Is Email Marketing Relevant For Your Bar?

With technology moving more rapidly every day, it can be difficult to not get caught up in the next big marketing thing. Should my bar be using Snapchat? Is an email list worth using? There’s no denying that marketing, particularly on the social media front, has seemingly left more traditional methods of outreach like email in the lurch. But if we step back for a minute and put some thought into it, there is good reason to keep email in your marketing mix.

Why You Need It
Email is still a fast and inexpensive way of reaching your customers. For the purposes of this article, we’re talking about large scale email marketing services like MailChimp. In fact, if you have less than 2,000 people on your email list and are sending less than TWELVE THOUSAND emails monthly, MailChimp is straight up FREE. As you add subscribers the costs increase but it’s not going to break the bank. Keep in mind that just because it’s easy on the wallet doesn’t mean you can be careless with it. There’s a ton of competition in this space, just check out your inbox, so you need to bring your A game.

How To Build It
As mentioned above, everyone has an inbox drowning in spam and unread marketing emails. So you want to give folks a good reason to hand over their address. Putting a form on your website is a good place to start, above the fold on the right hand side to ensure lots of eyes on it. For subscribing online, you could offer an instant coupon for a free appetizer or drink. On premise, set up a fish bowl and ask patrons to drop their business card in for a chance to win the weekly raffle. And make the raffle worthwhile, not just a beer koozie. Of course, let them know you’ll be adding them to your email list as well. Finally, use your social media platforms to regularly promote the benefits of joining the list with a link back to the website form. 

What To Do With It
Now that you’ve convinced customers to give you their email, make sure you not only keep them as a subscriber, you keep them as an engaged subscriber. Beating the proverbial dead horse, we’re all loaded down with marketing emails. Owning a list of 10,000 addresses is nice but not if only 100 people are opening the messages you send. So use it sparingly, once a month or every few weeks. Though once a week doesn’t sound that frequent, it starts to add up and you risk irritating your customer base. Don’t forget to make it awesome. Think about content that will get folks telling their friends about it, like a coupon for a free shirt or beer. If you get too many people redeeming your offer, shut it down and reconfigure, this would be a good problem to have. Lastly, keep is short and simple. When you’re zipping through your inbox, do you stop to read the page long novel sent from your neighborhood brewery? Neither do your customers. Include one killer promotion and one legitimately interesting news bite about your bar.



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