As the world navigates the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants and retail businesses are doing everything they can to stay afloat until they can re-open their doors for on-premise dining again.
During these uncertain times, it is extremely important to continue communicating with your loyal customers and growing your customer database as quickly as possible.
Make sure they know that you are offering take-out and/or delivery, and maintain a regular email marketing schedule.
Staying Top-Of-Mind With Your Customers
Now, more than ever, staying ahead of the competition can make or break your business. Therefore, you should take time every day to create creative, engaging marketing messages, and keep your business top-of-mind with your customers.
Sometimes, a little competition can be a good thing. It can inspire, motivate and encourage forward momentum for all parties involved.
In terms of business strategy, it keeps everybody on their toes, and helps companies avoid stagnation and complacency. Knowing that customers still have numerous options, business owners must understand it is essential to quickly evolve and adapt to current market trends.
Be Creative With Your Marketing
To continue building and to retain a loyal customer base, it is crucial to go above and beyond, offering something unique to the consumer. Something that really fulfills a need or goes above standard expectations.
While this sounds obvious, there's a catch. It's easy to come up with general strategies and test them, but coming up with the right strategy for your specific market and your specific customers, can be a little trickier.
It takes insight and analysis.
Building and Growing Your Customer Database
Customer analytics for e-commerce is nothing new, but it's something that – until now – hasn't been fully developed for brick-and-mortar locations.
Luckily there is a very simple way to get a true grasp on the needs and habits of your clientele. By offering visitors free WiFi access, you're not only providing a service they will appreciate, you're also being handed a foolproof way to get to know them better.
When customer log into your WiFi, they will automatically be added to your customer database. At that point, you can begin marketing to them through email.
However, while on-premise dining is currently banned almost everywhere, how do you get customer data into your database?
Side-Stepping The Data Collection issues
When a customer comes in for take-out, ask them to log in before they leave, and that you will send them offers and promotions. If your business is mostly delivery, this will not be feasible. So, Bloom Intelligence has created a new website widget that you can place on your website.
Now, a customer doesn’t even have to visit your place of business to be added to your customer database. When visiting your website, the form will pop up at the bottom of the screen in an unobtrusive manner. Your website visitors can then enter their information and can be added to your marketing campaigns.
From that point on, you will be able to track visits with accuracy, such as how often your clients are coming in and how long they stay at your location, the amount of time that passes between visits, and what times of day, or even days of the week on an individual or overall level. This information will help you target marketing and promotions to fill sales gaps and boost your bottom line.
Targeted Marketing Is Crucial
Additionally, using the emails provided as visitors login or sign up, you can tailor messages to your clients, thanking them for repeat visits, perhaps offering a discount once they reach certain milestones. Or, conversely, you can automatically trigger emails to customers who haven't ordered or visited for a while, letting them know you miss them and hope to see them again soon.
Consumers will reap loyalty benefits, which is always a good thing, and those who haven't had a chance to come in, will get a friendly reminder that you are open for take-out and delivery, and eventually, dine-in.
As a bonus, you can customize your WiFi landing page to encourage customer ratings and reviews or social media follows, or even promote special offers and deals. Here's where you can get creative with marketing, highlighting loyalty programs, or offering coupons for likes or shares. Utilize your repeat visitors to get the word out about your brand.
Surviving The Pandemic
While times are tough, the more communication you have with your customers, the better relationship you'll build, and the more you understand their habits. Likewise, you can target your messaging to engage specific customer segments, further increasing your email marketing ROI.
With on-premise dining banned in most areas, restaurant owners and operators should use their customer database to keep revenue going and to keep their brand top-of-mind with their customers. For more, read our post about "Helping Your Restaurant Survive the Coronavirus."