If you’ve been stalling on creating email campaigns for your restaurant because you don’t think you have the tech skills you need to get your campaigns to convert to sales, Lavu is here to help with expert advice. If you’re not creating email campaigns, you should know that 90% of US adults use their email account daily, and email marketing sees a 28% better return on investment than direct mail while being less expensive from the start.

Great Emails Start with Great Headlines

The first thing your email recipients will see is the headline, and this is what makes or breaks your email open rates for your restaurant. You can split text headline titles by segmenting your list to see what works best for your audience or check out this Yelp article for great headlines for restaurants that have been tested by other restaurant owners and marketers.

Nail the Preview Text of Promotional Emails for your Restaurant

Preview text, sometimes known as Preheader text, for your emails, is shown directly next to the email headline, and nailing this part of the email increases open rates. According to a study by Fluent, 24% of respondents check the preview text before they decide to open an email. The purpose of the preview is to draw your reader’s attention and encourage them to open the email.

Preview content is pulled from the initial hardly any lines of the content found inside an email. Preview content can either be shown or covered up in the body of your crusade. If you’ve planned out the first few lines to be displayed in the recipients’ inbox, including separate preheader content isn’t essential.

Building an Email List for your Restaurant

No email campaign is complete without an email list who is eager to open your messages. Build an email list for your restaurant by following these tips:

  • Create a Lead Magnet: Ever clicked on a “download our free eBook” link to see you needed to enter your email address to continue? That’s a lead magnet! Your lead magnet can be as simple as getting a discount code in exchange for their email address. You can even offer a free appetizer as a popup in your primary website menu. See an example of a lead magnet from Lavu here.
  • Loyalty Programs: When new customers join your loyalty program, you’ll gain access to their email to send promotional messages. Promote your loyalty program and knock off two goals at once. The same lead magnets that work for gaining email subscribers are even more effective when leading to a loyalty program for your restaurant.
  • Make Email Subscription Opt-Ins Visible: Make sure visitors to your restaurant’s website can easily find a way to opt-in to email subscriptions. You could create a popup, have an opt-in in the ordering page, or display your email subscription opt-in directly on your home page.
  • Exit-Intent Opt-in Prompts: You can set up a popup to offer visitors a discount who are about to leave your site in exchange for their email. This both increases sales on your website and helps build your email list.
  • SMS Marketing: If you’ve been collecting loyalty member’s phone numbers but not their email, use SMS Marketing to offer them an opt-in for your email subscription list.

Email Software Choices

If you’re sending emails for a single restaurant and want a free option, HubSpot can be a great solution. If you’re sending emails for a chain of restaurants or have a list over 2,000 emails, you’ll need a more robust solution such as Constant Contact or MailChimp. If you want online ordering software that allows you to send emails directly from the platform, you want MenuDrive

Creating Newsletters

When sending newsletters to restaurant customers, take advantage of pre-made templates, and pay special attention to any branding messages associated with your restaurant. Use brand colors in your templates to spread brand awareness and familiarity with your restaurant. Include highlights of recent blog posts, menu changes, and special promotions in your newsletter.

If you need templates to start from, check out Canva’s free templates and resources for newsletters, or begin with Hubspot’s newsletter templates in their free version.

Email Sequence Types Your Restaurant Needs

  • Abandoned Cart Sequences for Restaurants: These messages go to customers who placed menu items in their cart but did not proceed to checkout.
  • Welcome Emails: Welcome emails go to new email list subscribers and are a great way to tell your customers about specials, how to order, and tell your restaurant’s origin story.
  • Newsletters: You can choose to send newsletters and any interval, but most are sent either monthly or seasonally.
  • Loyalty Member Sequences: Your loyalty members can receive customized emails based on their previous orders using analytics found in Lavu’s loyalty program.
  • Re-engagement sequences: These emails are for customers who haven’t visited your restaurant’s website in some time, and are used to encourage them to come back.

Writing Prompts for your Restaurant’s Email Campaigns

In case you’re similar to many restaurant owners, you may be at a loss for words when it comes to messaging for your emails. Here are some prompts to get you started on your email marketing plan.

  • Highlight new menu additions, changes to old menu things, cook’s specials, and themed menu evenings.
  • Tell the story of how your restaurant began.
  • Introduce supporters of the individuals behind the business, including investors, culinary specialists, and staff individuals.
  • Show how you make a portion of your menu.
  • Give tips on meal prepping.
  • Show off meetings, surveys, and positive inclusion.
  • Include blog content.
  • Celebrate your customers.
  • Provide limits, arrangements, and coupons.

Create a Content Calendar for Emails

A content calendar makes creating new emails a breeze. Think of topics for food celebrations such as National Ice Cream Day, significant holidays, local food festivals, and seasonal events. For instance, you can add content to your email sequence about pumpkin recipes in Fall, or a post about what recipes to use with lemon in the Spring.