Restaurant Marketing: How to Write Effective Direct Mail (or Email)


In the world of over-communication, our mailboxes and email in boxes  are overflowing every day. The only materials that seem to get our attention are those that are personalized (in a “real” way) or offer a deal we can’t refuse. So, how do you make your materials stand apart from the rest… without giving away the restaurant?

  • Know your customer. It sounds basic, but do you know where your customers come from? Where they live? Where they work? Train servers to turn polite conversations into fact-finding missions. (“Did you just get off work? Where from?”) Also, run simple promotions that gather data. The old “business card in a fishbowl” promotion allows you to study work locations, number of employees, etc. In the evening, run promotions where customers fill out entry forms.
  • Use what you know. Take all the data that you have: business cards, contest entry forms, names from the credit cards, etc. and chart comparisons. Then, send marketing materials to businesses whose employees frequent your operation and buy lists in the geographic areas where your customers come from.
  • Tell what you know. When you write a direct marketing letter or email, use the information that you know. Many programs make that easy for you by automatically plugging in personalized data.
  • Get specific. Do your research. Call local businesses and find out who is in charge of their holiday party, then call or send a personalized letter to invite that person to have lunch (on you) to discuss the possibility of hosting their holiday party. October is the perfect time to market your catering services for holiday parties. Whether you do it in person or by mail or email, make a specific offer that’s “exclusive” to the recipient.


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