Restaurant email marketing: what are the keys to success?

Posted on September 25th, 2017
Email marketing: what are the keys to success?

Now that you know how to collect your clients' email addresses and how to grow your list of subscribers, it's time to make the most of these contacts!

According to a 2016 report published by The Radicati Group, more than 3 billion people will use email by 2020. It goes without saying that this is an excellent way to reach your customers. Moreover, Econsultancy revealed that three quarters of businesses who invest in email marketing consider their return on investment to be either "good" or "excellent".

Whether you want to inform your customers about new items and promotions, or you want to establish a more targeted and personal relationship with them, here are a few tips to help you out!

Pique their interest

Luckily for you, restaurants rank at the top of topics that naturally interest consumers. However, subscribers receive an abundance of messages every day, so it's crucial that yours stands out. How? By choosing your words carefully.

Even if people don't admit it, first impressions are important. In the case of email marketing, the first impression you make is with your subject line. These few words are the ones that will determine whether your email is opened or ignored.

Here are a few tips for generating interest:

  1. Be concise and precise - What will the email be about? Tell your subscribers in a clear and original way, preferably in less than 50 characters. If web inboxes display about 60 characters, mobile will only show about 41 to 50. In any case, try to place the most important words towards the front of the subject line.
  2. Use an easily identifiable email - Reassure your subscribers by using your business's official email address.
  3. Create a sense of urgency - An email that contains a subject line that incites a feeling of urgency is 22% more likely to be read.
  4. Ask a question - Emails with questions in the subject line open discussions and pique the recipient's curiosity, therefore, they are more likely to be read. Try not to overuse this technique, as it will lessen its effect on the reader. Save it for the right moment, vary your tactics and surprise your subscribers!

Are you unsure of your skills? Run some tests. Send test emails to yourself and a few other people of your choosing to get their feedback. There's no better way to improve!

Offer them a taste

Does the idea of convincing your subscribers in 50 characters or less terrify you? Like in life, you have a second chance to make a first impression.

The Outlooks and Gmails of the world display a preview of the content of your email. That means you get one or two extra lines. As this is your last chance to get them interested, avoid being repetitive and take the opportunity to be generous instead.

Here are some examples:

Offer them a taste

Find the perfect moment

So, you've written a subject line so amazing that it could convince a vegetarian to eat a rare steak? Even if this is the case, sending out a promo on chicken wings during the big game won't help you score. The time you send your email is crucial!

An infinite number of studies have attempted to identify the ideal time to send out an email campaign, but above all else, you need to consider these two important factors: your industry and your audience.

As a restaurant owner, you've probably noticed that your most profitable period of the week is between Thursday and Sunday. It therefore goes without saying that if you want to inform your customers about your new Sunday brunch menu, doing so on a Monday night is probably not the best strategy. Why don't you wait until your customers have started making their weekend plans?

Find the perfect moment

However, experience might teach you that it's better to aim for the time when workers start getting hungry, like 11 am or 3 pm, for example. Why not perform a few tests to see what works best?

Deliver your message efficiently

So now, you've made sure that the odds of your subscribers opening your email are in your favour! But what elements do you need to respect in order to provide them with a useful yet enjoyable reading experience?

  • Be compatible - With more than 67% of users checking their emails on mobile, 42% on tablets and 93% on the web, you've got to make sure that your email can be read on all of these digital platforms. (BlueHornet: Customer Views of email marketing 2015)
  • Put some personality in it - This is where the relationship between your establishment and the client begins (or continues). Be honest and authentic while letting your restaurant's personality shine through.
  • Keep it simple - Concentrate on conveying one message at a time. Memory has its limits, so the client shouldn't have more than one action on their mind when they finish reading. If you offer them too many choices, they risk getting confused and not taking any action.

Communicate your image

It's often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so you want to make sure the image in your email conveys the right ones. In terms of design, simplicity leads to coherency.

Communicate your image

Don't forget, your ultimate goal is to make your client hungry, not nauseated!

To remember

To sum things up, in order to ensure your success, you must:

  1. Regularly grow and tidy up your list of subscribers
  2. Trust your expertise and your public
  3. Be original, pertinent and precise
  4. Keep your visuals simple
  5. Test, re-test and compare

So there you have it. You now have the tools you need to keep your subscribers hungry for more.