Restaurants commonly make three mistakes that restrict their ability to acquire new customers, keep them active, and encourage more frequent visits. You might be limiting the impact of your customer loyalty program without even realizing it, but eliminating these three things will help spur more growth.
- Stop requiring app downloads as the only way to participate. According to a recent Harris Poll survey, 58% of respondents were less likely to join a loyalty program that required them to download an app. Another study revealed that 18% of adults in the U.S. still don’t use a smartphone. Considering the number of people who don’t want to download an app and those who are unable to, why would you make that the only method for guests to enroll? By letting more guests interact with your restaurant in the ways they prefer, you increase your ability to market to them and drive incremental visits and spend. Ideally, guests should be able to enroll at the POS, via text-to-join, and even with a physical card. A mobile app is a valuable tool, but don’t make it your only one.
- Stop sending non-personalized emails. Your customer engagement strategy should be focused on building relationships with your guests. Sending the same generic email to everyone hinders your ability to connect with individual customers. According to SendGrid’s 2018 Global Email Benchmark Report, guests receive an average of seven emails per month per brand, with open rates of about 18%. How can you make sure that your marketing communication doesn’t become part of the 82% that guests never see? One way is by personalizing your emails directly in the subject line. When customers are only one visit away from earning a reward, including that information along with their name in the subject line will cut through their crowded inbox and influence them to visit. Getting customers to enroll is an important first step but keeping them active by communicating timely offers and promotions is what creates value for your restaurant.
- Stop missing opportunities to target nearby guests. An effective way to increase personalization and drive more visits is by utilizing geo-targeting in your marketing strategy. If some of your customers are nearby and debating where to eat, pushing them a notification at that time may be all the prodding needed for them to select your restaurant over all of their other options. Sending targeted messages to nearby guests results in a significantly higher visit rate than cold email blasts. By reaching out when they’re already close to a location and reminding them of available rewards or promotions, you can accelerate their visit frequency and trigger valuable incremental visits.
To learn more about why you should stop doing these three things, check out our free, on-demand webinar, “3 Things to Stop Doing in 2019.”
Restaurants across the industry are increasingly innovating and finding new ways to provide convenient and frictionless experiences. Advances in guest engagement, from Wi-Fi marketing integrations to subscriptions, make it easier than ever for visitors to interact with your brand. They also enable you to determine which messages and promotions will resonate best in the future.
Guest engagement helps you get to know more of your customers and keep them active with your brand. Here are five of the top trends for delivering high impact to your top-line sales:
Looking for ways to update your guest engagement strategy? Today’s loyalty programs don’t just offer discounts – they leverage machine learning to target guests with the offers and promotions most relevant to them while motivating behaviors that increase revenue. In order to be successful, loyalty programs need to enroll as many guests as possible, encourage them to become active members, and drive incremental purchases, so if your impression of a loyalty program is just a digitized version of the old-fashioned punch card, think again!
Here are seven ways to reward guests that can be built into your loyalty program to boost guest activity and ROI for your brand:
1. Experience-Based Rewards
Some loyalty programs reward their guests by providing memorable experiences. This works particularly well for fine-dining brands, which may offer access to exclusive events and allow points to be redeemed for private tasting menus. Some programs also give members a superior dine-in experience through priority seating and the ability to make reservations in advance. Receiving preferential treatment and exclusive experiences makes these guests feel not only valued but special.
2. Tiered Birthday Rewards
The birthday reward is a staple of most loyalty programs, but it doesn’t need to be the same for all of your guests. California Pizza Kitchen’s CPK Rewards program offers different birthday rewards for guests depending on their level of engagement. Whereas guests in the lowest tier are rewarded with a free birthday dessert, those in the other three tiers receive a free birthday entrée. Guests in the diamond and elite tiers also receive free entrées on their half birthday and earn double points throughout their birthday month, giving these guests even more reasons to celebrate! Using this rewards structure for birthdays makes it possible for all members to benefit, but the rich rewards are reserved for your best guests.
3. One-to-One Marketing
Loyalty programs should no longer employ a one-size-fits-all approach. Sending out the same offers and promotions to all of your guests is not going to drive the impact you need. As the penetration of your program grows and you gather data on more of your guests, you can use these insights to fine-tune your marketing strategy. Restaurants should target each guest with individualized offers and promotions, providing content that is relevant to them while giving you the best possible revenue drivers. […]
More than ever before, customers are driven by convenience; they want what they want when they want it, and where. And, so, to keep up with consumer demand, restaurants and convenience stores need to begin serving up their offerings outside of their own walls.
The term “off-premises” refers to delivery, takeout, and catering experiences. An off-premises interaction is one in which a customer is receiving and consuming food or goods outside of the restaurant or c-store.
The challenge for c-stores, and for restaurants especially, is to maintain the positive brand experience—and collect the essential customer data—when the entire interaction is taking place outside of their walls.
For the most part, the guest engagement drops to just two critical touch points: the point of order (whether online or over the phone) and the time of distribution (either pick-up or delivery). […]