I know that lots of you have moved towards a database where you can send out emails promoting your open play specials, special events and league programs. But while only 13% or less of your database opens anything you send, you still keep on sending. Why?
Many of you don’t have gender or age variables in your database so if you’re one of these folks, know that you’re cosmic bowling mailing could be going to a 49 yr old Mom whose kids are out of the house and your offer to her is irrelevant. Or the offer you sent to her about bringing her kids to your Halloween party; yup also irrelevant. And then you sent her a “Rocking Thanksgiving Eve” cosmic promotion; equally as irrelevant. and guess what? She finally opts out, because you are, in her mind, sending her spam…and lots of it!!
As a side bar, even if you ONLY send her relevant offers, she will probably opt out any way. Email cannot and should not be used as a substitute for direct mail. If you are only using it to sell, sell, sell, you are driving away potential customers. Go ahead and check it. How many people have opted out of your email list in the past year. If you don’t know how to check this, go to “Google Analytics” and follow the instructions. You might be surprised…and not in a good way. Please, use the social media tools you have to be social…not just to “selly, sell”
So the first thing you need to do is get birth dates. why not send out an email asking your audience to complete a small survey and in exchange you will send them a coupon worth $10 of free bowling (if they spend $20 or more. Ask them their gender and birthday month and year. Then ask them what other activities they do in their spare time.
No, you won’t get 100% completion, but you will get a start. NOW if you make this survey a part of every email you send out, you will start to get more and more and pretty soon you will have segments by age and gender to which you can send RELEVANT COMMUNICATIONS that more closely align to their predispositions and preferences.
The secret here is this in order to have a database you need to have data besides an email and an address. Google has made billions on learning your preferences and selling these to advertisers to send you RELEVANT communications pertaining to what you bought in the past.
While you may not have the software horsepower to be that sophisticated, you can keep asking questions, keep collecting information and over time have a much clearer picture of WHO your customer is for a specific product that you
Here are some examples of the kinds of information, over and above gender and birth date, you might want to collect?
- Are you interested in receiving information about birthday parties? Yes___
- Are you interested in receiving information about company parties and group outings? Yes____
- Are you interested in receiving information about short season bowling programs? Yes______
- How frequently do you think you would go bowling, over the course of a year, if you knew you could get a 15% discount every time you went? none___ one ____ two___ three____ four____ five to seven____ 8 to 10___ 11 or more_____
- What is your favorite food you would like to eat while bowling? ________________
- What is your favorite beverage to drink while bowling? ______________________
People love to tell you what they think and if you publish this information back to them, you will be involving them in your business, thus creating some loyalty resulting in more visits and more answers to your questions.