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Creating a Successful Restaurant Direct Mail Campaign

A timeless approach to raising awareness among hungry customers is through restaurant direct mail. Sending out mailers to locals is an effective marketing strategy, even in today’s world of digital media.

Don’t believe us? You’re not alone. Because direct mail is a traditional marketing approach, it is often construed as boring. Print marketing has no dynamic content or opportunities for interactivity. However, that does not make it obsolete.

Here is a look into direct mail and how your restaurant can use it to gain customers.

Does Direct Mail Work?

Yes! While there are a ton of new ways to market your restaurant, direct mail remains effective. In fact, direct mail could produce higher response rates than any digital medium. In 2018, an ANA/DMA report revealed that direct mail responses can be up to 9 times greater than digital media.

Direct mail could produce higher response rates than any digital medium. Click To Tweet

Direct mail is something that every restaurant owner should be doing. ANA/DMA also reports that the direct mail response rate was 4.9% for prospects in 2018. Even better, the rate for house lists was 9% in the same year. Both rates were higher than the previous year, showing that direct mail is still a viable option.

Direct mail also provides a tangible item that potential customers can hold. When compared to email marketing, this can be worth a great deal. A Millward Brown study on neuroscience and direct mail supports this correlation. They found that printed marketing was produces brain responses that induce internal feelings. This suggests “greater ‘internalization’ of the ads,” resulting in a more effective campaign.

Women picking direct mail up out of her mailbox

A report by Canada Post states direct mail is “easier to understand” and more memorable. This is because it requires 21% less effort for the brain to process compared to digital media. All this adds up to higher brand recall and a great marketing campaign.

So, how do you get started implementing a restaurant direct mail campaign?

Creating Your Restaurant Direct Mail Campaign

Before you send your direct mail, you need to narrow your audience. This is called segmentation. Effective audience segmentation is important to any marketing campaign, direct mail included.

Select a target audience based on the demographics you want your messaging to reach. These can include age, gender, income, address, or other important data. Choosing the right audience can make the difference between a success and a flop.

For direct mailers, you also want to consider the proximity of customers to your location. Consider a radius between 3 and 15 miles around your store. A closer radius will attract takeout and delivery orders, while a larger radius can target dine-in customers.

The next step is choosing what you are going to send. There are many types of direct mail when it comes to restaurant marketing. You can let people about updates and changes to your menu or restaurant hours. You can also send takeout menus, seasonal promotions, and coupons to potential customers.

Restaurant Direct Mail Examples:

Example of a branded coupon for Best Burger

Once you have your audience and your mail type, you need to consider the messaging. All marketing materials should have concise messaging with a clear call-to-action (CTA). Direct mail is no different. Your mailers should have a CTA that leads your audience to perform a certain task, such as order online or dine in. This will ensure that your marketing dollars are well spent.

Finally, you will need to produce the materials to mail. For this step, consider using an outside vendor to fulfill your print needs. This will ensure all materials for all locations are properly branded. It will also reduce the number of vendors you work with. A proper Brand Fulfillment program will manage all aspects of the campaign. This includes managing store participation, collecting payments, and distributing the printed marketing materials.

Your printed materials should be eye-catching. This will prevent it from getting lost in the myriad of bills and credit card offers in the mailbox. A printed flyer can also include a printed promotional code, a detachable coupon, or featured menu items to get customers into your stores.

After the Campaign

Once you have mailed your marketing materials, your job is not done. Just like with digital marketing, you want to track the effectiveness of your mailers. To do this, you need to remember who encounters mailers: your staff. Train them so that they will know what to do when presented with a mailer. Let them know if they should enter the occurrence into your software, or simply keep the mail at the register.

Tracking your restaurant direct mail will not only show you how effective your mailers are, but it also will let you know what to do in the future. Tailor all forthcoming direct mail campaigns based on what worked – and what didn’t – in the past. This will provide you with increased success in future direct mail campaigns.


Dot It is a restaurant fulfillment company specializing in Brand Fulfillment solutions. Let us help make sure your restaurant marketing campaigns are a success! Contact us today for more information.

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By | 2020-01-14T21:53:03+00:00 January 14th, 2020|

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