Using Email Lists To Create An Offline Buzz About Your Restaurant

With the advent of smart phones, blackberries, text messaging, etc... email marketing is fast becoming one of the fastest ways to reach customers - even if they're not in front of a computer!

I'm sure you've heard of "word of mouth" marketing/advertising, but what about "word of mouse" - the idea is exactly the same, but with the advent of the internet and social networking, things become easier to share, and easier to share with multiple people at the same time. The goal is to combine the two and grow exponentially, so if person A gets your email about 2 for 1 margaritas on Friday night, they will pass it on to 5 friends, 2 of whom will invite a friend, souse, co-worker, etc, 2 of whom will pass the email on , and so on down the line. So by creating value and a reason to visit, you can harness the power of word of mouth and word of mouse together to grow your business.

Planning an effective email campaign can really boost your sales and company awareness both online and offline, but it does require some up front planning and forward thinking. To get an better idea of your goal in mind use the following questions:

* Do I have a Email list and/or a service to manage lists and send out mass emails to those lists?

* What can I offer to people that will compel them to join my mailing list? (Enter your email and we will enter you in a drawing to win a free dinner for two, etc)

* Do I offer any weekly food or drink specials, live music, etc that you can invite people on your list to come join you for?

* Do I have a well designed newsletter template designed to grab and hold your readers attention, and a clever subject line to ensure that your email gets opened?

The basic idea is this: create a clever way to extract prospective diner's emails, making sure that there is plenty of value and incentive to do so. Then become someone who they look forward to hearing from, share recipes, stories, special events at your restaurant, etc... by doing so you will become a part of their lives and when the age old question of "what's for dinner' comes up, you're going to be one of the top options.

All this can be accomplished with a few hours work and a little creativity, and can really help build your business.

P.S. I am in the process of writing a free e-book on how to properly utilize the internet to grow your business, and would love to hear some subjects that are of concern to restaurateurs. If you have any suggestions as to subjects that you would like to see touched upon, feel free to drop me a line and let me know.. many thanks!

To your success,

Jason Lane

Views: 1

Tags: Branding, Customer, Email, Internet, Loyalty, Marketing, Restaurant

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Non-Operator
Comment by Jason Lane on September 17, 2009 at 8:07pm
Anytime Brett, keep up the good work!
Comment by Brett Bartlett on September 17, 2009 at 6:21pm
wow jason!!!!
that is such great insight!!!
You really nailed it when you wrote " I'm a firm believer that if you give more than you take, in the end you will be rewarded, and I think things are shifting more & more in that direction by the day."

It's great to see that their are marketing experts out there that actually understand that people want relationship instead of being treated like a potential buck.

thanks again for the input.

Brett

Non-Operator
Comment by Jason Lane on September 17, 2009 at 5:39pm
Hey Brett,

Great question, because as the (very true) saying goes, no one likes a spammer.

While there isn't an exact science to it, because every market and every business has a different target audience and different "personas", I think at the end of the day what it really boils down to is giving your email list value in your messages. I'm a firm believer that if you give more than you take, in the end you will be rewarded, and I think things are shifting more & more in that direction by the day.

What does that mean for a restaurant's email marketing campaign?

Again, it's somewhat case by case, but in general I've found that as long as you give your list things that they can use, and not just self-promotional stuff all the time, they'll be a lot more receptive to well written, value added promotions, such as drink specials or live music.

That said, I still think you should send more emails that are just giving, such as sharing a recipe for a signature dish or drink, or sharing a video of some live music act performing at your place. If you do things like that, you'll not only have a higher open rate, but you'll also have a much more receptive audience when it does come time to ask them to come in to your restaurant for some special or event.

Hope this helps, best of luck!

Jason
Comment by Brett Bartlett on September 17, 2009 at 5:11pm
Hi jason,
I would really appreciate your advice since you have such great insight.

How do you create a mass email without treating your customers like spam?
Comment by Bill Baumgartner on September 24, 2008 at 3:24am
Hi Jason,

I would love to hear more about your business ideas.

It sounds like you have a well thought out plan.

Best wishes,

Bill

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