How to run successful EDM marketing campaigns

Learn how to use the TableCheck platform to personalize and automate email marketing at scale

TableCheck

TableCheck

Oct 25, 2022 - 4 min read

How to run successful EDM marketing campaigns

In the hospitality industry, competition is fierce. It has been stoked, in no small part, by the rise of online restaurant aggregators and social media.

As a direct consequence of this, a wide variety of dining eating establishments increasingly make use of the Internet and other digital tools to advertise and promote their businesses. Email marketing is one of these strategies, and many restaurants have found it to be highly beneficial when it comes to driving repeat business.

While email marketing is effective, it is Electronic Direct Mail, or EDM, that has proved to be a useful tool for restaurants. EDMs can be automated so that restaurateurs can send personalized emails to their target audience with ease and without requiring a big staff to manage it. It's a great way to add that much sought-after human touch to electronic correspondence in the hospitality sector.

The value of EDM marketing

Let's look at an example to understand the value of EDM. If a restaurant has been able to gather guest details like email addresses via their preferred booking platform, they can consider sending personalized birthday messages as part of a marketing campaign to attract clients back to their venue.

The restaurant might further personalize the experience by offering customers a discount on their birthday dinner and thus manage to generate foot traffic. Targeted email marketing initiatives such as this one are beneficial to restaurants since they raise customer awareness, establish brand recall, and encourage patrons to pay repeat visits to their establishment. 

While EDM is often looked at as a marketing tool to generate sales, it ultimately improves the customer experience through customization, as made evident in the aforementioned "birthday greeting" example. 

How does one go about implementing EDM at a restaurant?

Solid email list

Building a solid email list is the first step to successfully employing EDM as a marketing strategy. TableCheck allows its clients to build a database of customers with relevant details to tailor emails to a segmented audience. The opt-in aspect is critical, as a list comprised of guests who have opted in is likely to have greater success and fewer unsubscribes.

Booking form

The booking form of TableCheck captures these critical client details like email addresses and other data which are owned and controlled by the merchants. The accessibility of information is an important subject because many third-party OTAs normally own this information which is not accessible to hospitality operators.

Surveys

TableCheck also allows restaurants to conduct surveys, which ultimately helps client restaurants expand their email subscriber base while learning more about their customers' opinions. The feedback from the surveys can be used to improve the food, service, and ambiance if they are any of the areas where customers have expressed dissatisfaction. On the other hand, guests may provide feedback on what they enjoy, helping restaurants maintain popular features like weekend live music or holiday breakfast buffets.

TableCheck surveys have the added bonus of being very cost-effective due to the fact that the necessary technology is already part of the core package of the platform and can be employed at will. Restaurants can ask a range of inquiries, from learning about their customers' demographics to inquiring about customer service to learning if they appreciate the dessert menu. The list is infinite, and there are so many vital insights and data points that can be gathered just a few clicks away.

RELATED: The smart restaurant email marketing guide to winning more customers

QR Codes

QR codes can be used for more than just simply generating menus; they can also be used to rapidly build a mailing list. QR codes can be placed on a menu, kiosk, or guest room. Additionally, operators can also track sign-ups per QR code which can give insight into which campaign has led to more registrations.

EDM on mobile phone

Platforms like TableCheck, which are equipped with so many tools for creating opt-in email lists, are undoubtedly a restaurant manager's dream. 

This blog will now discuss how restaurants can use Tablecheck's EDM function to create more effective campaigns.

1. Opt-in Email List

With a growing consensus among marketers, customers, and even governments (think GDPR), it is important to send marketing emails to those customers who have opted to receive such communication. In fact, one of the top reasons for people to unsubscribe from an email list is that they didn’t sign up for it in the first place. So, it is essential to have the customer’s permission before sending them emails.

With TableCheck, the opt-in generally happens when a customer books a reservation; however, there are other touchpoints as well where the customer willingly accepts to receive communication from the hospitality operator. One such touch point is where customers can opt-in on a configurable webpage that pops up after scanning a QR Code. This process is quick and easy and helps with quick and painless sign-ups.

2. Trackable campaigns 

TableCheck-powered email campaigns can be tracked. You may actually learn how the campaign fared and what influence it had. Assume a restaurant is running an "Autumn 2022 Dining Promotion" campaign. The emails sent are labeled with the campaign name, and you may view the campaign's open-rate and booking success rates. The ability to track campaigns has the major advantage of allowing you to learn, analyze, and change future efforts or discover a formula that works with your audience.

Key performance metrics that can be tracked with TableCheck:

  • Recipients - The number of messages successfully sent includes any delivered message, including ones that went to the spam folder

  • Opens - Number of people who viewed the email at least once

  • Clicks - Number of people who clicked at least one CTA button/image in the mail

  • Reservations - Number of reservations booked due to the email

  • Pax - Number of covers booked due to the mail

  • Spam - Number of messages which were delivered but were put in the recipient's spam folder

  • Bounced - Number of messages which were sent but failed to deliver to the user’s inbox

  • Skipped - Number of receipts that were skipped, for example, due to not sending to the same email address twice

  • Failed - Number of mails which failed due, e.g. to system error

3. Customizable mail templatate and theme 

For each marketing campaign, restaurants may build a new email template, making it simple to alter the text, graphics, and links. Each campaign will typically result in the creation of a new mail template. 

Additionally, Tablecheck enables restaurants to choose a theme and define the brand's colors, fonts, and standardized header and footer, standardizing them for each email the restaurant sends out.

Take a look at the Sample EDM customized for Autumn promos:

Example of an EDM marketing campaign
An example of an EDM marketing campaign for the Autumn 2022 period

4. Email blasts

Some campaigns can be sent as a single blast, while others can be scheduled to send a blast once a month, for example, to customers who have a birthday or anniversary within the next month.

5. Personalization 

Electronic direct mail (EDM) allows operators to personalize information for guests, making "at scale" restaurant marketing much more personable. A restaurant that sends an email to its patrons on the eve of their wedding anniversary offering them a free mocktail with their meal is using a great example of personalization. This type of communication has the potential to increase satisfaction among current customers, encourage return visits, and boost overall satisfaction among visitors.

6. Segmentation

Segmenting the audience is key to running a successful EDM campaign. The aim is to segment the visitor list based on some common trait, consumer habit, or demography and, using a platform like TableCheck, send out emails that provide some value to the customer so that when they receive an email from the establishment, they click it open rather than ignoring or deleting from their inbox.

By dividing their patrons into distinct groups with shared preferences and behaviors, restaurants may better cater to their clients and achieve their goals. At the same time, the list does not need to be restricted to too many specifics. For example, visitors who have previously eaten vegan dishes may receive menu updates regarding new vegan dishes introduced to the menu, or customers who have spent more than 100 USD on a meal may receive an exclusive 10% discount code to use on their next meal. There must be some kind of concrete, actionable goal for building a segmented list.  In the aforementioned illustration, the restaurant aimed to increase repeat business from high spenders and attempted to do so by delivering a discount code through email to a specific list of big customers.

7. Automation

TableCheck makes restaurant email marketing easy and convenient. TableCheck automates sending emails to a selected list on a certain day and time. The user must pick the list, generate text consistent with the restaurant's branding approach, and specify the date and time.

Booking platforms, such as TableCheck, are multifunctional tools for restaurants. TableCheck not only assists hospitality businesses in managing bookings but also in developing a database, and personalizing and automating restaurant marketing with measurable results. Learn about Tablecheck's EDM feature to help move your restaurant business forward.

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