Category Archives for Marketing Ideas

5 Ways to Convert More Website Visitors into Longtime Loyal Customers

Every restaurant owner’s dream is to have a growing base of loyal customers, a predictable, solid profits, and a steady cash flow you can count on.

You’ve tried loyalty programs, advertising, and social media. I know you’re constantly bombarded with the next New Thing. But in my report:

5 Ways to Convert More Website Visitors into Longtime Loyal Customers, you’re going to discover something different.

Notice, I didn’t say something new. New never lasts. I said something different. What I’m going to show you is something different than anyone else is talking about these days. These are time-tested fundamentals of marketing. And these fundamentals work even better today, online, than they ever did before.

 

About us

Coupons and specials opt-in

Pictures

Downloadable and Printable Menu

 

Some people are motivated by the menu, the prices, the pictures of the food, the about us, but everyone who has visited your website as a result of seeing your Groupon or your coupon ad is motivated by Specials and Coupons.

Marketing ideas calendar March 2019

March 2019 Marketing Ideas Calendar

Monthly Holidays

Asset Management Awareness Month

Irish-American Heritage Month

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

National Caffeine Awareness Month

National Brain Injury Awareness Month

National Celery Month

National Craft Month

National Credit Education Month

National Frozen Food Month

National Kidney Month

National Noodle Month

National Nutrition Month

National Peanut Month

National Women’s History Month

National Music in Our Schools Month

National Social Work Month

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Famous February Birthdays

3/3      Alexander Graham Bell

3/12    Mitt Romney

3/20    Kathy Ireland

3/24    Sam Ballmer – CEO of Microsoft

3/26    Larry Page – co-founder of Google

3/29    Sam Walton – known for Wal-Mart and Sams Clubs

3/30    Celine Dion

Weekly Holidays

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March 1-7

Universal Human Beings Week

National Write a Letter Appreciation Week

Will Eisner Week

Telecommuters Appreciation Week

 

March 4-10

National Pet Sitters Week

National Cheerleaders Week

National Consumer Protection Week

National Procrastination Week

Newspapers in Education Week

National Read and eBook Week

Teen Tech Week

National School Breakfast Week

Women in Construction Week

 

March 11 – 17

National Sleep Awareness Week

Girl Scout Week

Brain Awareness Week

 

March 18 – 24

National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week

National Animal Poison Prevention Week

National Fix a Leak Week

Health Information Professionals Week

March 26 – April 1

National Cleaning Week

National Physicians Week

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Daily Holidays

 

3/1/2019        National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day / National Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss Day) / National Employee Appreciation Day

3/2/2019        National Old Stuff Day

3/3/2019        National Anthem Day

3/4/2019        Marching Music Day / National Hug a G.I. Day

3/5/2019        National Cheese Doodle Day / Fat Tuesday / National Pancake Day

3/6/2019        National Oreo Cookie Day / National Dentist’s Day / Ash Wednesday

3/7/2019        National Cereal Day / National Be Heard Day

3/8/2019        International Woman’s Day / National Proofreading Day / National Day of Unplugging

3/9/2019        National Meatball Day / National Barbie Day

3/10/2019      National Pack Your Lunch Day / National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day / Return of Daylight Savings

3/11/2019      National Promposal Day / National Napping Day

3/12/2019      National Girl Scout Day / National Plant a Flower Day

3/13/2019      National Good Samaritan Day / National K-9 Veterans Day

3/14/2019      National PI Day / National Potato Chip Day

3/15/2019      National You Think Everything is Wrong Day / National Dress in Blue Day

3/16/2019      National Everything You Do is Right Day / National Quilting Day

3/17/2019      St. Patricks Day

3/18/2019      National Awkward Moments Day / National Sloppy Joe Day

3/19/2019      National Let’s Laugh Day / World’s Social Work Day

3/20/2019      National Proposal Day / Spring Begins / National Ravioli Day

3/21/2019      National Common Courtesy Day / National Farm Rescuer Day

3/22/2019      National Goof Off Day / National Puppy Day

3/23/2019      National Near Miss Day / National Chip and Dip Day

3/24/2019      National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

3/25/2019      National Medal of Honor Day / National Tolkien Reading Day

3/26/2019      Epilepsy Awareness Day

3/27/2019      National Joe Day / National Scribble Day

3/28/2019      National Something on Stick Day

3/29/2019      National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

3/30/2019      National Take a Walk in the Park Day / National Virtual Vacation Day

3/31/2019      National Crayon Day / National Prom Day

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Restaurant marketing ideas-coupons

Coupon Ideas-Better Ways to Use Coupons to Market Your Restaurant

In this article, I’m going to share smart coupon marketing strategies you probably have never heard of nor considered before.

Traditional print coupons and also digital online coupons are both a great way to advertise your restaurant. Read and learn;

How to Make Coupon Marketing 10x More Effective and Much More Profitable

What do I mean by “making your coupon marketing 10x more effective and much more profitable?” Here are some ideas you you may have never considered before.

  • Use coupons to promote specific items.

Sell what you want to sell most! So many restaurants are marketing coupons for $5 off or $10 off certain size orders. This works, but coupons can deliver a bigger message. They can be used to create awareness of specific items: new items, seasonal items, more expensive items, more profitable items, the items you feel are your wow items, the menu items you love to make and serve.

Introducing customers to these items gives them reasons to come back more often, provides more ways to find something they really love at your restaurant, and more reasons to tell others about your place.

  •  Coupons can be used to sell a bigger variety.

Create a coupon that sells a combination of items. This increases the size of the order while also getting customers to try items they may have never ordered individually.

  • Coupons can get your customer to reach a higher dollar value.

While most coupons offer a $5 and $10 off coupon, I recommend offering a $25 off coupon too. The $5 off coupon usually requires a $25 purchase and and $10 off coupon usually requires a $50 purchase. Each represents a maximum discount of 20%. If you include a $25 discount coupon for an order of $200, it has the effect of catching attention. $25 is a big discount and it seems very generous. However, this discount is a maximum of 12.5% and it may be the incentive which gets a group of people to decide to eat at your place rather than somewhere else.

Coupon Ideas that Capture Attention

I just talked about the visual aspect of what a $25 coupon can have on people when they’re deciding where to eat. In the same theme,

  • Offer something for FREE.

It’s a fact, the word “FREE” gets attention. It’s magnet for the eyes and therefore, gets customer’s attention. FREE Dessert, FREE soft drink, Kids eat FREE, Buy 2 get one FREE, these are all attention-getters. When advertising in print along side of other businesses, your FREE coupons will surely draw attention to your ad.

How to Create Online Coupons the Right Way and The Benefits of Offering Coupons on Your Website

Some people are “coupon people” and some aren’t. Some people make their choices around where they can get a discount. Some don’t. Don’t burden yourself with worry because you’re afraid everybody will be getting discounts if you have coupons on your website. #1. It doesn’t happen. #2. Promote your restaurant with the kind of coupons which make you happy when people redeem them.

  • Coupons on your website will make your restaurant show up on Google.

“Coupon people” go online and use the word “coupon” when deciding where to go to eat. They’ll search “coupons for Chinese food,” “coupons for pizza,” “coupons for sushi,” or coupons for Indian food,” for example. They make their buying decision based upon where they can get a discount. If you want your restaurant to show up in those searches, you definitely want to have a dedicated page on your website to display and deliver coupons.

  • To build an audience and a herd of loyal customers, coupons should require your customers’ contact information.

Your coupons should help you build a valuable customer list. Get the Name, Email Address, and Birthday so you can keep in touch and continue to send them offers directly.

Today, we can use technology for marketing automation. Done right, coupons can help you build a massive customer list and reach them with friendly messages and offers they welcome in their email box.

Email marketing works. Statistically, email marketing provides one of the biggest return on investments of any marketing strategy in history. When people give you their contact information they are giving you permission to send them your offers. This is a gift, and most independent restaurants are missing out on this golden opportunity.

  • Coupons on your website: You don’t need loyalty programs!

Yes, coupons on your website are always available, BUT, isn’t it nice when people come back often? I always tell my clients, make your coupons so that when they’re redeemed, you don’t get mad, you get glad! Unlike loyalty programs, coupons on your website don’t require you to buy equipment, train your staff, print punch cards, or pay high fees for a membership or enrollment. Some restaurant owners who run print coupons in the direct mail packs complain because they only see certain customers once a month when they run the coupon. I say, tell them to run the coupon on their website and they’ll see the customer more often. As long as you’re giving modest discounts with your coupons, everybody wins. It ends up working just like a loyalty program.

grow your restaurant with email marketing

There’s a direct correlation between email marketing and revenue generation. It’s a proven fact that keeping in touch with customers and an occasional offer will boost sales and profits.

Build a Customer List and Keep in Touch

Want to Join Our Email List for Information About Our Specials and Coupons? Every customer should be aware of the opportunity to be on your email list. Customers who use Groupon and every customer who redeems a coupon is already interested in money-saving opportunities. Most of them will agree to join your list for the promise of future invitations to your restaurant which include a money-saving coupon or news about specials and events. Do this with a link on the Home page of your website: CLICK HERE FOR SPECIALS AND COUPONS. It works.

Customer frequency (a key factor in customer lifetime value) is a vital measure of a restaurant’s success. Keeping in touch with email, with or without a coupon, keeps your restaurant in top-of-mind position and effectively increases the number of times a customer will patronize your restaurant.

According to Gather, an event and restaurant marketing firm, the average size party at a typical full-service restaurant is 3.7 guests.

Let’s do some simply math. An average restaurant can accumulate an email list of 1000 customers in a matter of months. If you have 1000 people on your email list and if only 1% of your email recipients respond-and if these customers who respond show up with 3.7 people in their party, this is 37 more people served. If your average sale is $20/person, you’re generating $740 in revenue. Do this once weekly and now you’re looking at the probability of increasing revenue over $3000/month. How quickly will you get to work building your list to 2000, 5000, 10,000? (And you can!)

Advertising Dollars Work Harder

One of the reasons you advertise is to keep your name in front of people so they don’t forget you. Some call this branding. Another reason you invest in advertising is to attract some new customers.  Every time you advertise in print or online with a Groupon-style deal, a certain number of people who see your ad will visit your website. This is especially true of the potential new customers.

A new reason to advertise: to Build Your Customer List

New customers who see your ad will visit your website because they want a to know what to expect. They want to see your menu, take a look at your dining room, and your parking situation, among other things. Now is the perfect time to get these new people to sign up for your email list.

CAUTION: Nobody wants to be on your mailing list. They DO want to be on your Coupons & Specials list. The best way to get people to join your list is to provide coupons which require the customer to enter their first name, email address and birthday month (leave birthday month optional).

I recommend moderncoupon to be your coupon distribution system. It’s a done-for-you online coupon distribution and email marketing automated tool which also provides other great benefits like Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing.

Full Disclosure: Small Business U. is a marketing agent for moderncoupon. I get to see all the coupon activity of our clients. New customer acquisition and the frequency of repeat customers is dramatic. If you want to find out how we use moderncoupon to help independently-owned restaurants, call 1-866-799-2825 or email me directly at andrew@smallbusinessu.org

valentine's day marketing ideas

Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

Valentine’s Day can be a very big day for a restaurant. Want to learn how to make it even better? Here’s a Valentine’s Day marketing idea I invented a few years ago and found it very effective.

Forget About Valentine’s Day!…It’s Valentine’s WEEK!

I recommend you have a special Valentine’s Week special offer for several reasons:

  • If one person wants to celebrate Valentine’s Day with sushi, but the other wants Italian, then someone will be a little disappointed. Some couples will compromise and go out to dinner twice to celebrate. If you make the Valentine’s theme and menu available for the week, and if you let people know about it, this idea really works.
  • Some people have to work on Valentine’s Day or have other commitments and can’t go out to dinner that night. Making your special Valentine’s celebration last all week is their perfect solution.
  • Your Valentine’s Day special menu should be bigger, bolder, and more expensive (and more profitable) than a typical meal. Why not give this special selection a chance to sell more than on just one night?
  • Your Valentine’s Day special menu may include something which is not normally on your menu. This is a chance to introduce something different that people may fall in love with (no pun intended). It may become a regular item or show up from time to time on your specials list.
  • Having a Week-Long Valentine’s Day Celebration is unique. It’s an event. You can market this as an event on Facebook, Yelp!, Eventbrite, and Craigslist…FREE! Events are a great way to reach more people, some who don’t even know you yet. (You may want to read my previous post about Facebook events.)

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How to Let People Know About Your Valentine’s Holiday Event

How do you let your customers know about your week-long celebration of “The Love” holiday? Email. Email them 2 weeks before the holiday, a week before, the day before, and the day after, and always remind them the end date so they still know they have a chance to celebrate with their sweetie.

As mentioned above, you should also use Facebook, Yelp, Eventbrite, and Craigslist to market this event. Why not? It’s free.

Want some help with any of these ideas? Just send me an email: Andrew@smallbusinessu.org. SUBSCRIBE to get notified of every new blog post and my email Newsletter.

 

February 2019 Marketing Ideas Calendar

Marketing Ideas Calendar for February, 2019

Use These “Holidays” and Topics to Fuel Your Social Media Posts,Emails, and In-Store Promotions

Adding themes and topics to your marketing messages get more attention, encourage sharing, and add more reasons to engage with your audience. Your audience is also more likely to read, share, and talk about your business too!

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Monthly Holidays and Topics to in February, 2019

Free and Open Source Software Month

American Heart Month

An Affair to Remember Month

Black History Month

Canned Food Month

Creative Romance Month

Great American Pie Month

National Bake for Family Fun Month

National Bird Feeding Month

National Cherry Month

National Children’s Dental Health Month

National Grapefruit Month

National Heart Month

National Hot Breakfast Month

National Library Lover’s Month

National Macadamia Nut Month

National Snack Food Month

National Weddings Month

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February Birthdays

 

2/6 Ronald Reagan

2/7 Charles Dickens

2/14 Michael Bloomberg

2/17 Michael Jordan

2/18 Enzo Ferrari

2/22 George Washington

2/24 Steve Jobs (Cofounder of Apple)

2/25 George Harrison

2/28 Randi Zuckerberg


Weekly Holidays

 

Feb 3 – 9

Women’s Heart Week

National Patient Recognition Week

Solo Diners Out Week

 

Feb 10 – 16

Burn Awareness Week

Boy Scout Anniversary Week

Freelance Writers Appreciation Week

 

Feb 17 – 23

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week

Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week

 

Feb 24-March 2

Take Your Family To School Week

Random Acts of Kindness Week

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Daily Holidays

2/1 Freedom Day (Freedom from Slavery), Bubble Gum Day

2/2 Groundhog Day / National Wear Red Day

2/3 Missing Person Day / National Day the Music Died

2/4 Homemade Soup Day / National Thank a Mail Carrier Day

2/5/Weatherpersons Day

2/6/ Frozen Yogurt Day / National Girls and Women in Sports Day

2/7 Send a Card to a Friend Day / National Periodic Table Day

2/8/Boy Scouts Day / National Kite Flying Day

2/9 Pizza Day

2/10 Cream Cheese Brownie Day / National Home Warranty Day

2/11 Inventors Day / National Clean Out Your Computer Day

2/12 Plum Pudding Day

2/13 Tortellini Day

2/14 Valentines Day National Organ Donor Day

2/15 Singles Awareness Day / National Gumdrop Day

2/16 Almond Day

2/17 Random Acts of Kindness Day

2/18 Presidents Day

2/19 Chocolate Mint Day

2/20 Love Your Pet Day

2/21 Sticky Bun Day

2/22 Skip the Straw Day

2/23 Dog Biscuit Day

2/24 Tortilla Chip Day

2/25 Clam Chowder Day

2/26 Tell a Fairy Tale Day

2/27 Retro Day / National Polar Bear Day

2/28 Public Sleeping Day / National Tooth Fairy Day

Your existing customers are your best opportunity to increase your sales and create predictable cash flow, income, and profit. Build a list and keep in touch. Need help with this?

Just ask Andrew, CLICK HERE

 

 

 

Local Business marketing ideas

How to Sell More of Anything You Want to Sell

This article is aimed at owners of Restaurants, Retail Stores, Ecommerce Stores, and Service Businesses who sell a selection of products or services.

To keep it a little shorter and simpler, I’m going to refer to all products and services as “Items.”

Sell Your Favorite Items, Make More Money, and Enjoy Your Business.

You know the old 80-20 Rule: 20% of your items represent 80% of your sales (or profits). It’s probably also true that you like selling 20% of your items more than the other 80%.

Why would you like to sell certain items more than other items? Could be:

  • Because they’re more profitable.
  • Because they’re easier (or faster) to buy, make, or deliver.
  • Because you enjoy making, delivering, or performing the service of this item for some reason.

Marketing Your Favorite Items As a Success Strategy

Does selling more of your favorite items sound like a nice concept? Well, it’s possible…and it’s easy. Why? because it’s an easy marketing approach and it works.

Most businesses show off ALL they can do, and all they have. They’re so proud of their scope of selection, but marketing every THING and marketing to every ONE isn’t usually the best strategy.

I know it’s tempting to try to get the most out of your marketing dollar by telling ALL the things you have to offer, BUT focusing on ONE ITEM (or one category), your favorite, can break things wide open for you.

How to Sell More of Anything You Want

The best way to sell anything you want is to get Google’s attention. Even a “little guy” like you can do it.

When Google shows your business on the 1st page of search results, you’re going to get more calls, and more customers for that item.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Get or Claim you Google My Business Page. Once you’ve done this, fill in all the information as completely as possible.  This is a GIFT from Google. Use it.
  • Add photos of your product. Make sure the photos are given descriptive file names. Google can’t see the pictures but they CAN read the file names. It can only help.
  • Add Posts. This is Show & Tell Time just like when you were a kid at school. Show everything and write a description of the photo. Think about the words people (your customers) use when they talk about these things. This is your chance to tell Google exactly what you want them to know about your business and your items.
  • Add Info. Here you can add an unlimited amount of detail about every category of product and every item or service you provide.

In keeping with the theme of the title of this article, start with the items you want to see the most: the ones you’re famous for, the ones you love, and the ones that make you the most profit. 

Chances are, only a tiny fraction of your competitors will catch onto this any time soon. This is your chance to get a jump on the rest of the crowd.

This process is pretty easy but like anything worthwhile, it takes time and effort.

Put Your Website to Work

Every product or service you sell, especially the ones you like to sell most, deserve their very own web page. When people are looking for something very specific, whether it’s The Best Blueberry Pie Near Me, or “Install a Whole House Electric Generator in Haddonfield, New Jersey”, the website which has a page dedicated to this ONE product will stand a greater chance of appearing in the search results.

Combined with the work I’m recommending in your Google My Business page, this is a powerful 1-2 punch. It’s also a long-term marketing investment that’ll likely pay dividends for years to come.

Build a Rock Solid Online Presence™ to Acquire New Customers and Sell More Stuff

When you invest in building a Rock-Solid Online Presence™, it serves you for years. It’s a long-term investment that pays you back over and over again. In most cases, it even gets better over time.

If you need someone to help you along with this, it’s well worth it to get someone with experience and the smarts to understand your business, your products and your audience. (ummm, that would be me and my team, so if this makes sense to you, let’s talk it over. Ask Andrew, CLICK HERE.

 

January 2019 Marketing Ideas Calendar

January, 2019 Marketing Ideas Calendar

Need ideas for marketing your Small Business on Social Media, Emails, and In-Store Promotions?

Subscribe to get this valuable marketing resource in your email every month! CLICK HERE.

Marketing January, 2019 Holidays

Monthly Holidays

National Bath Safety Month
National Blood Donor Month
National Braille Literacy Month
National Hobby Month
National Hot Tea Month
National Mentoring Month
National Oatmeal Month
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
National Slow Cooking Month
National Soup Month

Subscribe to get this valuable marketing resource in your email every month! CLICK HERE.

Famous November Birthdays

Jan 3 – J.R.R Tolkien

Jan 8 – Stephen Hawking, Scientist

Jan 17 – Benjamin Franklin

Jan 17 – Muhammad Ali

Jan 22 – Guy Fieri

Jan 29 – Oprah Winfrey

Subscribe to get this valuable marketing resource in your email every month! CLICK HERE.

Weekly Holidays

 

January 1 – 7

Diet Resolution Week

Silent Record Week

New Year’s Resolution Week

 

January 7-13

National Pizza Week

Universal Letter Writing Week

Home Office Safety Week

 

January 15 -19

No Name Calling Week

 

January 17-21

National Soccer Coaches Week

 

January 21-27

Hunt for Happiness Week

Sugar Awareness Week

Clean Out Your Inbox Week

National School Choice Week

National Irish Coffee Week

Catholic Schools Week

Subscribe to get this valuable marketing resource in your email every month! CLICK HERE.

Daily Holidays

 

1/1/2019 National Hangover Day / New Years Day

1/2/2019 National Personal Trainer Awareness Day

1/3/2019 National Humiliation Day, National Fruitcake Toss Day

1/4/2019 National Trivia Day, National Spaghetti Day

1/5/2019 National Whipped Cream Day

1/6/2019 National Cuddle up Day / National Technology Day

1/7/2019 National Bobblehead Day

1/8/2019 National Winter Skin Relief Day

1/9/2019 National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

1/10/2019 National Bittersweet Chocolate Day

1/11/2019 National Milk Day

1/12/2019 Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day

1/13/2019 Make Your Dreams Come True Day, National Rubber Ducky Day, National Sunday Supper Day

1/14/2019 Dress Up Your Pet Day

1/15/2019 National Hat Day

1/16/2019 National Fig Newton Day

1/17/2019 Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day

1/18/2019  Winnie the Pooh Day

1/19/2019 National Popcorn Day

1/20/2019  National Cheese Lovers Day

1/21/2019 National Hugging Day, Dr. Martin Luther King Day

1/22/2019 National Blonde Brownie Day

1/23/2019 National PIE Day

1/24/2019 National Compliment Day

1/25/2019 Opposite Day

1/26/2019 National Spouses Day

1/27/2019 National Chocolate Cake Day

1/28/2019 National Have Fun at Work Day, National Kazoo Day

1/29/2019 National Puzzle Day, National Corn Chip Day

1/30/2019 National Plan for Vacation Day

1/31/2019 National Backward Day, Inspire Your Heart With Art Day

Subscribe to get this valuable marketing resource in your email every month! CLICK HERE.

2019 social media marketing ideas

7 Social Media Marketing Tips for 2019

For too long, I’ve seen social media marketing “experts” burning their clients’ money on nonsense…posting for the sake of posting but with no real strategy. That’s why social media has been a big letdown for most small business owners. A big investment of time and money, with little return.

How to Get More Marketing Results From Social Media in 2019

In this post, I’m going to provide 7 tips that’ll make your efforts on Facebook and other social media sites easier, more effective, and provide a more measurable return on your marketing investment. (These are not in any specific order.)


Social Media Marketing Tip #1

Facebook Check-In

Your customers who are Facebook users have an average of at least 500 friends. Many have 1000’s!

For businesses whose customers come into your physical location, the check-in is an excellent way to reach lots of people. It’s perfect for restaurants, retailers, personal services (hair, nails, spa, massage, yoga, fitness), healthcare providers (chiropractors, dentists), and more!

The Benefit of Social Media Check-Ins

When your customer is at your location and they check-in on social media, hundreds of their Facebook friends and Instagram followers could see this as a post on their news feed.

Your business name, along with a map showing a pinned position of your business, will show up on the post — which would say something like:  John Adams is enjoying lunch at Sophie’s Diner in Quakerville, PA.

You have now made an impression on potentially hundreds of people, for free! And the fact that John has made this post is equivalent to a testimonial. It’s called “Social Proof” and it has the power to influence other people’s decisions.

If it’s good enough for John, it’s good enough for me.

I recommend that you post a few small signs throughout your business that encourage your customers to check-in on Facebook and/or Instagram. They can do it while in your place of business in less than 30 seconds!

To get even more participation, you can add an incentive such as a $5.00 off coupon or some cheap giveaway. This is high-quality advertising and it’s worth a few bucks. Heck, you might find out it’s one of the best tools in your marketing toolbox!

Check-ins that include photos (and especially selfies) are a home run!


Social Media Marketing Tip #2

Add Video to Your Social Media Posts

Facebook LOVES to show live video, so if you have the guts to “go live” your message could get a lot of traction. If you don’t care to go live, posting a video is still a great idea.

I recommend that every business has its own (free) YouTube channel. Not only is YouTube one of the top social media platforms, it’s also the #2 search engine behind Google!  Simply post an informative video (not a commercial) onto your YouTube channel.

It doesn’t need to be a professional quality production. The value is in the content, not the presentation, and your smartphone is all the equipment you need.  After uploading your video to YouTube, you can upload it to Facebook and any other social media sites you use, and also embed it onto a page on your website.

Videos make you more trusted and place you in a position of expertise;  with more opportunities to be shared online and referred to offline.

BONUS TIP:
For some great ideas on how your business can leverage video, just Ask Andrew (click here).


Social Media Marketing Tip#3

Search-Friendly Posts

All the social media sites have a Search Bar at the top of the page. People use these search bars to find people, but they also use them to tap into people’s posts about certain topics.

In your posts, consider what people might be looking for when they’re looking for a business like yours. Use a keyword phrase in your post which people might use when searching.  For example, Electrician in Philadelphia; Best sushi in Edison, New Jersey;  Pregnancy massage in Atlanta.

 

Social Media Tip #4

A Call To Action (CTA)

A call to action (CTA) is the most important part of advertising/marketing. Your post should always have a photo and they should always have a CTA. The CTA should be in the form of a link back to your website where you have an offer. The offer should be an incentive for your visitor (potential customer) to opt-in to your email list or to claim some sort of offer. You should still be capturing contact information as part of the offer.

The opt-in, the act of claiming a coupon, or some other offer, is the tangible and measurable element of marketing. Measurement is usually NOT what your social media marketing professionals are too eager to provide because they might expose their failure to produce a justifiable return on the money you’re paying.

If you need any help with any of the ideas here so far, you can click here to Ask Andrew for help. There’s no charge to get my feedback.

 

Social Media Tip #5

Repurposing Content

Repurposing content means using one piece of content on multiple platforms.  You may be thinking “Yikes! What does THAT mean?”  Well, let me just give you an example:

I’m going to post this article on the Small Business U. blog. Then I’m going to link to it on a Facebook post, a Twitter post, and a LinkedIn post. Then I’ll post it on Tumblr and maybe another microblogging site. I quite possibly will make a video on the subject and post it on YouTube, and then embed that video onto this post at a later date.

Repurposing turns your content into a more valuable asset. I create content once, use it on several platforms, and it stays online almost indefinitely, which can potentially serve me and my potential customers — forever!

 

Social Media Tip #6

Event Marketing

You can have events no matter what business you’re in, and these events can be promoted for FREE online on any number of channels. An electrician can have a Smoke Alarm Event or a Home Energy-Saving Event. A restaurant can have a New Menu Event, a Blueberry Event, a Chocolate Lover’s Event. A Massage Therapist can have a Hair-Skin-Nails Event or an Aromatherapy Event.

My point is that an event need not require tents, banners, music, or a juggling act, but you can still get your event and your business on the computer screens of potential customers.

Events can be promoted for free on

All of these sites get plenty of traffic, so your event will be seen by lots of people.

 

Social Media Tip #7

Networking with Other Business Owners

Are you located in a shopping center?
Do you attend networking events?
Are you a part of a business organization or association?
Do you belong to a country club?

When it comes to your marketing efforts you don’t have to think BIG. Instead, think LOCALLY.

Work together with other business owners with whom you already have a relationship, and also reach out to form new connections.  By collaborating with one other, you can expand your customer base because you’ll be reaching new people.

A smart idea is to get together and agree to Like and Share each other’s social media posts. Their friends will see your posts, and your friends will see their posts!  The more that your posts are Liked and Shared, the more they will show up on other people’s newsfeeds.

And be sure add a compelling Call-To-Action to your photo. It will increase the potential of more traffic to your website, and will build your customer base even more!

And that’s what it’s all about.

 

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Author: Andrew Mazer, Founder of Small Business U.

Contact Andrew at Andrew@smallbusinessu.org or sign up for THE ONE GOOD IDEA NEWSLETTER for great Small Business Marketing and Management Ideas.

customer retention ideas for restaurants

How to Retain Restaurant Customers

The purpose of any business is to acquire and keep customers. Customer acquisition is rather expensive (advertising). Customer retention is rather inexpensive (marketing).

Why Do We Lose Customers?

According to Dan Kennedy, renowned marketing expert and business philosopher, we lose customers because:

  • 1% of them die.
  • 3% move outside your service area or range.
  • 14% are influenced by a friend’s or relative’s advice.
  • 9% leave due to price.
  • 14% switch due to dissatisfaction.
  • 68% leave because of indifference…they just don’t feel they were appreciated.

Advertising is what you do to get people in the door. Marketing is keeping them coming back for more. Communicating and demonstrating appreciation to customers is paramount to retaining customers.

customer retention strategies for restaurants

Visiting tables, remembering customers, giving a complimentary drink or appetizer, can create a bond and cement a long-term relationship.

Ideas for Customer Retention

Customer retention (and therefore, higher customer lifetime value) relies on 2 things:

  1. Providing a satisfactory experience.
  2. Good communication.

A good customer experience doesn’t have to be at Disney World levels. Just meet expectations. I think everyone wants to be served promptly and they want the food to be good (on par with the price) and they want their order to be accurate.

A good customer experience means your service should be polite, and your place should be clean…EVERYWHERE…floors, walls, tables, chairs, outside, and especially the restrooms. I strongly recommend your employees be trained and required to make eye contact and say “THANK YOU,” and I recommend you lead by example.

Today, it’s pretty easy to stand out. Following these basic expectations can actually make you exceptional. This level of service will get you some high review scores.

Good communication is the Holy Grail of customer retention. There’s simply too many choices in the restaurant business. Your competition is every other restaurant in the vicinity. The power of their marketing, the ability to get your attention is your challenge. National chains and franchises have massive marketing budgets for TV & radio advertising, direct mail, and newspaper inserts.

But YOU have things THEY don’t. Read on!

Sign up for THE ONE GOOD IDEA NEWSLETTER for great Small Business Marketing and Management Ideas.

Ideas for using communication to induce customer retention and frequency:

elements of a good About Us page

A photo like this on an About Us page is endearing to customers. Your whole website is about your restaurant. The About Us page is about you and your story.

  • A personalized About Us page on your website.

You, the owner, and your story is important to a lot of people. It cultivates emotional connections. Unlike the chain restaurants and franchises, whose owners are shareholders and investors, YOU have a story. You have a reason for being in your business. People love stories. It’s how the human brain is wired. Whether you started your business from a personal passion, or if you took over the family business, a paragraph or 2 creates a story…and connections.

Do you use your grandmother’s recipes for inspiration? Have you picked up great ideas from your experiences to other parts of the country or other parts of the world?…More connections.

What about your family? Is your spouse involved with the business? What are your interests? Pets? More connections. “Dog people” love dog people. Golfers love golfers. Adding photos of yourself, your family, and your pets make you likable, friendlier…a friend.

The Best Way to Repeat Customers

  • Keep in touch with your customers.

One of the most valuable assets you can have is a list of your customers with their name, email address, and birthday. It’s so easy to accrue a list just by offering a free birthday meal and an occasional email announcing your specials, promotions and events. A restaurant email list can grow from Zero to 1000’s in a matter of months. Tens of 1000’s in a matter of years.

Smart and successful restaurant owners keep in touch regularly with relevant information, an offer, a Thank You, and a Happy Birthday and Holiday wishes. This gentle communication, when you have hundreds, or 1000’s of customers on your list, will keep you in top-of-mind position.

Lots of restaurant owners don’t want to send emails because they don’t want to be “a burden” to their customers. This is nonsense because if they didn’t WANT your email message, they would have never given you their email address in the first place. 

Find out how to put email automation to work for your restaurant. CLICK HERE.

  • Mingle

Every time I think about this subject, my cousin George comes to mind. His father started the Elgin Diner on Mother’s Day, 1961 . George eventually took over the diner after his father died. Although George spent plenty of time in the kitchen, what I remember most was the time he spent in the dining room greeting customers and treating them like friends.

I think every owner should cascade around the dining room, make his or her presence known because your customers like it. Ask them if everything is okay, like George did. He owned a diner, not a 5-star steakhouse, so if this technique worked for him, it’ll work for you too.

I know for a fact that the Elgin diner didn’t just have REGULAR customers, they had LOYAL customers, many who ate their multiple times PER WEEK.

  • Love your customers

Treat your customers like their the love of your life. If you can’t, you’re guilty of indifference which means you’re probably in the wrong business.

Author: Andrew Mazer, Founder of Small Business U.

Contact Andrew at Andrew@smallbusinessu.org or sign up for THE ONE GOOD IDEA NEWSLETTER for great Small Business Marketing and Management Ideas.

email marketing philosophy

Return On Email

A majority of small business owners share a similar attitude about email: they don’t like it, and they don’t want to use it for marketing purposes because they don’t want to “burden” their customers with it.

The Common Misconception With Email Marketing

email marketing philosophy

Permission-Based Marketing

Permission-based marketing is a gift. We’re living in a world where we’re usually trying to avoid the bombardment of marketing messages by using a DVR, satellite radio, Netflix, and YouTube. However, when people GIVE you their name and email address in exchange for the promise of providing some sort of value (and that’s the only reason they’ll give it to you)they’re giving you permission to send them your email messages. They have essentially raised their hands and said, “Send me your advertising.” I’ll say it again: This is a gift.

Why YOU Should Keep In Touch With Your Customers With Email

Keep in touch with your customers with email because you need to keep your promise. They gave you permission because you promised something of value. “What’s in it for me?” This is what people want to know before they give you their email address. But the best reason you want to keep in touch is because you want them to remember you the next time they’re making a decision to buy whatever it is you sell. You also want them to remember you the next time a referral opportunity comes along.

Why Do People Give You Permission to Send Them Email?

I will give you 3 quick examples of the value you can provide with email messages:

  • Restaurants: When a restaurant offers their list of weekly specials and coupons, people will sign up to receive this. For the promise of a bit of a discount, customers will open their email inbox to you and you’ll have a better chance of getting them to come back more frequently.
  • Plumbers-Electricians-Massage Therapists: These and service companies of all kinds should create their own email newsletter and offer it to their customers. Plumbers and electricians can provide ONE home safety tip, or ONE home security tip, or ONE home energy-saving tip. Keeping in touch 1/month is the right amount.
  • Massage Therapists, Personal Trainers, or Health Food Stores: These businesses can all provide health-related tips.

Keep in touch to maintain top-of-mind position with your customers. Provide good and valuable information because it positions you as an expert.

Tip: Consider teaming up with a non-competitive business who serves a similar clientele so you can share ideas and cross-promote.

“But less than 1/2 of the customers open our email.”

This is an image of one of our client’s email messages as it appears in my inbox. This independent health foods and supplements retailer has huge competition. They send out informational emails frequently to both inform their customers and promote products. If the subject line of an email doesn’t strike a cord with the recipient, they will simply ignore it or delete it, which is fine. The message is still effective in keeping the retailer in top-of mind position and a trusted authority.

The average email open rate is under 30%. Do you think that’s bad? It’s not! It’s a lot better than most other forms of media, plus here’s something else about email you may have never considered: the name of the sender and the subject line get seen by MOST of the email recipients. Even though they don’t consume the entire email message, you have still reminded them you exist, and you’re keeping in touch as promised.

Making a Commitment to Email Marketing

Sending a weekly or bi-weekly commitment to email marketing is a big one. Although a great portion of email marketing can be automated, it still requires planning, writing, and a little bit of creativity.

Friends, keeping in touch with your customers pays big dividends and I highly encourage it.

If you need any help with setting up an email marketing system for your business, CLICK HERE to start the conversation.

 

 

 

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