There’s no question about it: If you own a restaurant, you want repeat business. Consistently serving good food and providing excellent service is a huge part of fostering customer loyalty. However, it never hurts to stay in touch with your customers and remind them to come back. E-mail marketing is one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways to do just that.
Larkin’s on the River
Constant Contact Restaurant Success Story
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Consider this: A study in 2009 by Direct Marketing Association found that every dollar spent on e-mail marketing yielded a $43.62 profit. No other form of direct marketing they included in their study performed this well, not even direct mail catalogs.
People have become so accustomed to most forms of advertising that they’ve learned to tune them out. In some cases, the ads aren’t reaching them at all. Devices like Tivo, for example, filter out commercials so they can watch their favorite TV shows without interruption. Direct mail often ends up in the trash before it even gets opened. Telemarketing has been crippled by the National Do-Not-Call Registry. But nearly everyone is online now, and personalized e-mails are getting their attention.
If you make a point of collecting your customers’ e-mail addresses, you can easily invite them back for a free slice of cake on their birthday. You can also send coupons, tell them about something new you’ve added to the menu, offer your catering services, and let them know about special deals. You could dress up your e-mails with eye-popping pictures of your most delicious entrees. Maybe your customers weren’t even thinking about going out to eat before they received your e-mail, but now that you’ve reminded them of your fine cuisine and made them hungry, there’s a good chance they’ll show up at your restaurant for dinner.
It gets even better: E-mail marketing is much cheaper than direct mail. Let’s compare: At 28 cents a pop, mailing postcards to 500 addresses would run you $140. That’s not even including the expense of having them designed and printed. But how much would it cost to contact those same 500 people via e-mail? Using the tools of an e-mail marketing service such as Constant Contact, it could be as little as $15 a month.
In short, keeping in touch with your customers through e-mail is powerfully effective and costs very little. If you’ve been searching for a way to dramatically increase your restaurant’s business without breaking your budget, you don’t need to look any further than e-mail marketing.