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ADMS-Restaurant email marketing

The Ultimate Email Marketing Guide for Restaurants

Table of Contents

As a restaurant owner, managing everything from menu updates to social media, payroll, and daily operations, adding another task to your to-do list can be challenging. However, email marketing is a crucial aspect of your marketing strategy, and if your digital marketing campaign is to be successful, it must include email marketing.

Here in this authoritative email marketing guide you will find the essential steps to create and effective email-based digital marketing campaign that will increase awareness and, subsequently, customer numbers for your restaurant.

This comprehensive email marketing guide will take you through the steps necessary to establish a robust email marketing strategy. We’ll cover topics such as building your email list, developing content ideas, measuring success, and more.

Before we get to all that, let’s first dive into why having a well-defined email marketing strategy is important for your restaurant.

Email Marketing Benefits for a Restaurant Businesses

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies for restaurants, with a staggering return on investment of up to $36 for every $1 spent. This is because it enables you to target an audience that has already shown interest in your restaurant through in-person visits or online engagement. Or, put in more colloquial terms, email marketing is like preaching to the converted.

Aside from the high ROI, here are some other email marketing benefits for restaurants.

  • Widespread reach – There’s no limit to the number of people you can reach or where you can reach them.
  • Customer engagement – It’s not a one-time interaction, but rather an interaction that builds customer relationships and fosters loyalty over time.
  • Direct delivery – With the simple click of a button, your message is instantly delivered to your audience’s inbox.
  • Cost-effectiveness – Say goodbye to the costs associated with printing and mailing.
  • Increased revenue – Not only does it help retain current customers, but it also attracts new ones, both of which directly result in increased revenue.
  • Measurement – Unlike traditional direct mail, you can use data analytics to assess customer response.
  • Share-ability – Current customers are more likely to share an email promotion with their friends.

Email marketing benefits restaurants that need to establish an online presence for their business.

How To Launch a Successful Restaurant Email Marketing Campaign

Before launching your restaurant’s email marketing campaign, it’s essential to lay the foundation by taking some preliminary steps. This will ensure that your campaign is effective in not only boosting your business but also fostering customer loyalty in a cost-efficient manner.

Answer the following questions to determine the frequency of your email communications:

  • Will you send weekly specials, monthly newsletters, or menu updates?
  • What information will you be sharing with your audience?
  • Will you make frequent announcements on your operations and opening hours, or will you be offering loyalty rewards?

Once you clearly understand your email goals and frequency, you can start planning your marketing strategies.

1. Gather email addresses.

Start collecting email addresses from current patrons and the local community through opt-in forms or sign-up forms, which can be found on your website, social media, in-person at your restaurant, or through technology such as online ordering or mobile payment opt-ins.

2. Develop the email format.

Once you have your list of email addresses, you can begin your email.

  • Craft a captivating subject line. It’s the key factor determining whether customers will open your email. Make it short and attention-grabbing, such as “Celebrate with a FREE lunch on your birthday!”
  • Personalize your emails, avoiding a generic greeting like “Dear Customer”. Use the subscriber’s name, location, or other relevant information to make it seem tailored just for them.
  • Include a clear call to action, like links to your menu, online reservation, delivery options, your restaurant’s hours, location, and phone number. An online ordering button is a must for delivery services.

3. Employ segmentation and automation techniques.

As opposed to other marketing methods, such as social media and search engine optimization, email marketing offers businesses the opportunity to create customized experiences for their target audience. A survey conducted by Salesforce found that 70% of consumers are more likely to remain loyal to companies that comprehend their needs.

To personalize your restaurant newsletters, you can utilize the audience management features provided by email marketing platforms. This will enable you to segment your customers based on shared characteristics and send them relevant messages.

For instance, you can segment your customers into new vs. repeat customers based on their previous orders or designate VIPs. Additionally, you can set up automated emails to send gift cards, discounts, and birthday greetings, adding to the personal touch.

4. Work on crafting distinctive copy.

While email design is a crucial aspect of your email campaigns, copywriting is equally important. Persuade your readers to take action by writing compelling, clear, relevant messages representing your brand.

As mentioned, the subject line is a critical element of your email newsletter and plays a crucial role in capturing your subscriber’s attention. With the sheer volume of emails received daily, writing a captivating subject line that summarizes the main focus of your campaign is crucial in boosting open rates.

Here are a few examples of subject lines to consider:

  • Indulge in a delicious lunch with us!
  • Warm up with our new winter menu!
  • Join us for a memorable dining experience!
  • Mystery dining tour – are you ready?
  • Happy hour just got happier – see us!

It’s equally important to ensure that the preview text and main content support the goal of your campaign and include irresistible offers.

5. Evaluate your performance metrics.

Monitoring your email marketing lets you gain insights into how your subscribers interact with your content. You must monitor your performance metrics to comprehensively understand how well your subscribers receive your message and whether your efforts are yield results.

Below, you’ll find the key email metrics and the latest benchmark data for email marketing in the restaurant industry to measure:

  • Open rates
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Click-to-open rate
  • Unsubscribes
  • Bounce rates

It’s essential to track these data regularly to understand which strategies are practical and where improvement is needed in your email practices.

The Bottom Line

Start targeting the right audience by taking advantage of all the tips in this email marketing guide. Gather email addresses, develop the email format, and create your first campaign. You can also develop a segmentation and automation strategy to target the right audience. Always include clear, distinctive copy that entices readers to visit your restaurant. Remember to evaluate your performance metrics to understand what methods are working and how you can adjust them to keep your customers coming back for more.

Cook up a storm with your email marketing campaign with ADMS!

Create an impactful email marketing campaign developed by Advanced Digital Media Services. ADMS has a team of experts in SEO in Denver who will ensure your emails reflect your restaurant’s unique atmosphere and delicious cuisine and draw your guests back in to relive the experience.

Book the ADMS team today and unleash your restaurant’s full potential with creative email marketing campaigns that generate results.

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ADMS Paul Donahue

About Paul Donahue

Paul Donahue has been in the digital marketing realm since 2009. He has an intense passion for creating a dynamic digital presence for his clients through modern websites that rank well on Google. His company’s website is Colorado’s top-ranked SEO company. Author of three books published on Amazon, he is particular about staying abreast with the constantly changing SEO and digital marketing industry trends.

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