Your email database represents your biggest fans and, likely, your restaurant regulars. Who better to fill the house during the most celebratory time of the year?
We gathered some of our favorite email communications we received from restaurants last month so we can share their successes and give props for marketing done right. But first, a few email dos and don’ts we learned along the way:
- DO be playful. Clever animations and festive (not cheesy!) subject lines show you’re in the holiday spirit. Wish readers well so the message isn’t all about you.
- DON’T feature recipes. Focus on inspiring your guests to come celebrate with you, not recreate your chef’s dishes at home.
- DO spotlight your team. Make it personal. Introduce guests to the people behind the food and space they love to deepen their connection to the restaurant.
- DON’T bombard them with content. A little goes a long way. As you’ll see below, including multiple restaurants and occasions in a single communication can work beautifully.
- DO make reservations front and center. It sounds obvious, but make it as easy as possible for people to book tables — avoid burying reservations links.
1. Charlie Palmer Group
This message from the Charlie Palmer Group makes social media front and center, pointing to each restaurant’s Instagram feed. Click here to see the animation — we love how the photos range from food to friends, celebrating all of 2015.
Here’s a creative promotion for December that sets Trestle — a restaurant in San Francisco’s Hi Neighbor group — apart from the crowd. It’s a smart way to extend festivities beyond a single holiday.
3. Major Food Group
Sometimes simple is best. This eye-catching email from New York’s Major Food Group clicks through to each restaurant’s special New Year’s Eve menus, setting expectations for guests and generating excitement around the occasion.
4. Eleven Madison Park
What’s not to love about this sweet, friendly message from NYC’s Eleven Madison Park? Often a personal gesture like this one goes even further than a promotion or invitation to book — you’ll develop good will with guests and stay top of mind. It’s an effective way to demonstrate warmth and personality.
5. Jean-Georges Restaurants
Bring out the bubbles! See the animated version of this email here — the lively .gif in the header will make anyone excited to celebrate. Short descriptions of special events at each restaurant show there is something for everyone.
6. Starr Restaurants
Here’s another short and sweet message that made us smile, from the team at Starr Restaurants in Philadelphia. The email clicks through to a lengthy list of events at each restaurant, so this is a great way of communicating a lot of information in a single, irresistible note.