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Case Study: Leveraging Promotional Opportunities to Drive More Effective List Growth

kateFranzThis QSR wanted to take a page from the retail holiday playbook and create a marketing campaign built around the twelve days of Christmas theme.  But first the client wanted to grow its email list so that it could maximize the promotional opportunity.  To address these challenges, Fishbowl’s Online Marketing Specialist Kate Frantz proposed a Refer-a-Friend campaign that would not only drive acquisition, but would also  create a sense of anticipation for the upcoming holiday campaign – and have newly acquired members “primed” for the promotion.  Here’s how it worked:

  • Kate and her team developed a strategy for the client: a campaign of daily specials to run for the “Twelve Days of Christmas.”
  • They launched the Refer-a-Friend campaign in advance of the holiday promotion, using the latter as the enticement to join the eClub.  This built a sense of excitement among campaign recipients, who were now aware of the upcoming holiday initiative. 
  • The holiday mailings used the Twelve Days of Christmas for the subject line, ensuring that recipients could relate it to the earlier communication they had received from the client. 
  • The team created a sense of urgency and drove high levels of engagement by making the daily promotional offers valid for that day only.  Members could look forward to what each new day would bring from an offer perspective, but they also knew they had only a short time to respond.   

caseStudy_leveragingPromoThe campaign was highly successful, both in terms of acquisition and the quality of the leads.  One of the most interesting results turned out to be the sustained guest engagement even as the volume of promotional mailings increased.  This is a key takeaway that goes beyond holiday promotions:  Restaurant marketers can drive more effective guest acquisition campaigns by combining them with well thought out – and clever — promotional initiatives . 


  • Almost 20% of the client’s new members for the month of December were acquired from this campaign.
  • Lead quality proved to be high.  There were only a handful of unsubscribes.  Members continue to be engaged, even though the holiday campaign is long over. 
  • Email fatigue did not set in!  Open rates never tapered off during the campaign, despite the increasing volume of mailings as it progressed.  Some of the highest open rates occurred towards the end of the campaign.