Email Marketing for Restaurants [How to Get More Orders in 2023]
The new economic & social norms haven’t been easy on businesses in the hospitality industry - bars, coffee shops, restaurants, your boutique bakery shop. Dine-in, buffets, catering - everything stands canceled.
While you continue to put out immediate fires, now is also the time to innovate and have your email marketing game on as the whole world is coming online.
If you are adapting to the new normal of the world, more and more food business owners are leveraging online ordering systems for restaurants as it keeps their business afloat in this highly volatile market but how would customers know about this? How will they know you are ready to accept online orders? The simple answer is through email marketing. You are probably already doing deliveries or curb-side picking. Your customers need to know this information. They even need to know if you are still in business.
Few emails you should send if you already haven’t:
- Inform your customer where and how they can order now
- If you have an offer running, advertise it in your emails
- Tell them about your commitment to maintaining hygiene & how you are practicing it.
The only way to build relationships these days is online, so do send some valuable content from your kitchens. Did you use to run a bar? Send steps to make a cocktail. You are making food in the cloud kitchen? Share how you are following health guidelines. This will keep you on top of their minds & they will continue to be your supporters.
If you are just starting out, you are at the right place as we explore why you absolutely need to focus on emails, basic elements of email marketing and the kind of emails you can send. This will help you get started right away. So read on.
Reduce marketing cost by improving customer loyalty
Who doesn’t want to increase customer loyalty?
I think only Santa. He is the only one who hasn’t sent me an email.
But, you do. You want repeat-customers, visiting you more frequently & even bring along their friends and family.
You can use email marketing directly with offers and reminders and indirectly by growing the relationship to get true fans of your restaurant or cafe.
How will email marketing help you gain customer loyalty? Well, you can use the following kinds of emails:
- Coupon expiry reminders
- Exclusive access to pre-launch of new menu
- Birthday or anniversary offers
- Thank you notes
Understand your audience with analytics and tracking
Data from your email campaigns can tell a lot about what your audience cares about and how can you connect with them, better.
For example, if you send an email informing about the new menu and a lot of people turn up the next weekend, that will show that the new menu with restaurant food images sounds exciting. If they open the email but don’t take action, that will show you that you need to change something.
Manage better with centralized communication
Managing local marketing for companies with multiple sites is challenging. But with email marketing, it’s easy since it allows you to segment audiences with geographies.
So you can maintain consistent branding while aligning messages to each local area.
Elements of Email Marketing for Restaurants
Let’s keep it simple and first discuss the two basic things you need for email marketing - a list & an email.
How to create an email list
Rather than focusing on some vanity metrics on social media, it’s worthwhile to build an email list where you can get undivided attention from your patrons.
But don’t get lured into easy ways and buy an email list or just scrap it off the internet. Invest some time and strategy to build one. A list that will hear your stories, engage with you and ultimately contribute to your business.
Have pop up form on your website.
Use the footer to put your signup form
Use Facebook page to drive people to sign up
Use the hard copy of the receipt and pique their curiosity so they do sign up
How to send visually captivating emails
People are more likely to engage with you if they associate a good feeling with your brand.
And what better way to do that other than sharing images of food, people having a good time at your restaurant or chef cooking your meal with perfection.
So include large, mouth-watering pictures of whatever you are trying to promote, without making it too spammy.
- Use email templates that support your visuals & are responsive.
- Keep your text to a minimum & have lots of white space.
- Stick to your branding guidelines.
- Use headings and subheadings to help readability.
Kind of emails you can send
Welcome emails are a perfect opportunity to engage further with customers as their interest is at peak when they sign up.
Tips to write a great welcome email:
- Say thank you for signing up
- Introduce your business & your story
- Encourage the reader to connect on social media
- Offer an incentive to take the next step - order online, visit again or refer a friend.
Event-based automated emails
Automated emails are emails to your subscribers automatically from your email service provider (ESP), based on a schedule, or triggers that you would have defined.
A trigger can be a specific date, event, or subscriber's activity that tells your system to send out a related message.
Here is an example
Trigger: New subscriber
Action: Send Welcome email
Trigger: Subscriber’s birthday
Action: Send a coupon & invite to celebrate at your restaurant
Automation can help you provide a personalized experience to subscribers & help you save time and effort.
Your team will not need to spend time manually compiling email lists and scheduling messages. Instead, they can focus their time on other creative campaigns.
If you have been working for months on crafting your new menu & are about to launch it, email marketing can be a very effective channel to communicate that.
Don’t depend on social media feed where our attention is as little as that of a goldfish & scrolling speed as fast a cheetah.
The subscriber receiving a menu update would feel like they are valued and they are part of the launch. Thus bringing them back to your restaurant and building a stronger bond.
Ask for Review
People rarely give you feedback on a form and almost never on your face.
There is a higher chance of someone giving genuine feedback if asked on email.
In case they have a complaint, it’s better they can rage it on the feedback form, rather than on some review site. And if they went satiated and happy from your restaurant, you can always use the collected feedback as a testimonial.
Increase your app downloads
Email marketing definitely enjoys higher engagement if you are trying to push app downloads for your cafe or restaurant.
Not only that, but you can also use remarketing and creative campaigns to explain in details how to use the app and how it can help you.
Here is how Starbucks does it:
Email marketing helps you reach your audience all over the globe. Although social media can do the same, it does not show who interacted with your content and how.
Get started by choosing the right ESP
You will need automation to send event-specific emails and gorgeous, professional-looking templates to make your content stand out.
You will also need an ESP that has a good delivery rate. Because you don’t want to spend all that money and time into capturing a stunning dish only to find out that email hit the spam box of your subscribers.
If you are looking for an affordable option that has all these right elements to help you run successful email marketing campaigns, you should checkout SendX.
SendX has enabled 3000+ companies to tap into the power of email marketing. It has helped businesses truly drive their email marketing strategy and that’s why it’s getting recommended by top marketers.
You can try it for free for 14 days. It’s simple signup with your email & no credit cards are required.
SendX FAQs for Restaurant Email Marketing
1) Why do I need email marketing software like SendX for a restaurant?
As a restaurant, you need to inform your customer where and how they can order now - and this is even more important from a COVID-19 standpoint. If you have an offer running, you need to advertise it in your emails. You can tell them about your commitment to maintaining hygiene and how you are practicing it. All this and more can be accomplished using an email marketing software like SendX.
2) What are the benefits of email marketing for a restaurant?
The primary benefit of email marketing for a restaurant is that it helps you build and sustain customer loyalty, not just by maintaining regular communication with your customers, but also through tracking and analytics.
3) Food related emails need excellent imagery, like menus. Is SendX up to the task?
Yes, very much. In SendX, you can get access to more than half a million royalty-free stock photos for your email marketing campaigns, which should be more than sufficient for your requirement.
4) We will need a lot of event-based marketing, like for birthdays, anniversaries, festivals etc. Can SendX do this well?
Yes, of course. SendX allows you to create automations to truly turn your marketing efforts into auto pilot mode. Some of these activities include event based marketing where events like birthdays, anniversaries, festivals etc, serve as triggers to send beautifully designed automated emails.
5) Restaurant owners are not technical people. Do we need HTML skills to design attractive emails in SendX?
No. With the WYSIWYG editor in SendX, you can design beautiful email newsletters even if you don't know HTML.
6) Are there any special discounts for Restaurants in SendX?
Even though there is no special discount as such, you can go for an annual plan which will save you up to 25% per year.