Restaurant Marketing 101: How to Use Behavioral Email Marketing to Increase Customer Loyalty
So you want to step up your restaurant marketing to draw in new customers while holding on to return guests. Loyal customers are always worth more to a business than new leads, and behavioral email marketing is an effective way to increase customer loyalty when done well. Building trust with your customers through tailored, personal and relevant interactions with brands and businesses 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 your Return on Investment (ROI), that all-important repeat business and bottom line.
What Exactly is Behavioral Email Marketing?
Behavioral email marketing is a strategy that engages with your customer base by sending hyper-relevant triggered emails based on their previous behavior or interactions with your brand. You may have had emails that ask you to leave a review of a recent purchase, or have been sent a coupon to treat ourselves on our birthday; that’s behavioral email marketing. It works because it combines relevance, real customer or subscriber actions, and context three powerful tools to enhance your restaurant marketing strategy. It also helps to increase engagement with your brand, vital for developing a loyal base.
The strategy is created using data such as past customer purchases, personally significant dates and what customers have recently searched for. Behavioral email marketing utilizes relevance and personalization to increase engagement and interest. Recent research found that behaviorally targeted emails are opened four times more than generic emails, so it’s an important tool in your restaurant marketing mix to get right.
5 Examples of Great Behavioral Marketing Emails That Really Work
The key to a successful behavioral marketing strategy is to send emails which react to current customer behavior. You’ll be able to build on your existing restaurant marketing methods by reaching customers at a point that’s valuable and relevant to them, increasing engagement and ultimately, sales.
Email your Customer With a Review Prompt
Asking a customer to review their recent holiday experience or purchase is an essential email to send. Customers love to share their experiences, and encouraging engagement with TripAdvisor reviews for a restaurant or hotel, or product reviews for a retail store is a useful way to increase customer engagement with your brand.
Send your New Customer a Welcome Email
Emailing a brand new customer is a great way to introduce your brand’s mission and story and to tell your customer what they can expect from you, starting the process of engagement immediately. You can also email a coupon or special offer to capitalize on their recent purchasing behavior, helping to create customer loyalty.
Sending Birthday or Anniversary Wishes Before the Event
Asking your customer base for their special dates such as birthdays or anniversaries will allow you to send relevant congratulations emails a week or so before the date. This can encourage purchasing for the event, making a booking for a hotel stay to celebrate, 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 sending a reminder to your customer that they haven’t checked out. You can ask if they need any advice, highlight the benefits of the abandoned products or even offer a discount to encourage closing the sale. Abandoned cart emails have been shown to be up to 19 times more effective than generic emails.
Get in Touch with Guests Who You Haven’t Seen For a While
Hospitality businesses can benefit greatly from reminding guests that they haven’t visited recently. A triggered email can encourage them to book a hotel stay, spa service or restaurant meal. This works especially well if you can use it with personal data such as birthdays or anniversary dates.
Capture Accurate Data to Guide your Customer Journey
Behavioral marketing only works with the correct information behind the strategy, so it’s vital to capture this data accurately. The most essential step is to collect a customer email correctly and this can be easily captured through reliable Point of Sale (POS) systems in a physical store. There are services that will help you capture emails online through online website contact forms, at check-out, WiFi log-in data capture, and opt-ins to online newsletters. Collecting further data such as important dates, web page views, and web searches by your customers will strengthen your ability to personalize and create relevant targeted emails.
That data will need to be segmented and analyzed. Doing so will ensure your emails are always relevant and personal, increasing ROI and engagement. This will help you guide your customers through your brand and sales journey, responding perfectly to their behaviors to ultimately achieve higher sales and enhanced guest satisfaction. You can use this data to inform your restaurant marketing strategy, reaching new and returning customers.
Behavioral emails can solve the problems of traditional email marketing
Being able to truly personalize marketing activity based on each customer’s behavior is powerful, tapping into their need to feel valued as an individual. Traditional, mass market and generic email newsletters often fail with low click throughs and high unsubscribe rates. Personalized and targeted emails based on behavioral data helps to overcome these challenges, including how to increase open rates, improving click-through rates, and achieving a measurable ROI. Accurately segmented, targeted and personalized marketing emails will help increase subscriber retention rates too, vital for developing a lasting loyal customer base.
Use Behavioral Email Marketing to Develop a More Loyal and Valuable Customer Base
In terms of your restaurant marketing efforts, behavioral email marketing is a proven method in creating repeat customers and a valuable base. Reacting to an individual customer’s behavior and needs is essential. Not only does it make them feel valued as a customer, but you’ll also create loyal and engaged customers who 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.