Email is still one of the most reliable methods of building customer loyalty. It’s still above social media and even face-to-face contact as a marketing method.
A lot of restaurant owners take an informal and non-strategic approach to emails which is not ideal. Work through these steps to build a smart strategy.
- Choose and set up your software
It’s best to start by choosing a reliable, flexible email marketing software. We use Constant Contact for many of our members. They’re very user friendly. Try creating a test list and learn how you can segment subscribers into groups.
- Start building your list
Now you can start adding new subscribers. Some main points to remember:
- Try offering a small reward in exchange for signing up on your website. Example: Starbucks offers a 10% discount to newsletter subscribers at the bottom of every page on their site.
- Comment cards are a strategic way to gather emails offline. Try bringing a comment card to customers along with the check. Customers are likely to pass the time filling out the card as they wait for their receipt.
- Make sure your opt-in form is visible on your website’s front page. Ideally you will add it to the menu, carry-out order and reservation pages as well.
- Segment and personalize
Segmenting your list to appeal to customers’ distinct interests is also a proven method. You might simply separate your online and offline subscribers, or create more detailed categories according to subscriber info. Where possible, insert each customer’s first name into the email greeting. Personalized emails have been proven to get more positive attention.