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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