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Increase Your Restaurant List Size Through Digital Touch Points

Thomas Greene, Consultant

Does your brand have online ordering? Online reservations? How about a comments page or online purchasing for gift cards? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should already be leveraging these channels to grow your email database.

I always tell clients that anytime a guest interacts on your site, it presents an opportunity to opt them into your eClub. In most cases you are already capturing full name, email and home address.  Throw in a simple checkbox, some enticing verbiage and, upon submit, you’ve not only just added another member to your list, but also captured valuable preference information that can be used to deliver smarter, more targeted emails.

Where to Begin?

Step 1: Identify  your  digital touch points.

Step 2:  Make sure your guests can easily join your eClub  with a checkbox or radio button, ii.e. with one click of the mouse.  Pre-checked boxes are perfectly fine to use, as long as guests have the ability to uncheck.  That way  you remain  CAN SPAM compliant.

Step 3: Include a short message promoting the eClub.  If you are using an incentive, make sure it’s prominent in your messaging.  Given these options: “Click here to join our eClub” or “Click Here to join our eClub and receive a coupon for $5 off your next visit!”, it’s obvious which one would attract more guest responses.

Step 4: Keep track of the performance of your input channels by setting up an integration of the sign up information with Fishbowl, through our API.

Step 5:  Set up a triggered welcome listSize-02message so that guests are contacted promptly when they join.

Step 6:  If you routinely collect additional information on your web page or in-store sign up slips (such as birthdate, dining preferences, etc.), make sure you capture that information in your other touch points as well.  OR you should plan to send a triggered message within a week of joining to capture that data.  Such information  can really help restaurant marketers  target these guests more effectively.

Case Studies

Some brands have seen impressive growth in their lists simply from adding an opt-in check box to key  digital touchpoints:

Case Study 1A national fine dine chain with online reservations available in 22 of their 54 locations integrated with Open Table to seamlessly add guests to their eClub. Within a 12 month period, this channel brought in 7,676 new members. This accounted for 23% of total list growth among ALL locations combined.

Case Study 2: A casual dine chain brought in 226,211 members over 12 months by integrating their online ordering portal. This was their second largest input source and accounted for 15% of yearly growth.

How else can restaurant marketers leverage their digital touchpoints?  If you are using or planning to use SMS Marketing, you can add an opt-in check box for that as well.  Begin building or increase your mobile database at the same time!