• Restaurant Marketing

Restaurant Email Marketing: Creating Low-Cost Guest Retention

by: Allen Graves
5 min read

When the economy is struggling and consumer spending dwindles, smart restaurateurs look for low-cost ways to keep guests coming back.

According to studies, aside from providing a stellar guest experience, the best return on investment comes from email marketing.

Email marketing is a powerful and much more cost-effective marketing strategy to keep your seats full and improve your restaurant business.

restaurant email marketing keeps seats full

Studies show that email offers the best return on investment for marketing, with many restaurants seeing higher conversion rates than those who use other platforms like social media or digital advertising on sites like Facebook or Google.

For example:

  • A study published on WebpageFX says the ROI of email marketing, in general, is $44 for every $1 spent. Compare that to Facebook which returns $4-$5 for every dollar spent. It’s about 10x more effective.
  • The ROI of email marketing is 28.5% better than for direct mail.
  • According to an ebook from Gourmet Marketing, 70% of customers want restaurants to send them coupons and are prepared to use them.

These statistics are certainly impressive in today’s economy. So, if you’re a restaurant owner, then email marketing should be an important part of your business. Put simply, it is low-cost and very effective.

It can help to grow guest trust and engagement along with retention rates by getting people in the door more often than they would otherwise.

This means less money spent on your marketing budget, and more time to concentrate on providing the best guest experience possible.

Here are several examples of specific restaurant email marketing campaigns that are sure to keep your recipients clicking, and your guests coming back. They are simple to create and configure, and best of all they can be fully automated, saving you even more time.

Bring Back Lost Guests: The At-Risk Email Campaign

When it comes to a restaurant surviving in today’s economy, guest retention is key to staying afloat. It is well known that keeping current guests coming back is much more cost-effective than consistently trying to get new guests through the doors or ordering online.

No matter what business you are managing, customer attrition will always be a concern. Now there is a way to get those guests to return.

Using a restaurant marketing customer data platform like Bloom Intelligence, you can easily identify your regular guests who have surpassed the threshold of time at which they should have returned or ordered online.

Then, you can configure the platform to send an automated email message to those guests when they meet this threshold.

Many users will include an incentive to entice the guests to order again or return. Here is an example of one such email.


email marketing to bring back lost guests - example

The email contains a button to redeem the offer when the guest returns to the physical location. The platform will not only track who sees and opens the email, but who returned to your location and how many of them redeemed the offer.

A Florida-based restaurant chain began running an at-risk campaign several months ago. They saw a whopping 38% of these guests return to their restaurants. To see the details, download the report here or click on the banner below.

Customer Churn Success Report

Announce Your Special Offers

Do your guests know about your special offers and special events? Email is a great way to let them know without spending a dime!

Events and special offers present a great opportunity to engage with your guests through email.

The email can be scheduled as a one-time email blast to your entire database, or you can create a specific list of guests to send it to, such as men under 50 years old, who only visit on weekdays.

restaurant email marketing example - special offers

The system will give you accurate reports of the ROI of every email you send, all the way down to a guest walking back through your door.

Request Ratings and Reviews

Restaurant reputation management is another key factor in today’s online world. Most potential guests will search online rating websites like Yelp, Google, or Facebook to read reviews from your previous guests.

It is important to have consistent, positive reviews in order to impress potential customers.

This restaurant email marketing example can be sent to your guests shortly after they leave your place of business or order online. It contains easy-to-use buttons that will take the guest directly to the rating website.

Likewise, there is a button for the guest to instead contact you directly if their experience was less than positive.

Even better, when they leave their rating and review, it is also sent directly to the customer data platform where you can see, manage and respond to them all from one platform – saving you a great deal of time.

ratings request email for restaurant marketing

First-Time Visitor Return Email Campaigns

We’ve already mentioned how guest retention is key to success in today’s unsteady economy. So, getting a first-time visitor to return is just as important. It will help establish a habit of that guest visiting you over and over again.

With a restaurant CDP, you can utilize your guest WiFi to establish whether a guest who logs in is a first-time visitor. If so, you can automate an email to that guest with an incentive for them to return, or a reminder of a special deal or upcoming event.


email marketing example to bring back restaurant guests


Customer Loyalty Email Campaign

Guest loyalty is paramount for a successful restaurant business to thrive. With a customer data platform, you will be able to sense when an individual guest is at your physical location or orders online.

This makes it possible to tally the guest’s visit or ordering count. You simply configure the system to send your email after a specific amount of transactions.

Here is an example of this type of email, also including a survey at the bottom.

customer loyalty email example for restaurants

Happy Birthday Email Campaign

Who doesn’t like to be treated on their birthday? A Happy Birthday email campaign is another great way to help establish loyalty with your guests.

Your customer data platform is collecting data about each guest from many different channels. This includes their birthday. So why not engage them during their special occasion?

restaurant email marketing for guest birthdays - example

Moreover, most guests will not be alone when they go out on their birthday, so this is a great way to bring in additional revenue, as well.

Get Started Today

If you are looking for a low-cost way to improve guest retention and increase your bottom line, email marketing should be a priority for you and your business.

Repeat guests mean repeat profits.

These were only a few of the restaurant email marketing examples of what you can do with a customer data platform unified with marketing automation. To learn more and see many more examples, visit our restaurant email marketing page.

Discover the Bloom Intelligence Customer Data Platform

It’s time to start planning for the successful future of your restaurant. And ensuring a positive guest experience and strong guest retention are the secrets.

Using Bloom’s restaurant marketing and customer data platform, you can collect data from many different sources. Then you can leverage the real-time guest insights and campaign reporting to not only get your current guests back through your door but also to attract new guests and keep them coming back.

In a rough economy with rising food and labor costs, guest acquisition and retention are crucial for success.

If you’d like to see the Bloom restaurant customer data platform in action, and discover how you can grow your business through guest intelligence and marketing automation, schedule a free demo or call 727-877-8181.

Bloom Intelligence Restaurant Customer Data Platform

Restaurant Marketing FAQs

What is Restaurant Marketing?

Restaurant marketing is the process of getting people to visit your restaurants. Restaurant marketing creates loyalty, provides data to research, analytics, and allows restaurants to gain a better understanding of their ideal customer profile. It utilizes all customer channels: guest WiFi, website, social, rating sites, mobile apps, email, text, and advertising.

Learn More About Restaurant Marketing Here

What is WiFi Marketing?

WiFi marketing is a marketing technique that uses guest WiFi to collect & clean customer data such as names, emails, phone numbers, customer behavior, and demographics. This data is used to personalize marketing campaigns to increase customer loyalty, build online reviews, and save at-risk customers. The performance of every campaign can be tracked down to the tangible ROI of a customer walking back in your door.

Learn More About WiFi Marketing Here

What is Restaurant Reputation Management?

Restaurant reputation management is the process for restaurants to manage customer feedback and creating systems to improve customer experiences, passively build positive online reviews, and save at-risk customers. It is a very important aspect of running a successful restaurant business.

Learn More About Restaurant Reputation Management Here

How Does Bloom Identify and Bring Back Lost Customers?

Bloom Intelligence uses machine learning to identify at-risk customers. When one is recognized, the system will send them a message with an incentive to get them to return and re-establish their visit pattern. Bloom users are seeing up to 37% of churning customers return.

Learn More About Saving At-Risk Customers Here


What our happy customers
are saying

“SaaS that covered so many bases for us instead of having to use multiple software products. Bloom Intelligence has simplified our responses to reviews, customer feedback, and more. I highly recommend Bloom Intelligence.”

Robert Sanderson

“Bloom Intelligence really is a step ahead in terms of marketing software and metrics. Their product is reliable, fast and innovative and has helped the company I work for really grow.”

John Marchetti

“Working with Bloom Intelligence has been amazing. They assist you every step of the way and work with you hand in hand to make sure you are optimizing your advertising potential. We are excited to use this tool to help learn more about our customers so that we can personally engage with them and understand our strengths/weaknesses.”

Ariel Ramirez

“In these challenging times, it has been a pleasure working with Bloom Intelligence to help facilitate our service offering to our clients. They were extremely responsive and provided support to mitigate risk and minimize revenue loss. Great partner!”

Stefan Kim

“We’re extremely pleased with the wealth of customer data that we’re able to gather, at a very attractive price.  In addition, we’re able to communicate our new product promotions by using  the landing page as a digital billboard.  A “no-brainer” for anyone working with limited Marketing $$.”

Bob Cross, Vice President of Operations

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