Here are the seven wildest, quirkiest and out of left field ways that email marketing can help to maneuver your Bar or Nightclub venue right to the peak of the buzz cycle and keep it there.
1) Accumulating Loyalty Card
It’s essentially very simple: You issue to your email subscribers a physical card similar to a debit card. Every time that they order anything the card is swiped to capture the information in your main computer system and it calculates their current level of discount. You can set it up to drop the price by 1% with each subsequent visit (with a 25% maximum deduction) or build up points for free champagne, bar food or whatever you are promoting.
2) You’re the VIP Draw
You issue each of your email subscribers a fully unique code which you ask them to validate by printing out and dropping into a fishbowl at the entrance. They’ve kept the stub and when you announce the winning code, they present the stub which makes them eligible for special VIP treatment all night long: Free bottle of champagne and/or bar snacks, the best seats in the house, dedications from the band/DJ, a commemorative souvenir award… your imagination is the limit.
3) Free while the Bell Rings
Your email subscribers receive a code that they print out as above, but they keep the voucher. A few completely random times each night a bell will ring (lights flash, etc.) and if their order is in the process of being filled that entire ticket is free.
4) Pull a Zynga
In every town it’s easy to find some computer nerd who will be happy to develop a very basic Java game like the immensely popular Facebook Farmville and Cityville games (but much simpler) for pocket money or a few cases of beer. Your email subscribers can click onto your website and play the game for real prizes. There are rewards at the end of each successfully completed level that grow in value as the levels get higher: Drinks, food, even private party bookings. Make sure that the game is not cheatable or you’ll be giving away the bar. If you can’t find a local geek, try the freelance bidding programmer sites like freelancer.com. You’ll be amazed how inexpensively you can get a decent game coded.
5) Beer for Gas
Everyone’s concerned about the spiraling cost of gasoline, so give your email subscribers an opportunity to do something about it. Make a deal with a local gas station to accept the vouchers you will email out and recompense to provide free gasoline in equal amounts to the beer your newsletter customer has ordered. Most beer is bottled in 1/12th of a gallon, so for every dozen consumed they get a free gallon of gas! (Always remind them to drive responsibly.)
6) Email Matchmaking
This strategy can work exceptionally well for singles-oriented Bar or Nightclub operations. Have your email customers fill in a fully detailed “match.com” type of personal data form and the characteristics they’re looking for in a date. Then match them up to the subscriber that matches most closely. This is also a great way to get that elusive but invaluable personal information for your email segmentation efforts. Put in lots of disclaimers so that if the date turns sour it’s not your responsibility.
7) Get Your Own Reality TV Show Sweepstakes
It’s a well-kept secret that anyone can buy “infomercial” air time on your local television station for a surprisingly low cost. Of course it’s going to run around 2 AM, but that might be a plus with your clientele. Hire a videographer to follow the lucky email newsletter subscribing winner around the dancefloor and edit it all together in some coherent sequence. Control your costs and you’ll be able to shoot and edit for around $2,500 and book a half-hour air time for under $1,000 in most cities. It also serves as a great advertisement for your Bar or Nightclub venue, as it’s such a wacky promotion you might end up getting major national media coverage for it! CNN here you come!