Email is still a highly effective marketing tool for venues. Even if you have a great Facebook or Instagram following, the actual engagement on these platforms will shrink over time as consumers become over-saturated with messages.
Brand loyalty brings paying customers in the door in response to an incentive or offer that is particular to them. Regardless of the style of service – casual dining, fast casual, fast food and fine dining – or type of food, restaurants exist in a crowded marketplace. Communicating frequently with customers via email, whether weekly or monthly, is an easy way for a venue to stay top of mind with consumers.
One-off emails or messages that are not part of a broader campaign, are a great way to promote products, new flavors or offer a special discount to customers. When customers receive messages that are always new and fresh, this gives them a reason to make a return visit to the restaurant.
Email campaigns provide restaurants with the ability to build a local following from the very beginning. When utilised correctly, email marketing helps brands build a personal connection with their target audiences and drive customer traffic even when disruption or construction challenges the access to your venue.
How to Collect Emails: If you do not offer free wifi in order to collect customer emails and mobile for sms personalized push notifications, leave a sign-up sheet for your newsletter. Have in-store signage to encourage follows on Instagram and Facebook (which should have calls to action and buttons to like, follow and sign up to your newsletter). Make sure your website has a newsletter sign up too. You can run contests and giveaways now to reach a target number of subscribers, which is usually 1,000.
Offer an Incentive to Sign Up
Offer discount codes for customers signing up to your newsletter and regularly offer specials and exclusive incentives (free appetisers, extended happy hours, newsletter-only coupon codes or 10-15% off purchase) to newsletter subscribers.
Free Wifi is now expected in most modern cities. People like to check their social media or email while waiting for food. You can offer a valid wifi password for a time limited period with purchase of a food or beverage item if a café or takeaway, or for free if a restaurant. Read about How Wifi Data helps Restaurants Produce more Customer Traffic.
Collect Email and Mobile with Appropriate Conditions: If providing free or time limited wifi, ensure you collect the customer’s email and mobile in order to add them to your newsletter email list or wifi push notification marketing lists. Ensure they tick a terms and conditions box which includes the condition that they agree to sign up for your email newsletter and accept sms notifications from your venue. (Your wifi provider should have standard conditions.)
Track returning patrons and allow segmenting of emails or texts: Ensure the service provider you choose has software that can track returning patrons and allow segmenting of email or texts with high precision personalisation based on patron behaviour. Instant rewards can be given for those that come back 5 or 10 times and those who have not returned can be lured back with an incentive. Some WiFi & WiFi Analytics Suppliers in Sydney here: Discovery Technology, One Wifi, Wireless Edge Networks
Email automation: is an automatic workflow of emails that trigger a send whenever a user subscribes. Setting up email automation will result in automatic touch points and is an efficient way for brands to reach their target market.
This might begin when a user subscribes to the email newsletter. Once the information is entered into the system, an automatic thank-you email is sent with a coupon code for 10% off. Then the type and frequency of automated emails can be set according to your brand’s strategy for engaging with its audience.
Hyper-Personal Marketing: Personal events and attributes like birthdays, wedding dates and demographics, combined with radius targeting, or serving ads to consumers who are a certain distance from the business, helps the message resonate better with the audience.
Viktoria Darabi is a Culinary Tourism Whisperer & Crusader, Food & Beverage Trendspotter. She works with Government and non-government organisations with the leadership and vision to champion the power of food culture activities to celebrate multi-culturalism, promote social cohesion, engender a sense of community pride and to transform or construct ‘place’ to define a destination’s identity and distinctiveness.