Ilma from MailerLite

Ilma5 min readTips & ResourcesJune 12, 2014

Email marketing for restaurants & coffee shops: give your customers a reason to come back

Email marketing for restaurants & coffee shops: give your customers a reason to come back

The success of any restaurant or coffee shop depends on satisfied customers. The ones that come back, bring their friends together and spread word-of-mouth about you.

Email marketing is an awesome tool for restaurants and coffee shops to give a reason for your customer to come back.

Get started: build an email list

Every contact is an opportunity to ask people for their email address, so make the most out of them.

#1. Collect email addresses in person

The easiest way to get emails is to focus on the customer interactions that take place every day in your restaurant.

Create an incentive for the waitstaff to collect emails. You may write down the email addresses, have a pad of paper or a collection area for business cards so people can quickly opt-in to your email newsletter. Ask for the email when people reserve a table. Explain what and how often they may expect to get in your newsletter.

Use an enticing offer like letting those on the list know about exclusive specials or new menu items. Sometimes just asking for the email gets people to signup, but often you’ll need to make an offer to get them interested.

#2. Sign-up form on your website

Have a VISIBLE and short sign-up form on every page of your website.

Just like with any other offer, you need to give your prospects a good reason to say YES.

Think about it this way: You’re asking to give you personal information, but what are you going to give them in return?

Few ideas what may entice to subscribe to your newsletter

  • Offer free content. “Lead magnet” (that’s what the pros call it) may be a book of recipes. Customers can gain access to it, but they have to signup for the email newsletter. You can set up an autoresponders series to take people through a sequence of emails with recipes.
  • Offer discount in your restaurant that people will get once they subscribe.
  • Giveaway a dinner in your restaurant. All participants of the contest should leave their emails. Then you select the winner.

Win your customers’ heart with great content

Any type of communication, whether it’s through email, phone calls, one-on-one, direct mail or any other media you use, is about building relationships. By establishing frequent contact you accomplish several crucial factors to growing a business.
(Jeremy Reeves from Kaizen Marketing Inc.)

Remember: people are on your list because they took action and signed up for your newsletter to receive your content.

Your goal is to provide unique, useful and engaging content.

We like Perry Marshal’s method: 80% content / 20% pitch. Rather than pitching in every message, we recommend making deposits first…for 3 or 4 messages of pure, helpful content. Zero pitch.

Here are our suggestions:

  • Chef’s recipes. People love to know your chef and get useful information. Be as personal as you can.
  • Share your story. It might be your restaurant or one of the ingredients story. For example, what kind of coffee beans you use to make coffee.
  • Tips & tricks to help the home chef kick their meals up a notch
  • Your Menu – especially weekly or daily specials.
  • News: finally selling a bottled version of your famous vinaigrette? New cookbook out? Spread the news!
  • Share reviews & testimonials or encourage customers to write them. Getting a reply is the best appraisal for your newsletter.
  • Digest about local events & news. Most of the customer live somewhere around. Share the local news that you find interesting.
  • Offer a coupon.
  • Special offers for holidays. For example, send an invitation to reserve a table for Mother’s Day dinner or offer food for Oscar night.
Get more inspiration from newsletter gallery
Restaurant newsletter examples

More suggestions for your next newsletter:

  • Make a survey to know opinions about your restaurant or a new menu. A survey could be also used to collect reviews on TripAdvisor or Google.
  • Summon on your social profiles. Share the photos & post that were most shared and liked.
  • Invite to special events in your restaurant. Like, wine degustations.

ALWAYS include in the newsletter:

  • Address of your restaurant.
  • Opening hours.
  • A telephone number for reservations.
  • Email address to reply.
  • Use the name of a person and the name of the restaurant in the email’s “from” line.
  • Link to your menu.
  • Visible call-to-action.
  • Good visuals (images or video). Show the people that work in your restaurant or food that makes us hungry.
  • Links to social media that you use.
Are you new to email marketing?
Check this Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing

P. S.

Add a P. S. – using a P. S. has been a staple of top print copywriting techniques for decades. Adding a P. S. is a proven way to get more clicks on your email marketing campaigns. Make it relevant, mindful and always include a call to action link.

P. P. S.

Guess what? We also have a coffee shop that is inside the MailerLite office. Please visit us.

We guarantee good coffee & fast Wi-fi & great atmosphere (it’s all free!).

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