Using a newsletter to bring in more business to your restaurant!

delish_web_solutions_logoA newsletter is an important part of marketing your website. That’s why I include newsletter features on all web solutions I offer to my restaurant clients.

Today, I want to talk about how to bring more business in using a newsletter.

I’m going to start off by saying “sign up for my nesletter” does not work as often as you may hope.  So, what does?

Opt-in to something of value!

An opt-in form to receive something of value would be one way to start. This can be placed in the sidebar of a website, of course.

A web designer or marketer, for example, may offer a free e-book with some kind of tips for design, development, or marketing. A restaurant owner may offer some kind of coupon or deal when you sign up. And for restaurants, you may want to change this offer up from time to time. For example, you may offer a coupon for two free tacos, which can be sent to the reader via e-mail once they sign up or, after the sign-up, they can be immediately re-directed to the online coupon.

So now instead of “Sign up for my newsletter” you’ve got “Receive two free tacos!”. People who want two free tacos will click on this, and sign-up to get their free tacos. Hey, I’ll sign up for your newsletter to receive two free tacos!

When you do this, you also want to be clear about what they’re signing up for. Let them know what they’ll be receiving. It will most likely be the deals you’re offering, events at your restaurant, etc.

But the sidebar may not be the most noticeable area for your newsletter. There are a couple of other options to help you get more sign-ups for your newsletter, and hopefully, more business as a result.

Landing pages

Landing pages are dedicated pages for a specific purpose; sign-ups. The landing page typically won’t have too many other items on it. It will have a nice graphical layout, of course. You can put a picture in the background, possibly, but make sure it doesn’t distract too much from the purpose of the page.

Let’s look at Del Taco’s Raving Fan eClub. The page has the menu as well as social network and other contact links. That, I don’t have a problem with, because while it’s noticeable, it’s not too distracting. The main purpose of this page, as you can see, is to get people to be part of their newsletter.

Now often times, I will do without the site menus and other links on a landing page. This is because I typically try to make the page only about the sign-up. But this is a matter of personal preference.

You’ll see that when you sign-up, you get something of value: 2 grilled chicken tacos. You also get a free premium shake on your birthday. And you receive exclusive deals through the newsletter.

When you go to forums, rather than linking to your site’s home page in your signature, you may want to try linking to the landing page instead.

BONUS INFO

And one other thing that Del Taco does at it’s new locations when they first open up: they have the employees and manager go around with a tablet computer, asking how their meal was, and they ask if they’d like to sign up for the Raving Fan eClub. This is an effective way to get people to sign up for the newsletter. They love your food. They want to come back. They’ll want to know about exclusive deals and offers!

Pop-ups/Slide-Ins

Pop-ups and slide-ins on your website to get people to sign-up can also work. You can either place the form in the pop-up or link to the landing page.

However, you want to be careful with pop-ups. Don’t make it annoying. You may not want it to pop up on every single page. There’s a pop-up plugin I use that also has an option to limit the number of times a person sees a pop-up, and an option for a link that says to never show it again.

So don’t be annoying with pop-ups. Use them wisely.

Conclusion

Your e-mail newsletter can help generate more business from your loyal customers, and keep new customers coming back. It can also help to keep a person informed who just discovered your website. Be sure to post a link to your landing page, if that’s what you choose to use, on your social media profiles. Good luck, and bring it to the table!