Customers get hundreds – if not, thousands of emails every week – so, do they really need another email or newsletter from your restaurant? Is an email still what customers want or has the novelty worn off? Not if it’s done right.

A newsletter conjures up an image of a lengthy piece of content that involves lots of reading. But that doesn’t have to be the case. An email newsletter can simply be a piece of content with one or two news items that are of interest to your customers. But what are they interested in and what would make them stop and read it? You can always ask your customers what they’d like to get in an email from your business.

But with the right words, content and use of images, there are plenty of ways to attract your customers to stay engaged through email marketing:

Short and Sweet

One thing your customers don’t have a lot of, is time. Your email newsletter doesn’t have to be long and don’t annoy customers by making it too long, or switching off. Keep it brief to 2 or 3 news items at the most and keep each piece to between 2-300 words and a few quality images to grab people’s attention.

Keep It Relevant

What makes your customers tick? Why do they like your restaurant so much? If they’re part of the local community, think of local interest news stories that might give meaning to your customers.

Write about how your milk or veg supply comes from a local farm (if it does) or write user-friendly pieces.

If some of your customers have children, talking about local facilities, such as playgrounds, where families can or talk about something new you’re introducing to your business, such as children’s meals.

Offer regular discounts

No secret, customers love discounts. Customers who want to go out for a nice meal but with less to spend, it can feel good to benefit from money off.

With online ordering, offer customers a discount with their next order or when they spend over a certain amount. If you have a quiet day, offer a discount for customers who come at that time or people who are taking a long with colleagues in the middle of the working day.

Stand Out Headlines

The very first thing your customer will see is the headline. So, when they read it, they have to want to open your email. A headline that offers to give them something of value or to solve a problem are good ways to go.

‘Want to save money? Try this.’

‘Give the family a night out and save the washing up.’

‘Here’s a little gift just for you.’

These types of headlines all promise your customer a benefit or something they will get that is of value to them. With different types of customers on your email list, you can adjust the headline to what is most important for them.

Run A Competition

A competition doesn’t have to be anything far-fetched or something that’s going to cost you lots of money. But sometimes, a giveaway can bring more people to you.

This can be an afternoon tea, a meal for 4 people or an afternoon treat during a quiet time of the week when customers can enjoy more space in your premises.

These tips should be able to help you make your newsletters more attractive and to get more results from your customers as your mailing list grows.

And one final word…If you’re not getting responses from customers with your emails - ask them!

It could be that what you’re sending is a bit too long, the headline isn’t appealing to them or….it could simply be that it lands up in their junk email and they don’t get to see it at all.

A quick survey or a couple of questions can help you to understand more about what your customers are looking for. Asking is a very powerful way of giving people what they want. How can you ask them?

Ask the people on your mailing list, set up a short survey or simply ask a couple of questions in exchange for a coffee.

Set up a Facebook page and a group and invite people to join to also get discounts and offers for your venue - connect!