Email has long been regarded as a powerful, inexpensive way to reach customers. But gone are the days where hearing the ‘ping’ of an email landing in your inbox was exciting. Customers today have so many amazing hospitality brands to choose from, so how can your emails stand out from the crowd in an already overflowing inbox?
Simply put – data.
Data gathered from your in-house tech systems such as EPoS, bookings, loyalty, feedback and more holds the key to email marketing success. By combining and analysing this data, you can build highly personalised email marketing messages that gain cut-through and enable you to develop engaging one-to-one relationships with each customer.
With the right systems in place, you can take this even further to create automated communications and promotions in direct response to your customers’ behaviour – saving significant amounts of time and effort on your part. By getting the right message in front of the right customer at the right time, you can boost engagement and drive increased visits and greater spend at your venue.
But which emails work best to attract customers and convert them to bookings? Our team of marketing technology experts have highlighted some successful examples below:
1. Welcome email
Data you’ll need: First name, email address
Welcome emails are simply emails that are sent automatically to people after joining your email marketing list. They can set the tone for the customer relationship and encourage repeat visit. Bring in your personality, and create an engaging, personalised welcome email for new subscribers. Automate these emails so they go out in a timely manner so engagement is kept high and customers don’t lose interest.
2. Personalised voucher
Data you’ll need: First name, email address, booking history, spend history
If you can identify customers who always order wine, sending them promotional vouchers for your new beer tasting menu isn’t going to cut the mustard. Using previous spend history and personal preferences to dictate the content and nature of your email, you can make it completely relevant to each and every one of your customers. It’s a great way to increase engagement and encourage repeat visits.
3. Birthday greeting
Data you’ll need: First name, email address, date of birth, spend history
Everybody loves a celebration. Why not send your customers a birthday treat on their special day, such as a free glass of bubbly with their meal. If you’re able to access their spend history, you could even choose something you know they’ve ordered several times before. This will make your customer feel special, and they are likely to view your venue positively and increase the probability of them visiting again. Given all those birthdays missed during lockdown, why not send them a ‘belated birthday email’ so they can still use the offer despite the later date.
4. Lost or lapsed customer re-engagement
Data you’ll need: First name, email address, booking history – frequency, last booked date, spend history
If some of your regular customers haven’t opened an email from you or visited for a while, maybe it’s time to send a re-engagement campaign. Ask them if they still want to be included in your emails and if they’d still like to be kept up to date. This will not only clean your database but subtly remind them of the great experience they had at your venue. Send them a voucher or incentive to come back. This could be based on a dish or menu item that they have ordered previously.
5. Upcoming calendar events
Data you’ll need: First name, email address, postcode
Events can be a great way to get people through the door. Using data preferences, be sure to target your emails by geographical location – for example, you may not want to invite people to an event in Edinburgh when they are based in London. Promoting events is a great way to show your customers you are part of a community and helps to drive bookings, especially for those special days.
6. National days
Data you’ll need: First name. email address, postcode
During holiday season email marketing is the perfect way to connect with your customers. Significant holidays tend to be lucrative for hospitality and email provides a great opportunity to reconnect to your audience and prompt people to make a reservation. Use email to promote holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Veganuary or even National Beer Day and provide offers to encourage customer visit.
A customer journey begins long before they have reached your door. Discover more ideas on how to attract customers and convert interest to bookings >