Email marketing for restaurants works.
It’s actually one of the best methods for converting your websites visitors into paying customers, as well as giving previous customers a helping hand in returning to your restaurant to eat again.
It goes without saying that to send out an email newsletter, you need a bunch of emails to send it to, we’ve covered previously how you can collect them from within your restaurant using feedback cards but what if you could generate sign ups via your website? No manual data input, potential customers just input their details and they’re automatically on your mailing list.
Well you can, by integrating a signup form into your site, and it’s really quite simple! (If you need help with that then feel free to contact us, we’ll be happy to help)
Once you’ve got your opt in form proudly displayed on your website how do you make the most of it? In other words, how do you make sure that you convert as high a percentage of your website visitors into email subscribers? Let’s take a look:
If you only put a naked sign up form on your site with a snippet of text such as “sign up to our newsletter”, then you’re not giving visitors any sort of incentive to sign up. In other words the only people that sign up are going to be the ones who really love your restaurant and chances are they already visit quite regularly.
To maximise conversions, you have to offer something in exchange for signing up, this could be a voucher to use at your restaurant, allowing the bearer 10% off their food bill. There’s no set formula to what incentive you could give, in fact it makes sense to test different things, get creative, perhaps give away a recipe, or a tutorial on how to make good quality sushi in your own home. It really depends on what you think your customers want, once you have that figured out you can offer something that appeals directly to them.
When browsing online people have certain reservations with regards to giving away information about themselves, they also don’t want to waste time filling in complex forms so for that reason you need to make signing up to your newsletter as easy as possible.
Ideally your email sign up form should only be 1 or 2 fields, asking for a name and an email address. Any more than that and it becomes intrusive and time intensive.
When it comes to filling in a feedback card in your restaurant, customers will gladly hand over certain pieces of information without giving it a second thought. But when they’re online, privacy and safety become an issue and for that reason people have a mental objection against handing out details like their name and email address.
In order to overcome these objections, then you must address your visitors concerns head on. For example:
Time and time again we see websites using a sign up form thats hidden away in the footer of a website or that blends seamlessly into the background. If nobody sees it, then nobody is going to sign up.
It’s essential you place the sign up form in prominent areas of your site, remember that if you’re measuring conversions, impressions of your signup form only count if it’s actually been seen!
The call to action needs to be quite forceful, if it’s too soft then people are likely to just ignore it. Obviously don’t go overboard but if your offer is to do with a discount, then reinforce that message in your call to action, for example “Yes, sign me up so I get 10% off my food bill!”.
Your call to action has to do what the name suggests – make people take an action, and in this instance it’s hitting the sign up button so they receive your newsletters.
Putting it all together
If there’s one takeaway from this article its simply that if you’re in the restaurant business; make sure you’re using your website to expand your customer database by using it to capture details.
If you haven’t got an opt in form your website, then put one on ASAP. If you have got one on there – is it working? Are you getting signups? If it isn’t – then it needs fixing.
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