Day 28 – The Puzzle – Bad Restaurant Birthday Offers

Ok, so you’ve done the hard work, you’ve asked your customer for their contact information and did an amazing job of getting one of the best pieces of data, their birthday.  

Next you took a very big step and hired a company or bought a restaurant marketing software like Repeat Returns to handle the marketing automation for your restaurants customer birthday program.

And finally the email goes out…and this is where the issues kick in.

In todays blog, the puzzle piece is opitimizing your restaurants birthday marketing.  This topic was also covered in episode 594 of my podcast, Restaurant Marketing Secrets.

Let’s talk about what I see wrong with this email and how you could fix it.

1st – THE OFFER – The most important aspect of ANY marketing campaign is your “call to action” (CTA).  In his book “100M Offers” Alex Hormozi talks about giving customers an offer SO GOOD they’d feel stupid saying no.  So, let’s DO THAT!  It’s my birthday, the offer your restaurant gives me should be 100% FREE.  In this email I got a FREE entree with the purchase of a full price free entree.  So I got a coupon, big deal!  And the messaging in here is jacked up too.  First they say “Dinner is on us.”  Hike hell it is, “on us” means Matt Plapp is eating free on his birthday.  You just introduced a lie into our relationship and the brain doesn’t forget that.  Second you included the words “full priced”.  By doing that, you now have introduced another negative thought into my mind.

2nd – THE DESIGN – This email is all about your restaurant.  The logo takes up the top third of the design and everything is branded for YOU and not my birthday.  Honestly, it’s a pretty sad design and doesn’t speak at all to me about celebrating. I don’t think there’s too much to talk about here, we all should understand this. 

3rd – RETARGETING – Now I can’t say they’ve not done this, because there’s still time.  They should have paid ads running targeting me since I’m in their list, this isn’t hard in Facebook.  Also, I hope I get a text and if I get that, how badass would it be if they called me?  I know, the latter more than likely won’t happen, but a guy can dream right. 

But wait there’s more…

Here are a few other things I noticed, good and bad observatiosn, on their restaurants marketing as I started clicking through their email, website and social media, because that’s what I tend to do… go down rabbit holes 🙂

1st – The header image, their logo, opens up like an image. It should be linked to the CALL TO ACTION page for that offer.

2nd – They link to twitter, sorry X, on the email and they’ve not posted since August of 2020.  It’s also linked on their website.  REMOVE that link, you’ve stopped using the platform.  And honestly this really makes me wonder if anyone is paying attention at the restaurant to their own marketing “oh we’re on X, I wonder what we post there…oh shit, nothing.”

3rd – Their website visually is AWESOME. I freaking love it.   The graphics, food pictures, etc are all great.  BUT their menu did not have the same pictures, in fact unless my phone and laptop were loading incorrectly, they didn’t have a single picture on their menu.  

4th – Their website has an “email newsletter” signup.  Consumers don’t want a restaurants newsletter.  That needs to be MUCH sexier of a name and they need to grab the customers phone #, birthday and visit frequency there.  

5th – The email “newsletter” I signed up for trigger an automated welcome email…GOLD!! That’s what should happen, EXCEPT it’s from another brand.  It’s from the companies parent name “XYZ Hospitality”.  Your customers don’t know who the heck that is.  The email should come from the EXACT restaurant I signed up for.  

6th – I had to “confirm” my email address.  That’s lame and should not be in there.  There’s not an online gang going around signing random people up for restaurant newsletters, get rid of that step. That adds friction to your customer data collection funnel and will hurt your opt-ins. 

7th – Their social media?  Well let’s just say they do exactly what all restaurants do, USE IT WRONG!  If you’ve not see this video of me speaking in Vegas watch it, CLICK HERE, they do this.  Yes they have really pretty pictures and video, but no one is watching or engaging.  Their Facebook page is a literal ghost town. 

8th – Their website does not have a pixel or tag on it for retartgeting.  So even is they wanted to, they could carry out my plan from #3 up top, retargeting me. 

9th – Their catering page needs a less invasive opt-in and a contest.  It’s great that they have the page and it’s set up solid with all of the right choices.  But if someone is coming there, GET THEIR ATTENTION.  They should have a CTA like “register to win a party”.  They have what most restaurants do, a form that forces me to give you WAY too much info. In fact, I can’t even submit an inquiry without a date or # of people.  That’s a form for buying, not inquiring.  This page’s goal should be about gaining catering inquiries.  

10th – They have a “media page” which I love.  Let’s show off what you’re doing…EXCEPT, it’s been 16 months since their last press coverage.  Now this restaurant is legit and so are their other locations (I’ve been) so I know they’ve been published somewhere.  Worst case scenario, create your own press with a blog post (like this) and tell whatever story you want.  This reminds me of 2000 when I was at an Arby’s in Cincinnati on UC’s campus and their employee of the month plaque had not been updated in a year.  It was hanging next to the register. I looked at the manager and said “are you struggling pretty bad with your employees?”  “No, we are doing great” was his response.  Then I pointed out the plaque and he was pretty shocked and amazed they’d missed that.  And yes I know, I’m a jackass 🙂

Talk to you tomorrow, unless I forget to blog again 🙂


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