Bar Promotions are worthless.
One of the things I speak to not just bar owners but all business owners, is you need to be constantly promoting your business. To bars specifically, you need to have promotions ALL THE TIME. Typically bar promotions are worthless, but if you do it correctly they can be priceless. But to start let pretend you are doing bar promotions.
But are you doing them constantly, consistently, persistently without fail?
It goes to the old adage that “you always need to have something to invite people to.”
Whenever someone comes across your business, you should always have something going on that you can tell someone about and invite them too. Hey just so you know on Wednesday we are having Customer Appreciation day with free hamburgers and hot dogs from 5 to 7. Stop by if you can, I hope to see you there.
If you don’t have anything to invite people to, when they come by or are leaving you just say see you later, or come back soon, that’s an entirely different situation. If you tell someone on Wednesday there is an event and they are even slightly interested in it, that fact will float around in their subconscious mind, whether they like it or not.
Unfortunately, the way the mind works, it won’t remind them in time for the event, most likely they will remember it again long after the event has past, but make no mistake it is in there. So, the next time, they are looking for somewhere to stop after work, you will be more likely to pop up in their mind.
It will sit in their reticular activating system. Which means when they drive by your bar, they will notice it, instead of the car dealership across the street.
So, if this promotion thing is so powerful, why did I name this “promotions are worthless?”
Well, for one reason. If you don’t have anyone to promote your promotions to, they are worthless.
If we go back to the example of free hotdogs and hamburgers for customer appreciation night. Say you spend a few hundred bucks on food and condiments, and no one shows up? The promotion was not only a big waste of money but a big waste of time and effort which is costlier than money.
So, what can you do, spend a bunch of money on advertising, to tell people about a free promotion you are having? What the heck kind of sense does that make. Then, can you imagine you spend a couple thousand dollars on advertising and still no one shows up! Quadruple the wasted costs now.
So, here is why bar owners have given up on promotions. Here is the problem, promotions are worthless if you have no one to promote them to. But they are priceless when you do. That is why you need to build a block of customers that you can promote your promotions to. In the old days, it was collect their addresses you can send them something in the mail to remind them about the promotion you are having.
Now it’s so much easier (and free) to collect their email addresses and remind them for free! The number one thing any business should do, especially bars is to build a customer database of customers so you can market to them for free, forever.
There are other things that are important, like how to keep them from unsubscribing, which I can teach you later, but that is irrelevant when you aren’t even building a list anyway. Also, how to get people to subscribe to your list is another discussion altogether than I can teach you, but why teach you that if you aren’t building a list anyway?
Also, they are cumbersome to maintain these large email lists. Which I can teach you easily to do as well, but, don’t want to sound like a broken record but once again, why even get into it if you aren’t building a list. So, if you are building a list and its gets too cumbersome and difficult to manage, reach out to me and I will show you how to fix that.
If you are getting lots of people on your list, only to find them unsubscribing later, call me and I will tell you how to fix that. And, if you have an email list and are building one, but are having a hard time getting people to sign up, yes, reach out to me and I will show you how to take of that little problem as well.
So, the point is, forget promotions, forget advertising, forget marketing until you have begun building a customer database of some sort. Stop all other marketing and advertising related tasks until you have this ALL IMPORTANT task complete. Then get back into all the other things as they will only become more valuable if you combine them with a house list.
Now, one last thing. Do Facebook fans and twitter followers etc. count as people on your list. Not really, I mean they are highly valuable, but they are not the same. You do not own them. As you may have already heard, if you have Facebook fans, Facebook still charges you to get your posts in front of those people on a consistent basis and can change it anytime they want. They can charge you more or block you altogether and there is nothing you can do about it.
If you own your own list, and the method of contacting them, you are in control and that is a much better position to be in. Once you have a plan and start to build your list, the main thing you need is a name and email. Don’t start with anything else. Later on, you can add stuff like Birthday and Physical Address but for now just keep it simple, first name and email that’s it.
I hope you found this helpful, if any of this seems confusing or difficult please reach out to me, I would really like to help you get this most important step squared away once and for all. Thanks for reading.