Restaurant Marketing

Busting email marketing myths

We're busting some of the most popular myths about email marketing to help you understand how you can use emails to grow your customer base and orders.

Don’t believe the haters: email is here to stay. Trends come and go, but email marketing is the digital workhorse you can count on to grow your customer base and orders.

Studies show that year after year, email marketing is consistent in opens, clicks, and ROI (return on investment) for both small and big restaurant operations alike. According to the Direct Marketing Association, the average ROI for email marketing is $40 for every $1 spent in 2023. 

Now, let’s bust some common myths around email marketing, one of your best marketing friends.

Myth #1: No one actually buys something from an email

Emails don’t drive sales? Over 66% of consumers have made a purchase online due to a single email marketing message. Your customers are on their phones constantly and they love to scroll and click. You might say, “Well, my customers are older and don’t look at their email.” Not true – high click rates span across all ages. Even 90% of the Silent Generation, ages 76 to 93, rely on email for daily correspondence.

What’s more, email is the most popular tool for shopping (coupons, offers, and purchases) across every age group:

·         Gen Z (60%)

·         Millennials (67%)

·         Generation X (64%)

·         Baby Boomers (55%)

·         Silent Generation (50%)

Myth busted: Email marketing is a powerful tool to drive sales and get your customers to take action, no matter what their age.

Myth #2: People don’t want emails from restaurants

We constantly hear from our clients that they are worried their diners don’t want to receive emails from them. There’s a fear that diners will find the restaurant annoying or intrusive. 2023 Popmenu survey data shows that this myth isn’t true. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. 79% of consumers said they are likely to join a mailing list to receive text/email offers from restaurants they like.

Consumers are interested in a variety of promotional emails from restaurants, too.

·         61% want to hear from restaurants on their birthday or anniversary

·         59% say when the restaurant has a special offer

·         32% say when the restaurant is hosting a special event

·         30% say when a favorite dish is back on the menu

Across the board, consumers appreciate welcome emails from businesses they like to shop with. More than 8 out of 10 people will open a welcome email, generating 4x as many opens and 10x as many clicks as other email types.

Myth busted, but with a caveat: You need to make sure that your email recipients recognize where the email is coming from. Making sure your email address reflects your restaurant is the most important factor in getting your emails opened. That’s why Popmenu’s email domain hosting tool is so popular. For a low monthly rate, you get an email address that is linked to your business.

Myth #3: I should send the same email to all my customers

Your customers may enjoy the same kind of cuisine, atmosphere, or events, but one thing is for sure, they are all very different. And we don’t just mean their age, location, ethnicity, or income. We’re talking about their personal preferences, like how they order and what makes them choose your restaurant on a Friday night. We’re talking about their spending habits.

Segmentation, or sending different emails to your customers based on their actions, is one of the most important things you can do to keep guests coming back. The very best marketing emails use segmentation to make emails feel like they’ve been personalized to the individual diner.

Over 60% of retail companies personalize emails based on past purchases. Popmenu clients get to take advantage of our integrated email segmentation tools that do exactly that and more. With custom segments like “ordered takeout two or more times,” “new follower,” “been a customer for over two years,” you can hyper-customize your emails to your diners like no other platform can.

Popmenu reports that 65% of guests want to receive special offers/news from restaurants at least once a week, and 59% expect restaurants to track their orders/preferences, so they can send special offers and news that is relevant to them.

Myth busted: Your customers expect to be contacted differently based on their preferences. Personalizing their emails is the most effective email marketing campaign strategy in 2023, reports Hubspot.

Myth #4: Using emojis will make my restaurant look silly

Some may think that using emojis in their email marketing makes their restaurant look too playful or childish. Fact is, emojis are now so far engrained in our language that they are seen as normal in both personal and business messages. MIT Scientists discovered that people process emojis in as little as 13 milliseconds, making them a stellar communication tool for businesses.

Experian reports that the open rate of emails with emojis in the subject line is over 50% higher compared to the plain subject lines. Emojis also improved in-message click rates by 6.28%. Check your email right now and take note of where your eye gravitates. Is it an email subject line with an emoji?  

Check out this list of the most popular emojis in 2023.

We’ve seen financial, medical, and government organizations use emojis in their emails, and you can too. Popmenu’s built-in email message packs include emojis, and you can utilize them for events with a single click (like the big game, Valentine’s Day, and more). Want to make your own email? We have a built-in emoji library in our email builder.

Myth busted: Emojis drive more clicks and sales. Just be sure not to over-do it. Stick to one or two emojis, and make sure they are relevant to the content of the email.

Now that we’ve busted some email marketing myths, it’s time to get to work. We challenge you to incorporate these learnings into your marketing strategy in the coming months and see what kind of impact they will have on your sales and engagement. As always, Popmenu is here to support you by offering tools that make growing your restaurant easy.

Front of the House Resource

Restaurant Email Marketing Guide

Our tips and best practices for restaurant email marketing are combined into this robust toolkit. From the anatomy of a good email, to planning and creating craveable content—this free resource is sure to inspire you next email.

Download Now


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