Email Marketing for Restaurants: 7 Ways to Keep Your Customers Engaged

By Raubi Perilli |

  | Mar 7, 2019  /  Solutions |

The number of emails sent and opened each day is staggering. There are more than 269 billion emails sent daily even though there are only 3.7 billion email users. The average person receives about 90 emails per day and sends about 40.

Email marketing is popular because it works.

If people didn’t get results from sending all those emails, they would find other advertising channels.  

In particular, email marketing for restaurants gives owners opportunities to win back customers who came through their doors. From one and done customers to loyal diners, you can use email marketing to grow your sales.

Here are seven strategies you can consider for your restaurant marketing strategy.

1. Bring Existing Customers Back Into Your Restaurant

One of the main benefits of email marketing for your brand is to increase the frequency with which people return. Someone who has purchased from you at least twice is nine times more likely to convert than a new customer.

Use your email for remarketing and encourage people to come back at least once more a month or a few more times per year. By focusing on these repeat customers and winning them over, you can grow your sales and build loyalty and reduce customer churn for less than you would pay marketing to new customers.  

2. Move New Customers Into the Loyalty Pipeline

While it’s cheaper to market to returning loyal customers, your business needs new customers to thrive. As you build a steady stream of new customers for your brand, add them to your email list so you can turn them into loyal diners.  

Your new customers might have had a positive experience the first time around, but that doesn’t mean they are going to return. A whopping 70% of your customers, both new and loyal, are at risk of never returning to your business even if they thought your food was good. 

Email marketing for restaurants is meant to bring customers deeper into the loyalty pipeline, so you can beat the odds and encourage them to come back.

3. Alert Your Customers to Restaurant Changes

If you lost customers because of bad menu items, poor management, or frustrating staff, then you need to let people know that you are making changes and doing what you can to offer a better experience.  

A win-back campaign should include social media promotion and traditional marketing elements, but you can also bring customers back through email. Use your email marketing to clearly explain the changes you made and how your business will be different. End with a coupon and call to action to let customers see your new and improved operations so you can win them over again.  

4. Share Upcoming Events

More restaurants than ever are using their location as a music venue, meeting spot, or event space. If you’re struggling to come up with email content, look at your calendar and see what branded events you can promote. The bands and organizations you work with will appreciate the shout-out if they are trying to get people out to their events and you can lure customers back with the promise of an exciting night out.  

You can also use your email to let customers know when you will be closed for private events, further promoting the idea that your restaurant is a great place for a wedding, birthday, or retirement celebration.   

5. Offer Deals and Discounts to Win Customers Back

Of all the strategies for email marketing for restaurants, offering exclusive deals and discounts is one of the most popular. Win customers back with coupons, half-off options, and other deals that they otherwise couldn’t get on your website or social media.  

This is an effective marketing strategy if you haven’t isolated your customers, but rather want to bring them back because they forgot about you. If you lost customers while the buildings around you were under construction or because of seasonal traffic, you can bring them into your business again with a welcome back discount.    

6. Introduce New Menu Items and Seasonal Themes

Email marketing for restaurants is an incredibly valuable way to share important news, menu items, and branded events with your customers. While you might think that you are blasting your Facebook messages out to all of your friends, your posts are likely only seen by about 10% of your fans -- on a good day. When you post information about a seasonal special or new menu item, the vast majority of fans won’t have any idea what is going on.  

With email, the message is sent to everyone on your list. Not everyone is going to open the message, but everyone will have a chance to see it. Whether you’re just launching a weekend special or adding brunch to your hours of operation, use email marketing for important message communication.  

7. Promote Partnerships With Other Organizations

In a similar line of promoting the events and new items you have at your restaurant, use your email marketing strategy to announce partnerships and collaboration with other organizations. Are you hosting a canned food drive for diners? Let them know. Do you serve a specialty brewed coffee by a local brand? Send out an announcement. The coffee fans on your email list will love it.  

Email marketing can serve as a source of news for your customers. You can share important updates and other things your diners need to know. This ranges from fun collaborations to significant business changes.

Start Using Better Email Marketing for Your Restaurant

As you can see through this guide, email marketing for restaurants provides a direct way to reach diners, win customers back, and increase sales through repeat visits. If you don’t have an email campaign currently set up, consider investing in email marketing to see if you can get the value from it you need.  

If you're not sure how to set up successful email marketing campaigns (or general marketing campaigns) for your restaurant, contact MyArea Network today.

We specialize in helping local restaurants using smart digital strategies, data, and technology to reach nearby customers. Contact us to get a free consultation about how we can help promote your business today.