Restaurant Event Email Marketing
Three Steps to Starting an Event Email Marketing Campaign
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Easter, Mother’s Day, fundraiser nights, happy hour specials, live music...all these “events” are a way to connect with your restaurant customers. Using email marketing to communicate specials around events is an easy way to reward and interest your most loyal customers. There are three basic steps in starting an event email marketing campaign – getting customers interested in email and collecting their email addresses, creating a calendar and crafting the messages and setting them up to go out in a timely fashion. Fishbowl makes marketing for restaurants easy. Fishbowl is the leading provider of email and social media marketing software for the restaurant industry. Learn more.
How to Get Customer Email Addresses
Collecting relevant customer info, such as email list join date, birth date and wedding anniversary date –is the key to targeting customers via email. Here are some strategies for collecting customer email addresses:
- Ask for it. Have sales staff and wait staff give out comment cards and let customers know if they provide an email address, they will receive specials or an incentive. Collect email addresses when customers place take out or over-the-phone orders.
- Use your website. If you offer online ordering or online reservations, make the email address a required field. Send them an order or reservation confirmation via email. Then, ask them (in the email) if they want to receive event and special information from you. Also, put signup forms on every page of your website.
- Use social media. Using Twitter or Facebook? Let your customers know they can follow you in your direct marketing, advertisements, on the website, on the menu, on the comment card—everywhere! Use these social media outlets to collect email addresses by announcing contests and specials.
- Fundraisers. If your restaurant regularly conducts school or charity fundraisers, let the organizer help you collect email addresses. Have the organizer send an email on your behalf to parents or group members and offer them a coupon or other incentive to visit your website and sign up for your kids club, newsletters or offers.
Create the Calendar and Segment Your List
Now, it’s time to start thinking about what events you will promote via email. Holiday specials, musical or tasting events or fundraisers are great event marketing ideas. You can do this once a year or once a quarter. Take out the calendar and plug in all the holidays, any scheduled special events or fundraisers and then brainstorm other ideas for times when you just want to drive sales.
You may have more than one calendar based on how you segment your list. Segmenting your list is so important because you want to make sure you are only delivering relevant information to your customers. For example, someone without children could probably care less about kid’s night specials.
What to Say in your Restaurant Event Emails
Much of what you say goes back to your segmented lists. The best email campaigns target the audience. Here’s an example of how you construct a targeted email for an anniversary special.
Part of your list is celebrating their wedding anniversary this month. You want them to come to your restaurant to celebrate. Send them an email about a week to 10 days before their anniversary date. Include a romantic image (chocolates, wine, or even a candlelit table setting). Craft the message around celebrating this milestone—no kids, just you and your better half. Offer them an incentive (free dessert, free glass of wine, etc.) and give them a link to make an online reservation (if you have this capability).
Getting customers interested in your event is simple if you email them information about targeted restaurant promotions. MusthaveMenus offers restaurant email marketing solutions, powered by Fishbowl
Written by: Amanda Brandon