35 – Advanced Facebook Marketing III – Email marketing and setting Restaurant Facebook ad budgets

In this episode we discuss our Restaurant Facebook Marketing Report.  Less than 1% of Restaurants that we surveyed ran ads in the time.  A shocking statistic when you think that it is one of the easiest ways to increase revenue for your Restaurant!

We know that Restaurants aren’t super interested in Facebook marketing.  The previous advanced Facebook marketing episodes haven’t been downloaded as much as some of the others (Reasons Restaurants Fail was downloaded a lot more – maybe something to that 🙁 ) But it is really important if you want to be successful to understand Facebook.  Even if you don’t do it, your competitors will be and you need to know what is possible.

This episodes looks at using your email database to create a customer audience in Facebook to target your Restaurant customers.

We also look at budgeting.  How much should you spend per day on a Facebook campaign.  We look at the cost per 1000 impressions and also the cost per link click or engagement and give you some rough guidelines.

We also go into what the cost of your campaign tells you about your audience reaction.

If you want more information on Facebook marketing – check out the legends at Perpetual Traffic. Keith, Molly, and Ralph delve deep, really deep into Facebook marketing.  This isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it is a great podcast if you want to crush Facebook marketing for your Restaurant.

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Podcast transcript on Advanced Facebook Marketing III – Email marketing and setting Restaurant Facebook ad budgets

James Eling: Hey, it’s James from Marketing4Restaurants here. Welcome to episode 35 of Secret Sauce, the restaurant marketing podcast. Advanced Facebook marketing techniques part three, email marketing and setting budgets.

Voiceover: Some restaurants are quiet, lose money, and the owner works 70 hours a week. Other restaurants are busy, profitable, and the owners work a few hours a day. What’s the difference? They have a secret sauce. Join James from Marketing4Restaurants as he helps you come up with your recipe for restaurant success, your secret sauce.

James: Welcome back, everyone. So, how did you go with the annual marketing plan? You’ve all gone and you’ve come up with 20 awesome marketing ideas, menu items, all of those sort of things that are going to really, really drive lots of excited customers into your restaurant, haven’t you? Maybe, maybe not. I hope you have.

Now, today’s going to be super interesting I think for not a lot of people, and that’s because we found out some really, really shocking news this week. And that is virtually no one is doing Facebook marketing. Now, I really can’t believe this because for most people this is one of the easiest ways that you can actually increase, find new customers and turn them into repeat customers. It’s not rocket science. We see it all the time, because this is what we help our customers do. It’s not that hard to do and it works. And the budgets that we spend are ridiculously low. I was listening to Perpetual Traffic, which is a great, it’s quite a very, very advanced Facebook marketing podcast. And the team there do an amazing job of really, really being at the cutting edge. That’s what I do, I listen to podcasts myself to make sure that I’m at the cutting edge of Facebook marketing and all other types of marketing, as well.

And they were talking about there being three and a half million people who advertise on Facebook and I thought, “That’s not that many.” When you take that figure as being a global figure, that’s not that many. So, I thought, and being data drive people here, I thought, “You know, I just wonder how many people in Australia are doing Facebook marketing.” So, we came up with a way of picking a random selection of restaurants. So, what we’re doing is getting our heartland our customers that we help the most are family run restaurants plus or minus doing takeout, but we thought we’ll focus on the ones doing takeout. And so, we went and grabbed, got the dominant player in each country – we started with Australia – and we grabbed 100 restaurants and we just went and had a look at what their Facebook was.

And I’ve got to tell you, the figures were quite astounding. Now, Christine’s gone through, she’s done a whole heap of work in this research. Lots and lots of research. 70% have got their own Facebook page. 12% don’t have a Facebook page. And 18% have got an unofficial Facebook page. Now, I’m not going to go through this. What I’m probably going to do is, because the results were so bad we’re actually rolling this out across New Zealand, US, UK, and I think we’ll have a crack at Canada, as well. Just to see whether this is an Australian thing. Is it that Australians don’t like using Facebook? Or, whether it is just a very, very low penetration for restaurants in Facebook. The information that we found though, I will give you one statistic though, only 22% had posted in the last 10 days. 17% had posted within the last week. Only 9% had posted within the last 36 hours. 12% had not posted within the last 12 months. Wow, that’s amazing. I don’t know what it is. I think this is going to be our mission to really get people to understand how to drive Facebook marketing campaigns because it’s so easy to do.

And as I said, we ran a campaign a while ago that filled a restaurant, so it was a café in Perth, we filled it for a budget of $8.38, that’s $8.36 total spend. Everyone was eating pancakes, which was their highest margin item. So, a hugely successful, I mean, the ROI on that is massive. It’s the best $8.36 that that café probably ever spent in his life. And it’s interesting because one of the things that we look at is who downloads what podcasts. Which are the ones that are really popular? Because they’re the things that, you know, obviously are concerning our customers. Which is what you should be doing with your special board. You know, you put something up on the special board, is this something that people are really interested in? Now, I know that the Facebook ones aren’t that interesting to people. So, we’d done one and two, we saw that they didn’t rate that well. So, it was kind of like, “I’ll do three when I get around to it.” But I think that we need to do this, we need to have this conversation.

Partially, because the email marketing is a big thing that people, this is one really easy way that you can drive a lot of engagement with your existing customers, through email mailing and Facebook. And two, the budgets. A lot of people, and I think, see this is a really, really interesting thing. What a lot of restaurant marketers do, when they pick up a customer they say, “Well, let’s run a campaign and it’s going to cost $500 a week.” And people think, “You know, that’s a lot of money. Should I run it, should I not? I don’t know.” Now, what actually happens is that they’re running a $100 campaign and they’re charging $400 to run it, which is just hideous because there’s not that much time. I mean, maybe they’re doing artwork. We’re seeing people say, “Send us a photo and we’ll put it up,” and literally they’re posting it, they’re running a little bit of an ad against it and they’re charging $400 to do it. Which I think is crazy talk. Particularly, hey look, if you get the results then that’s not so bad. But we see so many people and talking to restaurants owners, they’ll say, “You know, we got a guy in and we spent $2,000 with him and we couldn’t see any difference.” That’s crazy. You should be seeing massive differences if you’re running a Facebook campaign.

So, today we’re going to talk about email marketing in Facebook. And everyone goes, “Whoa, that’s a bit strange. That’s mixed up, what are you talking about there?” If you have an email database, you can send an email out to people and a lot of people say, “Well, you know, we don’t want to be treated like spam,” or, “We don’t get a very good response rate.” That’s probably because you’re sending out, you know, my monthly newsletter or you’re sending out very boring things. If you’ve got a great restaurant, if you’re providing a great experience, then people are going to want to hear that message from you. I get emails from Hotel Faena in Buenos Aires. Now, I’ll probably never go back there, tragically, but I love getting them, because every time I get one it reminds me of when we stayed in Buenos Aires. So, I don’t treat that as spam, that’s a little, you know, that’s a little bit of excitement in my inbox whenever it happens. And they probably only send out four a year. Email marketing is really powerful but some people, for some reason, aren’t very good at it or they don’t want to do it. Or, they are doing it, they’re doing it relentlessly but they’re looking for another way that they can monetize that database that they’ve built up. We’re going to go into Facebook ads manager.

I like to do this on a desktop because it’s just easier, and you’re often dealing with artwork and a few other bits and pieces. In the top left-hand corner there’s a little icon that says Facebook Ads, and you can click in audiences. Because what we’re going to do here is we’re going to create an audience for you to target. When you go into the audience thing it will have a list of all of the audiences that you’ve got in there. I’ve got, look, I’ve got heaps. Probably 25 audiences, and I’ll delete them when if I don’t like them or if I’ve finished a campaign and I’m not going to likely use that again. So, we make them and sort through them. Tells you what kind of audience it is, the size of it. You know, you want to go for the big audiences because marketing to a big audience, as long as it’s sufficiently targeted, is always cheaper than a small audience.

And in the top left-hand corner, ‘create audience’. What we’re going to do here, we’re going to create a ‘custom audience,’ and you’re going to do this from a ‘customer file’. So, in the past when we were talking about the pixel, we did website traffic. We’re going to go with ‘customer file’. Now, one of the other ones in there, this is a relatively new one, ‘engagement on Facebook’. So, people who have engaged with your Facebook page, you can target those guys, as well. So, another way you can get the people who are a little bit more engaged.

Now, we know there are a lot of restaurants out there who are using Mail Chimp for their email marketing and that’s awesome, because Mailchimp is free for less than 2,000 contacts. And, tragically, most people don’t have 2,000 contacts in their email database. My biggest gripe with Mail Chimp, because I think it’s a fantastic platform, is that once you get to 2,000 contacts it’s a little bit expensive. As you grow aggressively, and my think is, don’t you want 10,000 people in your email database? It starts to get pretty pricy. But you can import straight out of Mail Chimp. So, you click on that, put your username and password in and it’ll slurp across all of the data that you’ve got in Mail Chimp into a custom audience.

Now, let’s assume that you don’t have that one. We’re going to click on ‘choose a file or copy and paste data’. Now, so you can copy and paste information in, and generally it’s going to be an email address. If you’ve got a strong database, you know, zip code, age, year of birth, data of birth, country, mobile phone number, first name, last name, and email. So, if you’ve got any of that in your database you can put those people in there, and what Facebook does is, once you’ve put your customer contact details in there, it goes through its database and it tries to find people’s Facebook accounts. When it does, it adds that person into this saved audience. This is ridiculously powerful, because people aren’t going to, they don’t realize that it’s from their email address. You might get people who’ve unsubscribed in the past and, you know, unsubscribes is a big issue because we have restaurants who say, “You know, we’re sending out emails to people and people are complaining because they’re not getting our offers.”

And you do a little bit of detective work and it turns out that they’ve unsubscribed. This is one of those things where they can’t unsubscribe. They can say that they don’t want to see your ads anymore, but that happens so rarely. So, you upload a file and it’s usually got to be, it’s best in a CSV or a comma separated variable file. And if you’ve got it in Excel, you’ll be able to save it as that or as a text file. So, most systems should be able to export in that. Once you’ve done that, you name your audience, then click next. It will go and do that data matching process. So, if these are people who’ve made a booking then they’re people who have been to your restaurant, had a great time, and at the end of the process it’ll say, “We found X number of people in this list.” And then it’s ready to go. So, what you do from then is you click on that ad and one of the little buttons up the top will light up, “Create an ad,” and that’s when you can create an ad. And so, that’s going to be specifically targeting those people.

Really easy to be able to run a campaign, really easy to be able to run a campaign that is very cost effective for you to be able to run. Which brings me to the second part of our topic today and that is budgets. Okay, so we’re assuming obviously that you are in a suburb. How many people are in that suburb? How many people are in that area? How many people are you going to be targeting? And when you run an ad, Facebook will tell you how many people there are that you can target. And the trick is, and this is a little bit confusing, because what you want is the most targeted group that you can find, but you want as many of those people. So, it’s much easier to run a campaign that’s got 50,000 people that you’re targeting. But if they’re just general people, then the message that you have isn’t really going to be that well targeted for them. If you’re targeting males aged 18 to 25 who live alone in an area, there may not be that many of them, there may only be like 2,500 people.

However, the offer that you give them or the creative that you use, the picture, the test, the imagery, all of those sort of things are going to go to the Bachelor Snack Pack, something like that. So, it’s some food that’s attractive to them, you’ll come up with a name that’s attractive to them, and this is going to resonate really well with them. You know, we like targeting those guys because they’re generally eating, you know, cheese on toast or baked beans or something really boring. And they’re actually looking for something to eat. So, a well-priced offer of a kebab and chips and a coke, or fish and chips for one, or a single pizza with a garlic bread and chips, whatever it is, that offer works really well. And we see the same sort of things happening with people who are targeting mums, you know. Now, interesting, having a conversation with one restaurant owner around targeting single mums. Because one of the things is that most family deals assume two parents and, you know, two or three kids. Well, what if it’s only one parent? What if only one parent is going to come out? What if they’re going to be going out when the other parent is out working? Single parent family, there’s so many of them out there.

And the interesting thing is, in Facebook, people are targeting single parent families and they’re getting a really high response rate because they’re not saying, “Hey, single parent family.” They’re saying, “Our family deal. One parent. Three kids.” It’s only going out to people from single parent families, and they’re looking and going, “Wow, that’s aimed at me and you know what, no one’s ever targeted me. That’s the perfect family meal deal for me. I’ve never seen that before.” So, targeting, because you want to get your offer, you want to get your creative, the images, you want to get them as well targeted as possible. Now, back onto the topic. Budgeting. So, I love this question because I get asked it quite a lot. People will ring up, or they’ll come to the office for a meeting and they’ll say, you know, “So, you know, I’m thinking about spending $5,000 a month.” It’s like, “Whoa, okay. How many sites have we got?” “It’s just one.” It’s like, “Well, where did you get that figure from?” “Well,” you know, and it’s things that they’ve been charged in the past. You know, they’re really wanting to crush it and they’re looking at that. It’s a struggle to spend that.  We always like to start out really low.

So, it might be $3 a day. It may be, if you’re in a city with a million people and you’re going for a fairly broad subsection of that, you might go for $10. The great, the amazing thing, this is the amazing thing about Facebook, and online marketing in general, is that when you’re on a winner you know. You know really quickly. So, after 12 hours of putting that ad up, we’ll go back and look at it. And the big thing that you’re looking for is how much is it costing me to run this campaign. And I’ll tell you why it’s really important. You give Facebook a budget of $100 and, you know, the guys at Facebook they’re really smart, they’re super smart. They’re going to say, “Hurray, we got $100 to spend. Now, what’s the best way we can spend this $100?” They’re not saying, “What’s the best way that we can target people?” And because of that, if you’ve got a big budget to spend and you’re targeting very few people, you might find that it’s costing you $30 to reach 1,000 people.

To show your ad to a 1,000 people. And this is one of the metrics in the, you know, cost per thousand people reached, CPM. The cost per a thousand impressions. Generally, per post engagement and you might be spending $2 per post engagement. So, to get someone to like your post it might be costing you $2, that’s not ideal. If you’ve got some chef with some bad knife skills, you could target people, you know, let’s just do a quick Facebook live video and chef says, “Hey, chef Jimmy here from My Awesome Restaurant. And today I’m cutting up the onions for the burgers tonight.” And, you know, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. “Love to see you come in. The burgers are, you know, we’ve got prime beef burgers with our special ketchup. Come on in, it’s going to be awesome.” Now, if he can do that really well and it looks like he’s got completely mad knife skills, that video could do really, really well. So, Facebook Live.

We’re going to do a whole thing on Facebook Live but the biggest thing that people say is, “You know, I do a Facebook Live and there’s only one person liking me or watching me.” That’s fine. Facebook Live, it’s gone, it’s done. It doesn’t matter how many people saw it. The next step, of course, is that you can run an ad to it. So, you go into audiences, ‘create ad’, you’re going to run a video ad.

Generally, you might want to drive engagement with that, there is an option to get video views. You may or may not want to do that. We often avoid that one, we’ll try and get an engagement on a video ad. Or, you might want to drive people to the website. We’ve done some ads with video, with live video, and the cost per view has been under a cent, and we’ve seen 0.2 of a cent.

Now, large targets, awesome content–very, very cheap to run. For some of the ones that we do, so we’re running a campaign at the moment to really get people to listen to restaurant podcasts, we think it’s really important. We think it’s a great way that you can learn about restaurant marketing and how to run a restaurant in general, because we actually did a blog article about the 19 best podcasts and got a whole heap of awesome people’s podcasts in there. And that is costing us 15 cents to get someone to visit that page, which, I know, is very, very cheap. Because, as we’ve grown into all of the other markets, and I think we’re now in seven or eight countries, a lot of those people in the other countries are people who are listening to Secret Sauce.

And so, our main marketing thing is now getting people to listen to Secret Sauce. That’s our sales funnel. What is yours? So, you’re going to be looking at per link click, or per post engagement. If your budget is too high, then it’s going to cost you more money. So, I would always recommend starting out low. Somewhere between $3 and $5, maybe $10 if you’re targeting a big area. And then sort of play with it. And so, we’ll go both ways. We’ll have something that we’ll start at $10 and then think, “I’m really keen on running this because it’s a powerful, I know if I can get people to do it it will work really well for us.” So, I might just scale back. And so, rather than giving Facebook $10 to play with, I might scale it right back, so, “Let’s go with $3.” And other ones we’ll do a tester. Do people like this? Is this a good photo? Tell me, Facebook. Is this a good photo? Here’s $3. And Facebook will say, “Wow, you know what, it was costing us 65 cents to get people to click on that.” You know what, that’s not a good photo.

Or, “It was costing us three cents for people to click on it.” That’s a good photo. And so, from there I’m left with the good choice of do I want to leave it at $3, or do I want to go and target more people and increase my budget? Now, part of my routine is every day I go in and check the ads that we’ve got running. Because what will happen is it’s very hard to come up with an evergreen campaign. Particularly if you’re targeting a, you know, a small number of people. And by small, I’m talking about, you know, 50,000 people. So, you will find that one of the big things there is frequency. So, it will tell you of all of the people that you can show these ads to, on average, they’ve seen the ad X number of times.

So, I’ve got one campaign which we just started yesterday and it’s been seen 1.05 times on average by people. So, a couple of people have seen it twice, most people haven’t seen it yet or have only just seen it once. I’ve got another campaign which has been seen 4 times by people in that target market. So, as the frequency goes, and so what we find is that people may not click on your ad the first time they see it. They may be more likely to click on it the second time, but they’ll reach a point where the number of times that you can show an ad to people it’s going to decrease. People aren’t going to magically go, “Wow. This is the 11th time I’ve seen this ad. I better click on it now.”

If they were going to take an action, you know what, they’ve probably already taken that action. So, it gets more and more expensive to run those ads, which is really sad because I think, no I don’t actually know this but this is what I think happens, is that you run an ad, Facebook takes a little bit of time to tune that ad. Because it’s thinking, you know, who’s really going to like this ad? I’m going to show it to a 1,000 people, it’s like wow, you know, these kind of people didn’t like but these kind of people did. And in the first 24 hours it can be fairly expensive to run an ad and, by expensive you know I’m talking it might be 20 cents per link click. That may then dial right back to 8 cents over the next 24 hours as, sort of, Facebook tunes that ad in for you. So, 24 hours, 24 to 48 hours, that’s probably the cheapest it’s ever going to be. Facebook’s going to be doing its work, it’s going to be showing it to people, people are going to be engaging with your ad. And then all of the people who are going to ad, the low hanging fruit will go first in the next 24 hours. Then the people who have a little bit more resistance, then we’re starting to have hit a significant number of people who are ever going to take action on your ad.

And it’s going to get harder for Facebook to find people. And because of that, it’s going to charge you more for it. So, the big thing that you want to be thinking about is great creative, great offer, great text. You know, is this an engaging ad? Who am I targeting it to? So, you want to target to as many people as you can without not targeting it, so it needs to be fairly targeted, and what sort of budget am I going to run? And if it’s not very well targeted, and so, that campaign that we ran for $8.38 that was just targeting people in that town, because it’s a regional town, it’s out in the bush.

There’s not a lot of people in that town, so we just targeted everyone, not targeted very well at all. And that’s why we started out with a small budget, because we weren’t sure how well it was going to run. $8.38. Restaurant was completely packed with everyone ordering pancakes. Boom! That’s exactly where you want to go. And, yeah, don’t forget about the email custom lists. You know, it’s a great way of interacting with people in a different form. They might have given you the email address, you know, a year ago, two years ago. They may have kind of forgotten you. Or, is there a way that you can reach out to rekindle those memories? Because, don’t forget, when we’re selling food we want to be thinking about the emotional aspects of it. You know, do you have a really nice fireplace? Let’s get a photo of that.

On a cold winter’s day, you know what, I remember sitting there 18 months ago, it was with my wife, it was fantastic. That image says so much more than an email could ever do. That’s how you’re going to get that person to come in on that cold wintery night. An image says a thousand words, and Facebook, with their email targeting audiences, makes it such an easy way to do that. So, we’ve covered email marketing with Facebook, and we’ve covered how much you should spend. And so, the big thing is less. Have a look at it every day. Don’t be set and forget. And, you know, test and adjust.

The big thing is you’re going to be learning about what your audience likes in Facebook. If it’s an expensive ad to run, they don’t like that. If it’s cheap, they love it. So, have a look at it. Ping us an email if you’ve got any questions, more than happy to answer them. But, you know, I was just shocked at the number of people who aren’t running ads in Facebook. Shocked at the number of people who aren’t doing anything on Facebook. I think now, that if you don’t have a strong Facebook game, you really are cooking with one hand behind your back. There are people out there who are more advanced and they’re doing funky things on Instagram. There are people who are really carving it up on all of these social media platforms.

There are people out there with, you know, 15,000 emails in their database. They’re doing all of these things, they’re getting really strong viral campaigns. And every time someone responds to one of those campaigns, every time someone goes into that restaurant, that means that you’ve got to fight that little bit harder because someone went out to dinner tonight at someone else’s restaurant. They’re less likely to go out tomorrow night. The email marketing, or any of the marketing that you’re doing, is likely to be less effective. That’s why you’ve got to be in it to win it. You’ve got to be running these campaigns. I’m super passionate about it, and we don’t want to run these campaigns for you, that’s the other big thing. I think that you guys are really, really good at running these campaigns for yourself.

And I know, I know that some people are just so time poor that they need to be getting a marketing person in there to help them. What we want to do is to be able to help you to help your marketing person. You should be able to come up with the ideas. They should be able to execute them for them. So, yeah, have a think about it. And if you’ve got any questions, let us know. If you’ve got anything out of the podcast, please leave a nice review in iTunes. It really does help us get the word out there.

Now, the other thing to do, of course, is to have a look at your website. I know it’s not too bad for us, the number of customers that we’ve got closing down or in deep financial difficulty now is decreasing because we’re in the middle of summer. But I know for everyone in the US, middle of winter, maybe not quite as busy as it could be, or as it should be. We still believe, because we see it every day, that the website is the central part of your online marketing. And too many people get into really severe financial distress, or lose their dream of running a restaurant because their website is just awful. And it was interesting, it was my birthday a couple of days ago. Wanted to go out to a few restaurants, and it was amazing having a look at, there was one that was using Wix. We went there for lunch, it’s an American barbecue place. But only because their reputation was pretty good. The experience on their website was awful, it looked really cheap and nasty. I said to Tina, you know, “We’ll go and have a look, just because it would be interesting to see how this restaurant is.” And it was, it’s a really good restaurant. They had some awesome shrimp and grits and brisket, the brisket was really nice. Lizzy loves that, as well. But the website was just amazing. And it’s interesting because the website looks quite good on a mobile, it looks quite good on a desktop, it was only because I was looking for it on my tablet that we discovered it looked really, really ordinary.

Have a look at your website, and if you’re struggling send an email to us. Because this is what we do, we build restaurant websites. We spend a lot of time and effort to get the pricing down, because we know that there’s very few people driving Ferraris in the restaurant industry. So, the pricing starts at $995 Australian. Now that we’re doing websites all around the world, we’re fairly accomplished again and the price is right for other countries. Ranging up to just under $5,000 for our premium websites which are fully bespoke. All of them give you access to the Free Online Restaurant Booking System (FORBS), all of them give you access to the Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering system (FROLO), which now includes printers–hurray. That’s not free, you’ve obviously got to go out and get your printer. But both of those feed into the free CRM system which we’re doing a lot of work on and hoping to release a whole heap of new and exciting features for you. So, that’s it.

Get out there and do some marketing, people. You don’t want to be the person who realizes too late that they need to do some marketing. So, run a Facebook ad and hopefully you’re going to have an awesomely busy day. Bye.

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