How To Produce More (And Better) Restaurant Emails
It’s time to produce more (and better) emails for your restaurant. Why?
According to a 2015 study of 2,057 American consumers by MarketingSherpa, your customers want email. When this group was asked how they wanted companies to communicate with them, over 70% said they preferred email. What’s more, this response was echoed over all age categories.
With email returning a nearly $40 for every dollar spent return on investment, it’s time for you to produce more, and better, restaurant emails.
Let’s look at a few more statistics just in case we haven’t convinced you of the need to produce more emails for your restaurant:
- Email is almost 40x better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter.
- By the year 2017, more than 1.7 billion people will access email via their mobile device.
- Sixty-six percent of consumers have made a purchase online as a direct result of an email marketing message.
Let’s get to the topic of our article. We’re going to tell you how to produce more (and better) restaurant emails. We’ll dive into the nitty gritty and give you some tips for making the best of your restaurant’s email marketing.
Types of Email Campaigns
There are basically three types of email campaigns: promotional, newsletter and the drip campaign. Let’s briefly look at each type.
- Promotional emails are transactional in nature – meaning you want to provide an offer or incentive for purchase.
- Newsletters are a great way to keep your current and potential customers engaged. Repurposed blog content with links, specials, event info and more can be seen in email newsletters.
- Drip Campaigns (auto-responders) follow your customers after they complete a form on your website. These usually include a string of emails until your customer follows through with a purchase.
Now that you know the three basic types of email campaigns, we can start talking about how you can produce more (and better) restaurant emails.
Make a Plan
Emails are a great way to attract customers to your restaurant, and the best way to produce more emails and be successful at email marketing is with a strategy.
To be effective, you’ve got to brainstorm ideas and work them into a usable plan. For example, let’s assume this is what you’d like to send every month – one email per week:
- One monthly newsletter
- Three weekly transactional/promotional emails
First, take a look at the calendar as a whole. Jot down your planned events, holidays, and a list of potential specials. Factor in your loyalty program and plan for your high and low times.
Then, start with one month. Decide on three monthly specials that work with your events, season and holidays. Then, pick three-five topics for your monthly newsletter. Mark all of this on your master calendar and move on to the next month.
After you’ve created your email marketing strategy and plan, you can begin to implement it. One of the easiest ways to do this is to get everything ready to go at the beginning of the month and automate it.
Sounds easy, right? It can be if you hire the right person to manage your email marketing.
Hire an Email Marketer
The best way to make sure your email marketing gets off the ground and you produce more emails for your restaurant is to enlist some help.
Hire an email marketer to help you implement your email marketing plan. (tweet this) You have a couple of options – hire an employee or use a vendor, agency or freelancer.
Whichever way you go, make sure this person is highly experienced in crafting an email marketing plan, coding email and designing mobile-friendly emails. They should be well-versed on the ins and outs of email marketing and know the nuances of best viewing by browser, email client and device size. This person should have marketing, graphic design and writing skills, too.
Once you’ve decided who’ll do your email marketing, work through the above strategy session with them. It will work better for both of you if they have a hand in helping you craft the strategy.
Choose Robust Marketing Software
To look professional and be compliant with anti-spam laws, you should use email marketing software to send your emails. Email software also helps you produce more emails.
You’ll find a plethora of options online that are designed to meet your needs. Discuss software with the person who is responsible for your email marketing. Generally this person, if experienced, will have a favorite.
Here are some other benefits to using email software for your restaurant emails:
- You can track opens and click thrus.
- The system will handle subscribers, unsubscribes and email abuse complaints.
- You can set up automation.
- You have a multitude of reports at your fingertips
- You can add email sign up forms to your website and social media platforms that funnel right back to your software enabling your customers to join the list that interests them most.
- Third party integrations are available, making the system even more robust.
- You can A/B test your emails to learn more about your subscribers.
- You have access to templates.
Email Tips and Tricks
Your restaurant’s email marketing can have a profound effect on your business. (tweet this) We have put together a list of best practices that will help you produce much better and more effective emails campaigns.
- Write great subject lines. Consider using A/B testing here to see which ones work best for your restaurant. Use words like brand new, latest and exciting. They are proven to give a lift to email response. Buy one, get one free subject lines see a nearly 90% open rate.
- Send your emails on the right day and at the right time. You’ll find information online about general best practices, but it’s important to use what works best for your restaurant. This will involve testing days and times for the best conversion rates.
- Pay attention to your creative. Use only your very best photos – ones of people eating at your restaurant and mouth-watering photos of your menu items.
- Write short, compelling text.
- Use buttons big enough for fingers on smartphones.
- Don’t use text links. It’s hard for smartphone users.
- Feel free to re-use promotions that work. Look at your reports and glean information on your open rates and click-thrus. You also want to look at your repeat business. For example, are people using your promotion once and never returning? Optimize your emails for repeat diners as they are your biggest profit margin.
- Set up automated emails for your loyalty program members. Make sure you are giving them what you promised them. Offer them member-only specials, tips and info. You want to build a relationship with these folks offering them “exclusive” content.
You can be successful with email marketing. You can produce more and better restaurant emails with the tips listed in this article.
We encourage you to hire the right person to handle this for you. As a restaurant owner, you have enough on your plate. Work with your email marketer to plan the strategy and then set them loose. At the end of the month look at your reports and with your email marketer review, what’s working and what you can modify.
As with all marketing, test and refine for the best results.
How do you handle your restaurant’s email marketing? We’d love to hear what you do for email marketing success! Please share below.