With all the talk of text message marketing, it is essential to remember that some guests prefer not to give up their phone numbers but are willing to share their email addresses. That is not to say you should stop using text messaging. However, let’s not abandon email marketing because it continues to be a significantly effective way to stay in touch with your customers and keep them returning to your restaurant for offers and their favorite menu items. But for that, you’ll have to boost your email list. Here are six ways to build an email list and enjoy its many benefits.
Benefits of Building Email Lists for Restaurants
Building an email list can offer various benefits if you need to generate more customers during off times or encourage guests to pre-book for an event or special offers. Email marketing is a tool many restaurant marketers use to connect with their customers in a personalized way. It connects businesses with their customers in a targeted way while delivering ROI and profits at a lower cost than many other forms of advertising or marketing. That is to say, only a few marketing categories offer the longevity that email marketing can. It allows you to;
- Communicate directly with your guests on a regular basis
- Announce special offers, events and new products
- Create long standing engagement with your guests and increase repeat business
A comprehensive email list allows you to improve your connection with your guests and your community at large. As previously stated you can update customers on special deals, new offerings, and discounts or bring back existing guests who may not have visited the restaurant for a certain period of time. In addition, you can keep guests informed about operating hours, closures, and other timely events that impact the restaurant.
Undoubtedly, many restaurateurs rely on email as a powerful marketing tool that remains a popular way to reach customers and keep them interested and engaged. Here are some methods to grow your restaurant’s email list:
Creating a loyalty program can be an effective way to grow your email lists and entice your customers to make that extra visit to your establishment. Another restaurant trend that is becoming popular is a restaurant app downloaded to your customer’s cell phone. The cost to create and maintain these apps has come down in recent years, making it an affordable, effective way to produce not only online orders but also a way to collect email addresses for our marketing list. You can gather more email addresses when a customer downloads your app by offering reward points and saving opportunities. You do not be part of a big corporate brand or franchise to create a restaurant app for your establishment. Several companies offer low-cost loyalty app development. A few quick internet searches can connect you with suppliers that can develop and launch your restaurant’s app at a cost lower than many restaurateurs think. These apps work like regular loyalty cards where guests can build points for discounts or special offers. In addition, an app allows customers to get notifications or marketing messages from you.
Emails via Social Media Channel
How about leveraging the power of social media platforms such as TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to grow your email list? These platforms are great for connecting with customers and informing them about new restaurant events and menu items. For instance, arrange an invitation-only tasting for your new menu items and ask customers to provide their email to get entry. Using “form fill” ads or posts on these platforms, you can automatically collect users’ data when they sign up for an event or special offer.
QR Codes to Sign up for Loyalty Programs
QR code helps the customers navigate to your website or the mobile application, or even your menu. It’s also an excellent way to drive customers to the restaurant’s loyalty program. Once signed up for the program, you can obtain their email and add it to your list. It’s easy to weave QR codes into the online experience on all social media sites. Customers can quickly sign up for deals when you add QR codes to your website. I also recommend placing them on your printed menu, front doors as well as at your point of sale terminal. You can also print the codes on the receipts and table signage.
Lead Gen Software
Did you know that whenever a new person visits your website, it’s an opportunity to get their email? According to TownSquare, more than 70 percent of visitors never revisit the site. One effective way to gather visitor’s email addresses is to use online lead generation software These software programs are readily available, low cost, easy to install and help you set pop-ups that appear before a visitor enters or leaves your website on any page. You can have hundreds of new visitors sign up monthly by putting an engaging pop-up offer for new users on your website.
Wi-Fi Data Capture
Who doesn’t like to use the guest Wi-Fi? You can use this as an opportunity to get the email address of customers visiting your restaurant. It is a great courtesy and an easy way to collect guest data by requiring customers to enter their email addresses before connecting them to the free Wi-Fi you offer.
Online Ordering System
Third-party ordering services have become another important restaurant trend. Unfortunately, most do not share the customer data they collect during the ordering process. Most of these services are only interested in marketing their platform and don’t use the data to promote individual restaurants. The data is gold, and they will not share it with you. Data collection is why restaurant owners must develop their own online ordering system to get direct orders. Adding a message on the receipt or other material you include in the packaging of a 3rd party order is a great way to reach the customers. Adding a very compelling offer to the guest if they use your restaurant’s online ordering portal on your website instead of a 3rd party is an excellent way to get their email address. In addition, you can save thousands of dollars in commissions your restaurant pays to these 3rd party ordering companies. Ask customers to enter their email addresses when making orders and add the data to your email for future marketing opportunities.
Keeping your restaurant “top of mind” with your customers is essential to increasing your business. Remember, email addresses and other customer data are pure gold. There are numerous contact points, and email continues to be a low-cost, effective way to market your brand. Try some or all of these techniques to grow your restaurant’s email list and establish a lasting relationship with your customers. I believe you’ll see positive results and improve your marketing and promotion plan.