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Supercharge your reservations with restaurant email marketing

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By Tock Staff

Restaurant email marketing is a powerful method for reaching guests, driving reservations, and boosting sales. This post will teach you the basics of email outreach for restaurants, like how to safely collect guest contact information, build your email list, and send targeted restaurant emails that engage your audience and help your restaurant achieve your marketing goals.


Defining goals for your restaurant email campaigns

Every email campaign should have a clear goal to guide its creation and measure its success. Common restaurant email campaign objectives include:

  • Increasing reservations: Encourage more bookings and visits to your restaurant.
  • Promoting merchandise sales: Advertise branded merchandise, gift cards, or special offers.
  • Highlighting events or experiences: Feature special events such as wine tastings, chef’s table experiences, or seasonal menus.


Selecting the right email marketing platform

A successful campaign starts with choosing the right email marketing platform. These tools offer user-friendly interfaces and scalability, allowing you to add more features as your business grows. Look for a restaurant email marketing platform that integrates with your POS system. That way, you can contact current guests with email addresses you already have.


Crafting effective restaurant emails

When creating restaurant emails, consistency with your brand identity and personality is key. Most email marketing platforms provide customizable templates, enabling you to incorporate your brand colors, fonts, and imagery. Here are some tips to enhance your email content:

The perfect subject line

The subject line is crucial as it dictates the open rates of your restaurant emails. Improve your subject lines with these strategies:

  • Use the recipient’s first name to personalize the email.
  • Pose intriguing questions to spark curiosity.
  • Create a sense of urgency to prompt immediate action.
  • Highlight the value of the email content.

Engaging body content

Ensure your email content is engaging and aligns with your campaign goal. Use a conversational tone and include clear calls to action (CTAs) that guide the recipient toward making a reservation, purchasing merchandise, or signing up for an event.


Building a restaurant email list

A robust email list is vital for the success of your email campaigns. Here are several strategies to steadily grow your restaurant email list:

  • Email receipts: Offer customers the option to receive their receipts via email. This not only provides convenience but also adds to your email list.
  • Website sign-up: Place a prominent email sign-up form on your website. Encourage visitors to subscribe for updates, promotions, and newsletters 
  • Reservation platforms: Use your reservation system to collect email addresses from users who opt-in during the booking process.
  • Events and promotions: Collect email lists during special events, tastings, or promotions. Use the registration process to gather this information.
  • Loyalty program integration: Incorporate an email sign-up option within your digital loyalty program. Offer guests incentives, such as exclusive discounts or early access to events, to encourage subscriptions.
  • Contests and giveaways: Host online contests or giveaways that require participants to subscribe to your restaurant email list to enter. This not only grows your list but also increases engagement with your brand.


Examples of how to use restaurant email marketing

  • Seasonal promotions: Send out emails promoting special seasonal menus or holiday events. Highlight unique dishes and offer limited-time discounts.
  • Event invitations: Invite your subscribers to exclusive events like wine tastings, chef’s specials, or live music nights. Use appealing visuals and a compelling CTA to drive attendance.
  • Customer appreciation: Show appreciation to your loyal customers with personalized thank you emails and exclusive offers. Highlight their favorite dishes or drinks to make them feel valued.


Learn more

Crafting an effective restaurant email marketing plan is a multifaceted process that involves defining your goals, understanding your audience, and crafting engaging emails that draw guests into your restaurant. For a deep dive on how to execute your email marketing plan, download the full 33-page Restaurant Marketing 101 guide complete with restaurant marketing examples – it’s free!

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