Email marketing can be one of the most effective tools in your marketing toolbox if used properly. Conversely, it could also be the most destructive if used without regard to your target audience. If you imagine your restaurant’s advertising and marketing plan to be that of an analogy of a tool box, email marketing needs to be the multi-bit screwdriver, not the rubber mallet. Email marketing ideas for restaurants don’t have to reinvent the wheel, a little bit of creativity and consistency can go a long way.
Attract and Obtain
First thing first, you need to have an email list in order to send emails. Unless you purchased an email list through a marketing data agency, chances are you need to start from scratch with your restaurant’s email marketing list. If you have an online ordering system in place, you can track (at minimum) your customers email and name – the very basics of a contact for an email list. If your system is new and you’re still trying to gain some traction out of the gates, you can set up a well-placed popup on your restaurant’s website offering customers an incentive to share their information with you (i.e. “Receive coupons and exclusive deals straight to your inbox”). But don’t go crazy with popups and be sure to offer them a good enough incentive if you expect to receive their info in return otherwise you will have very little results. You can even use some old school in house incentives in order to get an email marketing list for your restaurant as discussed in a blog that discussed mixing digital with traditional marketing ideas.
Email Your Customers with Purpose
This is where the analogy starts to take shape in regards to being a fine-tuned tool vs. a blunt instrument out of the tool box. If your restaurant’s email marketing campaigns are put together haphazardly and sent out as a blanket statement to everyone, your results will be lackluster and your run the risk of being marked as spam and losing “contacts” from your list for good. People like to be contacted on a more personal basis and directly with content that means something to them. Everyone likes to feel special, so don’t mallet them to death impersonal offers. A couple of ways to put this practice into motion when creating email marketing ideas for restaurants: Segment your email lists In one way or another
- Email marketing ideas for restaurants often get lumped together from the start which is not a good way to start things off. For example, if you have people sign up for your email list on your restaurant website, be sure to simply ask them if they are more interested in Dine-in deals or Online orders or maybe if they strictly have an interest in ordering ahead for pickup vs delivery. If you have this option for them during signup, you can segment them automatically and then craft your emails around their interests. You may have someone that lives outside your delivery zones, but they are in your restaurant once a week to dine-in. You shouldn’t be sending them a barrage of emails on delivery specials, it will annoy them and they may unsubscribe from your email list. You will then have lost the ability to contact them about dine-in specials.
Integrate email marketing into your online ordering system
- A direct online ordering platform will allow you to track various elements of your customers and tailor your campaigns around the data. If you are using your own sort of email marketing system like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, you can upload the segments as you see fit into and then manually send emails to each of your lists. If you take advantage of the 9Fold online ordering system for restaurants, it has an “integrated marketing” package that allows you to have emails set up on automation in order to send to customers on your behalf based on customer order history. When implementing email marketing ideas for restaurants, there is no need to reinvent the wheel at every turn. A precise customized approach to content always proves to yield the best results. Precision over power, every time.