n the age of social media, why should restaurant marketing teams put their energy, time, and budget into email? Because every marketer’s north star is investing in the channels most likely to drive results.
Research shows that email marketing ROI has increased (again) to $56 return for every $1 spent. In addition, 73% of marketers rate email as the number one digital channel for ROI.
Here are four reasons why restaurant email marketing continues to drive revenue, plus some strategies to put that restaurant email list to good use.
1. Email is Where Customers Are
There are 3.9+ billion global email users (and rising). Of those, Americans spend on average 153 minutes daily on personal email.
Wisely’s data shows that these trends are only growing stronger post-COVID. Since the advent of the pandemic, Wisely has seen a 420% increase in emails sent, and email open rates are holding steady at industry standard, even with the jump in volume.
Takeaway: Targeted outreach via email puts restaurant brand messaging directly in front of the customer, prime positioning for both brand awareness and prompting customers to take action.
2. Consumers Prefer Email Marketing
Consumers overwhelmingly prefer email over all other forms of outreach: 74% of people chose email as their preferred communication method from consumer brands.
Restaurant brands working with Wisely have seen a 130% increase in opt-ins since COVID, and a 3-6% increase in marketing opt-ins.
Takeaway: Listen to customers when they say they want more communication via email from their favorite brands, not less. Opted-in customers trust brands with their data, a key indicator of future sales—81% of consumers say trust in a brand drives their purchase decisions.
3. Restaurant Email Marketing Converts First-Time Customers to Regulars
Research shows that email is 40x more effective at bringing new customers back than either Facebook or Twitter.
Email marketing also has the highest conversion rate at 66%, when compared to social media marketing, direct mail, and other campaigns.
Takeaway: When it comes to building a lasting relationship with customers, email is a key tool in the restaurant marketing tool belt. Why?
- It’s personalized: With a restaurant CRM that segments guests by behavior, email marketing can be tailored to each guest’s preferences, driving up engagement and boosting conversion.
- It’s always on time: With restaurant marketing automation, email campaigns can be triggered right after the first visit or online order to drive repeat sales. Plus, if a guest hasn’t visited or ordered in a while, an email can automatically remind them of their favorites.
4. Email is the Foundation to Effective Omnichannel Restaurant Marketing
Consumers use email and social media differently. While customers overwhelmingly want to be contacted by brands via email, 39% of people preferred to initiate contact with a brand on social media.
Takeaway: Use email and social media to provide parallel experiences to build an omnichannel presence and boost customer acquisition, and retention. How?
- Target Lookalikes: Use your restaurant email list to acquire high-value customers by reaching out to lookalikes of your best customers on social media platforms.
- Retarget Regulars: Keep the relationship fresh and relevant by building your email campaigns and social media posts in concert.
Customers engage with brands everywhere they have a digital presence, and the next new social platform always generates marketing buzz (e.g. Dunkin’ Donuts viral TikTok collab). In comparison, email marketing might seem old school.
To get ahead, though—especially when marketers are tasked with doing more with less—brands will need to focus on the kinds of communication guests are asking for and responding to.
Along every step of the journey, customers continue to show that restaurant email marketing is an important part of their experience.
Photo Credit: Johan Mouchet