The Beginner’s Guide to Restaurant Email Marketing: Part 1 of 5

Value of Email Marketing for Restaurants

The Beginner’s Guide to Restaurant Email Marketing is a five-part series. Follow this guide to grow and refine your restaurant email marketing strategy.

Understanding the Value of Email Marketing for Restaurants

A good email list is one of the greatest marketing assets of any small-to-medium sized business.

Restaurants are no exception.

Once you understand the value of email marketing for restaurants, you can absolutely use it to bring more guests through the door of your business.

Who Should Use Email Marketing?

In a word, everyone. (Restaurant managers, that means you too!)

Here’s why:

“Email marketing is an essential tool in every smart marketer’s tool belt. Nothing else is as good at reaching your customers where they are, and nothing else is as effective at building personal relationships with customers.”

–Dan Oshinsky, Director of Newsletters at Buzzfeed

The Tremendous Value of Email Marketing for Restaurants

  • Email marketing is cost-effective (delivers results for a low investment)
  • Email marketing provides a higher ROI than any other form of marketing (source: Direct Marketing Association)
  • Email marketing allows you to promote your restaurant to a targeted audience that wants to receive your emails
  • It’s fast & easy (doesn’t require special expertise)
  • Enhances your social media marketing & blogging activities

Take your Guest Engagement Beyond the Dining Room: Request a Demo

Getting Started with Restaurant Email Marketing

Step 1: Build your email list

  1. Don’t wait to start building your subscriber list! Get started today, even if you just have a few business cards of guests who asked to receive your promotions. A few names and email addresses are better than zero.
  2. Make it easy for guests to subscribe to your list by advertising your email list sign-up on your website, social media, guest checks, menus, table tents, off-site events and more! Many guests would love to sign up for coupons, restaurant newsletters, and events, so give them the option in as many ways as you can.
  3. Offer a compelling incentive for people to sign up, such as a free appetizer coupon just for joining. If they get something worthwhile in exchange for giving you their email address, then it’s a win-win for everyone.

Step 2.  Set a SMART goal for your first campaign

  1. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable and timely. Start with one clear goal, and you can focus on other goals as you get better at email marketing.
  2. Example SMART goal: We will increase happy hour sales by 20% over a two-month period.
  3. Make sure the calls-to-action in your email campaign focus on achieving the SMART goal for that campaign. In the happy hour sales example, you might use calls-to-action such as “Join us for Happy Hour,” “Check out our Happy Hour menu,” or “View our newest Happy Hour beers.”

Restaurant Email Marketing Helps you Reach your Business Goals

No digital marketing channel is more effective at helping you reach your SMART goals than email marketing.

Here are some great short- and long-term goals you can achieve through restaurant email marketing:

Short-term goals for restaurant email marketing

  1. Improve lunch sales during the month of June
  2. Increase dinner reservations on weeknights in September
  3. Grow banquet/group sales by 25% in December
  4. Increase to-go/delivery sales by 15% over a three-month period

Long-term goals for restaurant email marketing

  1. Increase guest loyalty program sign-ups over a one-year period
  2. Gain a competitive advantage over other restaurants in the area over the next 18 months
  3. Grow sales year-over-year

Next up in The Beginner’s Guide to Restaurant Email Marketing

With a true appreciation for the value of email marketing, a good email list and a SMART goal for your first campaign, you’re ready to explore which email marketing service to use.

Next week, we’ll discuss your options for email service providers, how to import your contact list and the basics of designing your first marketing email!

Don’t miss it!

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