If you’re a restaurant owner, you probably spend hours planning for posting to Facebook, but it doesn’t hold a candle to email marketing. Why? Ever since Facebook changed their algorithm, not all your followers see all your posts. And the algorithms change often.
What Email Marketing Can Do for Your Restaurant
So it’s nothing to stake your digital marketing strategy on. Email marketing, on the other hand, is much more stable. You “own” your email list, your customers opt-in to it, you can send a wide variety of content, and study after study shows that it has great ROI.
It’s important to keep in mind that tons of your customers have smartphones, and will be reading your email there. But according to Litmus, you only have about 3 seconds to make a good impression. So what do people want when reading business emails on their phone?
- Not too many emails sent
- Relevant [Don’t send loyal customers welcome emails, or first timers loyalty emails.]
- Keep the font readable
- Make sure your links work and can be used by mobile users
- Make sure it’s easy to scroll/read on a mobile device
- 6 to 10 words is an ideal range for your subject lines
- Remember the 3-second rule. It’s not that they have to be extremely short, but you should be able to glance through your email and get the main points, with the must-know info easily visible.
- Don’t forget links to important content and high-quality images. But don’t over-do it, so you can keep your load times fast.
There are a few ideas for how to get restaurant guests to sign up for your email list. If you don’t use QR Codes, keep your links short. [Both Bitly and Hootsuite have link shorteners for free.] Another good idea is to offer an incentive for signups, so they’ll have another reason to come in. Plus, they’ll be more likely to give you a real email address if they know they’re getting a reward.
After they signup and receive their incentive, make sure to send a welcome email. Tell them more about your restaurant, your offerings, special events, and ways to connect with you on social. If you’re using MailChimp (or a similar platform), it’s easy to personalize your emails— which you should definitely do! Giving people a Call to Action (CTA) is another definite must. As a restaurant owner, this would most often be an offer or incentive for them to come in and redeem.
Like with anything else you do for your restaurant, you need a way to analyze your progress and make adjustments along the way. Analytics is a great tool for this, and every email program has them. Check them regularly, learn from them, adjust your emails accordingly, and you’ll be the one to beat when it comes to email marketing for your restaurant.