With easier access to email inboxes these days, reaching your customers through email marketing is crucial. It’s a great way to connect with your customers and target new ones. It’s one of the most effective yet least expensive digital marketing strategies.
If you are a restaurant owner and want your email marketing efforts to drive ROI and profits, we’ve listed down the best tips and strategies straight from the email marketing pros to help you gear up your email marketing to the next level.
1. Maintaining your Email List
Probably one of the most overlooked strategies in email marketing is maintaining your subscriber list.
Email list hygiene is necessary because admit it or not, some people are never going to open your email. There are tons of people who provide fake addresses when completing opt-in forms. So cleaning up your list will not only save you money but also time and effort.
To avoid dummy emails flooding your list, you can try using a two-step subscription process. Leads entering their emails should click a confirmation link sent to their emails. This process does not only gets rid of fake email addresses but also increases open rates.
As for your existing subscribers, it’s best to send an email update asking them to opt-in for future emails. If they don’t respond, then it’s time to do the cleanup.
2. Stick to a Regular Email Schedule
As a restaurant owner, you would want to connect with your customers consistently. You can do this through email marketing but make sure you also set a consistent schedule. It could be weekly or monthly, but send it out at the same time and day. We are all creatures of habit so it’s best to make it easier for your subscribers to know when they are going to get something for you.
3. Reward Your Loyal Subscribers
For a restaurant to thrive, it’s important to nurture your most loyal customers. Customers will keep coming back to dine in a restaurant that caters to their needs, treats them with stellar service, and remembers them. And if your restaurant offers a customer loyalty program, the email marketing effort is an integral part of its success.
Send out personalized promotions to these loyal customers. Incentivize them by giving special discount codes or coupons through email.
You can also try sending a test email to your potential loyal subscribers by sending a discreet promotion. Do not hype the promotion on the subject line. That way, people who open up your email will be the only ones to see the code and use it. It’s also a good way to convert casual email openers to loyal subscribers – converting them to opening your future emails.
4. Email Segmentation and Personalization
Gone are the days when you email blast to every single customer containing the same content. It’s important to note that not all restaurant customers are the same. It’s time to segment your list and give your subscribers control over what they want to receive from you.
Segmentation is grouping your customers into lists so you can serve them better. A segmented email list will also give your better open email rates and better response from your restaurant offers and promos.
Segmenting your list may include groups of customers who have ordered online, people who have used coupon codes, or those who have signed up for a free birthday cake or pizza on their birthday or anniversary. You can also try sending out an email survey to know your subscribers better.
Segmentation is a good way to know your restaurant customers better so you can create tailor-fit promotions and emails for them. Personalization in emails allows you to connect with your subscribers creatively. It establishes the connection between you and your customers which can be very beneficial to your business.
5. Forget the Unsubscribers
Don’t fret over people who unsubscribe from your email list. Most business owners tend to get shaken up when people are unsubscribing. Email marketing pros recognize that these people are uninterested in their offers and ultimately don’t help the business.
People who aren’t opening your emails are more likely to get flagged as spam. And you also want your email to reach the people who are interested in getting them and are more likely to dine in at your restaurant or sign up for your services. Let the unsubscribers go and find the right audience for you.
6. Use Alt Text
Isn’t it frustrating to get interesting marketing emails and the images don’t load? What’s worse is if there’s no alt text on the image to tell you on want you’re missing.
Make sure you have alt text attached to describe what’s in the image so people with a slow internet connection can still understand the content of your email. Alt-text is also very helpful to visually-impaired people who are using a reader. This is a simple tip yet effective in making sure every recipient understands your message.
7. Track Links
If you want to know the impact of your email marketing campaigns on your restaurant, track links.
Tracking links on emails is a perfect way to determine whether the links available in your email are getting the traction it needs from your subscribers. These links can be on your website – promotional links or special events, that can help you better understand whether what you’re doing is working or not. And whether or not the content you’re sending out is relevant to your customers.
Since most email automation services have a link tracking option, make sure you utilize that.
8. Make it Mobile Friendly
More and more people are reading and engaging on their emails through mobile devices. It’s important to optimize all your emails for mobile.
- Single column content that can be easily scrolled
- Buttons that are large enough to be tapped by a finger
- Subject lines of no more than 25-30 characters
- Pre-header text that shows readers what’s in the email
- CTAs that are easy to find
Use responsive email templates that can adapt to any mobile device. Make your email experience as seamless as possible, whether a user is using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
9. Keep the File Small
Attaching photos on emails is a great way to visually enhance your email. But always remember to keep the file size as small as possible. This is an extremely important detail, especially for mobile users. As a rule of thumb, always keep the file size of images to be under 1MB.
As a restaurant owner, it’s important to get the most out of your marketing budget and increase your ROI and profits. Today’s restaurant owners need to offer something to email subscribers to bring them in and provide the service they’re looking for to bring them back.
Email marketing is a great tool to reach out and connect with your customers. How are you leveraging these strategies for your restaurant?