Publicize restaurant deals with email marketing

Bring them back for seconds

As a restaurant owner, email marketing is likely not new to you. You’re a savvy businessperson, and you know the basics of keeping your restaurant deals and events in the spotlight. That’s why you’ve already taken steps to get daily, weekly or monthly email promotions into your customer’s inboxes. After all, studies show over and over again that email marketing just works. Data from global consulting firm McKinsey shows that email remains nearly 40 times more effective than social media at acquiring customers.

Email is almost 40 times more effective than social media when it comes to gaining customers.


How can a restaurant take advantage of email to promote their offers? Email is a powerful way to cultivate even stronger loyalty amongst current (and future) customers. It offers a chance to reward customers who already chose you — or those who have simply expressed interest. It provides an additional communication touchpoint with your customers when they’re not at your restaurant, which keeps you top-of-mind.

Still, many restaurants don’t carve out time to maintain this simple and rewarding practice. Even worse, they sometimes botch it completely — making mistakes like sending email subscribers too many coupon codes. To make an already happy customer fall head-over-heels in love with your restaurant, you need to offer the right kinds of restaurant deals through email.

There are lots of easy-to-use email marketing tools out there, including GoDaddy Email Marketing.

Three ways to promote your restaurant deals using email

  1. Develop an email newsletter.

  2. Host invitation-only events just for subscribers.

  3. Offer money-saving coupon codes exclusively to your email list.

Here are a few ways you can put email marketing to work for your restaurant:

Develop an email newsletter. If you don’t have one yet, get on that! A newsletter is an easy way to share updates about awards and honors, menu offerings, company culture, etc. It’s also a great vehicle for a customer loyalty program. Loyalty deals don’t go stale.

Host invitation-only events just for subscribers. People go wild for the allure of an exclusive event. Keep these events short. This will make It easier to manage and create a more intimate feel for guests. These events can have specific themes or just have an all-out “we appreciate you” theme.

Restaurant Deals Beer Flight
Photo: NedraI via / CC BY-NC-SA

If subscriber-only events require too much investment, you can always give them special perks for attending non-exclusive events. Are you having a kitchen takeover? Invite subscribers to an exclusive after-dinner dessert with the chef. There are lots of ways to give your subscribers a little something extra — even at events open to all of your customers.

Offer money-saving coupon codes exclusively to your email list. Coupon codes can be molded to a variety of “reasons.” For example, you can offer a different code for seasonal menus, new menu items, attending a special event, signing up for the newsletter, celebrating a subscriber’s birthday, etc. The real “reason” for any coupon is to entice the customer to make another visit to your establishment. You can tailor that reason to whatever your target audience would find most compelling.

Take care not to give out too many coupon codes however, as this decreases the urgency of your restaurant deals. Never train your customers to take your offers for granted.

Restaurant Deals Woman
Photo: VisualHunt

Whichever email tactics you choose, there are a few good habits that apply to all. Be sure you:

Always include large, mouth-watering photos of whatever you’re trying to promote. Since you run a restaurant, your emails should include one beautiful image of your best or most popular dishes and drinks. Seriously, food porn sells. Take advantage of this in every email.

Include mouth-watering photos of food in your emails. Food porn sells.


Send promotional emails at the right time of day. Are you offering a dinner deal? Then schedule your email to go out well before the dinner rush. Advertising a seasonal event? This might require a series of, say, three emails starting six weeks out. Include a clear way to RSVP.

Give customers an easy way to ask about your restaurant deals. Either set up your mailing address to accept replies or include a method of communication — “mention this code to your server” — that’s clearly advertised in the email.

Learn about great new web addresses just for restaurants.

Restaurant deals keep them coming back

Remember, running a great restaurant is not enough to keep customers coming back. Memories of good food, service and décor can quickly fade. Every restaurant needs an email marketing strategy to stay fresh in their customers’ minds. Even restaurants that serve diners 16 feet under the ocean or 165 feet off the ground need this kind of strategy. Luckily, promoting deals through email only takes a few hours of effort a week. Keep offering perks to your email subscribers, and you’ll quickly turn them into loyal regulars.

Using GoCentral Website Builder for your website? See how to start using the built-in email tool.

Image by: drukelly Flickr via Compfight cc

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Emily Mong
Emily Mong is a Senior Account Executive of Integrated Services at SHIFT Communications, where she works with various team leads to blend marketing technology and traditional public relations services into current accounts and new business opportunities. She is also responsible for developing story angles for SHIFT that break through the competitive media landscape and secure coverage with business and top trade press.