Email newsletters are a great way to share your restaurant’s latest announcements, and when used in conjunction with other marketing channels, they are a highly effective way to retain restaurant customers and increase sales.
Drip campaigns (also called automated email campaign, autoresponders, and marketing automation) work like this: they are a set of marketing emails that are automatically sent out according to schedule. They allow businesses to connect with customers, develop leads, and upsell, and are quite easy to use. Once they’re written out, you can sit back and let the automation do the work.
The point of a drip email marketing campaign is to give customers the right information at the right time. Most companies use drip emails to remind subscribers that their shopping carts are still full or that new subscriptions are available, yet other industries’ needs are very different from yours. As a restaurant owner or manager, you don’t want people to purchase a premium plan; you want to grow repeat business.
Do drip campaigns work? Put simply, yes. This study shows a 20% increase in sales opportunities and online marketing guru Neil Patel reveals that email marketing accounts for 23% of sales. This makes email marketing a very successful tool for any business, including restaurants.
The key to a successful marketing campaign is simple: Have a goal. For any food service operator or bar, that goal is to grow repeat business and make subscribers loyal to you. Below we show you the types of drip emails you will need to do that and which links to include.
Lavu Pro Tip: Take this opportunity to connect with customers, so don’t be either timid or loquacious. Otherwise, you’ll lose readers in under two seconds and have a high unsubscribe rate. To get their attention, write in an authentic tone that’s consistent with your brand, and get straight to the point!
You’ve attracted tons of new people with your smart marketing campaign, and people are signing up to receive promotions or information about your restaurant. Now it’s time to show them why your restaurant is so great.
That’s why welcome emails are so valuable. They introduce guests to your best qualities right away, and instantly attract them to your brand and concept. When someone subscribes to your newsletter or database, begin the drip campaign with a welcome email so customers learn more about your menus, events, and promos. Update the welcome email whenever there are important changes, like if you have a new seasonal menu or a big event coming up.
At the very least, use your welcome email to say “Hi, nice to meet you!” For an extra-memorable touch, share an easy-to-make recipe of a popular dish that subscribers can make at home.
See You Soon
Whether your customers were recently there or haven’t been back in a few months, leverage your drip campaign to invite customers back. Unless you’re able to monitor how often your customers dine with you (for instance, if they need a profile to make an online order), you cannot send out an autoresponder based on the length of time since their last visit. Instead, craft your email with a clear call to action, prompting readers to return to your restaurant soon, regardless of the last time they were there. You can load in these emails contact information, or links to your menu and online reservations pages.
When you have a special event or promotion taking place, update this drip email to include related information and links to build momentum.
When someone has made a reservation or made an online food order, set up a “Thank you” autoresponder that confirms your customer’s recent actions. In this confirmation drip, include links to your calendar, special menus, and social media pages.
Seeing as how popular online food ordering is, it’s a good idea to send a follow-up email the next day asking customers to review your service and leverage that communication by offering a coupon for a future order.
Most people love to be celebrated on their birthdays and are especially happy to receive gifts. Set up an autoresponder one to two weeks before someone’s birthday that includes a thoughtful “Happy Birthday” greeting, and an excellent promotion or electronic gift card that prompts them to celebrate at your restaurant. Include links to your online reservations page and special menu.
This is every business’s least favorite page, yet instead of getting frustrated, leverage this communication to push out your other channels. Along with a “Sorry to see you go” message, include links to your Instagram or Facebook pages. Subscribers might not be sick of your company so much as they want to clear their inbox; they might just prefer a different way to keep up with your restaurant.
Not sure how to start writing a marketing email? These 4 tips might help.
Fact: A restaurant point of sale makes restaurants more efficient and profitable.