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9 Reasons Your Restaurant Needs Email Marketing

9 Reasons Your Restaurant Needs Email Marketing

Email marketing statistics don’t lie. If you’ve been considering adding email marketing to your restaurant’s strategy, don’t wait another minute. This is the channel you need to identify your best customers, nurture them, and build your customer loyalty.

Here are 9 convincing email marketing statistics:
  1. Email delivers the highest return on investment of all digital marketing tactics. That’s right, a better ROI than pay-per-click, organic search, e-commerce traffic, and social media.
  2. That return on investment is $36 – $44 per $1 spent – can you get excited about that?!
  3. All age groups are users, so you can reach your entire following with one message.
  4. As a restaurant owner, you may not be a heavy email user, but 92% of online adults are using email. That’s a documented email marketing statistic, so don’t make the mistake of missing out on this important channel.
  5. For 58%, email is the first check of the day when they get online. By comparison, only 11% first check Facebook, and fewer still – Instagram. Are you starting to realize that email marketing statistics can help shape your strategy?
  6. 77% say they prefer to receive promotional messages by email – what are you waiting for? Your customers WANT to receive your email news and offers.
  7. Customer acquisition – email marketing statistics report that email is 40 times more effective than social media for gaining new customers.
  8. As a channel, email marketing is continuing to grow. Email has been around for a long time, and it’s not dying off anytime soon!
  9. And finally, maybe the most important reason of all – Email is your direct line of contact with your customers. Social media algorithms decide who sees your posts. Social media channels own your customer list, not you. And social media channels can terminate your account at any time. Use your social media channels to create brand awareness, then strengthen your presence by getting these viewers onto your email list as soon as possible.
Have these email marketing statistics convinced you to take action?

Click here watch a short video series on how to get started using email marketing for your restaurant.


The Perfect Partners for Marketing Restaurants

The Perfect Partners for Marketing Restaurants

Marketing restaurants does not have to be complicated. In fact, you have part of the strategy in place if you are using Facebook and Instagram for marketing your restaurant. To make these social media efforts really work for you, weaving email marketing into those efforts is the way to go.

Click here to take the Free short video course.

Why is the combination of Social media and email marketing restaurants’ match made in heaven?

>>> Use social media to create awareness of your restaurant. Encourage your followers to share the love. Build that follower base.

>>> Entice your followers to visit your website to get a great offer (aka magnet). Once on your website, they sign up to receive your offer. You now have one of the most important tools you need for marketing your restaurant’s menus, news, offers, and events – your customer’s permission to email them.

>>> Now give them the VIP treatment. Recognize their birthday and anniversary. Use their name (we all know their name is the word most pleasing to them, right?). Nurture that customer with email marketing, and you’ll build a customer for life.


Want to learn more about marketing restaurants with email? Click here for 6.5 Easy Ways To Build Your Restaurant Email Marketing List. 

Prefer to watch the video? Click here to get the free video course now.

A Great Restaurant Website – Your Global Digital Handshake

A Great Restaurant Website – Your Global Digital Handshake

A great restaurant website is your digital handshake with the world. When customers are considering any purchase, they are going online to check their options. Your website is the place to display your brand and make your first impression. Remember, first impressions last! Always keep your website up to date.

What makes a great restaurant website?

First, it will instantly convey the brand you’ve built so thoughtfully. It’s your restaurant’s personality, and the viewer needs to understand it within just a few seconds of finding your site. You are appealing to their emotions – Does the look and feel of the site match the ambiance they are searching for?

If not, that’s ok. You can’t be everything to everybody. If they are searching for a place for discounted beers for happy hour, and you don’t serve alcoholic beverages, it won’t be a fit this time. But, if you convey your brand and offerings accurately in those first few seconds, you’re setting the right expectations. Ultimately, this leads to the right customers coming in, those that want your offerings. And that’s the goal of a great restaurant website.

A restaurant website’s most visited pages are the menus. Anytime you have a menu update, whether offerings or prices, you need to update your website, too. The home page of your site is equally important, and here you have the opportunity to lead the viewer to take action. Engaging the viewer to take action when they land on your website gives you the opportunity to nurture them into becoming a loyal customer.

Consider these elements to create a great restaurant website:

Logo: Your branded logo is an instant engagement with the potential customer. If it evokes positive emotion with them, they will want to check out your establishment.

Photography: Perhaps the best way to entice someone to get themselves to your restaurant is by showing mouth-watering photographs of your offerings. Find a photographer whose work you admire on other restaurants’ websites and invest in their services.

Email Sign-Up: When someone gives you a direct line to their inbox, this is a huge win! They want to hear from you via email – Entice them to sign up on your homepage with an attention-grabbing box offering your magnet. Example: Sign up for a free appetizer on your next visit. Click here to take the free video course and see how this is a win-win for you and your customer.

Social Media Buttons: A quick click to like you on Facebook, Instagram, or any of the social channels you actively use. Note – if you aren’t using a channel, that button has no business being on your page.

Your Magnet Offer: If you have a special deal that you always offer, let people know! Happy Hour, Lunch Specials Daily, Mussel Madness, if you don’t have a magnet…develop one. This is a great way to get people to sign up for your email list – offer a magnet for free on their next visit. Click here to read about how this works to build your loyal customer base.

Order Online: If you offer this service, make it very visible on your home page.

Mobile Friendly: So many of your potential customers will be looking on their phone for your offerings – make sure your site looks great on a small screen.

Gift Cards: Instant Sale! Make it easy to buy a gift card online or over the phone!

Reservations: If you take reservations, offer the link to your online service in a prominent spot. Again, almost instant business!

Loyalty Program: If you have one, offer the sign-up option on your home page. The potential customer has an incentive to come in and start building their rewards. And you get a new customer on your email list.

Hours of Operation: Let them know when you’re open. And closed.

Location Map: So important as people search for restaurants ‘near me’ – Make it easy for them to find you.

Contact Info: Physical address with zip code – make sure this matches Google exactly. If you are located on Federal Highway, and Google spells that Federal Hwy, you should, too. Your phone number with area code.

A Clear Path: Your menu bar should be very easy to navigate – Menus, Your Story, Recent Press, Other Services (Catering or Group Events), Happenings or Special Events.

Quick Action Step

How does your website stack up? Download this evaluation form and fill it in – this will show you what you’re doing well, and where you can improve to make yours a great restaurant website.



The Undeniable Key To More Sales – Building Loyal Customers

The Undeniable Key To More Sales – Building Loyal Customers

Nurture your customers 

Did you know that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers? Your email list will contain that 20% … and the number of customers in that elite group will continue to grow as you continue building loyal customers. Nurture them by staying in touch with relevant news. Prefer to watch the video? Click here to take the free video course now.

Nurturing and building loyal customers turns them into advocates – people who support you on a regular basis and tell others about your wonderful establishment. You’ve made an emotional connection with these individuals, and staying in touch via email will strengthen that bond. Your email list is far more valuable than the number of followers you have on your social media sites. Statistics show that email marketing converts into sales at a much higher rate than social. Aren’t increased sales your goal?

Let’s plan a basic email marketing strategy here, to help you tap into your marketing mindset and show you how this becomes your long-term focus, building loyal customers. Our initial plan will be to send out one email each month.

What should I say in my email?

Our basic strategy will be one message via one email each month. What are the messages you want to tell your customers about?

  • New Menu/Menu Item
  • Limited Time Offer
  • Special Event/Happening
  • New Service Offering/Reminder of Service Offering
  • News – Community Involvement/Award Received/New Chef

Plan your monthly email strategy:

Make a grid of 4 boxes by 3 boxes on paper or a whiteboard, then write in the names of your months. Click here to download a printable template.

Then place one key promotional idea in each month:

  • When will you have a menu change? (Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Beverage)
  • Which months have key promotional dates for you? (Mother’s Day, New Year’s Eve)
  • Which months are typically your slowest and need a boost? (Mark these in red)
  • Have you run a successful promo (Limited Time Offer) in the past that you’d like to repeat? Write it in – should it happen in one of the slow months?
  • Special Event – (Harvest Dinner, Oscar’s Night) write it in

Your goal in this exercise is to write one idea/possibility/opportunity in each month. Now you know what each month’s email message will be. Remember this is a blueprint that is flexible. By having a 12-month plan, you can evaluate additional ideas as they arise, and add them to this calendar. Always ask yourself if the opportunity supports the best promotional theme of the month and the long-term goal of building loyal customers.

What a successful email looks like:

The goal of each email you send is to connect with your customer in a way that makes them want to come into your restaurant- you’re building frequency of visits and building loyal customers. Here are some guidelines:

  • Make the message short and sweet – attention spans are short!
  • Consistent branding – so they will recognize your restaurant immediately
  • A clear offer, with any disclosures
  • A Call To Action – what do you want them to do? Make a reservation? Click to view new menu?

Here’s an example of a great email, and why it works:

Successful Restaurant Email

Want some additional tips for getting an email program started? Click here to get the free video course.


Ready to start nurturing and building loyal customers, bringing them in more often?

Click here to learn how I can help you get started

6.5 Easy Ways To Build Your Restaurant Email Marketing List

6.5 Easy Ways To Build Your Restaurant Email Marketing List

Welcome Back! Excited about your magnet offer? You should be! You’re taking the first step towards building your restaurant’s loyal customer base. Now let’s talk about 6.5 easy ways to build your email marketing list. (To learn about the magnetic force of email marketing, click here.)

Prefer to watch the video? Click here to get the free video course now.

Here are 6.5 easy ways you can entice customers to sign up for your offer, which subscribes them to your email marketing list:

1. Your Website:

Best and most important way is to get them to go to your website, where your sign-up form is prominent (and available on every page… see this post on website strategy for more details.) Getting the customer to visit your website accomplishes several things –

  • You’re reinforcing your brand message
  • You’re reminding them of your incredible menu
  • You’re educating them on your other offerings and services
  • You’re letting them know how they can follow you on social media
  • You’re giving them a channel for communicating with you

You can be proactive or passive about driving customers to your website. I like a gentle but personal nudge, for example: I’ve just had a great experience on my first time at a restaurant. My server presents the check, and says something like, “Thanks for coming in tonight! We’d love to see you again. And if you go to our website and sign up for our offers, you’ll get a [insert your magnet offer here] on your next visit.”

Then make sure you have your website address printed on everything that’s conceivable that they make take home with them – their receipt, doggie bag packaging, business card, take away menu. And plant the seed ahead of time by having your website address anywhere there is printed material in the restaurant – Your menus, foyer signs or framed reviews and/or awards, restroom signage, pay station (if counter service), table tents if using, look around your restaurant – where else could you display your website address?

2. Social Media

Another great way is to use social media. So many people are on their phones in restaurants. Did they just snap a photo of their dish?

  • Ask them to post it on Facebook and tag your restaurant. Tell them if they go to your website and sign up now, they can get a [your magnet offer] on their next visit.
  • Or ask them to check in on your Facebook page, then click the link to your website to sign up for a [magnet] on their next visit.
  • Make sure you have a post pinned to the top of your Facebook page with your website address and the incentive to click it [Your magnet offer!]

3. and 4. Traditional Methods

3. Now, there is also the old school method, which works very well because it’s in the moment. You have them sign up while in your restaurant on a form you provide. This method does create more work for you, but it’s work that is easy to delegate and train. You need to create and print your forms, have a prominent spot for a vessel to collect completed forms, then be able to read the handwriting on the form, and finally, enter each form into your email program. Click here to download an email sign up form. Or collect business cards which will eliminate the handwriting issue.

4. A simple comment card placed in your check presenter is also very effective, but will also require the additional steps mentioned in #3.

5. Text To Join

Some email marketing programs offer a text-to-join feature. The customer is offered the incentive [your magnet offer] while in the restaurant, with the option to text to receive it. The customer sends a text to the number you provide, which integrates with your email program. The customer then receives the sign-up form right on their phone, and they input their email address right into your list. You want this feature!

6. Tablet Sign Up

If your customers pay using your tablet, it’s easy to incorporate a sign-up form. Add the text “Thanks for joining us! Sign up here to receive a free [you magnet offer] on your next visit!” and the address goes right into your list.

6.5 Openings & Events

Grand Openings are a perfect way to collect email addresses. As you are creating your pre-opening buzz around town and on social media, direct people to your website to get their invitation to the big event – that’s your magnet! This works for opening another location, too, or any special event you create. For example: Oscar’s Night Party – Space Is Limited – Get Your Free Invitation by clicking here [your website].


Once you’ve started collecting the email addresses, you’ll deliver your magnet offer. Actually, your email program will automatically send the offer immediately after they sign up – which is sweet for you – and instant gratification for your customer. And once you set this up, it runs on auto-pilot.

Quick Action Step:

Which of these easy ways to build your email marketing list would work best for you and your restaurant – Write down all that apply. Then, click here to take the free video course and learn how to make this work for you.