How to Use Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant?
Why send a birthday email?
Birthday email could be an interesting way to engage with your customers. The great thing about setting up a birthday email campaign that it requires very little effort and investment on your part while yielding great dividends. Once you’ve set up the process, the system requires only occasional intervention from your side.
According to Experian data, as compared to promotional emails, birthday emails have:
- a 481% higher conversion rate
- Yield 342% higher revenue per message
Note: If your restaurant is running a full-fledged loyalty program– it may preclude the need for a separate birthday campaign as you may have birthday offers already included as a part of your Loyalty program. However, if you are not up for a full-blown loyalty program- a birthday club is a great idea.
Advantages of Setting up Birthday Emails
Building better customer relations
Most customers appreciate a personalized gesture by brands on their special days. So, connecting with your customer on their special day helps you to strengthen brand affinity.
Customers who may not have planned to visit your restaurant may plan a visit after considering the offer.
Engage Inactive Users
Birthday emails are a great way to restart interaction with dormant customers.
1. Collect data to set up your campaign
You need to have birthday data of your customers to send out wishes or an offer on the occasion. So, the first question that comes to mind is how do you go about collecting this information. There can be several ways to do this.
- Add a subscription form to your restaurant’s monthly newsletter: You can insert a form to subscribe to your birthday club in your monthly newsletter.
- Embed a registration form or landing page on your website:
- Embed a form through third-party apps like MailChimp on your Facebook page.
2. Set up an automated email campaign
Once you have the data, you can set up an automated email campaign by using an email service provider of your choice such as MailChimp.
3. What to say in the birthday email?
Tailor your message in accordance with your brand image. Let’s say you run fast-casual restaurant chain – the tone and imagery of your email should be fun and casual.
- Keep your message short and crisp
- Have clear CTAs
- Personalize the offers that you send out to your customers
- Include interactive content like videos or gifs
- Wish your customer: Each year I am excited to receive the personalized birthday wishes from the Facebook team- Isn’t is a great way to build a bond with your customers and make them feel special.
- A discount coupon encourages your customers to visit your store. Roll our a discount coupon or limited time special offer.
- You could also offer other exclusive benefits, such as free delivery on online ordering.
- If you send out a single mail on the day of your customer’s birthday there is a greater chance that your customers might miss the email. The better way to do it is to set up a drip campaign- sending out trigger mails at least a month or 15 days before the actual occasion and build up slowly until the D-day.
- Ideally, you should also set up reminders for customers who fail to open the birthday mail, click on the offer or use the coupon within the stipulated time frame.
- You could take the conversation to the next level by sending out a feedback email to customers who availed of the coupon. Use this opportunity to promote other offers or services such as online ordering or delivery. You could make it more interesting by adding an exclusive coupon to any offer or event that you are planning to run in the future.
- Employ multiple channels to your advantage – Follow up your email campaign with SMS reminders at regular intervals.
4. Promote your campaign:
You have set up a campaign to collect customer Birthdays, but how would your customers know about it unless you promote it extensively.
- Set up promotional posters in-store
- Restaurant table tents are perfect for the promotion of such services.
- Train your staff to encourage customers to register on your website or Facebook page. You could even go the old fashioned way collecting emails and birthdays manually on feedback forms presented to guests at the time of check out.
- Promote the campaign through your monthly emails or newsletters.
- You can request customers who leave a positive review to sign up by including a link to the subscription page in your responses.
- Push the birthday campaign through posts on social media channels.
- Run ads on relevant networks
- Induce customers to sign-up by offering a special coupon on registration.
5. Analyze and Optimize
After you have successfully set up your campaign and run it for a few months, it is time to step back and analyze each aspect of your campaign. You should consider metrics such as:
- No of people who have signed up
- Email open rate
- Click through rate
- No. of people who have redeemed the offer
- How well are the promotions working
- Do you need to optimize offers or any other aspects to increase conversion rate
Tweak your campaign according to your observations.
Automate this entire process with tools like the Birthday module.
- Automate the process- You can use tools like Birthday Module to automate the process. Once The setup is installed on your website a tab appears on the home page(or any other page you choose). Customers can click on the tab to enter their details. A similar tab is integrated on your Facebook business page. Your customers can subscribe both on your website and on Facebook.
- The cycle of automated emails is setup
- You can choose how many emails you want to send out
- The time at which these emails would be triggered let’s say-
- first email 15 days before a customer’s birthday,
- 2nd email a week before the birthday and so on
- You can also choose to send out reminders for customers who have not opened the email or clicked o the offer.
- Automatic SMSs are also sent to the customers at the frequency you choose.
- Customize offers that you want to send out- including an offer for birthday or sign-up offers
- All customer data is centrally collected and available for future campaigns.
After the initial setup, the automated process requires minimal intervention on your part.
Additional Tip: Now that you are running a birthday club- it would be great if you could offer a special experience to customers who drop by on their birthdays to avail the coupons. Train your staff to create a special experience for these customers. Your staff could present a birthday song! You can even Have simple cards printed to give out to any customers visiting your store on their birthday. As a restaurant owner, you may be well aware that it only takes a little effort from your staff to make customers feel special.