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Restaurant Direct Mail Tips and Tricks

Restaurant Direct Mail Tips that increase customers and profits

The restaurant industry is enormous, a $799 billion industry that accounts for 10% of all jobs in the U.S. It’s growing at a rate of 5 percent per year, too, which means there’s plenty of opportunity for your own restaurant to grow. However, with more than one million restaurants nationwide, there’s also plenty of competition.

Fortunately, there’s a powerful yet simple way to promote your restaurant and stand out from competitors: direct-mail marketing.

  • Direct-mail marketing for restaurants offers multiple benefits, including:

  • Direct-mail is targeted:

    You can target existing customers, everyone in a geographic area (with EDDM every door direct-mail), or people who have recently moved to your locale.

  • You can additionally target by demographics such as age, gender, income, and more

  • Direct-mail is tangible:

    Physical marketing materials have more emotional value; they look and feel great in customers’ hands, and they must be handled – therefore | noticed – by your recipients

  • Direct-mail is trackable:

    Direct-mail makes it easy to track response rates via physical coupons, coupon codes, and special URLs

  • Direct-mail faces less competition:

    Many advertisers have ditched direct-mail to compete online, despite digital marketing’s lower response rates. In addition, people can easily get more than 100 marketing emails per day – and it’s simple to click “delete” and “spam.” Direct-mail puts your restaurant in front of customers with fewer competitors, restaurants and otherwise

    Plus, direct-mail response rates across all industries surged in 2016 (increasing by 43 percent for customer lists and 190 percent for prospect lists), indicating that online competition has grown fierce and marketers are achieving exceptional success in direct-mail marketing.

  • There perhaps has been no better time to promote your restaurant with direct-mail marketing. Of course, your success is dependent on your ability to follow direct-mail best practices and yield an excellent response rate.

Response rate fuels direct-mail success

The ultimate success of your restaurant often depends on the response you get from your direct-mail marketing campaigns. You need to focus on having the best direct-mail promotions as possible, making sure your potential customers are aware of you and know what you’re doing.

As you will see, when it comes to direct mail, everything matters. From graphic design, to the call to action, to your target audience who receives your mailings, everything must work together in order to be as effective as possible. The following direct mailing tips for restaurants will get you started on the right foot.

Focus on the message

Before you even begin to plan your direct-mail piece, you need to decide on what your message is going to be. You need to have a clear and distinct message that you’re trying to get across.

Are you introducing a new dish? Do you have a special going on? Are you trying to bring in more lunch customers? Do you want to increase your delivery purchases? Get a grip on the message and let everything else revolve around that, including the design.

Offer and call to action

Your direct-mail campaign will fall flat if you don’t give your customers an incentive to buy. A great way to do this is to include a cut-out coupon or discount on your marketing materials. Also, make sure they know what to do next with a clear and authoritative call to action.

Think about your offer, or value proposition. What benefit will customers receive if they respond to your offer? Consider different ways to convey your offer and how they might impact response rate.

For example, if your average ticket is worth $25, you might offer either:

25% off your next meal; or…$5 in bonus bucks

Both offers represent roughly the same value to your customers; however, one might yield a better response rate. If you’re not sure which will perform better, consider A/B testing your offer on a smaller segment of your mailing list, comparing the results, then mailing the best one to your entire list.

Send the right mailer

The type of mailer you choose also has a direct impact on your ROI. Options include:

Postcards

Postcards are a great way to reach your customers with direct-mail. There are no envelopes to open and your message is in full view as soon as the customer takes it out of their mailbox. You can use one side as your hook and the other side to provide details and coupons. Postcards can also be used as invitations for special events or VIP seating.

When you print postcards , you know that at the very least your message will be seen before it is cast away into the garbage can, something you can’t depend on if you send something via email.

Also consider the impact your choice of paper stock has. Paper stock directly affects how your postcard looks and feels; and thick, heavy paper stocks that are soft to the touch lend an impression of quality.

Menus/brochures

Perfect for restaurants that offer delivery and carryout, menus are cost-effective to deliver. Like postcards, when printed in brochure-style they do not require envelopes and serve as handy references many recipients will keep on-hand.

Print impactful restaurant menus by including coupons or coupon codes, and highlight your most profitable dishes with full-color photos and descriptions instead of simply listing your menu items and prices.

Magnets

Magnets can be bundled with menus inside envelopes. They’re also excellent direct-mail marketing tools for restaurants, especially if you include your menu and a special coupon code on them.

Unlike paper menus, restaurant magnets offer more permanence, as recipients will place them on their refrigerators. Even better, they’ll be front-and-center whenever hunger strikes.

Since magnets must be delivered via envelope, consider printing a teaser on the outside of your envelopes to increase open rates. Phrases such as “Valuable coupons inside” or “Check out our new menu” printed on envelopes can be the difference between a lackluster mailer and a wildly successful campaign.

Use compelling design

A great design will do a lot to draw attention to your message. Whether you’re designing a takeout menu or brochure for delivery options, be sure to follow basic design rules when you are laying out your direct-mail piece.

On the front, incorporate exciting and inviting photos of your food and let them draw the viewer in. Limit your text as much as possible, because you only want to get across the most important points of your message. Save the majority of your body copy for the back, especially if you have a lot of text.

Also, be sure to limit the number of fonts that are used in your text. Preferably, you should use no more than two font styles throughout the entire piece. If you need help, you can use free restaurant postcard templates and PsPrint’s online design tool to customize your design.

Get premium printing

When you are trying to get the attention of your customers, it’s best to go high quality with your direct mail whenever possible. Premium printing will get the attention you are looking for, and it will impress the very people you are trying to reach.

The better-looking your mailing is, the more likely you will get the response you desire. Again, consider the impression your choice of paper stock makes on your audience. A high-gloss paper stock might work well for a new age diner; while an elegant velvet cover stock would be perfect for a French bistro or winery.

You want your dishes to look delectable and your atmosphere appealing, so premium printing is the only way to go. The good news is you can get premium restaurant printing at discount prices to boost your ROI.