5 Email Marketing Strategies
for Restaurants Cafes

Having a good business idea, executing it but then not promoting it right is one of the biggest mistakes that new business owners can make. Marketing your product or your services goes a long way especially in the case of restaurants and cafes. Restaurants deliver both a product – their food, and a service – the ambience & feel of their venue.

Though you can make use of social media campaigns, ads, paid search, etc. to promote your business, there is another marketing strategy which is one of the most effective and efficient ways to get customers into your restaurant. And that is email marketing!
Email marketing allows you to establish a direct line with your customers, that too at little to no cost. Despite the exponential growth and increased prominence of mobile messengers and chat apps, e-mails continue to be an integral part of daily online life. In 2020, the number of global e-mail users amounted to four billion and is set to grow to 4.6 billion users in 2025.

Of course, restaurant marketing involves a lot more than just sending out emails. But, to get started, you can try engaging with new clients and reconnecting with old ones. Consider how some restaurants are able to achieve success by utilising effective email marketing campaigns.

Let’s discuss a few email marketing strategies to establish your presence amidst your customers.

1. Write Appetizing Subject Lines

An email’s subject line is the first thing that a customer sees before opening an email. Subject lines are to emails, what book covers are to novels. They should be quirky and irresistible to not open. Thus, it is essential to deliver emails with appetizing subject lines to your customers’ inboxes. Here are a few examples of great subject lines by some renowned restaurants.
Pizza Hut: Feed your guests without breaking the bank
Del Taco: Late Night Cravings? We’ve Got You Covered.
Jack’s Backyard Bar-B-Que: Get 15% on Takeaway Lunch… TODAY!
CalTort: It Even Comes Nicely Wrapped.
All these subject lines are curiosity inducing and communicate a clear CTA. You can also include the first name of your recipient in the subject line to make it more personalized and engaging. This also ensures a higher chance of them opening the mails.

2. Create An Email List

The first thing you need to get started with your email marketing campaign is your customers’ email addresses. You can either ask for your customers’ email addresses whenever they log onto your website (if you have one – see below). Or you can ask your cashier or servers to ask for their email addresses at the time of payment. Additionally, you can offer some sort of incentive to customers subscribing to your email list. Check this amazingly-curated mail by Bruegger’s Bagels where they’re offering a free bagel with a beverage purchase, plus access to special deals and promotions.

3. Announce Special Offers, Discounts via Emails

Sending across special deals, and promotional offers to your email subscribers. The below offers a clear CTA for customers, and is overall an appealing and engaging combination of mouth-watering pictures and exciting deals. Personally, this feels like an unmissable opportunity. Such emails also make the recipient feel special by giving them access to deals specially introduced for them. Additionally, you can announce Happy Hours for your customers in their inbox. And don’t forget to celebrate holidays by giving out special deals and discounts on those days.

4. Send Customer Appreciation Messages

Customer appreciation emails strengthen customer relationships and enhance their loyalty towards your business. Expressing gratitude to your customers once in a while is a great way to reward your loyal customers. Take a look at this email that McDonald’s sent during the peak wave of COVID-19. Not only does it express a clear message of thanks to frontline workers but also a small token of appreciation for their hard work in the form of a Happy Meal.

5. Wish Your Customers a Happy Birthday

Who doesn’t like to feel special on their birthday? No one! So make your customers feel good on their most special day, and give them a gift. Send an email wishing them a ‘Happy Birthday’, and extend a gift. Small gestures like these make your customers remember you, and they may even promote your restaurant’s name amongst their friends and family!

Email marketing may be a cost-effective strategy but it is one of the most efficient strategies for small and medium sized restaurants & cafes. Your restaurant may not be as big as Chilli’s or McDonald’s, but applying the above points in your next email marketing campaign will definitely help you drive customer engagement and build a strong brand image.

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