In recent research from Harte-Hanks, a direct/targeted marketing company, among 13 industry categories, restaurants enjoyed the best e-mail open rates at 167.7%. (Open rate is the percentage of cumulative times all e-mails are opened vs. the number of total e-mails delivered.) At 57.5%, restaurants also had the best click-through rate (the percentage of times recipients click on a link or call to action within an opened e-mail, which usually sends them to a Web site).
Source: The Postfuture Index™ for January-June 2006 from Harte-Hanks, a direct marketing firm specializing in business-to-consumer marketing for the retail and restaurant industries. Note: The open rate can exceed 100% due to e-mails that are passed along and/or re-opened.
According to Wendy Lynes, retail practice leader, Harte-Hanks, “Open rates are very strong for restaurants because recipients expect or believe there will be value. It could be information, a promise of a level of service or experience, etc. But it generally involves some kind of offer – from a free topping on a pizza to an online drawing for a free dinner. One practice in particular that helps click-through rates for restaurants is the feature of print-at-home coupons or certificates, which can typically be used in-store or at home (delivery).”
Wendy advises restaurants to, “Analyze both POS and e-mail performance data to determine if their offers are relevant – which types of offers and content drive desired behavior with which customers – then refine their offer targeting.” And when working with an e-mail marketing company, “Make sure the company has expertise not only in e-mail marketing, but also in analyzing data and results,” she says.