If you want to do email marketing for your restaurant, here is an example of three things you might want to avoid.

I was at Schlotzsky’s Deli the other day and while I was in line to order I saw this sign.


Here are three things you can do to improve this campaign if you run a restaurant.

1.  Pick the right location

This draw box was located so I could see it while in line.  Good.  It was colorful and easy to see. However. It was on a counter top that was 5 feet high.  You can’t see it in the picture but it was over anyone’s head if they were 5ish feet tall. First, they couldn’t quite see it (too high) and second, there was no way they could reach it. Kind of like a kid reaching for the cookie jar.

If you are doing a draw like this (which will get you an email address), make sure you place it so it’s easy to reach.

2.  Write clear copy

This is important to your counter ad, but also to your email copy.  You might not be able to read where the arrow is pointed but here’s the copy in this ad.

“Be the office hero. Schlotzky’s Caters!  Win a large sandwich tray. Drop in your business card to enter and we’ll add you to our email club.”

Read this quickly and tell me what’s going to happen when I place my card in the box.

If your ad is clear, your reader will know what to do.

“Enter to win a large sandwich tray.  Drop your business card in the box and we’ll let you know by email if you’ve won.”

If I’m in line. I’m hungry, I’m ready to order, I don’t want to figure out a contest. The essence of this message is you can win a sandwich tray. Once you have an entry you can send them an email immediately (the Welcome Email), which let’s them know they have entered successfully and then you can start to build your relationship with the entrant to the point where you have earned the right to talk about catering.

So many people don’t get the concept of building a relationship. Just because you want to tell me you do catering doesn’t mean I’m going to place an order right this second!

Give it some time… earn the right.

3.  What if I don’t have a card?

This is a fine point, but what if I am tall enough and I don’t have a card with me?  I may still have a need or desire for catering and might want to enter.  Give me some way to enter or tell me how to enter so I can become a lead. It might be in the fine print but that’s too much work. I’m hungry.

Bonus Tip

If you reallly want to push this offer, make sure your counter staff asks me a qualifying question to see if I would like to enter. You’ll be catching those (shorter) people that didn’t read this sign while they were reading the menu.


If you do just want to get people on your Email Club then change it up and tell me what I’ll get when I join.  If it’s good, and I’m the right person, I might do just that.