a woman working on a laptop with envelope graphics above her head showing email marketing tips

I was recently asked by a restaurant owner for some tips on helping her tune-up her email marketing. After writing these email marketing tips I realized they could just as easily help a restaurant as they could most any other businesses.

MailChimp is our go-to email marketing platform that we are an agency partner with. I’ve been using them since 2008 and I can’t imagine using anything else. Most of these tips can be used with other services – but this post is specifically for other MailChimp users.

1. Use Lists and Tags

One of the newest functions I’ve started implementing recently is their tag function. Previously, I had separate lists for so many things. Now, it’s one list with people tagged in the list based on the criteria I choose. It could be your business location if you had multiple places, an event the person attended, a particular interest they indicated. You get to decide what tags will help you market to your audience best.

Tags do two big things for you. It helps you to not have people duplicated across multiple lists, thus causing your total audience count to climb and cost you more money. It helps you reduce email clutter by not emailing the mass list, but instead, targeting your emails better.

Assuming you already have a list and you want to clean it up and get people sorted, you can send the people on your existing list an email to help do that. On it ask them to pick the best fit for them and their circumstances.

For example, with the restaurant owner, we’ll send an email to the entire list asking them which location they prefer when they visit the restaurant. Once they pick a location we’ll be able to target emails to them with things about their preferred location that could help to draw them back in.

We expect to get 10-20% of them to respond. 24 hours later we’ll email the ones who haven’t clicked to make a decision. This will probably gain an additional 5-10% of them to respond. MailChimp has this function builtin to its app to send the email to non-responders, but we can go further and send it only to the people who didn’t click.

After giving them about a week to respond you have to choose, do I delete them from the database since they aren’t engaged, or do I assign them a tag. You could even resend the email a third time. If they don’t respond – then they aren’t engaged. I lean towards deleting them from the database again to save money and limit marketing to engaged users.

2. Gain New Subscribers

Now that you have a built-in method for tagging your list going forward most forms on your site can be set to collect emails for marketing to help grow the list. If not, it’s time to tune up your contact form or even create a blog notification form.

Are you hosting an event? Connect your MailChimp list to the signup form and create a tag for new entries that enter your list (and current ones already there to be updated) with an event tag like “Shrimp Lovers Buffet – March 2020”.

The key for signups is to make sure you tell them what they are signing up for – weekly specials, discounts, event announcements, weekly lunch giveaways, etc. If they are going to give their email address via your website, it has to be for a good reason.

3. Automate Your Email Marketing

Are you ready for some next-level email marketing?

Set up a thank you email to go out after they sign up. This is a base level automation that can immediately happen after they sign-up or even be delayed days or hours, based on your need.

Trickle campaigns are a set of timed emails that you can use to tell people about your company. Instead of throwing everything at them at once, let them know about your services with a series of emails over a few day’s time.

I love birthday lists. You can send an email to your subscribers asking for their birthdays or even have them provide them when they sign up. A lot of businesses will offer a discounted or free food item for someone to receive on their birthday. Have them show the email to you and their ID and you just one brought them back to your restaurant but also created a fun experience for them. I even recommend setting up an automation a few days before their birthday about what they’ll receive on their birthday so they will be on the lookout for it.

All of these are automations and once they are set up, they run on their own and you never have to touch them again unless you are changing something you’ve already written.


Email marketing is a great way to reach people in a hurry. Your customers check their email all the time. By developing well thought out lists of people bought into your business via verified methods of email collection, you can effectively market your products to them,

As always, if you get stumped and need some help or just want us to run the project for you, contact us and we’ll go from there!

Check out these other articles that may interest you:

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment