So you’re ready to supercharge your restaurant email marketing.
Congratulations: that’s a great decision in and of itself.
After going through all of that trouble to build up an e-mail list for your business, what exactly do you plan on doing with it? What good is an email list if you don’t have a solid plan to turn that list into exposure and profits?
One of the best ways you can start to utilize your email list to further your business is to reach out to your audience and ask for their participation. By engaging your list and asking customers for feedback, you build a loyal fan base that is invested in your restaurant’s success, and will repay you with regular visits and boosted revenue.
Here are four ideas for turning your email list into sales and profits by getting more interactive.
Invite subscribers to participate in a poll
If you haven’t made a poll online before, fear not: it’s a lot easier than you may think. But first, take a look at these two real-world examples:
Dedicated sites like SurveyMonkey and EasyPolls walk you through the process in a straightforward manner. But what do polls have to do with your restaurant, and why should you start poking around to figure out your favorite poll making site?
For one, everyone loves online polls, and if a member from your email lists gets an email with a nicely created online poll, they are a lot more likely to engage than they would be with a standard email. And for another, you can ask all sorts of fun things via email in poll form.
Deciding between two new breakfast specials? Put it to a vote! Have a few options for how your dinner room’s music schedule will pan out? Ask the polls! You can think of some fun things to create polls around that suite your restaurant, and include them in your mailing list emails.
Ask for honest and anonymous suggestions
Or think of another, more creative way to directly ask for feedback. You could even set up an online version of the anonymous “suggestion box” that is so often found hiding unused in the corner of restaurants around the country.
Sites like Free Suggestion Box will let you set up an anonymous, easy to use suggestion box style comment form to send out in your emails. Make sure to think of a fun way to phrase your call for comments, but don’t worry about being too direct in asking for suggestions. People like to speak their mind.
Send out a riddle (or a quiz, or a trivia question)
One of the easiest things you can do to bring customers into your business is offer them a coupon. Everyone loves a deal. And if a customer subscribed to your mailing list, chances are they already love something about your food or ambiance or offerings, but may need that little extra incentive to dine at your establishment again.
A coupon is the perfect way to give them that extra push. You already know this.
So where do riddles come in? You can pass out coupons while getting interactive with your mailing list if you design a riddle, quiz, or short game they have to complete in order to get a discount. Write a riddle and ask for answers in response for a coupon.
If there is a deal on the line, plenty of your loyal customers on your mailing list will play ball, and it’s a fun way to get your audience to respond and engage.
Start a real conversation
Mailing lists are often seen as one way communication vehicles, but it doesn’t have to be that way! In the next email you send out on your list, be conversational, and insert something that you are interested in or fascinated with at the moment.
Don’t get too controversial, but keep it real to your personality. Then, encourage your mailing list customers to come in and discuss the cool article, fact, or news story you’ve linked to in person.
By appearing conversational in your mailing list marketing, customers will be much more likely to read what you’ve written. And by inviting conversation in the flesh, you give customers just one more reason to come back to your restaurant and get their fill!
Here’s the bottom line on interactive email marketing
The ideas we’ve shared above should get you started with making your restaurant mailing list more interactive, but they are just the start. Keep thinking of new ways to interact with your audience and potential customer base through email, rather than simply talking AT them or pushing offers TO them.
Try new things with the goal of getting responses and engagement from readers of your mailing list blurbs.
When you do this, your customers will feel more connected to your restaurant, more invested in it’s success, and more in the mood for your food than ever. From there, the profits roll right on in.