5 Direct Mail Advertising Examples for Your Restaurant

    The pandemic solidified direct mail marketing’s place as an essential advertising strategy for restaurant operators.

    Food court blurred into background.
    Adobe Stock
    Innovations in direct mail allow you to send customers a postcard featuring a detachable perforated loyalty or membership card.

    Direct mail marketing is a proven method to help gain customers at quick-service restaurants. It provides a tangible method for reaching both loyal customers and potential diners. Internet data privacy concerns and countless pop-up ads are just a couple of the many reasons direct mail is still very relevant in our digital world.  Direct mail can be personalized to increase its appeal and demands attention due to its tangible nature and sporadic delivery. 

    More than four out of five Americans trust print ads in newspapers and magazines, while 80 percent trust television ads, Marketing Sherpa reported. At the time of the study, online pop-up ads were only trusted by 24 percent of Americans. Many Americans are paying more attention to advertisements that offer promotions and deals than in pre-COVID times, according to a survey of 1,000 United States consumers conducted by Valassis, a marketing technology company.

    The pandemic solidified direct mail marketing’s place as an essential advertising strategy for restaurant operators. While safety concerns were at the forefront of Americans’ minds last year, it didn’t stop people from visiting restaurants. Quick-service chains were in the spotlight as many Americans turned to takeout and delivery options. Approximately 52 percent of Americans tried a new restaurant in the past year, Valassis reported. Reaching Americans by direct mail marketing at home, where they are spending most of their time, provides a reliable return on investment and will help restaurant chains retain market share.

    Here are five ways to add loyal customers to your restaurant using direct mail marketing:

    1. Grand Opening or Special Promotion Postcard

    Direct mail makes it simple to target your customer demographic when you want to promote your restaurant’s grand opening or tell residents about your specials. Using direct mail to spread the word about the debut of your new restaurant will generate buzz and profits as soon as you open your doors. Saturation Postcards allow you to target customers based on neighborhood, distance from your restaurant, median household income, and median age. The United States Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail tool, facilitated by Our Town America’s Postcard Marketing program, allows your campaign to reach your target demographic.

    2. Perforated Postcard for Loyalty Program

    Loyalty programs are a tried-and-true method for rewarding devoted customers. Innovations in direct mail allow you to send customers a postcard featuring a detachable perforated loyalty or membership card. Simply select a demographic or group of prospects, rather than mailing to an entire neighborhood or carrier route, to make your loyal customers feel special. As a bonus, postcards can be addressed individually by name giving your campaign a better chance of success.

    3. Birthday Postcard

    People love getting birthday wishes; show your customers you care by helping them celebrate their birthday.  Americans purchase approximately 6.5 million birthday cards each year, according to the Greeting Card Association, the U.S. trade association serving the greeting card and social expression industry. Highlighting a customer’s special day can help strengthen customer loyalty and give them a nice birthday surprise.

    4. New Mover Gift Certificate

    My company specializes in providing one-time use, no-strings-attached welcome gifts to new residents. Our Welcome Package is attractive and perceived as hospitality rather than advertising. It is filled with proven offers designed to capture new residents before they form loyalties to your competitor restaurants. New movers appreciate the free offer when they are busy unpacking and spending their money turning their house into a home.

    5. Thank You Postcard

    After a new mover redeems their new mover gift certificate, restaurants are able to send a thank you postcard with an optional secondary offer. First-time customers are impressed that you knew they visited your restaurant and took the time to thank them for their business. Our Town America’s new mover marketing program can automatically send that thank you postcard mailing once that initial gift certificate is redeemed.

    To reach new customers and drive sales, make sure these unique direct mail marketing techniques are part of your quick-service restaurant’s advertising strategy.

    After serving our country as a US Army Medic, Michael Plummer, Jr. returned to the family business (Our Town America a nation's premier New Mover Marketing franchise started by his father in 1972) in 2001 to work in the IT department. 15+ years later, Plummer now leads the business as its CEO and CTO—using his extensive technology/data experience to make Our Town America the savviest analytical player in the industry. A technology expert with more than 15 years of leadership experience, Plummer, Jr. has helped Our Town America establish itself as the nation's fastest-growing and most successful New Mover Marketing franchise. With dozens of franchise partners located from coast to coast, Our Town America helps thousands of local business spark long-term, loyal relationships with countless new movers each and every year.