With cloud kitchens, aggregator apps, and home cooks, the competition is fierce in the post-pandemic food industry. How do you attract new customers, retain old patrons, and manage connections with food influencers? With email marketing, of course.
An average person checks their emails 15-20 times a day. By 2025, more than half of the world’s population will have access to email. Email marketing is an effective way to create a meaningful connection with your audience.
This guide brings the best of restaurant email marketing tips, tricks, and strategies for you to make the most of this resurgent economy.
Table of contents
- 1. Use photos to make people hungry
- 2. Include personal stories
- 3. Ask for feedback
- 4. Share promo codes
- 5. Reward customer loyalty
- 6. Share recipes and cooking tips
- 7. Incorporate new menu items
- 8. Celebrate birthdays and special events
- 9. Notify customers about upcoming events
- 10. Tell customers they’re valued
- 11. Grow your email list
- 12. Send transactional emails
- 13. Segment your audience
- 14. Have a clear CTA
- 15. Integrate your emails with social media pages
- 16. Use interactive poll widgets
- 17. Share holiday offers
How is restaurant email marketing relevant?
Many restaurants depend on social media like Facebook and Instagram for their digital presence. However, these social media channels are experiencing a constant decline in organic reach. Social media ads do not show up in search engine results. Many restaurants fail to recognize that a social marketing strategy not backed by an email marketing strategy is ineffective.
Restaurant email marketing remains the best way to attract, retain customers and drive repeat visits with an ROI of a whopping 4200%. Customers love to get emails about changes in the menu of local restaurants they know about. This is why it remains as relevant as ever.
17 powerful strategies for restaurant email marketing
Here are 17 actionable recommendations to get more foot traffic for your restaurant.
1. Use photos to make people hungry
A great picture is better than a thousand words. With high-quality cameras and a little talent, it is not difficult to include inviting photos of the tasty dishes you are offering in your restaurant. Remember that placing an order should be just a click away while you use the pictures to make your patrons feel hungry.
2. Include personal stories
Stories or notes from the chef, inspiration behind a dish, and personal experiences of the servers can be very effective storytelling tools. Such emails help to engage deeper with your target audience. For example, if Ranveer Brar were a chef at your restaurant, this is something that could have made the reader quite interested!
Source: Taste Memory
3. Ask for feedback
It is never a bad time to ask your customer for their feedback. Even a simple NPS survey, as shown below, is an insightful metric of how you are faring with your customers. To get a solid response to your surveys, use AMP emails incorporating dynamic forms within the email body.
Customize this restaurant feedback email template by Mailmodo.
4. Share promo codes
Use emails to share a promotional offer for your newsletter subscribers or online orders. Not only does this help in increasing traffic to your app or website, but it also increases references and repeat purchases.
Check out this discount offer email by Mailmodo.
5. Reward customer loyalty
Everyone likes to feel special. Creating a loyalty program can help your regular patrons enjoy preferred seating, less waiting time, a peek at the new menu, lower delivery fees, or even discounted rates. Not only does this help in huge amounts of repeat business, but great benefits can increase your referral game.
6. Share recipes and cooking tips
Restaurants took to sharing their hot tips and cooking secrets with their subscribers and followers during the COVID lockdown. It created a meaningful connection with the restaurants or the chefs. There is no reason why such a successful engagement exercise should not be continued now that the world is back on its feet.
7. Incorporate new menu items
Halloween, Christmas, Independence day- many festivals and celebrations inspire seasonal or festive menus. If you like to change the menu now and then, email the new and seasonal menu items to your prospective customers.
Source: The Restaurant Times
8. Celebrate birthdays and special events
On your patrons’ birthdays and anniversaries, wish them and invite them to your restaurant for celebrations. For example, Starbucks offers one free cappuccino to all patrons during their birthday month. Use emails to reach out and share your wishes, along with any related offers.
Source: Patisserie Valerie
9. Notify customers about upcoming events
For places that conduct various events over the year, it is a great idea to market them well in advance for 100% attendance. Here is an example of a calendar that can be shared over email.
10. Tell customers they’re valued
There’s nothing wrong with letting your loved ones know you miss them! Let your patrons and customers know that they are missed and valued. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach dormant and inactive customers.
11. Grow your email list
The more exhaustive your email list is, the better your ROI. Incentivizing customers to share their email IDs is easy. It is important to integrate the email lists from all sources of business- online ordering, POS, and food aggregators. Here are some other ways restaurants can organically increase their email lists:
Creating pop-ups/opt-ins on websites
Social media pages
Physical forms in the restaurants
To collect feedback
To send invoice
Related guide: How to Increase Email List Subscribers
12. Send transactional emails
Transactional emails have an open rate of 80-85%. That means it is a valuable space that should be utilized best to increase emotional affinity and engagement. You can send an email after the first online order and an NPS survey, for example, to ensure a great inbox placement rate.
Related guide: Transactional Emails: Use Cases, Tools, And Best Practices
13. Segment your audience
There are many ways in which restaurants can segment their users:
Channels through which they place the order: App, food Aggregator, in-person
Gender, age, location
Choice of preferred cuisine
Designing personalized campaigns targeting a segmented audience yields impressive results. It is easier to create innovative programs when you have more details about your target customer persona than a generic one-for-all approach.
Related guide: Step-By-Step Guide to Implement Audience Segmentation
14. Have a clear CTA
CTAs are typically aligned to the final goal of the marketing strategy in mind. You may want the readers to subscribe to your newsletter, download your app, order from your app, or visit your restaurant in person. Defining a clear, easy-to-understand CTA will ensure more conversions.
15. Integrate your emails with social media pages
An integrated, multi-prong approach will ensure your customers remain connected for longer. Since the same consistent message is shared across all platforms, it works as a mental reinforcement of your key message. Moreover, no matter which social media platform your customers follow, they can all be linked to the email. This will also help in increasing your subscription list.
16. Use interactive poll widgets
Polls are an ideal tool for gathering information and engaging your readers. With Mailmodo’s poll widget, you can easily insert poll questions into your email template. Collect user responses from the email itself using our AMP emails.
17. Share holiday offers
You can start sending a few holiday emails with early bird offers for Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, and Christmas. The email below offers a holiday discount and highlights special products relevant to the festival.
Customize this Christmas email template by Mailmodo.
Why Mailmodo is the right email marketing tool for restaurants
Earlier in this guide, we discovered how restaurant email marketing is fundamental to a holistic marketing strategy of a restaurant. Choosing the right tools to implement your restaurant's email marketing strategies is equally important. The right tool will help bring your vision to fruition. Here are 6 reasons Mailmodo is the perfect email marketing platform for your restaurant.
• Send transactional emails
Automate transactional emails at scale based on events triggered like table reservation, table confirmation, invoice payment, feedback email, etc.
• Create dynamic emails
Create dynamic emails with our no-code template builder and add many pre-made content blocks and AMP widgets.
• Hyper-personalize emails
Address your patron by name. Include details like when they visited, at which location, etc., to make your email sound special.
• Test your emails
Send test emails and preview your email in both HTML and AMP format on desktop and mobile devices.
• Measure analytics
Mailmodo helps you to measure the automated email campaign performance with Mailmodo’s email analytics suite.
• Smooth automation workflow
Connect your marketing stack with 360 integrations for smoother workflows.
Reading about restaurants and looking at pictures of some good-looking food must have made you feel a bit hungry by now. Before you rush off to place your order, here’s a quick summary.
We spoke about simple implementable tips and some restaurant email marketing strategies. If you’re new to this space, read our guide on email marketing to dive into the basics. Ready to kickstart your email marketing journey with Mailmodo? Book a call with our in-house experts to understand how we can help you scale your restaurant.
What you should do next
Hey there, thanks for reading till the end. Here are 3 ways we can help you grow your business:
Talk to an email expert. Need someone to take your email marketing to the next level? Mailmodo’s experts are here for you. Schedule a 30-minute email consultation. Don’t worry, it’s on the house. Book a meet here.
Send emails that bring higher conversions. Mailmodo is an ESP that helps you to create and send app-like interactive emails with forms, carts, calendars, games, and other widgets for higher conversions. Sign up now and send 10k free emails/month. Sign up here.
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