How To Get Winning Results from your Restaurant or Bar Online Data Capture Campaign

Way back when in days of yore, when t’Internet was just a wee sparkle in Tim Berners-Lee’s eye, marketers mostly made their crust from conjuring up short-term marketing campaigns that would seek to prise customers of their much valued contact information through things like newspaper offers and magazine reader competitions.   Fast forward to 2013 and these old print marketing warhorses have completely died a death.  However, one thing hasn’t changed.  Detailed customer data is still the big prize for marketers, and if it can be gathered with permission to use, it becomes the five star fuel that will oil your marketing machine and generate continuously improving sales.  


These days, social media, mobile and online marketing provide us with the best channels for gathering customer data.  However, the basic principles of marketing are essentially still the same give or take a few tweaks.  As an illustration, here’s my 7 step plan for ensuring your online marketing campaigns pass over the finishing line accompanied by the sweet roar of success.

  1. Have an objective
  2. First off, decide what it is that you want to achieve.  Do you want to grow your email list? Do you want to re-engage with existing customers.  Are you looking to also promote a new dish or menu offer?  Or are you looking to increase spend with the average customer?  Once you’ve set out your objectives, you’ll have a much better chance of realising your goal.  Don't just setttle with a hazy  ‘let’s get more business’ objective.
  3. Set your targets
  4. The final outcome also has a better chance of success if you set yourself a target to aim for.  How many names do you want to collect?  How many more covers do you want to sell over the offer period?  Also, consider how much you want to spend to win a new customer or to increase the number of times a customer comes to visit as a percentage of the final turnover you want to achieve.   Setting these clear financial goals will give you more klout when you’re asking the boss to sign off the budget.
  5. Step into your customer’s shoes
  6. Now it’s time to consider how best to encourage your customer to part with their data.  With so many offers out there, it’s important to offer something that really stands out from the crowd or offers significant social brownie points.  Think about the emotional payout of your offer as well as the financial one to add an extra edge to your giveaway. For example, how can you make your customer feel special, cool or lucky?
  7. Fix a time frame
  8. Short time frames usually work better for competitions and offers.  Anything more than a month will struggle to keep people’s attention.  For twitter competitions, timeframes can be as short as a few hours.   
  9. All channels or one channel
  10. For big giveaways, promote your offer across as many channels as possible to create the highest levels of visibility.  For special offers, you might be better advised to run it just for fans and followers on Twitter or Facebook.  This helps give your offer an air of exclusivity and can be seen as a special ‘customers only’ benefit which will encourage more people to follow you on social media.  
  11. Be great, right to the end
  12. The one big benefit you now have over the old school marketing tactics is that you can respond quickly with automated thank you messages.  Even though your thank you may be generic, do try to make it fun or interesting to help give people a great sign-up experience right to the last.  Can you offer them something else, or give them some special news on the thank you screen or response email?  Going the extra mile can make an even greater impression.
  13. Measure your results
  14. Make sure to measure your numbers at the end of your campaign as a record to either celebrate or learn from.  If it didn’t go as planned, do take the time to consider the weak points of your campaign to help ensure you don’t repeat your errors in future.  If you did well, brilliant!  Keep those numbers and use them to make the case for spending more money on similar initiatives. 

Follow these points step by step, and I’m sure you’ll greatly increase your chances of success.   Once you manage to win the confidence of your customer and secure their contact information, make sure to use it well and wisely by keeping in contact with more timely, relevant news and offers through your regular email newsletter.   Next time, I’ll be following on from this topic by examining the ingredients that make for a successful marketing email.