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Email Marketing Strategies to win more customers for QSRs

By Mia Sisko

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us how important digital marketing is to every business, no matter how big or small. Businesses such as restaurants can adapt to emerging market trends by utilising online marketing. Being able to connect with the customers in this digitally-driven world is a key to success.

Quick service restaurants are now offering online ordering and reservations. Other food outlets are tapping into the power of delivery apps. Social media is also a big help to the foodservice industry, allowing restaurants to reach more customers and generate more sales.

One of the effective digital strategies that most business owners tend to forget is email marketing. Though social media can bring new customers, emails are a great way to nurture prospective customers and retain existing ones. Email marketing is also proven to generate higher ROI than social media and other forms of advertising.

In this post, we will share how you can bring more sales to your restaurant business using email marketing.

1. Layout your Plans and Goals

Before building any email campaign, the initial step is to determine your brand identity and look at your competitors. Create a buyer persona to identify who your target customers are. Are you catering to young customers or families? What types of food do you offer? Establishing your brand and writing down your goals will give you a clearer picture of your marketing programs. This affects the writing tone and voice, graphics, and design elements.

Determine the purpose of your email campaign. You can launch different emails such as keeping your customers updated with the industry news, promoting new products and menus, offering discounts and loyalty programs, or driving traffic to your website and social media.

2. Send Personalised Emails

Sending email blasts is not a good idea and will likely annoy your subscribers. They are not engaging and mostly land in the spam folder. An effective email campaign should be able to build a connection with your audience.

Most restaurants use email marketing to offer promotions and deals. To ensure that your customers are happy to be on your email list, send personalised emails with effective subject lines. Keep your email simple, short, and professional. Include clickable buttons, CTAs in signature banners, and links to your website and social media.

3. Segment Your Contact List

There are different customers buying journeys and it is important to divide them into specific criteria such as previous orders, location, loyalty membership, and interests. By segmenting your email subscribers, you can tailor specific campaigns that are aligned to their preferences and buying behaviour, instead of sending one message to everyone on your list.

You can send nurturing emails to the ones who have not revisited your restaurant in the past 30 days or offer a special discount to those repeat customers. The more targeted your email campaigns are, the more likely your subscribers will engage with your brand.

4. Send Birthday and Holiday Emails

Birthdays and special occasions bring more revenue to the food service business. You have a big group of people and a long table filled with amazing meals and fantastic drinks. Offering a birthday promo to your customers who will soon celebrate their birthdays. You can run a monthly birthday promotion where you can offer family meal packages and creative deals.

You can also do the same with holidays. Send out newsletters a week before the holiday to give time for your subscribers to read and review your email. You can also run contests and offer a free meal or a 2-for-1 dinner promotion (e.g. Valentine's Day, Couples Night, Halloween Parties, etc.).

5. Menu Updates

Entice your customers with something new about your restaurant offerings. If you have made changes to your menu either revamping an old dish or presenting a new one, let your customers know about it. This can attract them to visit your restaurant again and experience your new dishes or updated menus.

6. Survey and Review Requests

Asking for your customer's feedback is a very effective strategy to learn about their dining experience. Are they satisfied with the food quality? Do they like your customer service?

Online reviews add a strong reputation to your restaurant which can attract more customers. Create a business profile in listing directories so that your target audience can easily find you.

Send emails to your subscribers asking them to share their honest feedback. This can help you improve your customer service and business operations. You can ask them to leave a review on your Google My Business page or social media pages. If your customers share their negative experiences, be polite and try to solve the issue calmly and professionally.

Ready to Start your Email Campaign?

Creating a strong email marketing strategy can help restaurant businesses thrive online. Email presents an effective opportunity to build relationships with prospects and current customers. At Clover Marketing, we help quick service restaurants build email campaigns that help generate website traffic, boost customer loyalty, and increase sales.

We will review your existing marketing strategies and identify the areas for improvement. Our team of marketing professionals will create tailored email marketing solutions designed to meet your business needs and long-term goals.

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