Email Marketing for Restaurants Improves with Email Segmentation

Email marketing for restaurants—it’s a numbers game. But they have to be the right numbers in the right sequence. Improving email ROI for your restaurant isn’t about simply upping the numbers, meaning getting more names on your list so you can send more email and therefore drive more customers to your business.

No, improving the ROI of email marketing for restaurants requires increasing the segments you send to, not the total number of emails on your list. Instead of increasing your list by 1,000 names per month, segmenting means increasing the number of segments you send to, breaking down your one big list into smaller groups that are more targeted and email those smaller groups relevant content.

Sounds like work, right? But it’s work that’s oh so worth it!

Why you should be segmenting—but probably aren’t
It’s worth it because segmented emails get a higher delivery rate, and more opens and clicks, with fewer bounces, spam complaints and unsubscribes. Take a look at these numbers for proof:

Despite all of these potential gains, however, 89% of businesses are not segmenting according to one source—89%! That means only 11% of businesses do segment: Is your restaurant business among them?

Restaurant marketers can achieve their goals with email segmentation
Email segmentation helps to boost results as the numbers above prove. But somehow marketers aren’t making the connection between what they want to achieve and how segmenting could help them to do so.

In our experience working within the field of email marketing for restaurants, we have learned that marketers usually want to increase all of the following as a result of their email marketing:

  1. The engagement rate
  2. Customer acquisition
  3. Level of email personalization
  4. Customer retention

All four of these goals are easier to achieve with email segmentation. Below I’ll explain how…

Increase the engagement rate
When your emails are segmented and therefore targeted, they are more relevant to your restaurant audience which increases your audience’s engagement with your email marketing for restaurants. As consumers, when we know an email is relevant to us, we are much more likely to open it and—finding that the message does indeed intrigue us—continue on to read it. If it doesn’t, 60% of us will just delete it.

Increase customer acquisition
It follows that an engaging email is more likely to lead to a customer acquisition, especially when that email speaks to that customer’s food, beverage or entertainment interests. Someone receiving a generic email is a lot less likely to convert vs. someone receiving a targeted, specific and timely message.

Increase the level of email personalization
Email segmentation is an effective way to personalize! But personalizing requires more than a “Dear [Name.]” Compare using someone’s first name in an email that’s sent generically to thousands of other people on the same list to an email that doesn’t use first names but instead gives the recipients content or offers that are right up their alley. Which email is actually personalized?

Increase customer retention
Finally, customers stick around because they get relevant and meaningful emails from the restaurant brand that sends segmented emails. They know that the brand is listening because the listening shows up in the email marketing from that restaurant. Why would they unsubscribe or switch loyalty to another restaurant brand? They wouldn’t.

Ways to segment emails
Email segmentation can be done in any number of ways, including by gender or by ZIP code or by subscription source, to name a few of the basic ones. From there, email segmentation can get as complex as you want it to be. suggests email segmentation can be based on all types of data, including:

  • Geographic
  • Demographics
  • Lifestyle
  • Behavioral

Email marketing for restaurants can get much more granular because you can collect specific data in each of these areas, including when a consumer usually visits a restaurant, what they typically order and how much they usually spend, for example. And all that data can be used for even more segmenting and therefore even more targeted email messaging.

The benefits should be obvious. So start segmenting your emails. Become one of the 11%, and increase the ROI of your email marketing for your restaurants—as well as your competitive advantage!