Using email marketing to connect with guests and increase revenue
Patina Restaurant Group is the national leader in the fine-dining segment, operating restaurants in over 60 locations around the country, including Michelin-starred Patina in Los Angeles, California.
Their team is entirely dedicated to providing guests with the finest quality cuisine, exceptional service, and genuine hospitality – and that same emphasis on incredible experiences extends to their marketing.
Here’s an inside look at how they use relevant, personalized email to keep guests coming back time and time again.
A personal marketing strategy with email at its center
“Email is the most flexible and dynamic way we’re able to speak directly to our guests,” said Director of Marketing Rachel Insler. “It’s how we engage with some of our most loyal guests – guests who have raised their hands and asked to hear from us.”
The key to nailing that communication? Personalized email content driven by segmentation.
"We capture data from our website and restaurants and try to segment as much as possible,” said Digital Marketing Manager Ashely Nunes. “Eventually, we’d like to segment based on long-term interests. Are they interested in wine dinners? Are they interested in happy hours? Once we’ve collected that information, we can ensure they’re getting the most tailored experience possible."
Their email design mimics the high level of sophistication you find in their restaurants.
Constantly evolving and iterating with smart testing
Rachel and Ashely stay up-to-date on email marketing best practices, but they take them with a grain of salt.
“What is considered a ‘best practice’ is always shifting, which is why we test. We’ve noticed that during the holidays, weekend sends tend to do better. For catering or wedding sales, Wednesdays are the day. You never know what will work for your audience until you test it out,” said Ashely.
They also pay special mind to the devices members of their audience will use to open when planning campaigns.
In Emma, they can see a quick breakdown of their opens by device.
"Our send times also depend on what we’re asking someone to do. If it’s a more lengthy task – like registering for an event or watching a video – we’ll see better conversion during the week when people are sitting at their computers,” said Rachel.
Demographics play a huge role in their strategy, too.
"On the East Coast, our audience skews older, so we haven’t seen a slam dunk with emojis in subject lines. But on the West Coast, our audience is younger, so they do better," said Ashely.
Ashely and Rachel were quick to point to some specific features when asked what drew them to Emma.
“Emma makes measuring the impact of our emails very easy. Thanks to the intuitive reporting, I can quickly see which communications are getting more clicks, make changes, and optimize for the next send,” said Rachel.
She loves the tiered account structure and segmentation tools.
“We have a lot of different restaurants that want to send emails to the same list of people, and thanks to those tools, we’re able to make sure everyone gets their messages out without overwhelming our guests’ inboxes.”
Ashely also noted the ability to be more collaborative with their email strategy.
"It’s a tool for our entire team, and we’re all in it together,” she said.
“Email marketing with Emma gets us results,” said Rachel. “If we have an event coming up, we can talk about it in restaurants, we can talk about it on social, but if we really want to drive attendance, we have to use email."
They’ve also noticed an increase in their response rates after switching platforms – partially because of our mobile responsive templates and partially because of our integrations with restaurant intelligence platform Venga and Google Analytics.
Venga allows restaurant groups to create custom guest segments based on POS data and sync them to Emma.
“Now that Emma is connected to our POS and reservation data, we’re able to show how email has made a direct impact on the business. It allows us to be so much smarter about what we’re putting in front of our guests”
We love working with super savvy customers like Patina Restaurant Group and watching them get amazing results with email marketing.
If you’d like to learn more about their restaurants, check out their website, and you can sign up for their email list here.