Mandarin Restaurants

Email Automation - Welcome & Birthday

About Mandarin

Mandarin was founded as a small à-la-carte restaurant in Brampton, Ontario in 1979. Their top priority was to ensure customer satisfaction by providing the freshest food and the best service. In 1986, they changed their restaurant to buffet-style to accommodate the long line-ups of customers waiting to try their much talked about cuisine.

Case Study Summary

In this case study we wanted to call out how well the automated triggers are doing for Mandarin. In particular we will review the Welcome and Birthday emails which are sent automatically upon first time subscription and on the subscriber’s birthday respectively. If you want to sign up for Mandarin’s email program to get these emails you can use the following link:


When we first onboarded Mandarin one the first things we recommended to them was to include a welcome and birthday email as part of their subscriber’s journey. These two emails are by far the easiest to setup and are often responsible for the most engagement in marketing emails.

The Welcome Email

The welcome email is the initial marketing piece a subscriber gets when they signup from a form on a website. It contains an introductory message about the company and what the subscriber will get by being a member of the email program. 

Most subscribers now expect a welcome email once they subscribe and so it does boast a high engagement rate. Based on our data we have seen, a welcome email will average about a 40%+ open rate and a 10%+ click rate as a baseline.

Mandarin’s welcome email metrics showcase the high engagement of a welcome email. In 2019 their welcome email had an open rate of 84.49% and a click rate of 34.44% well over the averages listed earlier. A high engagement rate means all that traffic can be directed back to the website for a potential monetary conversion. For Mandarin that could mean booking a table or ordering online through the website.

Improving the Welcome Email

Here are some additional ideas to help build a new subscriber’s journey with your brand.

Welcome Offer

Most companies are now including a welcome offer to further increase their email engagement and trying to get the customer to convert back on their site or in store. The welcome offer can be as simple as offering a coupon for their first purchase.

Welcome Series

Keeping in mind that most subscribers are expecting a welcome email, we can build on top of that by sending them a series in the form a of welcome package. After the initial welcome email consider the following emails sent 1-2 days after the previous one.

  1. Update Preferences email - get more information about the subscriber to build better segments
  1. Social Media email - introduce your social media properties to the subscriber to promote cross channel subscriptions/growth

The Birthday Email

The birthday email is the second automated email you should consider setting up. Just like the welcome email, the birthday email is the other expected marketing piece most subscribers keep an eye out for in their inboxes.

We encouraged Mandarin to send out a birthday email but also do one 1 week in advance. This was done to get people talking about potentially booking a table ahead of their birthday and coming in on their birthday to celebrate. A coupon was also included to further incentivize subscribers to open the email and redeem it in store.

In 2019 Mandarin’s birthday email had an average open rate of 56.89%, which just goes to show you that a lot of people like getting this email and are looking forward to celebrating with an offer. While the click rate was only 1.84% most of the engagement within the email was directed towards showing the coupon after purchasing a meal on their birthday.


As you can see the Welcome and Birthday emails are among the best for subscriber engagement. Take advantage of these expected emails to boost your conversions onto your website or in store. You can also try experimenting with your subject lines and email content to get the most out of these emails and to see what works best for you. 

As always if you need help kicking off your email program or taking it to the next level we’re here to help!