If you’re running a bar or club and are looking for a marketing program to both keep your regulars coming and get lots of new ones in the door, you need look no further than your patrons talking or texting on their smart phones for a hint about how to do that. I’m talking about a mobile app, a small program, branded with your club name and logo, that your customers can carry around with them on their smart phone or tablet.
Now you may be saying that you don’t even have a satisfactory website so why should you be thinking about an app? Or, you think I am talking about some kind of online advertising to bust your budget with little to show for it…it’s not that! A mobile app is neither a website nor an advertisement, at least in the form we usually think of, whether online or traditional print. It also does not have to be particularly expensive, and is notably less costly than most types of advertising that you may be already doing or contemplating.
A mobile app can be a particularly effective marketing tool for bars and clubs because its primary benefits involve building repeat business, i.e. “regulars” and having them spread the word (used to be called “word of mouth”) to attract new customers who will become regulars. That’s the very lifeblood of any local food and beverage establishment.
Customers enjoying happy hour, notice a bar or table-top card, with one of those square bar-code images, called a “QR” code, with an invitation above it:
Check out our new mobile app! Scan the code below with your phone or tablet, download the app and we’ll give a you free _________________. (Fill in the blank, with a drink or appetizer-it’s up to you, the “free” is just an incentive suggestion!)
Our app will give you exclusive discounts and rewards (details)
Customer scans code, enters their email, and downloads app. They click on app and show waiter their coupon for a “free” something. This method can also work by placing your QR code in flyers and print-ads to bring in new customers.
Customer is happy and guess what – you have just started to grow your database and it’s no ordinary mailing list. With the I’m In Marketer for Bars & Clubs you’ve got a set of very powerful engagement tools that let you reach your customers – and have them reach you – instantly and right where they are hanging out – on their mobile device.
Let’s say you’re looking for a little extra business on a slow week – with your mobile app you can send out a short push notification (similar to a text message) to hundreds of customers right now to let them know about tonight’s specials. Did you know that compared with email, text “push” messages are actually looked at at a phenomenally higher rate: 97% of the time. With emails, if they make it to your list’s inbox at all, getting even a 10% “look at” would be considered an achievement.
Your establishment’s branded app is a finger-tip way for clients to check on lunch specials, upcoming events at your club, and tell-a-friend about the great food and fun at your place. You can even make the app part of the fun when they come in for libations – the app can detect their physical presence at your place – called “checking-in”- and you can set up instant specials, samples, or record loyalty points leading to special rewards over time. Set up a contest for guests to play right on their phone. They can also participate in your photo and fan wall, and share it with their friends via Facebook and other social media.
You get it ready to go, branded and along with solid support and marketing guide, for a pretty reasonable monthly charge which is much less than the cost of a single print ad.
Check out the free demo app here – you just may have found a way to leap-frog your competitors.