No airline pilot would take off before completing a thorough preflight checklist on every aspect of their airliner, and no Bar or Nightclub owner should ever launch an email campaign before checking off all of the items on this email preflight list:
Are you sending to the right audience? You must be completely assured that you are targeting the correct customer category for your venue. If you are not segmenting your list according to every single byte of demographic, geographic and behavior data you have on your customers… start now!
What are you trying to say? Your message must be crystal clear and laser focused. Are you promoting your venue generally, or do you have a special promotion or event that you’re specifically targeting?
What is the call to action? It’s not enough to ask them to just show up. Structure your call to action so that they can demonstrate some direct reaction, such as clicking-through to make an event reservation, register their interest or secure a discount on drinks.
Have you spent half your composition time on the Email Big Three? The From line, the Subject line and the Preheader are the Big Three of your email preparation as they constitute the primary information your subscriber sees to determine whether to open the email.
Are you benefiting the reader rather than selling? Your Bar or Nightclub customer wants you to excite them into attending your venue by the advantages you offer. They don’t want to put up with a hard sell strategy, as that will only serve to drive them to your competitors.
Is your approach personal? Your customers don’t want to read boilerplate copy. They want to visit a Bar or Nightclub, not attend a lecture. Everything about your email newsletter should be personal, including the From line identifying a real person as well as your venue name and the content, which should be chatty, not “educational.”
Is the content short & sweet? You’re appealing to a Bar & Nightclub crowd with busy lives thus they generally have attention spans that are measured in milliseconds. Get to the call to action quickly, use bullet points with short paragraphs and condense your writing until it becomes artful poetry.
Are you emphasizing your social networking links? Recent studies have proved that placing your Facebook and Twitter links in more than one position on your email as well as your web pages can boost response. Provide your Bar or Nightclub customers with reasons to share the content with their friends and watch your venue fill up!
Did you goof up? You can’t possibly check your email newsletter content enough before you send it out. In fact, it’s a great idea to have several different people check it to ensure that you have your spelling, grammar, dates, details, address, phone number and everything else in the message correct, as well as ensuring that all your links work and images load!
Did you check your email in emulators & with images off? With the mushrooming of mobile web enabled devices that render emails in an inconsistent fashion it has become imperative to ensure that your message is readable in a wide variety of different formats. Online device emulators are a great way to see your email as it is displayed on a variety of different smartphones. Check it in different email clients too!
Are you testing, 1, 2, 3, testing? Running an email campaign without testing is like sending your bar food out without tasting it. How will you know if the fries are salty enough, and how will you know how your email campaign’s performance can be improved without testing them?
Are you violating the law? The U.S. Federal CAN-SPAM Act has big gnarly claws that you don’t want to feel on your back. Familiarize yourself with the regulations for providing unsubscribe links and honoring subscriber requests in a timely fashion, and adhere to them religiously. It will keep you from paying huge fines or spending time in the slammer.