The way in which restaurants connect with their customers is continuing to evolve with the rise of social media marketing, but the power email marketing continues to remain an effective way, if not the most effective way to strengthen customer relationships, increase brand awareness and drive revenues. Email newsletters create a two-way line of communication that allows you to promote your brand and sell your food, but also a way to check in with your customers to gauge how happy they are through surveys or simple updates to keep them in the loop with what’s happening at your restaurant.
Building and Strengthening Customer Relationships
The key difference between email marketing and social media marketing is that people want to hear from you. Your audience is genuinely interested in keeping up to date with your restaurant, which is why they signed up in the first place. With social media, your customers aren’t necessarily expecting you to send them personal messages, so with email, it then becomes your responsibility to honour their interest by providing them with the value they might not receive over social media.
Red House Uptown did a fantastic job at advertising their Wine Dinner. The note is personal, and it reader gets an idea that the restaurant wants them to be there.
How to Strengthen Those Ties
Happy customers, who are delighted with your product and service, will market for you by sharing your content with their friends and family.
- Exclusive or subscriber-only promotions.
- Exclusive invitations to special events.
- First-to-know of any changes happening within the restaurant (re-openings, menu changes, delivery services, etc.).
How to Get Started
To help you get started with email marketing, we’ve broken it down into 3 easy steps.
1. Building your email list – If you don’t have an existing email list, you’re going to need to start building one. There are simple ways to entice your audience to sign up for your newsletter. That includes opt-in forms that can be placed all over your website (headers, footers, contact pages, blog posts), however, adding a pop-up as soon as you land on your website is most likely to catch the eye of your audience. Remember they must have the option to opt-out of emails, in accordance with CASL and CAN-SPAM.
Social media isn’t going anywhere, and ideally it should work together with email marketing, as opposed to it being alternative. Advertise your newsletter on your social channels, with a little preview so your audience knows what to expect.
Tip: Still in the process of launching your restaurant? Email marketing can become your best friend. Our Apple theme allows you to set up a landing page to capture emails even before you open your doors. It’s a great way to build hype and keep your future customers in the loop.
2. How do I do it? – Before you jump into drafting emails, consider choosing an email marketing service provider to help you with your marketing. Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Mad Mimi are a few free-to-inexpensive examples that possess powerful tools designed to help you reach the audience you’re looking for. Oh and they all integrate into Sociavore as well.
Based on the data from your emails, they will tell you who’s opening your emails, how many people are opening and engaging with your email, and tons of useful information that will guide you in the right direction and boost your revenues. Trust us, it will make your life a lot easier.
3. What do I write? – You want to strike the right balance between informational and promotional content. The last thing you want to do is annoy your customers with promotions every time, so mix in some informational content to keep them engaged. The benefit of email marketing is you have full control over the content and the distribution. You know your message is landing in your audiences’ inbox, with no algorithms in the way.
In order to run effective email campaigns, it’s important to keep some of the following practices in mind.
- Make sure your content is useful and relevant.
- Add a human touch. Let your audience know there’s a personality behind the emails.
- Link people to your website through CTA’s (Call-to-Action). Directing more people to your website will generate website traffic which will in turn boost revenues.
- Pull audience in with subject lines
- Send a welcome email. Nothing like making a first impression.
Expanding your reach even further
Once you’ve established a substantial email list, you can reach a whole new audience based on that data. Facebook Lookalike Audiences allow you to upload your contact list, and it will feed an ad to similar people.
Similar people are based on interests, followed posts and pages, location, demographics, and more. You’re essentially leveraging your custom email list and reaching a brand new set of people, who are likely interested in the same thing, and in this case your restaurant.
If you have any questions on email marketing, please don’t hesitate to reach out to [email protected]