Send out a Newsletter (Part 2 of 2)

February 26, 2009

If you’ve yet to read the first installment of this series, here’s a quick overview of what what covered.

Getting statistical information about your customers is important for many reasons. Restaurants use comment cards, raffles, contests and other promotions to get emails, postal addresses and phone numbers from their patrons. This practice helps predict trends, establish you demographic, and is used as part of a marketing strategy. Here we suggested holding a raffle to obtain customer email addresses.

Now that you’ve gotten the statistical information you require, sending out a newsletter is an economical, easy and resource-saving way to promote your business.

Content: Finding creative content to include in your newsletter is easy. If you hire a new chef, write up a small biographical feature that includes personal quotes, the chef’s credentials, what he brings to your establishment, etc. Menu changes or updates, upcoming events, discounts and promotions and any press coverage you’ve received are all fantastic topics to write about. It allows you to connect on a more personal level with your customers, and advertise yourself at the same time. You may also include relevant industry news or links you think would be interesting to your customers.

People receive dozens of unsolicited emails a day. How can I insure my newsletter will be read?

In the last post I mentioned waiting a week to notify your raffle winner(s), and suggest using the newsletter to do so. In the subject line of your email, just put, “(your name) Announces Last Week’s Raffle Prize Winner!” They’ll remember they entered the contest (and remember they ate at your establishment, which they easily could have forgotten by now) and open the email.

At the top of the newsletter, announce the winner(s) and notify them they’ve also received a gift certificate for dinner and can redeem their prize on location (Another reason to again dine at your restaurant). Your newsletter will get noticed, your marketing will be a success, and you’ll get them remembering your name, which is the most important thing!

It is advised that you should spend 15-30% of your advertising budget on PR. Newsletters are very economical, their easy to put together, and they replace some of the cost of traditional marketing and direct-mail strategies. Tell your customers you’re saving paper by sending out a newsletter (which you are), and it’s a win-win situation.

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