Posts Tagged ‘customer engagement’

Restaurant Best Practices for Email Marketing Engagement

August 13, 2014

When you consider that 91% of all U.S. consumers use email every single day, and that emails prompt purchases 3 to 1 over social media, there’s no doubt that email marketing remains a powerful tool for restaurant businesses. That said, there’s an art to sending emails that your restaurant customers will actually open. Here are a few tips for creating engagement with your consumers through your email marketing campaign.

Tailor Restaurant Emails to the Individual Customer

The first and most important aspect of a successfully engaging email campaign is making your messages custom-tailored to the specific individual you are messaging. This is more than just including his or her name in the subject line. This customization also includes different messages and layouts based on factors such as age, gender, purchase history, click-through behavior and location. A recent survey reports that segmenting emails increases open rate as much as 39% and decreases unsubscribes by an average of 27%. Today’s email programs make it easy to segment your marketing messages, and given the advantages of doing so, there’s no reason not to include this level of targeted marketing in your email campaign.

Design Your Emails for Mobile & Social Compatibility

A second major factor that makes or breaks customer engagement in terms of emails is whether or not the email is mobile-friendly, easy to use and easy to share on social channels. Avoid large graphics that don’t render well on smartphones—especially if those graphics contain key details of your advertisement. Make your content clear and to the point. If there is action that can be taken (getting the customer to click-through somewhere) ensure that the bugs are worked out, the process you’re asking them to do is seamless and simple and that your message is easy to share with their friends. Even better—offer an additional incentive for sharing the offer with their own contacts.

Analyze Your Metrics to Fine-Tune Your Restaurant’s Email Marketing Campaign

You’ll hear it everywhere you look in the business world: analyze your metrics. Email marketing is no different. The only way you’re going to be able to tell which messages are working for you is to analyze your data. Use the information that you garner to fashion even better, exclusively targeted messages to your customers. Find ways to alter your approach to those segments that aren’t performing as well. Remember that open rates are just the beginning of understanding your numbers. Technology now enables us to follow the effectiveness of our email offers all the way to restaurant visits.

There’s no doubt email marketing can be a great way to drive revenue and customer engagement while having a high return on investment. Ensure that the emails you send are relevant to the consumer and sent at a frequency that makes sense for what you’re offering. Remember that being inundated or bored are the top reasons people leave mailing lists. Keep your messages targeted, timely and valuable to the consumer. Engagement is key to email marketing success.

Restaurant Loyalty Program: 3 Tips to Boost Customer Engagement

August 23, 2013

Despite the upward shift in the national economy, the restaurant industry sales environment remains somewhat shaky in 2013, and has seen several ups and downs over the course of the year. Repeat visitors continue to provide the most income to restaurants around the nation and as such, it pays to find novel ways of engaging and retaining these consumers.

Loyalty programs have long been a favorite approach to meeting that goal and the increasing use of social media and mobile devices have vastly increased the frequency of use for restaurant loyalty programs. As a savvy restaurateur, it’s well worth your while to ensure that your loyalty program is engaging your customers in the most effective ways possible. Here are three tips to make the most of your restaurant loyalty program.

Tip One: Offer Worthwhile Rewards to Your Restaurant Customers

The biggest mistake restaurants make with their loyalty programs is that they make the rewards either too difficult to attain or not enticing enough to bother. It’s critical to make your rewards reasonably easy to achieve without making your customers jump through too many hoops.

It’s just as critical to offer something that they would really like. Earning a free five-course meal, for example, is far more interesting than earning a t-shirt with your business’s logo on it. Getting entries to win a sponsored mountain bike is more fun than getting entries to win a free appetizer. Offering rewards that are truly meaningful to your consumer base is the first and most critical step of a successful loyalty rewards program.

Tip Two: Loyalty Points Should be Easily Gathered and Redeemed

The second step to a successful rewards program is making the accumulation and redemption of loyalty points as easy as possible. Approximately $16 billion dollars, or somewhere around a third of the overall loyalty dollar value, goes unredeemed each year. Part of the problem is making your customers jump through too many hoops to gather and redeem their points, but the other part of the problem is the somewhat cluttered nature of loyalty currencies themselves.

Fortunately, there has been an outcropping of new loyalty currency aggregator apps to address this issue. These mobile applications allow members to use and share the same points across multiple small businesses, including restaurants, right from the convenience of their personal mobile devices. Businesses benefit from joining one of these networks because they get a ton of free user data, social media exposure, and increased enrollment in their loyalty programs.

Tip Three: Tie Your Restaurant Loyalty Program to Your Social Media Campaign

Odds are you already have a social media campaign going, and if you aren’t already using it to leverage your loyalty program membership, you should be. Social media provides a great forum for user engagement. You can make it very easy for your customers to garner points for online activities such as leaving reviews, posting pictures eating at your establishment, or sharing your restaurant’s page with their friends. Doing so has the double benefit of both engaging and building loyalty with your customers as well as gaining free crowd-sourced marketing and reputation building.

It ends up being a win-win for everyone, and creates an on-going conversation with your consumer base that helps to build long-term relationships and traffic that comes through your doors again and again.