Email, Marketing, Restaurants

8 simple secrets of effective restaurant emails

Learn how to create restaurant emails that work using these tips and awesome examples from real restaurants.

Looking for a way to make your restaurant marketing emails really great? We’ve rounded up 8 ways you can do just that.

These 8 secrets are backed up by some incredible real examples of restaurant emails. These include emails from a pub, a fine dining establishment, a soup and sandwich place, a burger joint, and a sports bar.

Watch the video below or continue reading to level up your restaurant email marketing!

1. Convey your restaurant’s brand and ambiance

A restaurant’s brand goes beyond its logo and colors. It is also about the look and feel of your restaurant, the ambiance of your dining area, and what it feels like to dine ‘with you’–this should be conveyed in your emails.

The emails you send out should stir up the same good emotions that your customers feel when they’re eating at your establishment: emotions surrounding the food you create, the care your team puts into preparing the food, and the atmosphere of your dining room.

Why is it important to evoke emotion? It increases the likelihood that your customers will respond to your message and take the action you’d like them to take.

For example, Postino, which is a wine bar, does exactly this in their emails with cycling photos that show tantalizing food and beverage, ambiance, and customers having fun. While Postino’s emails clearly emphasize their brand colors,they also go way beyond that to convey the restaurant’s brand.

Taco Mac, which is a rowdy sports bar and a great place to watch your favorite team. One of the ways Taco Mac fills its restaurants on big game days is by using email to showcase the excitement of watching your favorite team in a room filled with other rowdy fans. 

2. Share content that interests your customers

If you send emails that your customers don’t care about, they won’t open your emails.

When it comes to messaging, your goal should be to hit the ‘Sweet Spot’ of things that both you and your customers care about. 

For example, Bar Enza knows that it is a favorite date night destination for many of its customers. This email, which serves as an early reminder to make reservations for Valentine’s Day, hits the ‘Sweet Spot’ perfectly.

3. Increase opens with a strong subject line

Subject lines and preview text are the most important thing to perfect in your emails because they are what drives a customer’s decision to open your email.

Ideal subject lines give the recipient an idea of what the email is about and generate curiosity.

Here are some standout examples of subject lines.

1. Bar Enza: Dinner for 2?

 One thing to remember about subject lines is that they don’t have to speak to everyone, or even to all of your customers. They can target a select section of your customers, like Enza in this example, specifically targeting couples.

If you are part of a couple, this subject line is sure to get your attention! 

2. Crunkleton: A Spirited Luncheon

This punny subject line is sure to hit a chord with spirits enthusiasts.

4. Keep it brief

Most people prefer newsletters that focus on highlights – with the opportunity to click if they want more.

They will appreciate it if you respect their wishes and  keep your emails brief, especially if you want people to scroll through the entire thing.

The optimal email would contain one to three items with large and minimal copy. In most cases, you’ll want to put the item you most want people to see at the start of the email.

5. Make your customers feel valued

Email can be used to make customers feel appreciated and in the process,  generate more good feelings and loyalty for your brand.

When Postino sent out this email to advertise its new location, they offered their customers a free dinner at the new restaurant. This made customers feel special and generated a lot of excitement about the opening.

6. Make it clear what action you want people to take

Creating actionable emails is just as important as creating ones that are pretty or interesting.

People can only take action when they know what that action is and make it super simple for them to take it. Accomplish this by spelling it out using clear CTAs and bold buttons.

7. Provide easy access to more information

Anticipate what you think your customers will want to know and make it easy for them to find it. This can be information:

  1. Your address or phone number
  2. Options to order now, see the menu, see the special menu, or make a reservation
  3. Your website, a pdf, or a landing page.

8. If you do use photos, use GREAT photos

Ryan Gromfin, The Restaurant Boss, emphasized this point in his class on creating a killer menu. If you are going to include photos in your menu, they have to be great. This also applies to emails. Food photos that are anything short of excellent will not produce the saliva-generating results you aspire to.

Liked our restaurant email marketing secrets? Find out more about restaurant marketing in this blog post.