Email Marketing For Restaurants – The 7 Keys To Success
Many restaurant owners understand the benefits of emailing coupons, promotions or newsletters to their current customers. The DMA (Direct Marketing Association) found that Email delivers an unbelievable ROI of $57.25 for every dollar spent on it in 2005. The challenge for restaurant owners is how to effectively take advantage of such a powerful marketing medium.
The following are the 7 keys to successful email marketing for restaurants.
- Incentive to join – Provide an incentive for your customer to join your email club with an attractive initial coupon or promotion that is a strong call-to-action. Deliver your sign-up incentive immediately after the customer has provided their email address as part of a welcome email message. Alert your customers that they will most likely have to look for your initial email in their bulk or junk email folder. Provide brief instructions on how to add your name to your customer's address book as part of your welcome message to eliminate future delivery problems. If you input your customer's email address for them, be sure to add them to your list as soon after they have provided it as possible.
- Legal requirements – Include your legally required sender name and address information and customer opt-out capabilities on every email. Make sure that it is easy for the customer to opt-out if they desire. You should never require your customer to reply to your message and put “please remove me from your list” in the subject line in order to be removed from your list.
- Email frequency – Match the frequency of your email communication with the frequency of how your good customers will visit your restaurant. If you communicate too frequently you may annoy your customers. If you communicate not frequently enough, you can reduce or eliminate the customer retention benefits you desire.
- Get it opened – Give your customer a good reason to open your email. Think about why your customer signed up for your email list in the first place, they most likely are looking for coupons and promotions on what they normally order. Customers will be much more receptive to email that includes some marketing of new menu items or you promoting business slow times if there is a valuable benefit for them included in the email.
- Track it – Track each email and compare the results to previous emails. Look at open rates, clicks, forwards, and unsubscribes. Test new subject lines and various coupons and promotions to see what produces the best results. The best performing promotions may be candidates for more expensive marketing mediums like print advertising or radio.
- Persistence – Recognize in advance that growing your email list is hard work. Forrester Research states that the average company will lose 30% of its subscriber list every year. You need to continually push for email sign-ups at the same time eliminating names from your list that are no longer valid.
Email is the most cost effective marketing method available today by a wide margin. Used effectively it can prove to be invaluable as a tool to retain your customers and grow your revenues.