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How To Use Email To Boost Your Bookings

Email is the cheapest, easiest and quickest way to stay in touch with your restaurant’s customers. And using an online booking system allows you to harvest email addresses each time someone makes a booking with you, providing you with a very powerful marketing resource.

But you have to think carefully about your email campaigns for them to be successful.

Here’s our top five tips on running email campaigns that work:

Start using email software 

Once you have a database of customers, you can contact them regularly. To do this effectively you need some good email software that allows you to send an email to hundreds of people with just a few clicks.

In our experience MailChimp is best, but it can get pricey if you have a large database of customers. Our second choice would be MailerLite, which – although not quite as good as MailChimp – is cheaper. 

Make your email worth reading

People are busy, so your emails must include something that is going to interest or tempt them. This could be a discount or an offer, or equally an interesting announcement about a new menu or new chef in your kitchen.

Be smart with your subject line

So many emails flood our inboxes each day that only a choice few are actually read, with most deleted after a cursory glance at the subject line. So yours must stand out to separate it from all the others in your recipient’s inbox.

An easy way to do this is to hint at what you are offering. For example, if you are offering a 10% discount on your new spring menu then a subject line that says ‘Open this and save 10% on our new spring menu’ gets right to the point and will catch the eye. The temptation is to try and be clever with a punning line such as ‘spring into the new season with us’, but that will do nothing for your open rates.

Use your customers’ names

Your online booking app will allow you to collect names as well as email addresses, so you should use these effectively. Don’t start your emails with something impersonal like ‘Dear valued customer’ – instead, use each customer’s name to build up a rapport with them. Everyone likes to be addressed by their name, so this will make your email campaign much more effective.

Using email software makes this even easier, as it will automatically insert each individuals’ name for you

Make sure you ask them to book

Lastly, and most importantly, every single email you send must encourage your customers to actually book a table at your restaurant! This may sound obvious, but is often overlooked. If you explicitly ask your reader to do something, they are more likely to do it. If you don’t ask them, they are less likely to do it.

So, a simple message at the end of each email that directs the reader to your booking app will work wonders.

It costs you nothing to put our online booking system to the test, as we offer a no cost, no obligation 14-day trial. Just fill in the short form below to get started.

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How To Get The Most From Your Email Marketing

How To Get The Most From Your Email Marketing

Email marketing is simply the best way to promote your restaurant. It’s fast, it’s cheap and can connect you instantly with hundreds (if not thousands) of customers at the press of a button.

But it is not a fool proof system, there are many things you have to think about and do to make your email campaigns successful.

But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Here’s our guide to successful email marketing in the restaurant sector:

Build your list

For your email marketing campaign to be successful, you need a good list of people to send to – and that means existing and potential customers.

The easiest way to build up a strong list is to collect email addresses through an online booking app, as when people book with you in this way they supply their email address. You can also collect email addresses from a form on your website that invites people to sign up for your messages. Try offering an incentive – such as a free recipe eBook – in exchange for signing up.

Be careful with what you send

Email marketing can be great for building your business, but you must think carefully about what you’re sending. If you just send out endless pointless emails then you will annoy your recipients and they will unsubscribe. Instead, you must send emails that are actually helpful – this could be offers, deals, or useful information such as new menus or an expanded wine list.

So, think carefully about each email and ask yourself this question – does this help the recipient in some way? If the answer is no, then rewrite it!

Link it to other marketing channels

You shouldn’t just rely on email marketing to build your business. There are other ways to increase the popularity of your restaurant, such as social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the rest are great promotion methods, so make sure you direct people to your social media accounts through your emails. The more contact they have with you the better!

Choose good email software

If you are sending out marketing emails to more than a handful of recipients, then you need to start using email delivery software – as it lets you complete the whole process in just a few clicks. There are many options out there but we recommend Mailerlite. It’s cheaper than MailChimp, the market leader, but still has great features – such as an easy to use email editor, subscribe and unsubscribe notifications, subscriber management, and campaign reports. Also, Mailerlite offers 24/7 support by email and webchat for paying customers.

Are you ready to try email marketing for your own restaurant? Then sign up to our online booking system – Tablein – and start collecting addresses! It’s free for 14 days and there’s no catch and no obligation – just fill in the simple form below to get started.