By Nick Fosberg   |   April 19, 2016

I’m probably going to shock you with this message because you probably know by now, I’m a huge believer in delivering value by e-mail and the web, as I’m doing now. However, I’m a big time believer in direct mail, too and I’m going to give you the 7 reasons why, and why you should be using it, too!

Before I get into that, let me get straight to the point.

Direct Mail Marketing For Restaurants …..

… NOT dead and it’s one of the best ways for acquiring new customers IF you’re using it correctly.

Direct mail is commonly known as junk mail to some, but in reality, junk mail is really in your e-mail box. Think about it. Out of all the e-mails you receive in a day, how many do you delete? 90 percent or more?

Don’t let me steer you the wrong way, e-mail marketing is very lucrative and beneficial and MUST be part of your marketing game plan. Just don’t go the cheap route and think e-mail and digital marketing are the only way to go because if you do, you’re leaving a lot of customers out from walking in your doors.

The winning formula here is to use digital marketing and direct mail marketing together in a systematic way, which I will share with you within this post.

7 Advantages Direct Mail Has Over E-mail Marketing

1. Direct mail has a higher perceived value – It’s common that 80-85% of your emails will never get opened. Direct mail will, at least, catch your customers’ eyes because their mailbox isn’t full of 100 mailers a day. They may not read every single word, but the odds are in your favor with direct mail to at least get looked at.

2. Direct mail is more reliable, trustworthy – According to an Epsilon study, 50% of consumers prefer direct mail to email, 67% think direct mail is more personal, 70% preferred direct mail to email when it comes to unsolicited information from unfamiliar companies and 25% perceived direct mail offers to be more trustworthy than email.

How do you feel? Do you agree? If not, ask a few of your customers and see what they say. You might be surprised and you might just get that boost of confidence to start using more direct mail to increase sales!

direct mail vs email

3. Uniqueness – E-mail is e-mail. It shows up in your e-box just like all the others. The only chance you really have is your subject line to really stand out (which of course is the MOST important element within e-mail marketing)

With direct mail, you can touch it, you can feel it, and you can show up big or small. You can stand out from all the other mailers in the mailbox to really grab attention.

4. Direct mail messages last longer – Your direct mail could sit on the table for weeks and then action could be taken upon when your prospect has time. With e-mail, it could be deleted instantly and never seen again. E-mails go down the disposal much faster than direct mail.

5. Higher delivery rate – They say about 95% of your mail will get delivered when you have run it through a direct mail company that cleans the list for bad addresses. As I said before, e-mails will get 20-25% if you’re lucky. I’ve taken on some clients who have only a 10% average response. That’s only 100 people out of 1,000 people being sent to.

Instagram Post

6. Direct mail holds attention longer – When you think about your e-mail box, you’ve got 50-100 or more each day. You’re busy, you’re in a hurry. Your message might get read, but read FAST and maybe not all the way through if you don’t do a good job at keeping the reader engaged with exciting / newsworthy information.

7. This Is Huge! Less Competition! – As I stated before, you probably get 100 or e-mails a day. At least 50. Your mailbox, probably a quarter of that. That’s a good thing.

Now think if you’re the only bar / restaurant showing up in the mailbox with a compelling offer that benefits your customer after a long, hard day at work. What if the copy within your direct mail piece started jabbing at them about taking the time to cook, cleaning up, etc., where your offer to them sounds much more pleasing, less of a hassle, and better tasting?


The Best Direct Mail Strategy For
Attracting New Customers To
Your Bar or Restaurant Using Direct Mail

Here’s my advice.

1. What’s your goal and what are you promoting?
2. Who is the best type of person to market to for that promotion to reach your goal?
3. Buy a mailing list of those people within a 3-5 mile radius of your business.
4. What do you need to say that is going to persuade this new customer to come in for this SPECIFIC promotion you’ve put in place? What you need to answer within your marketing message is WHY they should take you up on your offer and how they are going to benefit. If you don’t, you won’t get the results you want!
5. Figure out your call to action

There are 3 ways to go about your call to action.

You can either…

A. Have them bring the offer in to redeem.
B. Send them to a one-page website to capture their e-mail address and deliver it by e-mail.
C. Have them bring the offer in to redeem – but also send them to a one-page website to capture their e-mail for a bonus gift (this way you’re generating more information and have multiple ways to market to them)

So you’re probably saying to yourself, “Nick, what the hell is wrong with you? You’re telling me all these great things about direct mail and all these advantages over e-mail and now your crazy ass is telling me to get their e-mail!”

My answer to that – it’s about strategy and using multiple medias to attract and retain customers. There’s so much more you can do when you get people to your website and collect e-mails from direct mail marketing.

1. You can get their e-mail and of course – e-mail them!
2. You can get their e-mail and upload it to Facebook custom audiences and advertise directly and only to your e-mail list if you choose (this is VERY profitable by the way & keep in mind, the email must be registered within Facebook of course).
3. When they hit your website, you can re-target them with banner ads of your future promotions for pennies on the dollar.
4. You can also upload those e-mails to google ad words and target ONLY your email list with banner ads.


Don’t think that because of all the new age technology and social media platforms that are out, that direct mail is dead. It’s not. It’s very much alive and profitable when used the right way with the right message.

Always remember, your marketing isn’t about winning awards for design and style, it’s about persuading your prospect or customer on why your offer or promotion is perfect for them and better than any other alternative that they have. As a reminder, go back to number 4 in the advice I gave you at the top.

When using direct mail, no matter what call to action you use, try to figure out a way to get that e-mail address because there are several ways you can market to them inexpensively. Be strategic!

If you’d like to test out a direct mail campaign but have someone to look over your shoulder and guide you to get the best ROI possible, send me an e-mail to Nick @ Bar Restaurant (I separate that for spam bots on the web capturing emails) and let me know what your goals are and maybe I can help.

Please leave any comments you have about your experience with direct mail below or questions you may have. Cheers!

Nick Fosberg

Nick Fosberg is known as one of the highest paid, marketing and promotional consultants in the bar & restaurant industry and he owns 2 bar / restaurants in the Chicagoland area. He's famous for creating some of the highest grossing digital marketing promotions in the history of the bar & restaurant business..... without spending a penny on marketing. All done through e-mail & Facebook posts. 

Click here to get a free copy of my latest book.

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