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Email Marketing for Hospitality

With big brands across the globe continuing to dominate the market, it’s increasingly difficult for locally owned, small eateries to reach and create a loyal customer base. With the GDPR changes over the last few years making targeted ads a little trickier and flashy media advertisements and promotions coming with an equally flashy price tag, email marketing is a small business's best friend, and here’s why!


When running an email marketing campaign, you could be doing it to get new customers, encourage existing customers to return or to simply show thanks to your customers! Whatever the reason, your ultimate goal will be to stand out from those global brands and show a bit of personality and heart in this ever competitive environment. 


In this article, you’ll find out why email marketing is so important, how you can build an email customer base, some content ideas for campaigns and newsletters including punchy subject lines, and how to attract people through your doors.


So without further ado, let’s start with why you should think about starting some email marketing for your business: 


  1. Promote your deals and specials.
    Email newsletters are a great way to let people know what’s going on in the next couple of weeks in your establishment. Giving people plenty of notice is a great way to get some bums on seats and build relationships with your customers. 
  2. Get new customers and repeat customers!
    Once you’ve got their email address, you can entice them in or back into your restaurant with an exclusive offer or discount. People love the word ‘free’, so why not email through a free coffee/drink voucher or bowl of chips on their next visit, it won’t cost you much, but you’ll be amazed at how many people will take up the offer!
  3. Got an event coming up? Email invitations work wonders!
    Receiving a personal invitation via email will be hugely effective for your event. Customers will get that VIP feeling and in turn, get people coming back again and again to your eatery! Give people a reason to return and make sure they’re invited back!


Ok great, I can see you’re sold, you’re going to start email marketing.. But not sure how to get the emails in the first place? - Read on, here’s a few ways you can get email addresses:

  1. Capture and save emails on bookings!
  2. Add an email capture to your restaurant’s wifi so that when customers log in - you can collect their address too.
  3. Add an email capture to your website for existing and prospect customers. Perhaps let them know that by joining they can get exclusive email only deals & invitations? Make your email list your VIPs!
  4. Run a competition (online or inhouse), “drop your email into a box/in the comments and go in the draw to win X” type thing.


And beyond the promotional stuff you could also have a few automatic email ‘flows’ set up to get repeat customers. Such as…

  1. A birthday deal! If you can get people’s emails, you may as well go the whole way and ask for their birthday (or birthday month if you think that’s too personal!). A wee 5% discount or free dessert on your birthday won’t go amiss with a lot of people! Get creative with what you could offer, remember you’re trying to stand out!
  2. Public holiday flow. Naturally, you’ll be doing something special on Christmas, New Years, Easter… make sure your email subscribers are in the know!
  3. Introduce the team! You’re a small business, own it! People want to get to know YOU. Put a face to the delicious menu and showcase your Chef’s background - let people get to know you and your team and you’ll find people are more passionate about supporting your business. 
  4. Got a famous dish/drink? Perhaps you could let your email list in on the secret recipe? Recipes are great content for foodies, and it’s likely your audience will be! 

So overall, what should you take away from this? Email marketing is a cost effective way to form relationships with your customer base as well as attract new customers to your restaurant. “Email marketing'' doesn't mean you have to go crazy and send an email twice a day… we’re not here to spam, we’re here to inform customers and help them have the best time at your eatery! 


Treat NZ is a free platform for local eateries to showcase their inhouse deals, events and specials on. Email marketing is included with Treat NZ. Make the most of our massive mailing list, and join NZs coolest foodie club today! 

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