Let’s be honest. Most email marketing deliverables end up in the trash. That’s assuming they are even noticed among hundreds of promotional emails in the first place. Your restaurant mailing list is an invaluable resource that, when used effectively, can build brand awareness and customer loyalty. The catch: emails must reach your customers. To ensure your email marketing efforts are working, your focus should be on keeping your content engaging, relevant and valuable.

The Golden Rule: Never Spam Your Customers

Never spam your customers. While obvious, this isn’t as simple a goal as it seems. The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act protects customers from unsolicited emails. This includes subscriptions that they did not opt into or newsletters they no longer wish to receive. Anyone that violates the CAN-SPAM Act by ignoring these protections or employing poor email practices may incur fines, demerits or even inbox blacklisting. Sometimes, email blasts can inadvertently cross this line. Make sure you protect your business’s hard-earned reputation from harmful email marketing practices.

Restaurants that want to build customer loyalty should create email campaigns that build trust and respect customers’ wishes. Make sure to honor opt-out requests in a timely manner and avoid subject lines that could be seen as deceptive or perceived as a bait-and-switch. Being earnest and transparent tends to lead to stronger brand loyalty and a better click-through rate

Keep It Short, Sweet, and Personal

If you want customers to engage with your emails, make them feel appreciated. Start with a subject line that draws readers in. Use popular emojis or pop culture references. Emails should be short enough to read within a few minutes. Place new menu items, specials, and upcoming events prominently, but not obnoxiously.

Customers are more likely to engage with emails that feel personal. Consider sending customized emails with customer names or automated birthday messages. Another way to personalize your customer email experience is to send an automated welcome email whenever someone subscribes to your list

Go Mobile

These days, most of your customers access email on their smartphones. For this reason, it’s essential that content looks as professional on mobile it does on a computer. Before you launch your email campaign, be sure to test it first to make sure the experience is consistent across different devices. Convenience and readability are key in the digital age. If your emails aren’t clean, clear and engaging, they will end up in your customers’ trash folder.

Effective email marketing keeps customers informed and engaged, all while promoting your brand. To maximize the chances that customers read your email, keep your messages short, personal, and spam-free. If you follow these simple steps, you are well on your way to building a strong customer base.