Email marketing is an essential part of any restaurant’s marketing strategy. Email campaigns help restaurants reach their customers in a cost-effective and targeted manner. Email campaigns also allow restaurants to build relationships with their customers and drive repeat business. In this article, we will discuss email marketing tips and best practices for restaurants to help them create effective campaigns that will generate more leads and sales.
Build Your Email List
Before you start sending email campaigns, you need to build a list of subscribers. The best way to build your email list is to offer a signup form on your website, social media pages, and in-store. You can also offer incentives for signing up, such as a free appetizer or dessert. Make sure to obtain explicit consent from subscribers to receive marketing emails.
Yard House, a restaurant chain with over 80 locations, saw a 60% increase in email subscribers by offering a free appetizer to new subscribers.
Segment Your Email List
Segmenting your email list allows you to target specific groups of subscribers with personalized content. Segment your list by demographics, purchase history, and behavior. This will help you send targeted messages that are more likely to resonate with your subscribers.
PizzaExpress, a restaurant chain in the UK, increased their email open rates by 23% by segmenting their list based on customer preferences.
Use a Clear and Compelling Subject Line
Your subject line is the first thing that subscribers will see in their inbox. Make sure to use a clear and compelling subject line that entices subscribers to open your email. Use language that creates urgency, such as “last chance” or “limited time offer”.
According to Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, and emails with a clear call-to-action in the subject line are 22% more likely to be opened.
Personalize Your Emails
Personalization is essential for email campaigns. Use subscribers’ names, past purchases, and location to create personalized messages that resonate with them. This will help you build stronger relationships with your subscribers and increase the likelihood of repeat business.
Sweetgreen, a fast-casual salad chain, increased their email open rates by 75% by using personalization in their subject lines and content.
Use High-Quality Images
High-quality images are essential for email campaigns. Use images that showcase your food and restaurant in a visually appealing way. Make sure to use images that are relevant to the content of your email.
According to HubSpot, emails with images have a 42% higher click-through rate than emails without images.
Use a Clear Call-to-Action
Your call-to-action is the action you want subscribers to take after reading your email. Use a clear call-to-action that is easy to understand and easy to follow. Use language that creates urgency, such as “book now” or “order now”.
According to Campaign Monitor, emails with a clear call-to-action increase click-through rates by 371%.
Use Responsive Design
Responsive design ensures that your email looks great on any device. Use a design that is optimized for mobile devices, as more than half of all emails are opened on mobile devices.
According to Litmus, 42% of all email opens occur on mobile devices.
Test Your Emails
Testing your emails is essential to ensure that they are effective. Test different subject lines, images, and calls-to-action to see what works best with your audience. Use A/B testing to compare different versions of your emails.
Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, a fast-casual restaurant chain, increased their email open rates by 30% by testing different subject lines and sending times.
Keep Your Emails Short and Sweet
Keep your emails short and to the point. Most people have short attention spans when it comes to emails, so make sure to get your message across quickly. Use bullet points or numbered lists to make your content easier to read.
According to HubSpot, emails with three or fewer images and 20 lines of text or less result in the highest click-through rates.
Offer Exclusive Promotions
Offer exclusive promotions to your email subscribers to incentivize them to visit your restaurant. This can include discounts, free items, or special events. Make sure to create a sense of urgency by using limited-time offers.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop, a sandwich chain with over 400 locations, saw a 19% increase in email open rates by offering exclusive promotions to their email subscribers.
Follow Email Marketing Regulations
Make sure to follow email marketing regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act. This includes obtaining explicit consent from subscribers, including a physical mailing address in your emails, and providing an easy way to unsubscribe.
According to Litmus, 43% of email recipients mark emails as spam based on the sender’s email address.
Provide Valuable Content
Provide valuable content in your emails that goes beyond just promoting your restaurant. This can include recipes, cooking tips, and local food events. This will help build a relationship with your subscribers and position your restaurant as a thought leader in the industry.
Panera Bread, a bakery-cafe chain, saw a 4% increase in email open rates by providing valuable content in their emails.
Consistency is Key
Consistency is key when it comes to email campaigns. Make sure to send emails on a regular basis, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. This will help build a relationship with your subscribers and keep your restaurant top-of-mind.
According to HubSpot, sending one to four emails per month results in the highest open and click-through rates.
Use a Clear From Name
Use a clear from name in your emails that is recognizable to your subscribers. This can be your restaurant name or a recognizable individual within your restaurant. Avoid using a generic email address, as this can decrease the likelihood of your email being opened.
According to Campaign Monitor, emails with a recognizable from name have a 23% higher open rate than emails with a generic from name.
Monitor Your Metrics
Monitor your email marketing metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, to see how effective your campaigns are. Use these metrics to make adjustments and improve your campaigns over time.
According to Mailchimp, the average open rate for restaurant emails is 21.42%, and the average click-through rate is 1.54%.
Use Social Proof
Use social proof in your emails to build credibility and trust with your subscribers. This can include customer reviews, awards, and recognition from the media.
J. Alexander’s Holdings, a restaurant company with multiple brands, saw a 50% increase in email open rates by including positive customer reviews in their emails.
Keep Your Branding Consistent
Keep your branding consistent across all of your emails, including your logo, colors, and fonts. This will help reinforce your brand identity and make your emails easily recognizable to your subscribers.
According to Campaign Monitor, emails with consistent branding are 3.5 times more likely to be clicked.
Use Personalization Beyond the Subject Line
Use personalization beyond the subject line to create a personalized experience for your subscribers. This can include personalized content, images, and calls-to-action based on past behavior or preferences.
According to Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized content result in a 29% higher unique open rate and a 41% higher unique click rate compared to non-personalized emails.
Optimize for Mobile
Optimize your emails for mobile devices, as a large portion of email opens occur on mobile devices. Make sure your emails are easy to read and navigate on smaller screens.
According to Litmus, 43% of emails are opened on mobile devices, and that number is expected to continue to grow.
Test and Experiment
Test and experiment with different email strategies to see what works best for your restaurant and audience. This can include testing different subject lines, sending times, and email formats.
According to HubSpot, A/B testing can lead to a 49% increase in click-through rates.
Email marketing can be a powerful tool for restaurants to build relationships with their customers and drive revenue. By following these tips and best practices, you can create effective email campaigns that engage your subscribers and drive them to visit your restaurant. Remember to always provide value to your subscribers, be consistent, and monitor your metrics to improve your campaigns over time. With the right strategy, email marketing can be a valuable addition to your restaurant’s marketing efforts.