4 Tips for Direct Mail For Restaurants

Use these Direct Mail best practices to increase visits and boost your sales.

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When it comes to dining or take out, there are many options to choose from. Let us explain why Direct Mail works for all and provide you with tips on how to increase visits and sales.

Tip #1: Target Your Ideal Customer

This could be one of the most important tips on how your restaurant should use Direct Mail.  If you are looking for new families to go to your restaurant, you will need to focus your flyer distribution mainly on houses. However, if you are looking to increase foot traffic during lunch hour, you will want to target businesses in the area that will bring these customers to you.  You can always take it a step further when looking for new customers and work with the demographics that fit your restaurant's needs, such as income, age, gender and more!  These can be sourced if you decide to purchase a list or at best, review the data that you already have.  There is so much at your fingertips already, you just need to know what and how to read the information.  See what you can pull on these clients, it should be easily accessible!

Tip #2: Time Your Campaigns

Time is of the essence.  Believe it or not, timing has everything to do on when to effectively  deploy a direct mail campaign.  It can happen anywhere in the Buyer’s Journey, whether it’s awareness, consideration or even at the decision stage.  Send mail based on key events like a grand opening, time sensitive offer, or a customer's birthday.  Plan in advance to ensure your pieces are designed, packaged and delivered with enough time to land in mailboxes and allow the customer to use and plan accordingly.  It would be unfortunate if your print ad had expired before a customer could use it, it changes the credibility of your business and is a quick way to lose traction. 

Tip #3: Offer Something of Value

Sometimes new and existing customers need to be offered some kind of incentive.  These would include coupons (who doesn’t like a discount of some sort?), and we know that consumers will spend more than what is stipulated in the coupon just so they can use it.  Offering something for free such as a menu item or sample can be used if you are promoting anything new on the menu or if you’ve been trying to increase consumption of a particular item.  With many more ways to incentivize customers, I need to bring to your attention one more option, a loyalty program.  With the price of food these days it can be difficult to keep repeat customers; this is where loyalty programs come in handy for your direct mail campaigns.  This can be used for the number of times someone visits a restaurant, purchases a particular item off your menu, and ultimately benefits both you and the consumer in the end.  Consumers feel special as if they are in a members only program and you are gaining repeat business.  A little goes a long way when it comes to providing value.

Tip #4: Track and Analyze

You really won’t know just how well a direct mail campaign works if you can’t track it properly.  When using QR codes or barcodes, make sure your restaurant has the right systems in place to scan, or a process to follow if using a unique code.  You can go as far as physically collecting the coupons themselves, this can provide a fair amount of accuracy when it comes to tracking, and also avoids customers using a coupon/code more than once.   Whichever system or process you plan to use, ensure your staff is up-to-date on any promotions that are out and what will potentially come back for redemption.  This will allow you to evaluate whether the campaign was successful or not, and you don’t want a customer leaving unhappy if they cannot use their coupon because staff isn’t aware.

Not everything can be a one size fits all, but with the tips provided on how to best target, when to send, offering incentives and different tracking methods, these four strategies will guide you in the right direction on how to best use direct mail for your restaurant! 

Direct Response Media Group can help you! Contact us today to get started on your next Direct Mail campaign.


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