Email is one of the most powerful marketing tools your restaurant can make use of – having direct access to your customers’ inbox is invaluable, but it’s important to fine-tune your messaging in order to achieve the best results from your email marketing efforts.
If you have a list of previous or potential customer email addresses that you’re not using to their full potential, here are just a few email marketing campaigns your restaurant should be sending.
Welcome emails are a great way of introducing any new subscriber to your brand.
Sent within the first 24 hours of subscribing, this email can lay out some of the things a new subscriber can expect to receive in their inbox, as well as incentivising them to visit the restaurant in the near future.
The example shows how Flaming Grill welcome their new subscribers with a discount and an introduction to the brand, prompting them to book a table.
Offer emails can help to keep your subscribers happy with an exclusive ‘thank you’ .
By offering your subscribers something special, you can show your appreciation, whilst simultaneously driving sales (or table bookings).
As well as keeping your customers happy, an offer email will help to reinforce brand awareness and customer loyalty, keeping your restaurant in the forefront of your subscribers mind.
An offer email will typically have a higher open rate too, so you’re likely to get your message in front of more of your subscribers.
Yard and Coop offer their subscribers a free pint of beer or glass of wine with an exclusive voucher download.
Newsletters & Announcements
Your subscribers should be the first to know about any exciting announcements and news direct from your restaurant.
Use announcement emails as a way to build interest and anticipation ahead of exciting news such as a new menu, an exclusive dish, or a new restaurant opening.
Keeping subscribers in the know helps to retain existing customers and again, will reinforce brand loyalty.
Gusto announce their new Autumn / Winter menu with an email tempting subscribers to book now.
With the email addresses collected from any online bookings, why not send follow up emails a day or two after to encourage those who have visited the restaurant to leave a Google review?
This will show that your restaurant cares about customers’ experience, as well as helping others who are deciding whether or not to visit. Not only this, it will also help with search visibility and could improve GMB and organic rankings.
Pizza Express follow up on online bookings by asking diners to review their experience in return for a free portion of Dough Balls.
Could you offer your loyal customers an exclusive discount or even a free dessert or side on their birthday?
Birthday emails are a great way to make customers feel special, whilst incentivising them to celebrate becoming another year older at your venue, all whilst bringing a group of new paying customers with them.
Perfectly timed email campaigns can be great for inspiring your customers and driving bookings to your restaurant.
Is there an event happening that you can tie into your restaurant and use as an opportunity to contact your subscribers?
For example, is the weather forecast to be particularly chilly? Invite your subscribers to come and stay warm by your cosy fireside, and why not offer them a complimentary mulled wine or hot drink?
As Christmas approaches ask your customers, do they really want to cook tonight after a long day of frantically hitting the high street to finish (or start!) their gift buying? A delicious meal they don’t have to cook might be oh so tempting after a hard day of shopping!
Alongside all of the above campaign ideas, for the best results remember to test out different metrics such as time of day, subject line and sender name.
For example, try testing out which day of the week has the best open rate – does Thursday work best when people are planning their weekends? Next, consider what time of day is most effective, is it after working hours or during lunch time when people have free time to browse?
Give your subscribers a reason to open your email, then keep them interested after doing so. If your restaurant needs any help with emailing marketing, please get in touch, we’d love to chat!