Here are some examples of how restaurants welcome their people to their lists.
I just loved this image; so I had to start with it. I also like the “Click Here.” What they are doing here is starting to engage their customer, getting them used to moving forward from their e-mails to take up their offers
Ruby Tuesday is a $300 million dollar restaurant corporation. In the past, you couldn't compete with their marketing. Now you can market much like they do on a shoestring budget. Here's the opt-in you see when you come to their website.
We call this an opt-in bribe, and they work. You'll see another example of this a bit further on, and you'll see what we do with them to make sure your customer comes in in short order.
So once you are in you get the following e-mail. You might not have noticed, but the name of their club is brilliant. One of people's biggest complaints in this modern world is that they feel quite disconnected. This plays right into that, and they'll just double down from here.
You'll want to notice the last offer and the last line above. The offer is for a free burger on my birthday. But you might remember that you didn't give them your birthday. For that there is the “Update Your Profile.” You know I'm going there because I want my free burger.
So, it's not only my birthday, but my sports. Obviously, I'll get updates about the events around those at Ruby Tuesday as well. But you can do this for any theme. Maybe you have open mic or date or family nights. Any detail your customer wants to give you you can turn into an item to act on.
And they've done such a nice job, I just need to include their closer. The message: “You're safe in our hands.”
I received this welcome e-mail on November 28. I thought this was also brilliant. It's like I'm giving you the most recent active coupon, and you've got to act on it right away if. I thought about them, I visited their site. I liked them enough to sign on. Now they're giving me a reason to follow through.
Another call to belonging. I love being a part of the team. They also gave me a time limited offer. I signed on with them on February 11, so I had two weeks to act.
Just an aside on marketing here. The deadlines are something you'll want to test, and that's pretty easy to do if you pay a little bit of attention. You'll try some shorter dated offers and some longer dated ones. You'll see what works best and reproduce that.
Here are some ideas for engaging your customers to come back on their special dates.
Everyone has a birthday. A lot of people are going to go out to celebrate. You can get them to come to you. Here are some Examples.
You've seen a lot of beautiful graphics so far. The truth is that you don't need to get that fancy. You just need to let people know you are there. That's all Bugzie's has done here. This is all you need to do.
There are two from Beef O Brady's. This first was sent a week before my birthday. They gave me a two week window to use it.
This second was sent a day before my birthday. They obviously know I didn't come in yet; so they've reached out again.
You probably know I'm in love with their marketing. This is brilliant, but I'll let you unpack it for the moment.
Our customers obviously only have one birthday a year. But so do our restaurants. And if you have a local restaurant that is strongly associated with you, its owner, you can invite them to celebrate your birthday as well.
Here's a simple way to bring in your customers and drive traffic on a particular day. The point is you can come up with a lot of reasons and incentives to bring people in.
Very similar to the one we've just seen, this one takes it to the next level. LPQ knows that it can bring you in more often if you've downloaded its app. People become completely irrational over “Free” stuff. So they give you a coffee for free to connect over your phone.
This is advanced stuff. For the beginner, I wouldn't worry about it, but once you've got the e-mail side dialled in, this is just one example of where you can go.
Wayback offers you two ways to celebrate its birthday. You can come in for a special until the end of March. You can also come in for the $3.99 burger on a particular day. You can also do both, and I think this is the idea. You come in on a Sunday for their burger special, and then you've got a month to come back and take advantage of the longer term offer. The idea of course is to get people in the habit of coming to your restaurant.
Taken to the next level, a restaurant could track who has actually taken them up on the burger offer, and send a reminder e-mail that the other offer is still open.
It's winter. It's a new year. It's an anniversary. Sent out on December 31st, you have ten days to take them up on this offer. If I were Westside, I'd consider sending along a few reminders as well. I'd send out a Happy New Year greeting on the First and remind them about my offer. Then, I'd follow up on the 6th, a Wednesday, and again leading into the last weekend of the offer on the 8th.
This might sound like a lot of e-mails. We obviously don't want to drive our customers away. If we do this right though, we won't. We've asked our customers how often we can contact them (here's our sample form), and we can dial it in even more. We will adjust their e-mails according to their preferences. And we give them an opportunity to adjust their preferences at the bottom of every e-mail.
These are some fun and special events that we think are worth taking note of. Some you can make up any old reason for. Some might require a little planning.