The psychology of the birthday is worth studying.
Birthdays are a major driver of consumerism. If you understand birthdays and incorporate them into your marketing they will at the very least create a level of consistency that was not there before. Master birthdays and consistent birthday promotions will skyrocket your sales in a way no other marketing strategy can.
Nothing brings more people out to a bar, restaurant or nightclub than a birthday. It is the ultimate excuse for overindulgence and irrational spending, which leads to major profits for bar operators. For those reasons, response rates for targeted birthday promotions are worth studying.
Here are four tips to increase the amount of birthday celebrations at your venue.
Send Birthday Cards in the Mail
While everyone will tweet, Facebook and text message birthday wishes, very few people will take the time to send out physical birthday cards to people. The few people who do send cards separate their message from the clutter and garner the most attention. A physical card simply does not get thrown out and forgotten the same way digital communication does.
This marketing tool also gives you a great opportunity to get the party by including an incentive to book the occasion at your venue. The biggest challenge to sending birthday cards in the mail is having their physical work or home address on file, and knowing when their birthday is so you can properly time the mailing.
Build an Internal List of Customers
Every bar and restaurant should build and maintain an internal mailing list of customers that they can contact directly. Some restaurants create membership groups or loyalty programs that collect information such as name, phone number, email address, and in some cases physical mailing address, during the signup process. Other operators keep a fishbowl at their hostess stand where they offer a free lunch, gift card or other draw. All a guest has to do is drop their business card in the fishbowl for a chance to win. That business card instantly provides all their contact information, which assists in follow-up contact efforts.
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Social media can assist marketers who have incomplete contact information for guests. Many people include their birthdays on their Facebook pages, and by spending some time researching people, it is easy to build a database with contact information and birthdays.
Organization and Timing
Most people will begin the planning part of their birthday celebrations anywhere from a week to two weeks before the actual date. This one- to two-week buffer is when you want to begin your contact efforts to reach the guest and try to motivate them to book their celebration at your venue. If you have a customer database that is complete with contact information and birthdays, you should have multiple dates marked on your calendar when you are sending out birthday cards, invitations and promotional material.
The birthday marketing sin of which most of us are guilty is acknowledging a person’s birthday the day of. An effective marketer will know 30 days in advance whose birthdays are coming up and have an organized plan to reach these people.
Add a Personal Touch
A handwritten note in blue ink on a birthday card may only take a few seconds of your time but the impact on your response rates is huge. When people receive a birthday card from you and it has a small handwritten note on it, they appreciate the fact that you took the time to jot something down and sign it. Since the popularization of the Internet, very few marketers use traditional methods like this. Therefore, when you do it, your message stands out like a sore thumb. Add personal touches to your birthday marketing efforts and your bookings will rise. When bookings increase, profits soar.