Did you know that the average user spends about one hour and 47 minutes a day using email? In fact, 74 percent of all adults online state that email is their preferred method of communication. This trend suggests that email is the best way for your brand to find exposure in the lives of daily consumers. Here are five easy steps to creating an email program for your restaurant.
- Find a platform that works for your restaurant. The knowledge and technical skill for creating professional emails can appear daunting, especially in the face of HTML writing and coding. Luckily for those who aren’t as technically capable, some email platforms, like Restaurant.com Email Assistant, erase the need for technical know-how so just about anyone can create polished, professional looking emails. In tandem with a well-produced website, Restaurant.com Email Assistant allows for restaurants to establish their brand in the minds and inboxes of the consumers. Restaurant marketers should also be familiar with the CAN-SPAM Act, a federal law that sets rules for commercial email. Click here for more information on the CAN-SPAM Act and A Compliance Guide for Business.
- Start with a platform that works for your restaurant. The ultimate goal for your platform is to create polished, professional emails that reflect your brand and convey your message. For example, Mail Chimp is user friendly and free for lists under 2000 subscribers. You should also be familiar with the CAN-SPAM Act, a federal law that sets rules for commercial email. Click here for more information on the CAN-SPAM Act and A Compliance Guide for Business.
- Acquire email subscribers. The set-up to acquire email addresses is quick and simple, but gathering email addresses will take time. Make it easy for current customers to sign up. Add a sign-up form on your website, include an area on the check or bill for sign-ups, or print out a simple form to leave at the host desk, bar or on each table. As your sign-ups come flowing in, Email Assistant will help manage the customer contacts in one convenient place.
- Plan your marketing calendar. It makes it easier to build your email calendar if you work through your monthly and weekly promos and events first. Then you can easily add those promotions, daily specials, events or even coupons as the main message in the email. Maybe you plan on making some menu changes, want to promote some upcoming in-house entertainment or just want to update your daily Happy Hour specials; email is a great tool for communicating these messages and more. Still, it’s important not to get caught up in sending email too often. Send email only when you have something important to say. First ask yourself, “Who, what, when, where and why?” If you can’t answer all of these questions, then don’t send the email.
- Test and measure your results. Once Restaurant.com Email Assistant has your restaurant producing professional quality emails, you stand to benefit from Email Assistant’s easy-to-read reports and real-time tracking. Make future decisions based on which emails have yielded results for your restaurant and which haven’t. A proper analysis of open and click rates will help you identify patterns (subject line, time of day, day of week, offer, etc) that make those key figures increase or decrease.
For inquiries about Restaurant.com Email Assistant, call Partner Advantage at 877-640-1844, or for existing partners, login to the Restaurant Management Center.
How does your restaurant manage its email marketing program? What advice would you offer restaurants that want an email marketing program or would like to make improvements to their existing program? Let us know in the comments section below.