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3 Things Smart Restaurant Owners Do Every Day
to Grow Their Email List

How many people walk into your restaurant each day?

What about your website or Facebook page — how many people visit you there?

People are discovering and interacting with your business every day. And while many of them will be loyal customers who will come back on their own, there is a high percentage of people who won’t.

Smart restaurant owners know the importance of staying in touch with new and potential customers. And while there are a number of channels you can use to stay connected, no tool is more effective than email marketing.

3 Things Smart Restaurant Owners Do toA recent survey from research firm MarketingSherpa found that 91 percent of consumers like to receive emails from companies they do business with.

If you want to grow your email list and increase your profitability, there are a few simple steps you’ll need to follow.

1. Make it visible

Whether someone is sitting in your restaurant or visiting your website, they need to know that they have the opportunity to stay connected with your business by joining your email list.
Make an inventory of all of the places people interact with your business. You likely have a number of offline locations, including:

  • At the door when they arrive
  • At the bar when they are buying a drink
  • At your reception / till
  • Your menu
  • At the table when they are ordering or eating
  • As they pay
  • When they are leaving your restaurant

And there are probably plenty of online locations, as well:

  • Your Website
  • Social media pages such as Facebook
  • Online listing and review sites

Think about the ways people interact with your business in these different settings. Are you providing a way for people to sign up in-restaurant? When someone lands on your website, can they easily find a way to join your list and stay in touch with your business?

Never miss the opportunity to grow your email list by covering all of your customer touch points.

2. Make it convenient

At this point, you may be thinking — “Yes! I’ve heard this before. I know I need to grow my list and I always make sure to ask.” But the next question you need to ask is: Are you making it convenient to sign up?

When it comes to collecting email addresses in-person, a paper sign-up sheet is typically the go-to solution for getting people to join your list. But did you also know that there are tools like mobile apps that give you the ability to collect email addresses right from your smartphone or tablet?

When it comes to collecting email addresses online — whether it’s on your website, blog, or social media pages — convenience will be defined by how quickly and easily someone can join your email list. Website sign-up forms for example, give you the ability to add new contacts right from your website or blog and viral prize draws give an easy way to build your list as well as build an online buzz about your restaurant

When setting these tools up, make sure to only ask for the information that you plan to use. This will keep the sign-up process quick and easy for people joining your list.

3. Make it compelling

People will be more likely to share their information when they understand the value of signing up.

One of the best ways to add value for new subscribers is to provide an offer or incentive.

You could, for example, offer…

  • A free drink to new subscribers
  • A 10% discount voucher
  • A free prize draw
  • Special events and offers that are exclusive to newsletter subscribers

But along with creating an offer, you can make your list compelling by simply understanding the value that your emails provide and clearly stating it to your audience.

For a restaurant like Franklin Cape Ann, that value comes from their monthly event emails that let customers know about upcoming tastings and seasonal wine dinners. For you, it could be the regular special offers or the monthly prize draw where subscribers can win a meal at your restaurant.

What can people expect from signing up for your mailing list? How often will they hear from you? What type of information will they provide? Why do other people like being on your list?

Use that information to craft an “elevator pitch” for your email list and include it when asking new visitors to sign up.

What can I do today?

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to growing your email list. Here are three things you can do right now:

  • Make an inventory of all the places you interact with customers: Make sure to include online and offline locations.
  • Set up your online sign-up form to get subscribers from your website and Facebook page.
  • Craft your elevator pitch: Why should people join your email list? Check in with loyal clients that you know enjoy your emails to find out what they like about being on your list.

Of course, if you’d like help with any of the above, or you still don’t have an email list for your restaurant and would like me to help you to build one quickly, just give me a call on 01283 515606 or take a look HERE.

Best regards,
Chris Towland


This article was adapted from an article here.

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