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Is Direct Mail Advertising Right for Restaurants?

When you’re considering how to market your business, direct mail advertising may not be your first idea. Given the increased dependency on digitization that’s sprung up during COVID-19, mobile service is going strong. Email newsletters, which you may use now, is just one example of how online marketing has become so common.

But direct mail isn’t dead. When the pandemic shut down dine-in services, people began eating at home more often. Although they’re on their phones and laptops a lot, there’s a reason that customers have a stack of takeout menus stowed somewhere in their kitchen drawer.

Why Choose Direct Mail Marketing?

If emails aren’t doing the job, then direct mail might. People have been eating more since the pandemic, but are likely sick of cooking for themselves every day. Take advantage of that by filling in the new need left by COVID-19.

There’s also evidence that direct mail actually works better. While all your competitors are reaching out online, you cut through the buzz of a crowded inbox by sending advertisements directly to customers’ doors. That may be one reason that this marketing method has a higher response rate than other ads, according to the Data Marketing Association.

Photo by Ranurte on Unsplash

Like any business decision, choosing this avenue has upsides and downsides. Printing costs can be a challenge, and restaurants may need to reallocate their budget to accommodate the initial switch. You also don’t want to waste money advertising outside of a core group of potential customers. Use a smarter Point of Sale system to narrow down which demographics spend the most time and money at your establishment. Then you’ll know who’s most likely to convert from ads to sales.

The Best Direct Mail For Your Business

Did you know there’s a few different kinds of direct mail marketing to choose from? Restaurants should decide which one works best for their particular business:

  1. Every Door Direct Mail. This kind of marketing targets a whole area rather than a particular demographic. Although you get the best postage rates that way, it’s not as effective if you have a particular type of person (i.e. families) you want to entice into your store.

  2. Consumer List.  This targets individuals based on the “ideal guest” that you want in your store. Whether that’s college kids or business professionals on lunch, research where they spend their time so you can send ads only to those most likely to dine in.

  3. Resident List. These target a particular group of people in an area. For example, perhaps you want to focus on the affluent part of a delivery driver’s route; send out ads addressed to “Current Resident” as opposed to individually marked like in a consumer list.

Whichever method you choose should be effective for your specific business, and that won’t look the same for everyone. Take care to assess which guests come in most frequently and spend the most at your establishment overall. Those are the people you’ll want to target with direct mail.

More Effective Advertising

Whether you prefer direct or online mailing, eye-catching designs and consistent timing always provides better results. Meet your customers where they are for the best results and ROI, no matter what marketing method you choose. Improve your guest communication to build stronger relationships that will last for a long time.

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