6 Ways to Grow Your Restaurants Email List

Marketing 10 minute read 5th October 2020

So you want to know how to grow your email list? Smart move.

Whether you need to generate more business during the midweek or encourage customers to pre-book a table for the busy festive period, restaurant email marketing is one of the most effective ways of getting bums on seats.

Even in the day and age of social media, email marketing remains supreme.

In fact, 66% of marketers state that it delivers an “excellent” or “good” return on investment (ROI), while 21% of B2C strategists claim that they get back at least £61 from every £1 invested in it.

The problem is, to achieve top results, you need a big restaurant email list to work with. Let’s explore how you can build one quickly and cost-efficiently.

How to grow your email list

1. Paper cards

One of the most organic ways to get more restaurant email addresses is to focus on capturing your loyal customers first.

The people that have already experienced your magnificent menu and stellar service are already more inclined to return.

However, human beings tend to forget things.

This point was highlighted in an insightful piece from Campaign Live, claiming that our mobiles are replacing our memories:

“Only 20% of our mobile device usage is centred on contacting friends or family. The remaining 80% of our usage centred around general tasks, such as shopping or getting directions, all of which are made easier and quicker via our smartphones. In other words, we are outsourcing our memories simply because we can.”

Which explains why some of us struggle to find our way home if we haven’t got access to a GPS on our phones!

The point is, your past customers need reminding about how good you are. So, when you hand them their bill, include a paper card asking them to share their email address in exchange for exclusive access to deals.

IT’s an oldie but a goodie!

2. WiFi data capture

Another ingenious way to rapidly expand your email list is to capitalise on the restaurant WiFi data capture method.

How many times do your customers want internet access?

By providing a WiFi login (captive portal), your customers will have to fill in their email addresses to gain internet access, or can use their social media to get connected quickly. Every WiFi login results in data capture, fueling your database with a high quality list of previous guests.

Restaurant WiFi data capture is particularly effective if you host a lot of business lunches or put on events for customers. On average, Beambox customers accumulate over 500+ email addresses every month per venue.

With our plug & play solution, setting guest WiFi up takes a matter of minutes and requires no technical experience. It’s an effective way of capturing data and growing your restaurant email list on autopilot.

Grow your email list with WiFi Marketing

Beambox helps businesses like yours grow with data capture, marketing automation and reputation management.

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3. Website and landing page opt-in

Moving into the 21st century, building a landing page or specific page on your website is a top way of growing your restaurant email list.

Naturally, having a page with a form or just a subscribe option will only generate a steady influx of contacts over time. After all, a lot of customers will only visit your website to view your menu and find out your contact details.

The secret to maximising your number of restaurant email addresses is in the delivery.

  • Advertise on your receipts – if paper cards aren’t generating much interest, you can always include a line at the bottom of their receipt enticing the customer to visit an address in exchange for 5-10% off their next bill.

  • Social media advertising – generate online traffic by utilising Facebook and Instagram Ads. Simply set up a paid campaign sending your target audience to your website or landing page in exchange for a discount off their next meal. Once again, the key is in the offer. You must give to receive.

  • Competition via social media – you can increase traffic to your website or landing page and build your restaurant email list by running a competition via social media. For a prize, offer a 3-course meal. And to enter, get them to retweet/share your post and fill out their email addresses on the landing page/website. If you really want to see quick results, you can always boost the post to ensure it’s seen by a bigger audience via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter Ads.

4. Lead Gen Software

Every time a potential new visitor lands on your website, you’re missing out on the opportunity to grow your restaurant email list.

One of the most effective ways to capture more email addresses is to use lead gen software like OptinMonster.

According to their research, 70% of website visitors leave and never return. Think of it this way, once a customer sees where your restaurant is located, are they going to need to return to your website? Probably not.

With OptinMonster, you can set-up pop-ups to appear just before a customer leaves your website or on a certain page.

Get the hook right and you’ll have hundreds of visitors signing up every month.

Example content to use:

Leaving so soon? Don’t forget to claim your 25% discount off your next meal with us before you go! Simply join our mailing list and it’s all yours.

5. Loyalty apps

Another innovative way of growing your restaurant email list is to introduce your own loyalty app.

Surprisingly, it’s not hugely expensive, with companies like Loyalzoo allowing you to launch an in-store loyalty program in just 3 minutes from only £19 per month.

The concept is like a regular loyalty card, where your customers can build points in exchange for free things and discounts. However, Loyalzoo will effectively do all of the hard work for you by sending notifications and marketing messages for you.

So, you can create a new avenue for custom, while growing your restaurant email list in the process too.

Talk about a 2-4-1 deal!

6. SMS opt-in

Text messaging or SMS may seem difficult, but it can prove very fruitful for your business. According to the SMS platform provider, Textlocal, 10.3 million customers have already opted in to receive SMS communications from the UK restaurant industry.

The beauty of text messaging is that people will always have them at arm’s length when they’re at your restaurant.

So, you can allow people to join your restaurant email list via text message by including the details on a receipt or paper card.

Some text messaging platforms are so advanced now, you’re able to create your very own mobile landing page for customers to fill in their details with a couple of swipes of the screen. What’s more, you can even integrate SMS marketing with your email marketing strategy too.

Wrapping up

All of these tips on how to grow your email list have been tried and tested by thousands of restaurants from around the world.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to try them all at once. The best method of growing your restaurant email list is to test the water and see what works best with your customers.

In time, you’ll be able to build up a sustainable restaurant email marketing strategy that helps you generate more business all-year-round.

Good luck!

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