Why is Restaurant Email Marketing Important? Strategy & Examples (2023)

With several global brands and restaurant chains spending millions on marketing strategies, it is becoming increasingly difficult for small restaurants to compete with them and reach out to their niche audiences. While restaurants have realized the need to build own website and the potential it offers in expanding their business, they are yet to use email marketing as a primary strategy to reach out to prospective and existing customers.

Since using media channels still remains expensive, small restaurants must make effective use of email marketing as it is a budget-friendly, powerful tool to increase brand awareness.

Restaurant Email Campaigns can:

  • Attract new customers, encouraging them to visit the restaurant for a dine-in
  • Reach out to existing customers as well, thanking them for patronizing
  • Keep customers returning for dine-in, online orders, or food delivery

Why Is Restaurant Email Marketing Important?

When a restaurant uses other marketing methods, it aims to drive back traffic to the primary online presence – usually the restaurant website. This is because restaurant websites appear as search results, whereas Facebook pages do not.

One of the finest strategies in email marketing is to send an email with a reason as to why customers should return to the website.

Several restaurants still do not own a website or do not mind keeping it updated and relevant.

Also, many restaurants still rely only on their Facebook page and maintain it as their sole digital presence. Only a few restaurants have a dedicated online engagement strategy with their audiences other than their Facebook page.

But, the organic reach and engagement on Facebook are declining and becoming more challenging, resulting in restaurants losing their customers and connections.

How To Build A Restaurant Email List?

Most restaurants start out by purchasing an email list which is fundamentally wrong. A restaurant’s email list must always be built to be effective. The restaurant needs the real email addresses of real people who are likely to visit the restaurant and engage with the brand online.

Restaurants must avoid the strategy of buying a comprehensive database with several thousand email addresses from third parties.

Such purchased email addresses are not of good quality. Mass messaging using these addresses would end up getting your business flagged for sending spam. So, always build your email list from scratch.

How To Use Your Restaurant Email List?

Once the email list is built, the next step is to use it well. We bring to you the best practices to be followed while creating restaurant email marketing campaigns.

Make Your Emails Visually Appealing

The email sent by you should look good. It should have colors, fonts, and branding that align with the brand. Make use of images along with text to make the email effective.

Use Catchy Subject Lines

The best way to encourage guests to open your emails is with catchy subject lines that attract attention. Subject lines that highlight promotions, events, or discounts lead to high email open rates.

Make Emails Mobile Friendly 

Smartphones contribute a greater deal to web traffic than desktop computers. Since many customers open emails using their mobile phones, the email design must be mobile-responsive.

Test The Emails Before Sending

Emails must be tested by sending them to yourself or other restaurant employees. With this, you will be able to check their deliverability and see for yourself how the email looks on various devices.

Know The CAN-SPAM Act 

The CAN-SPAM act protects Americans from unwanted spam emails from various kinds of businesses. If this act is violated, it might cost your restaurant heavy penalties and fines. So, remember to know the act and also stay in compliance.

Restaurant Email Marketing Strategies

Personalized Promotions

Draft personalized emails for customers based on their demographics and preferences. Engage in email segmentation (identification of various groups and segmenting the email list accordingly). Also, practice email personalization (the method of designing the email to address the customer in a personalized manner).

Retargeting Restaurant Website Visitors

Once a visitor lands on the restaurant website for the first time, the opportunity must be capitalized on. The restaurant must keep the visitors engaged and motivate them to leave their email addresses on an embedded form on the website.

Nurture Loyal Customers

Customers like restaurants that cater to their specific needs, serve them quality food and also remember them every time they make a visit. A loyalty program aids restaurants in accomplishing this while also creating an opportunity to add another email address to the restaurant’s existing email list.

Convert People Looking For Deals Into Repeat Guests 

Many restaurants successfully attract customers to their place but do not have a robust strategy to further engage with them. By getting their email addresses, the restaurant can communicate with that segment and keep them coming back for more deals.

Attract New Customers Using Facebook

Restaurants must use their advertising budget and target customers via Facebook’s custom audience options. It can make use of the current email list to increase the number of members of the targeted group.

Add Push Messaging 

Push messages should be sent via SMS, as web and mobile app notifications. But, this could be interrupting the user. So, comparatively, emails are better as the user receives the messages when they wish to.

3 Great Examples Of Restaurant Email Marketing

Lincoln Ristorante

The strength of this restaurant’s email marketing lies in its simplicity. The CTA is clear and concise along with a clever design.

George Howell

George Howell which sells coffee creates a weekly reason for its subscribers to check their emails – to know what is latest and brewing for the week. This email reads like a weekly newsletter.

California Tortilla

The strength of this restaurant’s email marketing lies in its personalization. By adding the customer’s name and other personal details to an otherwise generic email is a great way to make customers feel special. This restaurant has gone a step further by including a birthday promotional offer of a free burrito.

For more assistance on restaurant digital marketing, get in touch.