Every Marketing Method is Very Important
When restaurateur decides to invest some certain funds for marketing, it is essential that these investments would pay off.
For all investments, including investments in marketing it is important to make some strategic decisions. Planning is the main process for developing and maintaining every catering facility, whether we talk about exclusive restaurants or a small bar.
Most successful owners and managers of restaurants create a marketing plan for the whole year in advance, and in accordance with it form annual budget. Each of these restaurants owners or managers will agree with me that advertising in the different media, newspapers, tv and other channels for advertising can cost a lot of money.I am sure that you have already read some of the email marketing articles for caterers that you can find on internet and made a conclusion: that it s time for every caterer or restaurant manager to take advantage of new opportunities to promote the restaurants offer. We are witnessing the rapid development of technology and the increasingly frequent use of the Internet as a primary source of information, so take advantage and use it for your restaurant marketing.
Today’s technology and online marketing strategy opens the door to new ways of restaurants promotion, and one of the most successful online marketing strategy, although it may not seem so, it is still good old email marketing.
Does Email Marketing Still Work ?
Restaurants owners are not aware how they can use email marketing for restaurant or bar promotion. One of the good reasons to use this marketing method is its personality. Emails provide constant and direct contact with your guests.
In addition to personality (which is very important in this whole story) I bring you few good reasons why this method of advertising should not be forgotten:
- Sending emails is much cheaper than others ways of advertising.
- Email messages can be sent easy from eny place and in any time of the day.
- Email messages can wait in your customer inbox until reading.
- Emails are great to make direct connection with your guests.
- It is great way for communication with your customers. They got possibility to forward your mails, make a question or answer on your email.
And finally, yes, we can conclude : Email marketing still works and it is very effective!
Restaurant Email Marketing Vs Social Media Marketing
Communication between restaurants owners and their guests was very simple before social media marketing has become very popular. Most of the guests was reading messages from their favorite restaurants regularly whether the message was related to restaurant offer or greetings for some holiday.
We have witnessed that social media networks like Facebook and Twitter are playing an increasingly important role in the daily life of the individuals, but also very important for business, such as restaurant business. People are more focused on the power of social media, and because of this they simply forgot email marketing. It’s seems that email marketing is not popular anymore.
However, the power of email marketing is not forgotten. Today, when the online world has been overloaded with various information, email remain personal.
Prompt Communications from Boston made a study which shows how people use social media networks, especially Facebook. These are results: 96 % of them use social media to stay in touch with their friends, 93% of them use text messages and 91 % of them use emails for this purpose.
Following graphics shows use of email and social networking sites regarding age.
Yes, social media marketing is trendy !
But that does not mean that people do not check their inbox and open favorite restaurant messages. How do we receive bills, bank statements, confirmation of purchase ? By email, of course !
Guide to Email Marketing
In order to improve the business and promote your restaurants offer or new services via email marketing, you need to learn how to do it. If you follow these important tips I will prepare you well and guide you through successful email marketing realization.
Building a Database of Your Guests
First thing you should do in order to improve the traffic of your restaurant with email marketing is to build database of your guests. But how to build it?
It is important to take every opportunity to gather information about customers, including email that will become an excellent tool for direct marketing.
Use Your Restaurant Website
Ensure that your website is well designed and that includes form where your site visitors can subscribe with their email address and receive email newsletter about your restaurant’s events and special offers.
Of course, it will not be enough just to have subscribe form, you need to persuade them to come again on your web page, and this means to have interesting content, something interesting to offer. Write blog about food preparation or put some favorite recipes with nice pictures. If you want to see how your email database is growing, then you should give them a boost !
Try to offer a 10% discount on a romantic dinner for two, or a free drink for those who has subscribed on your website and agreed to receive newsletters.
Be sure that “Subscribe” button is visible, placed at the top of the page, use different font and different color from the other text on page.
You could use different forms for your guests comments about customer service and your restaurant offer. Leave it on table. Be sure that you have empty box for contact email information.
Do not forget to leave the pen on the table along with the invoice and form. While the waiter went back for change your customer has time to fill in the mini form, and you have one more email address in your database.
Use delivery service to promote your email campaign. Talk to your customers and remind them about restaurants offers for subscribers on your web page.
Write url of your restaurant web page on the packaging for delivery and of course on your promotional flyers. Ask your guests to visit your web page and to become one of your subscribers, explain that this gave them possibility to receive a discounts on certain food or drink.
You do not have to wait for people to visit your restaurant to get one more email contact in your guests database. Use booking! Contact email should be required field in your online booking form. If you have phone reservation in your restaurant, then you should always have pen and paper to write basic customer information and that includes contact email.
There are lot of ways to gather emails from your guests, and once you build your database you should use it wisely.
Do Not Add People To Email Database Without Their Permission
You should never add those people to your mailing list, who has not authorized or requested to be on it. Some restaurateurs do this and that is not allowed. If you get a visit card from your guest for example, it does not mean that he or she gave you approval for receiving promotional emails from your restaurant. This is rude, and your guest could be upset or angry. This is quite inappropriate behavior and even illegal acts.
Send promotional emails only to those who have voluntarily agreed to receive them.
The important thing to note is that the email that your customer gave you could not be forward to third part or used in any other way. You may use it only for direct marketing of your own products or services.
Targeted Population For Email Marketing
Carefully determine the targeted population who will receive your emails about your restaurant or bar events and offers. The success of the restaurant offer and quality services is closely linked with the assessment of your potential customers.
Think about who are your current guests. You’ll see that they do not differ much from each other. Probably most of them have the same salary, age, job, hobbies and habits.
If necessary, make special versions of email for different groups of people. In every restaurant there is a certain group of people who are responsible for the largest portion of revenue.
Choose One of The Email Marketing Services
For email marketing you could choose one of the email marketing software on the market. If you choose email marketing software that suits you best , that will help you quite a lot to provide quality email marketing. This is very important. Email service that you choose should be reliable and flexible. Before you go to write and send emails, introduce yourself with your chosen service and its functions. I will mention some of them which are already in use in the hospitality industry around the world.
Mail Chimp – is one of the mostpopular email marketing services. Beginners like to use it. It is very easy to handle and can be freely used for lists of up to 2000 email addresses.
Fishbowl – is adjusted to needs of hospitality industry, and offers an excellent solution for restaurant owners for email marketing campaign.
Be sure that your email marketing software got email trecking reporting. This feature is very important and allows you to track your email marketing campaign.
Connect With Your Guests
One of the easiest ways to communicate with our guests is via email. When your guests finished with delicious meals that your chef prepared for them, and they praise the staff or the ambiance of the restaurant, certainly there is always a question how to stay in touch with these guests ? Using a successful email campaign , they certainly will not forget your restaurant. Valuable content in the message will always remind them of why they like your place, and will get desire to visit your place again.
Find Out More About Your Guests
Find out more what kind of information your potential guests want to read. Ask them questions: “What they liked the most in your restaurant” or “What they would like to change”? Arm yourself with answers and information and determine what is the real interests of your guests. Customize your menu, promotions, and exclusive events in the restaurant in accordance with this information. You can send two different emails to the same group of people. This way you’ll find which content is more efficient.
Less is Always More
Don’t bother your guests and do not send emails too often. It is better to get an interesting newsletters with quality content and send it once in 10 days than bad one every second day. Do not let your guests think that you’re boring or your mails will be recognized as spam.
Pay special attention to create an interesting content. I know it requires a lot of time and effort, but it will pay off.
If you sometimes find yourself confused and do not know what your guests would really like to read, ask them.
You can ask questions about your restaurant offer or make a poll using your soicial meda accounts.
- Do you like our restaurant’s discounts?
- Do you want to receive a notification when our restaurant has a new offer?
- Do you love contests and would you participate in them?
Whatever comes to your mind, just ask. Your guests will give you the best answers to these and other questions. Indeed you work for them, right?
Keep Your Email’s Subject Line Interesting
Subject’s supposed to be short and alluring! Do not forget that a lot of people checking email messages on mobile devices, and they could be readable if it is 24-26 characters long, depending on the mobile device.
Some of the email subjects that works:
“You are invited to VIP party.”
“Special offer – only for our readers.”
“Our chef reveals the secrets of your favorite dishes.”
“Next two weeks you can taste dishes from our exclusive menu!”
Email subject line must initiate reading of the messages. Be creative and offer more than “Special offer!”
Do not forget that the email sender must be person, your manager, not your restaurant. 28% of people would rather open the message if they get it from person then from restaurant.
Newsletter’s Content Ideas
Fill your promotional message with nice pictures. Informations with visual content stay longer in reader’s mind.
If you’re planning an exclusive event at the restaurant, for example, ” Wine tasting ” then send to your guests photos and show them atmosphere from last year in your restaurant.
You can also send pictures of new dishes with your chef, pictures of your cheerful staff or the environment that can be expected for the weekend.
A short video can attract more attention than classic email with text and images. Emails with video content tend to be rather opened and readed then regular emails. Video marketing is also popular way for restuarnt ptomotion!
Include numbers in the email content. Pricing, percentages and other numbers will attract the reader’s attention. Do not forget that there are those who do not like to read, and redirect their focus only on the interesting items in the content of the message, such as bolded offer an numbers .
I bring you an excellent example of email for marketing purpose that includes all of the above.
Use Holidays For Restaurant Email Marketing
Marketing experts use statistic and got concluded that email is a very important way of advertising for caterers. Actually 43% of surveyed caterers claimed that electronic mail is a great opportunity to generate additional sales during the holidays.
And I think that they got right ! Well who does not like to see the message in the inbox with subject : ” 15 % off during the holidays ?” During the holidays people love coupons and discounts, especially gifts and surprises ! Include some of them in your holiday’s offer.
Promotional email for holiday should include a brief text and lot of pictures. It has been shown that most of your emails during the holiday season people open using mobile devices, even 45% of them. Adjust your marketing emails for mobile devices.
It is February, the month of love and Valentine’s Day ! Have you already thought about your restaurant promotion for this day? Do not forget to send e mail and information about the upcoming exclusive event in your restaurant on Valentine’s Day.
Greetings by Email
You should not use emails just to promote your restaurant offer. Use it to thank to your customers for many years of trust or for holiday or even birthday if you got information about dates.
Show them that you appreciate them and offer free dessert or a glass of champagne for their birthday. Build a relationship with your customers based on love and trust.
I believe that I convinced you in the power of restaurants email marketing and that you will use it for your restaurant or bar promotion.
If you already had a restaurant email marketing campaign how influenced that in your restaurant business? Share your thoughts with other caterers!