

Urge your customers to connect with your restaurant on social media in your email marketing. For example, spotlight an Instagram post that links directly to your restaurant’s account. Launch a raffle or competition for your customers on social media. Give them rewards and deals as they help you spread the word about your restaurant.

Event invitation

Invite your customers to upcoming events at your restaurant as a part of your restaurant marketing strategy. From charity events and cooking classes to date nights, special events can be great marketing for your restaurant and entice subscribers to visit. Reach your target audience with events that interest them.

Restaurant email marketing best practices to follow

Make it easy to become a part of your mailing list

Increasing the size of your mailing list is the first step to good restaurant email marketing. The more people subscribed to your email campaigns, the more likely that someone will be interested in visiting your restaurant. Have streamlined, easy-to-spot opt-in forms scattered throughout your restaurant’s website, so site visitors can sign up for your mailing list without difficulty.

Leave a good first impression with professional email design

A restaurant email’s design is as important as its content. A well laid out email is easy to follow and click through. Aesthetically pleasing visual elements, on the other hand, make subscribers less likely to close out of your email. Keep in mind that humans process visual information 60k times faster than they process text.

Segment your mailing list to target certain demographics

All restaurant email marketing strategies should focus on segmentation. Separating your mailing list by age, location, preferences, family status, and more can help you better understand and target them when you need to send out an engaging email. Personalize the welcome emails and birthday emails you send to leave a lasting impact.

Test your emails

An email that has been through A/B testing or spam testing is more likely to succeed in converting customers. Businesses that test their emails receive a 28 percent higher ROI. Make multiple versions of the same email marketing campaign and send them out to different subscribers to see which one yields the best results.

Come up with eye-catching subject lines

Restaurant email subject lines may be the most important part of your campaigns. After all, how can you convert a subscriber into a paying customer if they don’t even open the email you send? Spend time coming up with an irresistible subject line that resonates with your targeted audience. Keep it short and sweet but personalized and descriptive.

Boost your conversion rate with deals and promotions

Deals and promotions are at the heart of boosting conversions. They give your subscribers a reason to stop in your restaurant. Combine them with other marketing efforts to see your revenue soar.

Always analyze your results

Keep a close eye on the customer data you have and your analytics to continuously improve your email marketing. Mailchimp’s Email Marketing Software, for example, optimizes your emails with data from millions of other top-performing marketing campaigns. It even allows you to bring in data from other platforms such as Shopify, Google Analytics, and QuickBooks.

Add email marketing to your restaurant marketing efforts

Restaurant email marketing is a great way to garner more interest in your restaurant, no matter if you are looking for new customers or want to retain existing customers. Affordable and easy to implement, email marketing can help your restaurant reach new heights.

Mailchimp’s Email Marketing Software makes restaurant marketing even more straightforward. With expertly designed, drag-and-drop email templates, time-saving automation, and smart segmentation tools, send relevant emails and earn more revenue with ease.

Need help from the beginning? Take a look at our restaurant website design tips and must-have restaurant website features list. Remember, if your marketing strategy isn’t working, it’s never too late to pivot your strategy. Let Mailchimp help today.

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