Here at Zesty Digital, we recently started working with a gastro pub that wanted to improve its digital marketing and drive up sales. During our onboarding process, we discovered that this particular pub had 8000 email subscribers… and they didn’t even know.
An email list like this is worth its weight in gold for local businesses, giving you direct access to your ideal customers. What’s more, the people who have opted in to receive marketing from you are already a warm audience – they’ve asked you to send them information about your company.
This got us thinking that other pubs and restaurants might be sitting on vast amounts of customer data and not doing anything with it.
In this blog post, we will share some tips on how pubs, restaurants and other hospitality businesses can maximise their marketing to reach their customer base, gather customer data and monetise it.
There are a few ways that pubs and restaurants can gather consumer data, and many of them may already be in place in your business – you just need to know how to utilise them.
Whichever method you use, think about tempting customers to sign up with an incentive, like a discount on their next meal or a free drink. (Learn more in our recent lead generation blog post.)
Going back to our lucky gastro pub client that had 8000 subscribers – they had built up this email list through their booking system, DesignMyNight. Every time a customer booked a table, they were asked if they wanted to sign up for emails. And 8000 of them did!
The pub management team didn’t know this was happening, hence being unaware that this goldmine of customer data was even there.
This strategy can be adopted by most hospitality venues that use online booking systems. Make sure your customers have the option to subscribe for emails too. You could do this by checking the settings on your electronic booking system software or reaching out to your service provider if you need help.
You might need to shop around to find a booking system that meets your business needs, and there are plenty to choose from, including DesignMyNight, mentioned above, as well as ResDiary, SevenRooms, OpenTable, and TableAgent, which is a free option.
Your website is the ideal place to capture customer details. Visitors are already interested in your business (hence them being on your site) and may be easily persuaded to sign up for emails while they’re there.
There are a few ways to attract sign-ups, but essentially, you want to have your sign-up button visible on every page. Nobody will go looking for it – you have to get it in front of them at every opportunity. Popups can also be an effective way of directing people to your sign-up page (although we’d advise using them strategically so as not to annoy visitors).
If you have a takeaway or online ordering service, you have another ideal opportunity to gather customer data. Just as with a booking system, ask your customers if they want to sign up to emails at the same time that they place an order. With no extra effort after the initial set up, you can collect customer data effortlessly.
This is where your marketing strategy comes into play. If you have a clear idea of your business goals and marketing aims, you’ll already have your marketing channels set up and running, and you can start marketing to your new subscribers.
Here’s a reminder of a few ways to use customer data to optimise your marketing.
The best way to get your content in front of a warm audience is directly into their inbox. You can talk about special offers, upcoming events, a new menu, seasonal specials, and much more.
When you ask people to sign up for emails, you can also add an option for them to sign up for SMS (text) messages. You might get lower numbers opting for SMS marketing, but the ones who do are your keen customers! You can use text messages to send exclusive offers, sneak peeks or VIP invitations so your SMS customers feel like they get special treatment.
Some social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, allow you to upload your contacts list to retarget ads to your subscribers. By creating a custom audience, you can create tailored ads, especially for people you know who have already subscribed. You can also invite your subscribers to like your social media pages to cross-pollinate between platforms.
Make sure you are aware of the privacy laws around collecting and storing customer data to stay within the legal requirements. Reputable email service providers typically meet legal requirements, but be sure to check.
After reading this blog post, you should have plenty of ideas for how to build your email list and gather customer data to ramp up your marketing. If you’d like to know more or want help setting up and running any aspect of digital marketing, get in touch.