Email Marketing for Restaurants

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Email marketing can be a low-cost, high-reward option for promoting your restaurant. In this lesson, you'll learn more about how email marketing can be a positive addition to your restaurant marketing plan.

Riddle Me This

You own a restaurant and are looking for new ways to engage customers and prospects. But, can you first answer this short riddle? What is a quick and inexpensive way to serve customers and fill your tables?

Email marketing can serve information to your customers and help fill your restaurant.
Email marketing can serve information to your customers and help fill your restaurant.

Email marketing, of course!

Email marketing can be a low-cost, high-reward option to add to your existing marketing strategy. It can be used for everything from newsletters to special offers and coupon promotions, and to reach your customers quickly and directly. Let's look more in-depth at email marketing for restaurants.

Marketing Your Restaurant through Email

To get started with email marketing, you must first understand what type of personality and voice your restaurant has. Whether you're a fine dining restaurant or a cool, hole-in-the-wall college establishment, be certain that your email design and contents reflects that personality. Then follow these basic guidelines for creating successful email marketing.

Establish Goals

Establish some goals for your email marketing. Are you trying to draw more people in for brunch? Do you want to raise awareness about a new menu? Whatever your goals and objectives, use them in the content you push out via email.

Choose an Eye-Catching Subject Line

Many emails are never opened simply because of a boring subject line. Don't be afraid to be creative and bold, and entice your subscribers to want to open your email and read what you have to say.

Focus on One Idea

Don't try to sell everything in your restaurant in the body of one email. If you're offering half-priced desserts and want to promote that, focus your email energies on that topic. If the purpose of your email is to deliver a special offer or coupon, do so and consider including your restaurant location and hours of operation.

Of course, you should always include the basics after your main idea, e.g., your social media channels, locations, hours of operations, menu, delivery options (if you have them), and how to place a reservation (if you take them).

Design Mobile-responsive Emails

Mobile-responsive emails can be opened and viewed similarly across any device of a viewer's choosing. Consider accepting coupons you provide in your emails by allowing consumers to present the mobile device for their convenience.

Determine the Right Frequency

Do not oversaturate your email subscribers with daily or twice-daily emails. Instead, focus on one quality email distribution weekly, every other week, or monthly.

Find Subscribers

You already have a built-in audience of customers visiting your restaurants. Remind them in-store to sign up for your emails. Add sign-up info to their sales receipt or to your menu. Share it on your social media sites. Encourage subscribers to share and forward your emails to family and friends.

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