Restaurant Marketing 101: How to Use Behavioral Email Marketing to Increase Customer Loyalty
Do you want to draw in new customers while holding on to return guests? Loyal customers are always worth more to a restaurant than new leads, and behavioral email marketing can increase that loyalty when done well. Building trust with your customers through tailored, personal, and relevant interactions has proven successful in driving sales, and behavioral marketing is a great avenue to develop that relationship. By using restaurant marketing to create more committed customers, you’ll increase that all-important repeat business and bottom line: a Return on Investment (ROI).
What Exactly is Behavioral Email Marketing?
Behavioral email marketing engages with your customers by sending hyper-relevant triggered emails based on previous interactions with your brand. You may have seen emails that ask you to leave a review of a recent purchase or present coupons for your birthday: that’s behavioral email marketing. It effectively combines three powerful tools to enhance your restaurant marketing strategy: relevance, real actions, and context. It also helps to increase engagement with your restaurant brand.
The strategy uses data like past customer purchases, personally significant dates, and recent searches. Behavioral email marketing utilizes relevance and personalization to increase engagement and interest. Recent research found that customers open behaviorally-targeted emails four times more often than generic ones.
Remember also that your customers might also be businesses themselves — B2B marketing. In these cases, the specific content you use in your email marketing might vary, but the principles stay the same. You can always consult B2B email marketing best-practices if you’re not sure.
5 Examples of Behavioral Marketing Emails That Really Work
The key to a successful behavioral marketing strategy is to send emails that react to current customer behavior. You can build on your restaurant marketing methods by reaching customers at a point that’s valuable and relevant to them. This relevance increases engagement and, ultimately, sales.
Email your Customer With a Review Prompt
Asking a customer to review their recent dining experience is simple. Customers love to share their experiences, and encouraging engagement with TripAdvisor reviews for your restaurant will increase their engagement with your brand.
Send your New Customer a Welcome Email
Emailing a new customer, introduces your mission and story, and tells them what to expect from you. Furthermore, these welcome emails start the engagement process immediately. You can also email a coupon or special offer to capitalize on their recent purchasing behavior, fostering customer loyalty. There are many solid guides to writing an effective welcome email for your restaurant, so research best practices for engagement.
Sending Birthday or Anniversary Wishes Before the Event
Asking your customers for their special dates, like birthdays or anniversaries, allows you to send timely emails. These emails can encourage a restaurant reservation, or include a coupon to spend as a birthday or anniversary gift.
A Reminder for an Abandoned Shopping Cart
Use the clear purchasing intention of an abandoned shopping cart by reminding customers that they haven’t checked out. You can also ask if they need advice, highlight the benefits of the product, or offer a discount to close the sale. Abandoned cart emails have proven up to 19 times more effective than generic emails.
Get in Touch with Guests Who You Haven’t Seen For a While
Restaurants can encourage loyalty by reaching out to guests that haven’t visited recently. A triggered email can encourage them to purchase a restaurant meal or sample a promotional menu item. These contacting methods work exceptionally well if you use personal data to make them relevant.
Capture Accurate Data to Guide your Customer Journey
Behavioral marketing only works with useful data behind the strategy, so it’s vital to capture it accurately. Use reliable Point of Sale (POS) systems in your restaurant to collect customer contact information, like email addresses, correctly. Some services that will help you capture email addresses through website contact forms, check-outs, WiFi log-ins, and opt-ins to online newsletters. Collecting data like a customer’s important dates, web page views, and searches will strengthen your ability to create personalized emails.
You’ll need to segment and analyze that data. Doing so will ensure your emails are always relevant, increasing ROI and engagement. Segmenting will also help guide your customers through the sales journey, responding to their behaviors. This approach ultimately achieves higher sales and guest satisfaction.
Behavioral emails Can Solve the Problems of Traditional Email Marketing
Personalizing your marketing activity based on customer behavior is powerful, and taps into their need to feel valued as individuals. Traditional, mass-market emails feel generic, and unfortunately, fail with low click-throughs, and high unsubscribe rates. Personalized emails overcome these challenges. These messages ultimately increase open rates, click-through rates, and achieving a measurable ROI. Accurately segmented, targeted marketing emails will increase subscriber retention rates as well, vital for developing lasting customers.
Use Behavioral Email Marketing to Develop a More Loyal and Valuable Customer Base
Behavioral email marketing is proven to create repeat customers and a valuable base. Reacting to individual customer behaviors and needs is essential. This marketing makes them feel valued as a customer, and more importantly, creates customers you can guide through future purchases.
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About the Author
Hannah Hambleton is a marketing expert and writer for Beambox, who provide guest WiFi marketing solutions for SMBs worldwide.