With more than 1 billion restaurant locations in the US, you need to make the most of your marketing efforts to attract your fair share of customers in an $800 billion industry. One of the most cost-effective ways to grow any business is email marketing, and that is particularly true with restaurants.
Based on a recent roundup of statistics, email marketing remains a great way to connect with current and potential patrons. The stats show that:
Those are very compelling numbers. To make sure you capitalize on this trend, we offer this guide to highlight restaurant marketing ideas and trends. Included are statistics on restaurant email marketing, innovative ways to collect customers’ emails, marketing content ideas for restaurants, and email marketing best practices. By the end, you’ll have everything you need to improve your restaurant's marketing campaigns and get more diners sitting at your tables.
Based on research by Single Platform, restaurants spend 15% of their marketing budgets on email marketing. Among those email marketers, a survey by The Rail shows that more than one-third of restaurant owners send monthly emails to customers, with 71% using their newsletters to send details of upcoming events.
The Rail’s data also shows that more than half of all restaurant email lists have more than 10,000 subscribers and the average open rate is 19.3%. The email benchmarks cited by Mailchimp put the open rate for this sector even higher: at 21.17%, with a click-through rate of 1.25%.
What’s the ROI of restaurant email marketing? That depends on who you ask. Some recent feedback shows:
Whichever number you go with, those are impressive returns that prove email marketing is a successful strategy for restaurants. Other benefits of restaurant email marketing include:
For restaurant owners, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach customers. It outperforms social media and, unlike social media, you retain control of your audience. To get started, follow these steps:
If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to choose an email service provider. In addition to the brands that are household names, some email services providers that specialize in the restaurant industry include Fishbowl, BentoBox, and Bridg.
When choosing a provider, pay attention to the availability of templates that will allow you to style emails depending on the offer, niche or season. Make sure your restaurant email marketing software has in-depth analytics so you can measure the success of your marketing campaigns.
To build a successful restaurant business, you need a steady stream of new and potential customers to keep the place packed. To connect with potential diners, a good starting point is to place an option form on your website to encourage diners to sign up for your newsletter. For best results, ensure that your email signup form is visible on all relevant pages of your site.
You can sweeten the deal by offering a discount coupon for first-time diners. Some restaurants encourage people to sign up for the email list when they make reservations or order online. You’ll also need to consider offline marketing to get email addresses by using methods that include:
All of these will increase the number of potential customers for your restaurant.
The best restaurant campaigns include three types of emails: transactional, relational and promotional. The last two help build long-term customers, Relational emails foster goodwill by delivering free information or free gifts. Promotional emails include notifications about offers and sales, but there are no freebies.
If you’re like many content marketers, you might wonder how to stay connected to customers month after month. Some restaurant email marketing ideas of value to send with every email include:
You can also use email marketing to:
If you want the best restaurant email campaigns, you’ll need to nail the email subject line with a creative message to capture the attention of diners. Here are some memorable restaurant email marketing subject lines from various restaurants:
Once people have opened your email, you want them to click through to take up your offer. The more relevant your emails are, the more likely people are to open them and act on the information they contain.
A great way to do that is with segmentation and personalization that divide your subscribers into smaller groups for more targeted marketing.