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Email Marketing Tactics to Boost Restaurant Sales

Restaurants of all types and sizes can use email marketing to reach out to their clientele on a regular basis. Not only is email marketing cost effective, but it is also flexible to schedule, has the ability to be personalized, and provides restaurants with results they can see and measure. Here are some tactics restaurants can follow to optimize their email marketing strategies in an effort to increase restaurant sales.

Lasting Impact
When a restaurant sends an email, it should not just be words on the screen; it needs to be visually stimulating and exciting to create a lasting impact. Restaurants want individuals to remember their email. The headline has to be attention-getting. If the email is about a new offer, write it in the headline, “Get 40 percent off your next meal!” If someone reads that, they are going to want to know how to get it. Keep the copy short and to the point – use bullet points if need be.

It is extremely important to keep the information relevant. Fact – people don’t have long attention spans and they don’t have time to read over things that are of no importance to them. For example, if your restaurant is having new summer specials, send out information about it in May, not in July when summer is almost halfway over. To keep items relevant, ask for some information from the customer, like their birthday and their location. If you own a chain restaurant and the one in San Antonio, Texas is having a special deal for Alamo Day, don’t send that email to other customers around the US as it is not relevant to them.

Provide Value
The recipient of your email is looking for value. They do not want to simply read a general update of your restaurant – they want to know about events, discounts, and great promotions. In one email, a restaurant could provide discounts for a meal and tell recipients to stay tuned for new dishes and promotions. It is not so much to let people know about the new promotions or deals but let them know how it can benefit them. Maybe the new food options being introduced are healthier meals – let them know what the healthier options are and why they should come try them.

Beware of Email Frequency
No one likes to be inundated with daily emails from a restaurant. They are very likely to label those emails as “spam” and not check them anymore. At the same time, however, they do not want to wait months before finding out the next promotion. Email frequency needs to be gauged to ensure just the right impact. The best rule of thumb is to send customers emails at a regular interval but not so much that they will seek to take their name off the email list – for restaurants this seems to be 1-2/month or even weekly for certain concepts.

Include Social Media
Do not forget to mention in all emails that recipients can check out the restaurant on different social networking websites, including Facebook and Twitter. By becoming a Facebook friend of Twitter follower, individuals are provided with additional information about the restaurant and it will further deepen the relationship. As well, it is another great way to promote!

Be Smart Phone / Mobile Friendly
As more individuals are on the go, they check their emails on their mobile smart phone devices, including iPhone, Blackberry, and Android. Restaurants must ensure their emails are mobile friendly. Many traditional email formats do not translate well to the small screens of mobile devices. While the email must always maintain a sense of appeal, it must also be legible so it can be properly displayed on all screens. Furthermore, if the restaurant places any links into the email, these links must also be mobile friendly. The worst thing to happen is to send links that cannot be opened on mobile devices.

Include the Opt-in Link in Every Email
Most people think why should they put the opt-in link for those who have already subscribed to the restaurant’s emails. It might seem silly but there is some common sense behind this tactic. Customers will forward restaurant emails to their friends who they think would be interested in the news you are sending, whether it is about new items on the menu or a new promotional deal. These people may not be subscribed to your email. After they read the content and see the offer, they may want to subscribe to the email as well. A great place to include the opt-in link would be a “P.S” at the bottom.

Email marketing has great potential to provide restaurants with fast response. It is an opportunistic medium that allows restaurants to directly engage their customers. When executed correctly, email marketing can net restaurants increased profits and a solid return on investment.


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