If you are interested in Restaurant email marketing and it’s use in your restaurant’s marketing campaign then you would be wise to ‘begin with the end in mind’ as Stephen Covey, the author of The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People aptly points out.
And if you are to begin with the end in mind then you might want to think about creating a ‘tribe’. A tribe (as discussed in marketing) is a phrase coined by Seth Godin to describe a subgroup of your customers who are loyal to your restaurant and tuned in to everything that you do.
People join tribes (unconsciously) for a sense of belonging. Restaurant email marketing is a great way to foster the need to belong and create a tribe among your best customers. Here’s how.
If you want to begin emailing your customers then you first need to create some form of database with only customers who have restaurant email list given you permission to email them. An email sent with prior permission will be received better than one sent without prior permission. In other words your customers will be expecting the email and more likely to actually open and read it. Note that there are a number of commercial services that you can use to send bulk email and ensure that you stay spam compliant.
The next thing to consider, and of utmost importance, is the actual content. Many restaurant owners use their email list to blast out daily or weekly specials. While this can have some success you are really missing the boat if this is all you are doing. The truth is that your customers want to know what is happening with you and with the restaurant.
Consider sending out content that facilitates keeping your restaurant top of mind for the customer. An example is you could record on video a simple weekly cooking tip. This might be a bit time consuming in the beginning but can quickly become part of your routine. Learning new cooking ‘secrets’ from your chef each week is a great way to keep your customers engaged with your restaurant. Trust me, they’ll return more often.
To go another step further, Facebook is a great place for your tribe to hang out and talk with each other. Creating a Facebook fan page in addition to restaurant email marketing will drive not only repeat business but new business as well. The reason for this is that customers who are ‘fans’ of your Facebook page have friends that are not currently customers that will join your page as well and if your content is solid will want to try out your restaurant too.