Restaurant Email & Text Marketing Help

Okay, let’s talk about restaurant email and text messaging campaigns. What I like to refer to as retention campaigns, because the concept of email and text marketing is to retain people in your brand, that they see you in a different light, that they communicate with you pretty often, because at the end of the day, your goal is to be in this phone more often than you are now. If you’re not in their phone all the time, that’s why they don’t come back. And what I mean by that is people come back when they’re reminded, but here’s the key flaw. I’m looking through my email box and I’m going to not expose the one brand, but I’ll show you the emails. Three emails from their brand in the past couple of weeks, which one of them I think is a terrible email, but two of them aren’t bad.

But the problem with most restaurant marketing is the only time you reach out to your customers is with your handout. “I want something from you.” And you got to think about email marketing and text marketing in this manner. I’m always showing email for this one, but a lot of this goes along with text. It’s got to be a two-way street. There’s got to be a benefit both places, but also you got to learn to segment your audience and your messages. So here’s an example. We work with restaurants and our goal is to send 24 campaigns annually on a minimum, at a maximum 36. So 24 emails, text campaigns annually. And we tie ours in with email, text, Facebook, Instagram, everything’s tied together because that’s the way you want it. You want to hit them on multiple places. But I want you to think about this, if we emailed our database 24 times a year, every one of them, always asking for business, we did two key things wrong there.

Number one, we just talked to our entire audience with the same exact message. When you think about your audience, think about this. You’ve got people that are married. You’ve got people that are single. You’ve got male, you’ve got female. You’ve got people with kids, you’ve got people without kids. You’ve got retired people, you’ve got young people. You’ve got college, you’ve got middle-age. You can’t have the same message. And if 24 times a year, we were to email and text our clients all the same thing, 70% of the audience every time, we’re not giving them a message that’s relevant. When we don’t give a message that’s relevant, they tune you out. That’s why your rates go down and down and down, that’s why people opt out. But you also got to look at the messaging, it can’t always be the same thing.

On my screen, I’m looking at a now hiring email. Why would you email your entire database if you’re now hiring? That’s where segmentation comes from. Maybe look at, “Okay, Matt’s son is 16.” My kid might actually need a job. Actually does need a job, now that I think about it, but different topic. Now my wife has more influence over him in that case, she’s around him more often, that’s a conversation she’s going to have. So probably pretty similar across the households, you could target the women in your database that have told you in the past they have kids. So instead of sending 10,000 people a now hiring ad, that gets them to not open more of your emails in the future, send it to 800, a 1,000 people. The next one, St. Patrick’s, great email, great topic. Something that is relevant to a lot of people.

I like it, nothing wrong there. [Fridays are Lent 00:03:16], it was the big thing, it’s April 3rd. [Get On The Hook 00:03:22], their whole fish menu. That’s fine, but guess what? It doesn’t relate to Matt Plapp, I’m not Catholic. And it’s the same way with a lot of things. So if you can segment, might be hard to segment your list with that. But again, this is asking for business. “Now hiring, we need you to apply.” “St. Patrick’s, we need you to come drink green beer with us.” “Fish promo, come in here.” Here’s what I like to do. Now maybe there’s different ways to do this, but I’ve found four tactics that help restaurants engage people. Number one, offers. People love free stuff, but you do not want to engrain in your people’s minds that only come here when they get free stuff. So we like to look at if we’re… Again, back on that two campaigns a month, 24 a year, if we break that up into sixes, six times a year, let’s do an offer, every other month.

It gives people something of value. You can drive them to a day part that you might not have business, but you’re not hitting them over the head all the time. You don’t get them trained that every time they get an email, there’s an offer. You don’t want that. Number two, contests. People love to engage in contests. Number three, some type of menu item, as I’m going to show you here, that gets them to engage, but also educates about the menu item. And the fourth are events, like that St. Patrick’s Day email. So let’s look at this one. Dueling pretzel versus cheese fondue versus the spinach artichoke dip. That’s a lot to say. “It’s always a toss-up here. It’s a appetizer battle. Which app do you truly love, or which app is truly your favorite?” Basically asking them to go here and click, go to this and vote.

Now, when you look at this, the concept is simple. To get people to click the email, to engage. What we do is we set up our campaigns to be trickle. So if we send this out to a 1,000 people on email and only 200 of them click it, then we’re going to take 800 of them and text them, if it’s a message we think they’re going to be interested in. Our goal in this is to get engagement and it’s to get people to take an action. So if I go to Facebook for this particular email, I can see that 47 people took that action and commented. And these are great comments. These are talking about what they like, which one they choose. And there’s people that left different comments in here as well. A little more in depth. And this lady said, “I’m hungry.” “Spinach dip.”

“Both, I can’t choose.” So we’re trying to get engagement. Now let’s go to the next one. This is a contest highlighting a gift card. It’s easy, there’s nothing hard about this. It’s a pizza brand. “It’s contest time, we’re giving away a $25 gift card to one lucky contestant who can guess how much cheese we go through in a week.” It’s simple. It’s not hard to get people to engage in. I go to the Facebook post where we drove them, 100 people commented. These are more comments than they’re going to get on any other post all week. And what happens with this is we not only got people to engage in email, we got them to go to Facebook or Instagram sometimes and engage in that post. Now I can tell you, probably 60 or 70 of these comments came directly from that email right away.

The other ones came from their friends that Facebook identified and said, “Hey, these people look identical to these people. Let’s show them this.” So you’re getting a little virality there. The other aspect of that, of those 100 comments, when I look at my screen on the back, in the ManyChat, I can see that 13 of the people were not in our VIP program. So when people engage in that post, we have automation set up that tells them in Messenger, “Hey, you’re entered to win.” The people who are entered to win that are not in our program, these 13, “Hey, by the way, you’re not in our VIP program, you won a free pizza your next visit.” Pops them into that funnel. Let’s go to the last one. Another contest, The Big Game, can’t say Super Bowl. The Big Game this Sunday, this is Fatty’s Smokehouse.

This was telling people to go there and comment who was going to win the game for a chance to win a $25 gift card. Now, the cool thing about this also is we’re highlighting a brand of food that people are known to order for that week. So we’re not saying, “Order your food from us for The Big Game.” Which is what most restaurants are doing. We’re saying, “Go to Facebook, tell us who’s going to win.” And now we’re putting it in their minds subliminally. I go to this Facebook post, 159 comments of people commenting all the way down, 159. Now here’s the cool part. Remember earlier, I said, people comment, they get a message in Messenger, you’re entered to win. If they’re not in the program, they get put into there. Let’s look at this, this is the back of ManyChat, This one right here that says Retention Engine CGT 2.0, this is this promotion.

167 people that got into here out of this, all these comments, 48 of them, 28% of the people who commented were not in the VIP program. So now that’s 48 people that came. They say, “Kill two birds with one stone.” That’s what happened here. We actually killed three birds with one stone, maybe four. We gave people an engaging reason to click on their email. And again, we didn’t hit the whole database, we hit a small fraction database. We targeted men who were frequent customers because the men who are frequent customers are going to be the ones that might order barbecue for the Super Bowl. But guess what? We didn’t ask them to order barbecue, like I showed you. So what are the birds that we killed with that stone? That magic stone that went around a big circle. Number one, we had an email that got them to engage.

Number two, we got a text message that also got them engaged because we sent a text to people who didn’t engage in the email. Number three, we got them to go to Facebook and comment on the post, which helped the post go viral. Number four is the people who engaged in that post when it went viral, got entered into the program, 48 of them. So we got 48 people. We know that when 48 people join, 15 of them come in eight to 10 times a year minimum. Do the math on that. 15 times 10 visits, 150 visits at an average of $30. I’m not a mathematician, so David could put it on the screen or whoever edits this video down the road. 150 visits times 30 bucks, do the math, that was free, because we used the email a little differently versus just saying, “Hey, it’s a Super Bowl, come get barbecue.”

So that’s all I got today. Think about how you’re using your email, you’re using your text, you’re using your engagement content in your retention program. Because at the end of the day, if you send 52 emails, 52 text messages to your entire database the next 12 months, you’re going to lose a lot of them. And you’re going to talk to a lot of them in a manner [inaudible 00:10:07] relate to them. Think about how you can segment your database, think about how you can segment your retention content and get them to take action. That’s all I got. See you around.


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