How do you engage your restaurant customers with your email campaigns? Studies have found that 94 percent of internet users use the internet to send or read emails (Docstoc).This is more than other activity such as social networking and buying a product. It may come as a surprise to you that email marketing remains the best way to communicate to your customers. Social networks are viral on the internet but email continues to be the king of communication. However, effectively using emails it is key.

Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding how to utilize email for your customers:

Choose your subject line wisely. The subject line is the first thing that your customers see when your email pops into their inbox. According to Chadwick Martin Bailey, 64 percent of people say they open an email because of the subject line. Choosing the correct terms and length is important in motivating your customers to open your email and take action in whatever you may be asking them.

HubSpot’s Jessica Meher put together a list of the top email marketing statistics from 2012, “The Ultimate List of 2012 Email Marketing Stats” (HubSpot). According to the list:

– “Sale” was above average in opens, clicks, and click-to-opens. “Early bird” was the worst performer. (Adesta July 2012 Report)

– “Latest” was the only benefit-related term that got above average in clicks. (Adestra July 2012 Report)

– Subject lines with 30 or fewer characters were above average in opens, clicks, and click-to-opens. (Adestra July 2012 Report)

– Subject lines with less than 10 characters long had an open rate of 58 percent. (Informz 2012 Email Marketing Benchmarks Report)

– “Snappy” subject lines of 1-2 words performed the best. (Adestra July 2012 Report)

– “You/your” were the most common words. (Experian’s 2012 Digital Marketer Benchmark and Trend Report)

From this data, you can see that your subject line really does matter.

Send your emails at the right time. According to GetResponse, an email marketing solution, 23.63% of emails are opened within the first hour of delivery so you want to be careful when you send your emails to make sure that you reach customers at the best time (Business Insider, Inc.). Most emails are opened in the afternoon between 3 and 4 but if you want or need to send an email in the morning, do it between 8 and 9. A great way to see if your emails are being opened is by using a tool that can track your open rates such as with eateria. You can send emails to your customers at a specific time then look back at the results later to see your reach and change times if necessary.

Make sure your emails are compatible with mobile devices. According to a study of millions of emails from 11 industries, Knotice, a mobile marketing firm, found that 41 percent of marketing emails were opened on a mobile device in the second half of 2012 (Mobile Commerce). As time has passed, the open rate of marketing emails on mobile devices has increased so you want to make sure that your emails will open correctly on your customer’s mobile devices (this includes cell phones and tablets). Customers often feel like the brand does not care about them if they have to slide the image each and every way to read what it has to say. This can be frustrating and cause them to lose interest. It is predicted that 78 percent of U.S. email users will access their emails via mobile by 2017 so now is the time to make those emails mobile compatible (Forrester Research, “Email Marketing Forecast 2012 – 2017).

By effectively using email, you will see the value of it. When marketing to a large group of people such as your customers, you need to know their behaviors and what attracts them other than your food. You need to reach them when they are not inside your restaurant. Sending out emails at the right time with the right words will keep your customers engaged. eateria is a great tool to use to send out emails. Not only does it allow you to send emails out when you need to, it has multiple templates to choose from to personalize them.

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