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While the Internet has unleashed a slew of new ways to market your restaurant to hungry customers, that doesn’t mean more traditional marketing methods should now be obsolete. With consumers’ email inboxes full and mailboxes much less so, direct mail is coming back into favor with many restaurant marketers – and for others, it’s been a part of their strategy all along.

While it’s impossible to capture email addresses for every person who walks through your door, you can send a restaurant postcard or mailer to just about every customer residing within your delivery boundaries. The benefits of direct mail for restaurants: it can help build brand awareness, improve consideration and even drive traffic to your restaurant. The downside? It can be expensive and difficult to measure.

If you decide to implement a direct mail campaign, here are three tips to make it successful.

1. Provide Value

Direct mail allows you to reach customers and potential patrons in a very tangible way, so make your mailer useful. Chances are that customers and potential customers alike will put your restaurant’s postcard, menu or magnet up on their fridge, especially if it has a coupon or promotion that can be redeemed later.

If you’re looking to expand your delivery service, consider offering a coupon for free delivery. Or if you’re promoting a new menu item, perhaps offer it at a discount to customers with their next order. As long as your restaurant postcards and mailers deliver value, your restaurant will remain a fridge door favorite.

2. Prepare Your Website

Many people who receive your restaurant’s postcard or mailer will still visit your website before they visit your restaurant or place an order. Include information on how customers can find you – both digitally and in the neighborhood.

Include high-quality images of your food alongside contact information, and enable online ordering for those hungry customers who like what they see.

3. Track Your Efforts

Just like any marketing strategy, direct mail is an investment. If you don’t track results, you won’t know if it’s working.

If you are mailing out coupons, put systems in place for your staff to collect them, or if you’re using online coupon codes, track how many times customers cash in on those discounts. Use this data to track which orders can attributed to your direct mail campaign, and optimize future campaigns accordingly.

Alternatives to Direct Mail

Very few marketing strategies work for every single restaurant. Because direct mail can require a significant investment in materials, graphic design and postage, some restaurants choose other avenues to reach their diners. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Google, or pay-for-performance – like through online ordering on GrubHub – allow restaurants to forgo the printing costs associated with direct mail and pay for results instead.

Ready to reach more customers and grow your restaurant’s takeout and delivery business? Sign up with Grubhub for Restaurants today!


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