In a recent study by MarketingSherpa, email is still the most preferred communication platform between restaurants and customers. Here are a few tips to plan your 2016 restaurant email marketing campaigns.

Have a Strategy

Email marketing requires strategy.

Think about…
– How your emails will support your brand
– How to answer “what’s in it for me” in every email
– How to create a positive image
– How you can build value for your customers

Have a Plan

Every year it’s the same events. Plan out your calendar in advance. One or two emails per month.

Pick out a monthly theme. It’s really pretty simple. For example:
– Annual holidays – Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, etc
– Seasons of the year – For example, “Spring into Savings”
– Special events – Super Bowl, March Madness
– Family Holidays – Mother’s Day, Father’s Day
– Annual Events – Graduations, Back to School

Design your promotions around the themes. That will keep you offers different from month to month and keep your customers interest.

Struggling with theme ideas? Get on the email lists of some large chains and look at what they do. Let them spend thousands of dollars on the themes. Just rework the theme to support your restaurant.

Have a Design

Email design is actually fairly simple.

The structure of all effective email messages includes:
– Header image – Preferably the graphic supports the theme
– Body – Start with your promotional offer and then follow with general interest information. Sprinkle in one or two supporting images.
– Footer – Include the basic information customers want to know, such as, address, phone, menu link and online ordering link.

There are many affordable image library sites to get images and create a great looking email message.

Remember whatever communication you put out to your market is a representation of your brand.

Settle in on an overall design that will support your brand. Simply overlaying your logo on a themed graphic header can be enough to keep a branded image.

Final Thoughts

Email marketing is one of the most effective methods of communication. Take an hour and put together your strategy and plan for 2016. It will make designing the messages and getting regular monthly emails sent to your customers much easier.

Dave Gonynor

CEO at That's Biz
That’s Biz has been providing digital marketing and advertising solutions to restaurants since 2007. That’s Biz combines digital coupons with the email marketing platform of your choice and Facebook advertising to allow restaurants to target the right audience with the right message at the right time. Spend less on advertising and get results tracked directly to in-store visits.