Pack the Place without Losing Marketing Dollars

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Is there one key marketing strategy that outperforms all others? Is there really just one that can consistently provide you with a positive ROI on your marketing dollars every single time?

The answer is yes and I’m about to reveal what it is. But let me be upfront with you: You already know about this strategy. In fact, you’ve probably used it before. However, I’m almost 100% certain that you’re not using it like the most successful owners and operators use it every day.

The strategy to which I’m referring is called lead capture. This marketing strategy involves capturing people’s information – such as email, home address and cell phone – in exchange for a valuable offer. As stated above, you likely already know about this strategy. However, knowing about it and implementing it properly are two very different animals. It’s how you use this information that will add thousands of dollars to your bottom line. We’re talking profit about which most owners and operators are clueless.

Most owners will take their email or text lists and send out a message saying, “Here are our specials today,” or “Here’s the entertainment lineup,” and that’s about it. They promote their prices and specials and do nothing more. What this says to your target demographic is, “Come give me your money!”

Such a “strategy” offers your guest’s zero incentive to visit your business, zero value and makes zero connection. It’s what every other bar and restaurant owner does. What does this missed opportunity mean for you? Emails don’t get read, text messages are forgotten if not completely ignored and all you’ve done is waste time and energy because you’ve lost interest from your customer.

Here’s the secret to doubling your loyal customers and packing the place:

In today’s highly competitive world, you must start focusing on building relationships with your customers with your marketing and you must provide value. I’ll explain exactly how to do this, then I’ll show you proof that what I call relationship-based marketing is the key to success in today’s highly skeptical world in which we live.

What I do to build my e-mail and contact lists for my clients is make their guests an offer which they simple can’t refuse, something we know that they want, we know that the competition wouldn’t dare offer, and on which we at least break even on the front end. Once they take action, we send out an email and a direct mail letter that’s from the owner/operator of the bar, nightclub or restaurant. The email and direct mail letter are designed to build trust, communicate credibility and build a relationship with that guest.

These first two messages let the customer know that the owner is focused entirely on providing excellent service. It also communicates that if the guest ever has a bad experience the owner wants to know about it and will make it right. These follow up messages are also written in a conversational tone, as if you are talking directly to their face.

Do you know what happens when you start a relationship off with a new guest using this strategy after you’ve delivered great value to them?

Above is a promotion we ran where we sent out 540 emails to my client’s list of customers who had already received these first two relationship-based marketing messages.

As you can see, a total of 58 customers responded. That’s more than 10% converted from the first email that went out for this particular promotion. Thirty guests took the first step and 28 took the second step, all within 24 hours.

What if they had 1,000 people on their email list, or better yet, 2,000? That would be 100 to 200 people from a 10% response from the first email alone!

How would you like to send out an email, text or direct mail letter and get 50 to 100 guests walking through your doors, all from a minimal investment of time and money? How would you like to see $3,000 in sales from a handful of emails that take 20 minutes to type?

Here’s the truth: A 10% response just isn’t possible if you only promote your prices and promotions. Such a return on investment isn’t possible if you’re marketing to cold traffic through the use newspaper or radio ads and mass mailers. But this type of ROI is possible when you’re marketing to people who truly want to do business with you, guests who like and trust you.

This is the key to success in today’s bar and restaurant business. You may have a contact list but are you using it in a personal way in which you deliver value and build profitable relationships?

Editor’s Note: Nick Fosberg is the author of the book “The Bar Restaurant Owners Guide To Doubling Your Profits And Loyal Regulars In Any Economy”, the founder of Bar Restaurant Success, and bar / restaurant owner in the Chicagoland area. To get Nick’s free reports and marketing strategies on how to get new customers in your doors using today’s most profitable strategies, go to

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