How To Make Email A Versatile Restaurant Marketing Strategy
Email Marketing frequently gets a bad rap. Customers are jaded and inundated with promotional emails, and it takes a lot of creativity to set yourself apart from the pack. Luckily wifi marketing technology has provided us with a way to dial in on what individual customers value, so each email you send can be a personal missive with a strong and convincing call to action. Let’s break down the steps to crafting an email strategy.
Identify Points Of Engagement
The first and most important step in creating a thoughtful and effective marketing strategy for your restaurant is recognizing where customers are willing to engage with you. A millennial customer who spends a lot of time on social media is going to have a different point of engagement than an older customer who communicates with their favorite brands primarily through email. Giving customers an option of connecting to your wifi through social or email is a great way to differentiate these groups, and allows you to target your messaging accordingly. This personal attention shows you value your customers’ unique needs.
Craft Restaurant Email Promotions To Meet Customers Where They Are
Just because a customer shows a tendency to engage mostly on social media doesn’t mean they aren’t a valuable target for email marketing. It just needs to be done carefully and with an eye toward the social engagement that type of customer is used to participating in. When you glean a user’s social media identity and their email address, include inducements such as hashtags, incentives for following, and prominent sharing links within the email.
Provide Benefits Up Front
To avoid the dreaded “delete without reading” result that so many restaurant emails receive, put your sweetener in the subject line. Whether it is a special you’re running, a discount coupon, or an invitation to an event, make sure the customer can easily see what’s in it for them if they open the email. Once they do, encourage them to follow through by presenting the offer and any deadlines to utilize it front and center. Online attention spans are short, so make sure you get to the point as quickly as possible.
Time Email Marketing Communications Precisely
With wifi marketing, you will have access to intricate micro-data about your customer and their habits. If they usually come in late in the evening on the weekend, sending them your weekday lunch specials won’t be helpful. In fact, it can cause “email fatigue” and discourage them from reading. This is a real danger of marketing without enough information about the customer you’re talking to. If a user feels that your marketing doesn’t understand them, they feel “spammed.” Set up emails to target customers with offers that appeal to the demographic they fall into by sending those offers that suit their habits.
Email marketing is one of the most controversial marketing tactics out there. Some people love it, and have made millions. Others despise it and associate email marketing as SPAM. Whether you have a list of 10 emails or 100,000 emails if you are doing it right, email marketing with in your restaurant marketing strategy should definetely be making you money.
As a former bar owner. I began with a list of very few emails. Actually zero emails. I ran many promotions giving away concert tickets, raffles. Remember those big fish bowls that people dropped their business cards in, yep, I had one. A valid email of a customer was worth about $25 in my mind. A lot of people I spoke with didn’t see the value in it. Not once in the entire two years of owning the bar did someone redeem a coupon from an email I sent them.
So why put so much value on just a single email:
- Email Marketing is essentially free compared to other methods of marketing.
- You can see if they read their email (open rates)
- It’s ten times easier to sell to a current customer than to find a new one.
But….no one ever redeemed a coupon from an email I sent them. (While I sent out lots of email hardly any of them had a coupon) I didn't need to give out a crappy coupon because my brand recognition was thru the roof. Sending good quality content that people wanted to read. Kept them opening my emails. I was showing over 50% open rates.
Brand recognition is huge in the small business world. You may not have the brand recognition that Coca-Cola has. But with your current customers, there is no reason your brand recognition can’t be right up there with the best.
Think about your last time you went out for dinner with a friend. Your buying decision probably looked something like this:
You: Where do you want to eat?
Friend: I don’t care, where sounds good to you?
You: We could do Applebees, Buffalo Wild Wings, Subway, etc
You likely name off the first few places that come to your mind. This means more you get your brand in front of your customer, the more you will be on top of mind for when it comes to choosing the place for dinner. Notice it was what was on“Top of Mind” not what was cheap or where there was a coupon that you likely name off in this situation. For brick and motar businesses using email marketing for brand recognition is the place to start. Converting a customer to buy with just a send of an email is less likely in a brick and motar business than an internet business sending out a call to action.
Think brand recognition and less sales conversions in the brick and mortar scenario and you are likely to win in the long run.
All of these strategies rely on information, so check out our FREE Demo to see how wifi marketing can help you better know your customer, and get them in the door.