restaurant direct mail restaurant owner and chef

3 Eye-Opening Restaurant Direct Mail Marketing Tips that Fill Seats

Dining out is an integral part of American life. It’s estimated that 163 million adults or roughly 64% of U.S. citizens eat out once a week. That equates to about $602 billion a year. That’s a lot of cheddar! A restaurant direct mail marketing campaign can help you get your share.

There are the three critical direct mail campaign steps that can result in more profit so you can expand into new locations or simply create peace of mind for you and your staff.

Before we get into the basics of restaurant direct mail, you may wonder if mail is still a viable marketing tool. Yes…

Direct Mail Delivers

It’s more than a catchy headline – direct mail converts more prospects to customers than email alone. According to the Association of National Advertisers, 4.9% of direct mail recipients buy from advertisers versus 1% for email alone. That’s four times more new buyers!

Additional research shows that 76% of Americans trust mailed advertisements. Read more about direct mail stats in this recent One Stop Mail article. Or learn specifics about the keys to restaurant direct mail marketing success by reading on.

Targeted Mailings

restaurant direct mail multiracial friends at a restaurantThis is more important than ever for restaurants that depend on ongoing patronage to be successful. A direct mail campaign sent to all the homes and businesses in your geographic area is better than no direct mail, but by segmenting your audience, you can deliver what it is they’re looking for.

New customers may be attracted by your menu, testimonials, or a good rating from a local entertainment guide, while new business customers might want to know about catering or easy pickup service.

Your patrons already like you and may want to know about menu changes or specials that say, “Thank you,” for being a regular diner.

Multiple mailing lists are important so you can target your customers – both consumers and businesses, new customer prospects, and business prospects. Deliver mailers that are meaningful to each of your target audiences.

Variable data printing can customize a postcard or mailer to fit multiple audiences. Add a different introduction, offer or call-to-action to speak to your targeted customer and get the best results.

You can also customize coupons, because…

Coupons are King

restaurant direct mail barista holding gift voucherNo surprise here – consumers love getting a deal. However, you may not have thought that you don’t have to offer deep discounts to new customers.

A new menu item can be an opportunity to cement the loyalty of regular patrons by sending a mailer to your house-customer list announcing the new item and giving them a small “regulars” discount to try something. Your long-time customers will feel valued and special.

If you’d rather capture new customers, send the announcement to a prospect list that targets homeowners in the geographic area of your restaurant. Customize the list to reach individuals in a particular income demographic or homes with children if you own a family establishment. Invite prospects to your restaurant to try the new dish or any of the other succulent items on your menu.

Bonus Pro Tip – Send different coupons to your regular customers and prospects to maximize results. Your goal is different with each group, to preserve an ongoing, valuable relationship versus establishing a new one. New customers may want to try a variety of items and enjoy a free appetizer with the purchase of a full-price main course.

A Restaurant Direct Mail Marketing Must: Standout Color

To ensure that your mailer always rises to the top of a crowded mailbox above your competitors, use show-stopping color. Yes, your restaurant direct mail must align to brand specifications, but the color must be vibrant and jump off the page to stop readers in their tracks.

You also aim to have your mailer stay in your patrons’ homes, on bulletin boards or refrigerators. Although mailers stay around homes an average of 17 days, if your restaurant’s postcard is beautiful, fun, or elegant – you may just exceed the average and get more top-of-mind awareness.

Getting off-the-chart color isn’t easy. Retain the services of an experienced graphic designer and commercial printer with years of experience in creating winning direct mail campaigns.

Fill Every Seat

restaurant direct mail people eating outside a restaurantRestaurants are essential to communities. Help more of your neighbors discover where to enjoy delicious, nourishing meals and a special atmosphere so your restaurant can experience longevity and long-term profitability.

One Stop Mail has professionals who are knowledgeable in restaurant direct mail marketing who can create your mailer from start to finish. Before your next direct mail campaign, call Marty at 602.962.4062 or request a quote online.

For more Direct Mail resources, click here. 

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