One of my first jobs out of grad school was for a subsidiary of Citicorp, an independent credit card company in the Baltimore Washington DC area called NAC.
This credit card company was miles ahead of the bigger banks in that its operations were “computerized.” We were actually able to send out customers’ statements and include advertising messages, inserted electronically rather than inserted manually. Wow!
With this new ability, I was able to get information on the amount of customer’s purchases, how frequently they used the card, and how recently used the card. This data was breakthrough and from it we were able to garner information to sell other products; from instant pay day loans to fireproof wall safes to vacations.
It was heady times. we were experimenting with new technologies and never even scratching the surface on what was to come.
Today,bowling proprietors have incredible email capabilities at their disposal and yet many treat it as if it is a substitute for direct mail or worse a substitute for in center fliers.
Where is your email marketing plan? You may not have one so I am going to give you one that you can try. Here’s an example of a quick 6 step approach that I hope you will at least try to implement.
1. Select all people 15 to 29 years old and send them a special coupon offer that is ONLY valid for this Saturday night’s cosmic bowl. Encourage them to print out as many as they want to give to their friends. Offer 50% off pricing. Lets say that you sent out 500 of these emails.
2. Now on Saturday nights, 50 people come in with their coupon and you require them to fill out a three line data base card (name, email and birth date) in order to accept the coupon.
3. At this point you probably think the promotion is over, but it’s just getting started. Get out your camera and take some video of the event. Try to get some of the people in the event to give you an on air testimonial. (get them to sign a waiver so you can use what they say)
4. On Monday send a thank you email (and the video) to the 50 people that came in the previous Saturday, inviting them to return again the following Saturday and asking them to bring a friend; again extend the 50% offer to all of them.
5. To the 450 people who didn’t show up, send them the video of the event with a “we missed you” offer of 50% off entry tot he event and 50% off a pizza.
6. On the night of the event, 40 of the 50 people show up and 110 of the 450 people show up. Again you get their name, email and birth date information.
If you don’t follow up like this, you won’t be getting the most from your emails. Instead all you will be doing is “blasting” stuff out.
And that turns a lot of people off, which is the exact opposite of what you want to accomplish, isn’t it?