The Complete Guide to Restaurant Email Marketing: Software, Strategy + Examples

Email is one of the most effective channels restaurants can use. The best Restaurant email marketing programs use a combination of a strong strategy and the right email marketing tools and tactics.

Email marketing is a great way for restaurants to get more foot traffic and turn walk-ins into regulars. This detailed guide shows how restaurants can take advantage of email marketing. Get customers to come back more often, spend more, and with a bit of luck, even refer friends.

From this guide you’ll learn:


  • What are the most successful tactics in restaurant and franchise email marketing
  • A blueprint of the most effective emails for restaurants and bars and why they work
  • How to choose the best restaurant email marketing software
  • 15 restaurant newsletter campaign examples you can steal today

Download this 5.000+ word guide now, to read later →

But first, why is restaurant email marketing so powerful?

The Benefits of Email Marketing for Restaurants
1. The most effective emails for Restaurants and Bars
Mouthwatering Marketing emails, Spicy Promotions and Tasty Triggered emails
2. How to choose the best Restaurant email marketing software
1. Grow your email list faster
2. Cater to sub-accounts (for franchises)
3. Implement location-specific marketing
4. Make the most of loyalty, online ordering and POS integrations
5. Create coupons and discount codes
6. Master brand control
7. Create drag and drop customer journeys
8. Use restaurant email templates
9. Connect with your in-store wifi / mobile app
10. Go for a Drag and drop HTML Email builder
3. Restaurant Email Campaigns not to miss in your strategy
1. Show off fresh and seasonal menu items
2. Send compelling newsletters
3. Inform about upcoming events/calendar of events
4. Make reservations, order online, and schedule a delivery.
5. Share recipes and tips
6. Send promotions with discounts and coupons.
7. Promote gift card offers
8. Reward guests and loyalty program.
9. Use Special promotions
10. Create a compelling welcome flow
11. Celebrate with Birthday emails
12. Pay attention to confirmation emails
Conclusion: Restaurant email marketing success

The Benefits of Email Marketing for Restaurants

If you’re not using restaurant email marketing then you’re leaving money on the (dinner) table. If you are a franchise restaurant with an email program and using email software that doesn’t meet your specific needs, you’ll be missing the main-course and fighting for scraps.

The stats show why restaurant email marketing is so powerful:

  • Email has reach – by the end of 2019 293 billion emails will be sent daily.
  • According to the DMA, email marketing produces $44 for every dollar spent. Compare that to Facebook which returns $4-$5 for every dollar spent. It’s about 10x more effective.
  • The open rate in the restaurant industry is 20.26% on average.

Benefits of a well-executed restaurant email marketing strategy include:

  • Staying top of mind
    Half the battle in restaurant marketing is to be remembered. The best email marketing campaigns keep your restaurant top of mind.
  • Increased sales
    Direct communication with your customers results in a direct increase in sales. Produce a regular restaurant newsletter to engage with your audience and send promos.
  • Recovered lost conversions
    Online, many people initiate an order but don’t complete it. Abandoned cart or site visit follow up emails can help you recover that revenue.
  • Up- and cross-sell
    Restaurants upsell all the time, and why not take it online? Use the information you have about subscribers to send relevant emails that cater to their preferences.

Email marketing is one of the most effective and profitable ways to reach customers and increase sales.
Here’s how to make the most of it.

Chapter 1. Take advantage of the most effective emails for Restaurants and Bars (overview)

There are many types of restaurant marketing emails at your disposal.

They can be divided into three major categories.

  1. Mouthwatering Marketing emails to keep you top of mind.
  2. Spicy Promotions get people through the door or prompt them to order online.
  3. Tasty Triggered emails for 1-to-1 and personal and perfectly timed messages.

When to use each email type?

Good question, we’ll go through each category and highlight the emails to use for maximum impact.

1. Mouthwatering Marketing Emails for Restaurants and Bars

Marketing emails are very versatile. Use them to share information, tell stories and stay top of mind.
You want to strike a balance between your business goals and subscriber preferences.

Restaurant marketing emails include:

  • New and seasonal menu items
  • Newsletters
  • Upcoming events/calendar of events
  • Make reservations, order online, schedule a delivery
  • Recipes and tips
  • Background – meet the chef/story behind the dish

The guide goes deeper into each one in chapter 3.

2. Spicy Promotion Emails for Restaurants and Bars

Promotional emails give your subscribers a reason to stop by your restaurant, order online, or spread the word about you. Email promotions get subscribers to convert. For instance, they can redeem a coupon code or use a deal.

Emails in this category include:

  • Special promotions
  • In-store promos (discounts and coupons)
  • Gift card offers
  • Reward and loyalty program email

3.Tasty Triggered Emails for Restaurants and Bars

A tasty welcome email series can set the tone for all future interactions. All triggered emails are based on behavior, profile, and preferences of your subscribers. This means they can be perfectly timed. Triggered emails should be a part of each stage of the customer lifecycle.

Popular triggered emails for restaurants include:

  • Welcome email series
  • Birthday emails
  • Ask for a review
  • Confirmation emails

Chapter 2. Choosing the best restaurant email marketing software

Your restaurant email marketing software plays a huge role in the success or failure of your campaigns.
You’re probably wondering: How do I choose the right restaurant email marketing software?

That’s a good question.

Apart from standard features like deliverability and ease of use, there are specific things restaurant email marketing software should have.

In fact, there are 11 make or break features to consider.

Get the restaurant email marketing guide here

List growth features

One of the most important functions of your restaurant email marketing service is the ability to build an engaged subscriber base. It should cater to your needs.

  • Easy contact management
  • Segmentation based on different factors (like age, location, lifetime spend, zip radius, DMA, etc.)
  • Integrations with other list building tools like popup forms
  • API for custom solutions
  • Automation workflows
  • Advanced list maintenance (remove hard bounces, soft bounces after a certain number of failures, subscription preference changes, etc.)
  • Cross Channel Inbound and Outbound SMS marketing capabilities (it is important that it is in the same platform for reporting and ease of retargeting)
  • Easy content personalisation for both offers and location

The faster you can grow your mailing list, the better ROI you’ll receive from your restaurant email marketing campaigns. It can even help expand your restaurant franchise into new regions. That is why you need your software to promote list growth.

Use email software that caters to sub-accounts (for franchises)

If you have multiple brands or locations, subaccounts are invaluable. Or you might want to bring on a bit of help and empower your franchisees to run (part of) the promotions.

The question is, how do you handle permissions? Do you give franchisees access to your complete account and all your data? That scenario is far from ideal.

Sub-accounts are a great solution.

With sub-accounts, you can control who has access to what, while empowering your team and franchisees to create great email content. Unlock the ability to move quickly and send restaurant newsletters crafted by people who have an intimate understanding of the specific market they operate in.

Share content and data with individual stores.

When you have multiple stores it becomes necessary to drill down into the data for individual locations. It helps you understand what’s working and what’s not on an individual basis.

When you’re able to do this, you can then share data with individual stores and come up with a plan to improve performance. At the same time, you may want to share content with a specific location because it has unique needs.

For example, your flagship location may run fewer promotions than other stores or have a different customer mix than other stores so it needs unique content. The ability to share content and data in this scenario is a must.

Implement location-specific marketing

One size fits all messaging doesn’t work as well as it used to. This is especially true as your reach grows and your restaurant email marketing becomes more sophisticated.

The language and preferences in Atlanta are different from those in Los Angeles. The promotions or food items you’re running may also be location-specific. Your email marketing campaigns should reflect that and use location-specific marketing when sending messages.

This means you need dynamic content and easy segmentation. You shouldn’t have to fight to make that a reality with your restaurant marketing software.

Integration with loyalty partners, online ordering and POS

Many people don’t consider this until they’ve already started using a restaurant mailer. Loyalty programs have been proven to generate more revenue for businesses.

They’re even more effective when you can track every touchpoint. Your loyalty program and POS should integrate deeply with your restaurant email marketing service.

This lets you track the revenue your emails generate and the effectiveness of messages while creating a seamless experience for customers.

Create coupons and discount codes

It’s important to be able to track how coupons and discounts you’ve created are performing.

Deep integrations with your email marketing service will provide the insights you need to understand whether they’re truly improving your bottom line.

Unique coupon codes might need to be generated in the email marketing software or synched with a CRM / database. Confirm that any email marketing service you’re considering works with your current systems.

Master brand control

Your brand is unique. It’s easy to accidentally leave off a few brand elements or get them wrong entirely when working in a team.

Simple things like the wrong font or positioning the logo incorrectly create a poor perception over time.

Master brand controls allow you to set up brand assets and easily access them every time you want to send out an email. Anyone who uses your restaurant email marketing software will be able to create perfectly branded content.

Create drag and drop customer journeys

Each person interacts with your brand in a unique way. Some people become subscribers after placing an order while others sign up on your website or on location. Each one interacts with your emails differently.

There are countless ways you could approach their customer journey. Drag and drop customer journeys make it a breeze to edit the automation rules, triggers, triggered messages, and SMS so you get a better ROI from email marketing.

Prebuilt restaurant email templates

You have the skills to build all the restaurant email marketing templates you need from scratch. I don’t doubt that. I’d argue it’s not the best use of your time.

Responsive email templates save time and build off what’s proven to work. Even if you’re not using them exactly as offered, they can serve as inspiration. A/B Split testing becomes easier and less time consuming because you have a solid starting point.

Integrations (in-store wifi / mobile app)

You don’t use a single piece of software to manage your marketing. Your restaurant mailer shouldn’t be a closed off system. Instead, it should integrate deeply with the other tools you use.

If you use a CRM, lead generation tools, or other software then your email service should integrate without much effort. A mobile app is also an important feature because it lets you monitor and manage campaigns while you’re on the go.

Two channels that are of particular interest for restaurants are mobile apps and in-store wi-fi. If your restaurant has a mobile app, you’ll want to be able to push content to the app through your email marketing platform. It’s another way to communicate timely, relevant messages to your base.

In-store wi-fi allows you to capture customers as they come to your restaurant(s) by asking them to sign up for free wi-fi. From that point on, you’ll also know when they are near or at one of your locations, providing you with more relevant data you can use.

Drag and drop HTML Email builder

Last on our menu of must-have features is a drag and drop email editor to create stunning emails.
You can quickly add, rearrange, or remove content blocks in order to speed up email creation.

A nice template + drag and drop builder means and all of your emails are beautiful.
There are many other features your restaurant email marketing software may have. For example, some of them come with CRM features, dashboard customization, social media sharing, and other functions.

Download the guide from this article.
Walk through the major functions your email marketing service should have to evaluate different vendors.

Chapter 3: Great Email Examples for Restaurants and Bars not to miss in your strategy

You might be wondering:
What you’ve said is nice but how do I put it into practice?
That’s where examples come in. They help you visualize what you’ve learned.
We have found some great restaurant email newsletter ideas and examples you can use as building blocks for your next campaigns.
They’re not just images, each example comes with a description of what was done and the kind of email marketing software you need to pull it off.

Show off fresh and seasonal menu items

Your menu evolves over time. New dishes are introduced and old ones are retired. To keep things fresh, many restaurants offer seasonal menu items.
Marketing emails help you spread the word. And “new and improved” is a noninvasive way to let your customers know about the deliciousness you’ve got in store for them.
Here are a few examples that illustrate how to promote new and seasonal menu items.

restaurant pizza express email example

Pizza Express uses a clean design and bright complementary colors, which is a popular email marketing trend this year. It tells its customers about a limited time offer this month. 2-for-1 on main dishes only Monday through Wednesday. Mon-Wed are probably their slowest days. So this shows the power of directing the crowds and smooth out peak times. You don’t want everybody to come in on a Saturday evening! Subscribers can directly download the deal via a link – for the menu and offer.

starbucks restaurant holiday email example

In the email example above, Starbucks promotes Christmas holiday drinks. They are even calling it “Seasonal cheer”. The email has beautiful images and crisp copy alongside a meaningful seasonal message. You can see the images are part of the design and flow with it. The Call to Actions are what you call ghost buttons. Although they look great, not a big fan of those. If they had a more stand out color, they would probably get more clicks.

What do you want from your ESP to do seasonal promotion emails:
In order to send this type of promotions, top restaurant email software will be flexible in their templates and do automated A/B testing to increase results.

  • Ability to use background images in your email
  • Mobile responsive HTML drag and drop editor
  • A/B split testing of different versions
  • Social media sharing integrations with your accounts.

Send compelling newsletters

Newsletters help you stay top of mind. And when it’s time to introduce new offers, your customers won’t feel like all you do is sell.

It’s also an opportunity to make the relationship more personal. Personalize emails based on how they signed up, their purchase history, and email interactions.
How often to send newsletters? The best way is to test the frequency but a nice approach is to start out sending once or twice a week then increase or reduce the frequency until you find your sweet spot. Also, you might have a feature in your ESP to allow automated Send Time Optimization (STO) or Recipient Local Time Delivery (RLTD) further personalization/optimizing the experience.

Here are a few content ideas for restaurant newsletters:

  • Community news and your involvement in the community
  • Spotlight local suppliers you’ve partnered with
  • Featured staff members and their stories
  • Testimonials from satisfied customers
  • Explain unique aspects of your restaurant or website (EG how to order online)
  • Get people involved by directing to social and contests you’re sponsoring
  • Show and link to your latest blog posts

For restaurants short, visual, and to the point newsletters work best.
Make your email easy to digest. 😉

applebees email example newsletter.jpg

Here’s a restaurant newsletter example from Applebee’s

The email above leads with a header image that takes up the area above the fold. It communicates the main value offer from the email – new $1 margaritas with Twizzlers.
It’s incredibly short and doesn’t offer a discount. Instead, it lets you know the new flavor is only available for a month and encourages you to find your nearest location. The email is short, to the point, and has a clear call to action.

After the main offer, it shows me my location and asks me to update it if they’ve gotten it wrong. It’s a nice touch that takes the way people move around into consideration.

What do you want from your ESP to do these emails:
To turn your restaurant newsletter ideas into reality, your ESP should have flexible content options. Location targeting to make it easy to get your email campaigns right.

  • Location-specific targeting
  • Content blocks
  • Support for high-quality image uploads
  • custom text blocks

Inform subscribers about upcoming events/calendar of events

Events can be a great way to get people through the door. You can show how you’re participating in the community.

The key to great event emails is localization and segmentation. It doesn’t make sense for an email about events in Charleston to go out to people Miami. If you invite people for a (New Year’s) party, make sure they can attend.

To get a headstart with targeting your restaurant emails directly at the point of lead capture.
After signing up for Applebee’s mailing list on their website, they ask for your preferences. It starts with your birth date. (Applebee’s offers alcohol so it’s necessary).

birthday gift email subscription

It moves on to the types of messages you’re interested in.
Use this preference information as a guide. If someone only checked delivery that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be open to messages about special events.

content preferences email subscription

When the time comes to send emails that promote events, they’ll know exactly who should and shouldn’t get them.

You may not have the luxury of asking a long list of questions. I suggest collecting the most important info upfront so you can send relevant event emails. Collect the rest through your welcome email series or via other touchpoints.

In the email example from Tock, all the venues are specific to Chicago during New Years.

tock email marketing newsletter example local segmentation

The Tock email does a good job of giving just enough information to pique interest, stimulating click throughs to get more information.

What you want from your ESP to do upcoming events emails:
To send these types of emails, multiple cogs need to work together. Your ESP should have dynamic content and solid segmentation in place.

  • Location-based segmentation
  • Sub-account management (for franchises)
  • Use of content blocks and dynamic content
  • Easy email testing and QA check for different (personalized) versions

Make reservations, order online, and schedule a delivery.

Your restaurant management system should be able to handle orders online and push it directly to the back of house staff.

When combined with timely notifications via email, you’re able to increase your throughput and service level. A new customer/subscriber gets an email on how they can order online.

Next time, they’ll get a reminder email. Strive to keep your messages clear and on point when explaining the ordering process, any friction you can remove in those steps translate 1-on-1 to better conversion rates. Thank you restaurant email automation!

This requires integration between your restaurant management or POS software and your email marketing service.

tock email marketing one offer

This email from Tock does a few things well. At the top of the email, it highlights a specific booking. After that, it continues with the details of the restaurant and an order/booking link. This works well is because it taps into consumer psychology of social proof and exclusivity when framed as a third party insider tip.

What do you want from your ESP to do these emails:
To create emails like these, a strong number of customized email marketing templates coupled with a drag-and-drop editor come in handy. But if you look carefully, there is a summary of items at the top – very helpful for quick scanning.

  • Customizable restaurant email marketing templates
  • Html responsive email drag and drop editor
  • Fine-grain control over what should be seen on mobile vs. desktop

Share recipes and tips

It may seem counterintuitive to give your customers the tips to make the same food you serve in the restaurant. Won’t they just make it at home?

Some may make that dish at home, but people eat out for more than just good food.

In addition to recipes, you can give them other types of useful content in your restaurant newsletter.

  • Lifestyle tips in line with your brand
  • Nutritional breakdown
  • Fun facts about the community
  • Interesting information about common foods
  • Trivia
  • Etc.

The goal is to build a library of content used to regularly engage with your email subscribers. It also helps to keep things lively and break the pattern of purely promotional emails they may get. In the best case scenario, they look forward to your emails and opening them because… you gave them something interesting.

kings email marketing restaurant recipes

Recipes are a way to stay “in the food zone” and on topic. It doesn’t have to be full recipes, very much depend on the type of business you have. If you are running a bar, maybe some of the favorite drinks of celebs is a good way to go. The food newsletter example above shares a series of seasonal recipes people can make at home.

What do you want from your ESP to do these emails:
You don’t want to have to build your food newsletter from scratch every time so your ESP should let you save as a template and change out blocks as you see fit.

  • Styled text
  • Content blocks
  • Dynamic content
  • Html drag and drop editor
  • Reusable templates
  • Meet the chef / The story behind the dish

Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker wanted to see if a good story could increase the perceived value of a product.

They recruited 150 writers to buy used items from thrift shops which cost less than $2 and create personal backstories. The items were then put on sale through eBay.

Those cheap trinkets bought for under $300 were sold for about $8,000. Storytelling is powerful.
Do you have any dishes you’re especially proud of? Do any of them have interesting stories?
Tell your audience the story of people who made the dish a reality. Give your readers information about the special challenges, victories, or thought process that went into making it possible.

meet the chef restaurant email selection

This email from Delicia is one of the simplest you could have seen. No visuals, which could have made it even a lot more appealing. It has a certain charm about it because it feels personal, and it is personal.

  • The backstory of the executive chef and why he loves his craft
  • Recommending a specific dish with some social proof sprinkled on
  • A link to go deeper behind the scenes and try it out at home

This is an example that shows how you can also subtly bring your brand values to the front. To further increase engagement, possibly share the story using video (insert an image of the first video frame).

What your ESP needs to do these emails:
The strength of this restaurant email is in the story. Because it is so simple. Of course, you want to link to a landing page. That could be on your main site, or built in a dedicated responsive landing page builder. This would also be a good type of email in a welcome program and with video.

  • Landing page builder
  • Triggered email for a welcome program
  • Ability to do video in email

Send promotions with discounts and coupons.

The goal of this type of restaurant email is to drive direct revenue for your restaurant. Make the email promo time sensitive (with a deadline) to stimulate your subscribers to act quickly. You can choose to give the option to use the coupon in-store, online or both (if possible).

Promotions are best valued if they come occasionally. However, discount strategies differ from one business to the other.

starbucks-retaurant bars email happy hour example

Starbucks sends a short email to highlight their happy hour deal. Bonus points for taking the happy smiley in the design. Note that it is pretty common for bars and restaurants to do a happy hour (and get the people in at the right time. You don’t always have to do extra promotions, just remind people of the ones you already have.

Because it is so specific date and time, the right Call to Action is an add to calendar so you have a reminder on the day.

What do you want from your ESP to do these emails:
You don’t want your restaurant marketing ideas to be limited by your ESP. This has a custom design and template and probably used a reusable block for the footer and all that information in there.

Promote gift card offers

Gift card sales in the United States hit $160 billion in 2018, an increase of $30 billion from 2015. The reason gift cards are so popular is because they work.

Gift cards are sometimes criticized for being impersonal, but they’re among the most requested gift.What’s more, First Data found that 80% of consumers spend more than the value of their gift card. This is especially true in restaurants.

Send gift cards to your email subscribers or give them a way to purchase them. After purchase, send a follow up transactional email that includes the following:

  1. How they can redeem the gift card
  2. How it can be transferred to someone as a gift
  3. A call to action to encourage them to redeem the gift card soon.

If you have a rewards program, think about including gift cards there as well. Gift cards have an added benefit of making it easy for someone who’s never interacted with you to buy for the first time.

restaurant email strategy gift card

This restaurant newsletter campaign from Denny’s is a bit (too) busy but that is in line with the brand. It offers subscribers 20% off their check right at the top of the email. The arrows are playful and direct your attention, while food images work up an appetite.

restaurant email strategy giftcard

Here’s another example from Denny’s. This one puts the gift card offer front and center in the navigation bar at the top. The main promotion is a coupon. it is similar to the first in set up, because it also shares a few menu items and ads a call to action to order it right from the email.

What do you want from your ESP to do these emails:
Your restaurant mailer should support

  • Templates that do well on mobile,
  • Integrations with your POS software,
  • Coupon functionality to generate or show unique codes, barcodes, and links

Reward guests and loyalty program.

Loyalty programs are a special kind of promotion. They bring continuity and reward repeat behavior. They’re even more effective when combined with email marketing. There are other types of loyalty programs

But if you are doing points/savings, set up triggered emails every time someone earns points. Show them how close they are to the next reward. When people haven’t earned points in a while, send emails with their progress and encourage them to get back in the loyalty groove.

Let your patrons use points as currency in your restaurant and also set up specific tiers where they can claim rewards.

The Starbucks email lets the coffee addicts know how many points they’ve amassed and that they have a reward waiting for them. It is important that your loyal buyer knows how to redeem. If you are in charge of the loyalty marketing program, you want people to redeem their points.
A loyalty program is a great way to collect email opt-ins and grow your email list.

In more coffee-related news: McDonald’s may not be the first you think of when it comes to coffee. The email uses a great color palette and tone. The top image, the message, and clock change every time you open the email. It is a nice touch and certainly catches the reader’s attention.

mcdonalds restaurant dynamic email example

The special offer is 7th coffee free at any location. In this case, the app is where the purchases are stored so it also stimulates App downloads.

What do you need from your ESP to do these loyalty and rewards emails:
There are a few things you need to pull restaurant loyalty and rewards programs off. Next to being able to create great emails with drag-and-drop and a “welcome to the club” automated series.

  • Dynamic, time-based images
  • Loyalty program integration
  • Dynamic text replacement
  • Trigger emails based on behavior and point balance.
  • Integration with your Point of Sale (POS) software.
  • Possibly, a connection to your app.

Use Special promotions

Many promotions don’t fit into specific categories or are only done once in a blue moon. These special promotions can be a great way to get people into the restaurant. These promotions are ideal to do a bit of A/B testing to get to the best message and format.

Your restaurant email marketing service should have built-in A/B split testing that allows you to test variations of the subject line, message, and layout so you can optimize your emails.

What do you want from your ESP to do special promotion emails:
Special promotion emails are easiest with the following features in your restaurant marketing software:

  • Dynamic content blocks
  • Customizable templates
  • A/B split testing on subject lines and content
  • Html drag and drop editor
  • Email Segmentation
  • Automatic resend to non-openers / non-clickers

Create a compelling welcome email flow

Your welcome emails can set the tone for the customer relationship. At least you’re able to make that subscriber know what to expect when they open your emails.

Whatever you plan to send your patrons and email subscribers, now is the time to tell them.
Your welcome email flow, whether your subscribers registered in your restaurant or online, should start immediately. If you wait too long to send your emails, engagement is much lower. They may forget why or how they registered if you wait too long.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a welcome email series, with multiple emails, converts way better than a single welcome email.

MOEs email marketing welcome restaurant

The welcome email from Moe’s isn’t very special but it does do two things right:

  1. It brings out their personality with a casual headline to welcome new subscribers. Then straight to the point with a quick 1,2,3 of what to expect in the upcoming emails.
  2. It does something interesting by asking subscribers to update their preferences. once you click on introduce yourself, you can update your profile on the second page and select the closest location.

What do you want from your ESP to do these emails:
The best marketing ideas for restaurants can go haywire if the tools don’t work.
Be on the lookout for:

  • Welcome email triggers and
  • Drag-and-drop canvas for planning event driven mails
  • A linked Profile center / customer preferences page
  • Customizable templates
  • Great opt-in registration and database that is GDPR compliant, SOC-2 secure and future-proof.

Birthday emails

You can and should capitalize on birthdays, anniversaries and related events. These triggered emails are great. The beauty is you only need to set it once and will be personalized for every new subscriber.

A birthday or related event is an opportunity to get personal. Let your subscribers know you’re thinking of them. It’s their birthday after all and only rolls around once a year. Make a personal or group discount available to encourage them to visit your restaurant to celebrate the big day.

 birthday email examples baskin robbins restaurant

Baskin Robbins is a popular ice cream restaurant with hundreds of locations. For your birthday, they give you $3 off of an ice cream cake. The message is customized and on-brand. A nice touch is the cake (they used to do free ice cream, but switched to cake).

What do you want from your ESP to do these birthday emails:

  • Birthday welcome email trigger sending
  • A coupon functionality – if you are using coupons
  • Html drag and drop editor
  • Analytics on triggered emails

Pay attention to confirmation emails

Traditionally, confirmation emails are generic and only give your customer information about their order. There’s nothing wrong with that but you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. How?

By not forging a connection with the subscriber and upselling. The confirmation email is a great place to direct customers to interesting content, social links, and more offers.

It also has a much higher open rate than your average newsletter or promotional email.

email marketing transactional rewards tacos

This confirmation email example from Guerilla Tacos is a bit different. When we think of confirmation messages, it usually for a transaction performed online. This one confirms an in-store visit.

It thanks the reader for their order, offers a freebie on the next visit, and make it clear how to redeem it.

What do you want from your ESP to do these emails:
The restaurant confirmation email takes a few things to get it right. You’ll want dynamic content insertion, coupon integrations with your Point of Sale (POS), content blocks, and reusable templates.

Conclusion: Restaurant email marketing success

Like we have seen, restaurant email marketing is an effective way to grow your brand and get more conversions.

Feeling hungry for success? Understand what makes your restaurant email marketing a winner:

  • Know the different types of email campaigns and which are most effective.
  • Pick the features you need and select the best restaurant email marketing software
  • Use the examples provided in this post as a reference when you’re building your own campaigns

This way you can create the restaurant email marketing campaigns that increase revenue, engagement, and goodwill for your brand.

About Cameron Kane

Cameron Kane is the CEO at iPost. Cameron has been in the email space for 18 years working across hundreds of clients leveraging over 20 different email solutions prior to leading the rebuild of iPost enterprise.
He blends technical and marketing aspects to ensure the right solution is in-place for clients.

About Jordie van Rijn

Jordie van Rijn is an independent email marketing consultant and analyst. He is the founder of Email Vendor Selection and specializes in smart email marketing, online marketing strategy, software selection, campaign management, optimisation and RFP / vendor selection. He tested, reviewed, and wrote about 100+ business software including email marketing services, CRMs, ecommerce platforms, and online course creators. Published in-depth email marketing guides for financial service, ecommerce, travel, restaurant, and fashion industries.
Named one of "50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch" by Entrepreneur magazine. Companies like Scania, KLM, Unilever, AEGON, CZ, FNV, NRC Media have asked me for advice.

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