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5 Handwritten Notes for Restaurants to Surprise, Delight, and Apologize [+Samples]
The restaurant industry is more competitive today than it has ever been in the past. You need a diverse marketing strategy to stand out from the crowd. As new tech has become ever-more automated and mechanized, there is still a place for handwritten notes for restaurants. Penwritten notes can help you convert leads.
Learn more about the different types of restaurant marketing, and discover how handwritten notes for restaurants can help you develop authentic relationships with your customers.
Restaurant Marketing: 5 Highly-Effective Options
Restaurants should explore multiple marketing channels to ensure they have a variety of touchpoints with their customers. Different target markets respond better to different marketing strategies, but humanizing your business with the right approach can help you maximize the return on your marketing investment.
A few of the most popular types of marketing include:
1. Content Marketing: A Quick Look
According to HubSpot, content marketing is “the process of publishing written and visual material online to attract more leads to your business.” Your content strategy can include the following:
- Social Media Posts
- Email Marketing
- Handwritten Notes
The effectiveness of different types of content depends on the situation. A solid marketing strategy should focus on long-term planning, helping you determine which content types are most effective for specific scenarios to build brands and drive website traffic.
That is where content mapping can be helpful. The stages of this content may include:
- Awareness: At this stage, your customers know your business but are not necessarily ready to purchase something yet. They might not even opt into your newsletter or email list, but they are familiar with you because of the content you have created.
- Consideration: Your visitors are considering purchasing something from you, but they haven’t decided yet. Watch the number of newsletter sign-ups, returning visitors, and form submissions to track which visitors are considering becoming customers.
- Decision: Finally, your visitors decide to purchase something. During this stage, you pay attention to the average order value, order frequency, and sales numbers.
As your visitors move through, your content should become more personalized as you spend more time focusing on visitors who have a greater chance of converting.
Example of content marketing for restaurants:
The perfect example of content marketing for restaurants is using images on the menu. When these images cause the diner’s mouth to water, you’ve got them on the hook. Updating images on the menu, social media pages, website, and review sites reignites interest in your brand.
What’s up and coming in the world of content marketing? Check out 9 Hardy Content Marketing Trends Made to Grow!
2. The ABCs of Social Media Marketing
With hundreds of millions of people using social media regularly, social media marketing (SMM) has become integral to most marketing strategies. According to Search Engine Land, “Social media marketing is the use of popular social media platforms to connect with your target audience and market your brand’s products and services.” You can use social media marketing to grow your business by promoting your products and services. Some of the most popular social media options include:
Social networking allows you to grow your business by developing strong, personal relationships with customers, clients, and prospects. Releasing content regularly on social media channels can also help you build a strong brand identity, keeping your name at the front of your customers’ and prospects’ minds.
To create a solid social media plan, some of the most important steps to follow include:
- Conducting target market research
- Researching the competition
- Generating goals that align with the objectives of your business (followers, comments, likes, and subscribers)
- Posting compelling content regularly using a content calendar
- Tracking the performance of your social media marketing plan
- Making adjustments to your strategy as needed
Social media can be a great way for you to expand your market share by fostering authentic relationships with your target market.
Example of social media marketing for restaurants:
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are wildly popular in social media marketing and restaurants. They, of course, work with paid media like ads, but the casual relationship restaurants can build with their followers encourages more people into the location. Use social media to share reviews, testimonials, upcoming specials, and holiday hours. Graphic and video-heavy content offers the best traction.
3. Email Marketing: Important Digital Touch Point
Email marketing has become a form of both direct and digital marketing, and engaging emails can help you maximize the return on your investment. According to Mailchimp, email marketing “is a form of marketing that can make the customers on your email list aware of new products, discounts, and other services.”
As part of your restaurant email marketing strategy, you should educate your customers about your products and services. You can run different email marketing campaigns that target people at various stages of your marketing funnel. For example, you might use one set of emails to nurture leads and another to keep in touch with current customers.
This is called segmenting your email list. When you segment your email list properly, you can send them more personalized, relevant emails. This can increase your email open rate, boost your click-through rates, and reduce unsubscribe rates.
Example of email marketing for restaurants:
A discount offer is a restaurant’s most popular email marketing campaign. Contacting previous guests and offering a percentage off their next visit lands on warm audiences who’re more likely to act. Email marketing, though less effective than in its hay day a few years back, remains one of the top strategies for reaching out to nurture past guests.
4. Attract More Traffic With Search Engine Marketing
The vast majority of people use search engines when they are looking for products and services they require. Therefore, search engine marketing can be an effective advertising tool as well. According to SEMRush, “SEM (search engine marketing) is a digital marketing strategy that aims to increase the online visibility of websites on the search engine results page (SERP).”
A strong search engine marketing (SEM) campaign can help you increase your visibility in search engines. A comprehensive digital marketing strategy can use paid advertisements to get your business noticed quickly. Still, you can improve your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) through a robust search engine optimization (SEO) campaign.
This campaign can help you optimize your website traffic by helping you rank higher for keywords and phrases relevant to your products and services. As a result, users will see your website’s link ranking higher on search results pages and click on it, helping you to increase traffic organically.
Example of search engine marketing for restaurants:
Thanks to a relatively new update from Google, search engine marketing has changed a little. As of August, Google will continuously update search engine results based on a website’s ‘Helpful Content.’ The more helpful the information you share, the more likely your website will rank well in the category.
What does this mean for your restaurant marketing? It means sharing content on your websites, such as blogs, articles, case studies, white papers, and infographics, that’s written for the consumer with SEO guidelines in mind by adding keywords and keyphrases naturally.
5. Direct Marketing & Direct Mail Marketing Are Alive & Well
Finally, you should also use direct marketing. According to Shopify, “Direct marketing is a promotional method that involves presenting information about your company, product, or service to your target customer without using an advertising middleman.” There are different types of direct marketing; one of the most popular examples is direct mail marketing.
A solid direct mail marketing strategy is a great way to engage prospects offline. Today, many people are used to interacting with businesses online, so you can stand out from your competitors by giving your prospects and customers a physical marketing piece that discusses your products and services. A handwritten note is one of the most powerful direct mail marketing examples.
Example of direct mail marketing for restaurants:
Direct mail marketing is one of the oldest strategies for reaching out to leads, nurturing existing clients, and reigniting old clients. People everywhere frequently receive printed flyers and postcards; remember the last election cycle?
The old methods of reaching out with direct mail, especially handwritten notes for restaurants, have changed drastically in the past few years, and now restaurants sharing thousands of cuisines can reach out with notes that look, feel, and read as if written by YOU.
Boost Marketing Power With Direct Mail & Handwritten Notes
What Exactly are Handwritten Notes?
In an era where so much is done online, handwritten notes may feel antiquated; however, the nostalgia of handwritten notes is powerful. They are a great way to convey genuine feelings!
According to a marketing expert in the Harvard Business Review, “That conveyance of value is amplified by the fact that personal messages are often notes of gratitude, civility, and appreciation that reach beyond the conventional thank-you.” This is a great way to make customers feel good.
Furthermore, research studies have shown that direct mail marketing can benefit online retailers. A study published in the Journal of Interactive Marketing states, “A randomized field experiment demonstrates that presenting a handwritten note has a positive and significant effect on customer spending.
More importantly, the authors observe that an additional marketing incentive (i.e., giveaway, price discount) attenuates this beneficial effect.”
In contrast to emails, tweets, and social media posts, where you can send hundreds of notes at once, handwritten notes for restaurants can give customers that “feel good” feeling.
Personalized, handwritten messages can increase customer satisfaction, boost customer loyalty, and convince them to return for more. There is something special about handwritten notes’ human touch, which can help you establish a personal connection.
Handwritten thank-you notes can strengthen relationships by helping you show appreciation for your customers and clients.
12 Killer Direct Mail Statistics
With direct mail marketing, the proof is in the numbers. A few key statistics to keep in mind from Fundera include:
- Direct mail spend—at $38.5 billion—accounts for the largest portion of US local advertising spend.
- US advertisers spend an average of $167 per person on direct mail.
- These US advertisers also earn an average of $2,095 worth of goods sold through direct mail per person.
- 70% of consumers say direct mail is more personal than online interactions.
- 54% of consumers say they want direct mail from brands that interest them.
- Direct mail open rates can reach up to 90%.
- 42% of recipients read or scan the direct mail they receive.
- Direct mail response rates are five to nine times higher than any other advertising channel.
- The average direct mail response rate for prospect lists was 4.9% last year.
- Adding a name to your direct mail piece can increase response rates by 135%.
- 62% of consumers who responded to direct mail in the past three months made a purchase.
- 39% of consumers try a business for the first time because of direct mail.
The numbers show that handwritten notes increase future customer spending, and restaurants can also take advantage of this opportunity.
Handwritten Notes: Why Should Restaurants Send Them?
A strong restaurant marketing plan should use handwritten notes to interact with customers because they can trigger reciprocity in a sharing community. When restaurants send sincere, genuine handwritten notes to their customers, their customers will know that they have taken the time to craft that note to meet their needs personally. Then, they will feel obligated to reciprocate those efforts, potentially visiting the restaurant.
Personal, heartfelt notes can be a game-changer for restaurants. The power of relationship marketing will be on full display, showing that handwritten notes increase sales.
Furthermore, handwritten menus convey love and caring. According to a study by The Ohio State University, “A typeface that appears handwritten, with imperfect curves and slants and organic strokes, conveys a deeper sense of emotional connection than a machine-written typeface, which is typically squared, straight and uniform.”
Can Restaurants Send Handwritten Notes at Scale?
Yes, restaurants can send handwritten notes at scale. Ideally, when restaurants and other businesses scale up their marketing services, they spend less money and time on each marketing piece while generating more sales. This helps them maximize the return on their investment.
With handwritten notes, this may be more challenging. Each message takes a certain amount of time, so sending more letters will take proportionally more time. Eventually, there won’t be enough hours in the day to keep up. That is where a professional handwritten notes service like Audience.co can be helpful for restaurants.
7 Elements of a Highly-Effective Message
There are seven parts to a wildly successful restaurant note. They include:
- Opening: Make sure to use a warm greeting such as dear, hello, hey, or hi. Always use the recipient’s first name to make the note feel personal.
- First Sentence: In the first sentence, introduce yourself by name, using at least your first name (and possibly your last name as well). Be optimistic as you explain why you are reaching out to the recipient.
- Body: In the body, you should not beg but explain why the recipient should listen to what you have to say. The total length of the note should be around 600 characters.
- Value Proposition: This is where you explain the benefit you give to the reader. Ensure you engage the recipient.
- Closing: Confirm the close is warm and friendly, and maintain a consistent brand voice and personality.
- Contact: Give the reader a way to get in touch with you. Share your first and last name again, your position, company name, phone number, and email address.
- QR Code: Include a QR code to the specific landing page designed to convert the reader.
Learn even more about handwritten note marketing: Handwritten Notes: 2022 Be-All, End-All Guide.
5 Must-Have Handwritten Note Templates for Restaurants
To make this process easier, you can use several restaurant note templates. A few handwritten notes templates to consider include:
1. Prospecting: Opening Near You
This is to inform you that we are now officially in your neighborhood, at your service! Yes, we are Romano’s, the world’s best pizzeria for all ages, and now you can eat out anytime, any day!
We have some exciting ongoing offers as part of our introductory period in this neighborhood. Drop by anytime and check out our combinations that offer you a varied list of cuisines, all of the pizzas, with the awesome accompaniment of exotic sauces and grilled vegetables of a hundred different kinds.
We have some of the finest workers and staff employed in our establishment, and we guarantee you the best experience of eating out—only at Romano’s!
Pro Tip: Handwritten notes are a great way for businesses to foster personal connections with potential customers. Investing in a real first-class postage stamp effectively demonstrates that the sender is devoted to making a positive impression.
It adds a touch of authenticity that can set a message apart from the rest. To maximize impact, consider purchasing stamps with unique designs or attractive artwork. This will help ensure your note stands out in the recipient’s mailbox!
2. Prospecting: Re-Grand Opening
We are happy to announce that our newly renovated restaurant is now ready for your dining pleasure. We are eager to treat you and your family to a unique and cost-effective dining experience with our special Indian menu and service.
We invite you to celebrate with us on 12/06 at our location at 222 Peachtree Ave with a free dinner at 6. Scan the QR code to access our new menu.
Kindly inform us of your attendance by 12/01 via phone (555) 555-5555 or email at email@example.com.
We look forward to serving you.
Pro Tip: When partnering with a company to facilitate handwritten note campaigns, it is essential to ensure category exclusivity. This will guarantee that no other business is mailing notes to the same leads.
Not only does this offer protection from potential competitors, but it also allows peace of mind that your contacts receive uniquely tailored content.
3. Prospecting: Catering Special Offer
Anchor has provided this town with the best dishes for three generations now. We have always served you delicious and affordable food. We also offer catering services.
From now on, you do not have to go to celebrate your special occasions at our restaurants. We now come to you. We cater to just about any event you might have; you name it, and Mom’s Best can do it. We are surely going to make your party a blast.
Scan the QR code for more details!
Pro Tip: Make your handwritten notes one-of-a-kind by incorporating an eye-catching graphic that stands out from the competition. Choose something original, such as a drawing, painting, or filtered photo that speaks to your company or a local landmark close to the recipient.
Avoid logos and photos of yourself – nobody wants to display those on their kitchen counter.
4. Response to Negative Feedback: 1
Firstly, I’d like to apologize for the rude behavior of one of our crew members and the seemingly dismissive attitude she may have had regarding your concern. We have always worked hard to maintain a high level of client service, and you can be sure that this incident was isolated.
Nonetheless, we appreciate your feedback. It has helped us identify weak spots in our training and will surely help us as we strive to provide you with the best customer service.
Pro Tip: After you send out each mailer, don’t forget to follow up with your handwritten note recipients. Staying top of mind and optimizing ROI are key – so make sure to choose a company that offers accurate emails and social handles for lead enrichment, an automated system for follow up, and the ability to push all collected data to your CRM.
5. Response to Negative Feedback: 2
Our restaurant manager has forwarded your concern about the food quality to us. Thank you very much for being very honest and straightforward with your comments.
While we certainly regret that the food served to you did not meet our usual standards, we also appreciate the opportunity you gave us to improve.
Please accept our sincerest apologies. We hope that you continue to visit us so we can serve you better.
Pro Tip: Make sure you’re always prepared – have a stock of pre-written, non-personalized notes for prospects, customers, partners, and employees. You can use these for event invitations or webinar invites, happy birthday messages, welcoming new employees to the team, or even an apology when needed.
There is a Critical Need for Handwritten Notes in Restaurants
Undoubtedly, handwritten menus and restaurant notes can be very beneficial to promote your restaurant business. Get in touch with us today to find out what we can do for your restaurant and how you can put these handwritten notes for restaurants to work for you. Visit our Calendly page to book a quick 30-minute intro call today!