Email marketing trumps social media marketing when it comes to getting in front of your guests. While Facebook makes you pay to get in front of all your followers, your email list gives you access to your guests on-demand. But that doesn’t mean you can just fire off an email and call it a day. For optimal impact your restaurant’s email marketing plan needs to be thought out. And that starts with thinking mobile first.
Multitasking with email
In the US, we check email while watching TV or a movie (69%), in bed (57%), and on vacation (79%), according to Adobe Digital Inisghts.
The biggest turnoffs people have with mobile email are:
- Receiving too many (44%)
- Not relevant (37%)
- Font size too small to read and interact with (32%)
- Website and landing pages not mobile optimized (26%)
- Not well formatted for mobile phones (21%)
Now that we have established the having a “Mobile First” strategy is a must, let’s look at some of the email marketing strategies that you have to adopt in order to make this strategy a reality.
Your guests have smartphones tied to their hip and that means your sign up strategy has to be mobile friendly. Have QR codes or user friendly bitly URLs which are visible that your customers can scan or type in easily.
Given that your restaurant’s guests are looking for instant gratification, it is always useful to have an incentive which they can use immediately.
This solves two problems for you. A rock-solid incentive will get your guests to give you a valid email address to acquire the incentive, which should bring some short-term business to your restaurant. But it also helps with your long-term email marketing strategy, too. If they liked your first incentive, they are more likely to open your follow up emails in the future.
Restaurant Welcome Emails
Once your guests sign up make sure that you send a welcome email shortly thereafter. You want to remind your guests what they signed up for and why.
Personalize your welcome email on the sign up offer (use the %FIRSTNAME% code if your email client allows it). The welcome email should be sent after the customer gets the offer. The welcome email should to introduce your bar or restaurant in a more personal way, let guests know what they can expect at your locations, and provide links to your social media, etc.
Without a question your emails have to be mobile optimized. Everything from the design to the subject line to the content length, images & links all need to be done with a mobile phone in mind. Desktop clients comes second.
- Design. Choose a design which works well for most of the mobile screens from a display perspective. Most of the platforms (including MailChimp, Constant Contact) have designs that are mobile friendly. The design includes font size as well as how the emails would look horizontally and vertically.
- Subject Lines. With six – 10 words in the subject, emails will have an open rate of 21%. That figure increases as the number of words decreases.
- Content Length. Stick to the three second rule. Assume that your guests are glancing through your content. The length should fit in one or two screen sizes; anything beyond that will make your customers scroll down.
- Images & Links. Your content should be a mix of images and text. The images should be optimized from a size and dimensions perspective. Each image should be around 5-6 KB and there are multiple tools (including Canva) that can help you do that.Make sure that the landing pages you link to are mobile optimized. Include your social media links to help build those channels, too.
Call To Action (CTA)
According to one report, 57% of searches on a mobile result in a in-person visit. Juxtapose that number to email marketing, we cannot emphasize more on the CTA in your email. Your CTA should be linked to a coupon or offer that guests can redeemed immediately.
Don’t have more than two CTAs per email as you want to keep your guests focused.
Now that you have designed your restaurant’s emails and sent them, you want to check how they have fared.
Some of the metrics you want to keep track of:
- Which devices people use
- Open rates
- Click through rates
- Locations where the emails have been opened.
Also integrate Google Analytics in order to view and analyze which strategies worked best, what is the impact is.
Smartphones have revolutionized communication between guests and restaurants. Now businesses have to adapt to this paradigm shift and focus more on “mobile-first” strategies in order to take advantage — or be left out.