Once your customer list starts growing, the next step is to strategically ‘bombard’ your list with quality advertising material that promotes your bar, provides entertainment value, encourages repeat business, and stimulates referrals. This is what’s refer to as building an iron fence around your existing customer base. There are numerous competing clubs that your customers have to choose from every night they decide to go out. The way to put your bar at the top of their list of choices is to stay at the front of mind.
Once customers opt into your list they should receive information about your bar in a structured format.
An Example of a Follow-up Sequence
Say, for example, that someone just subscribed to your customer list.
- Day 1: Thank-you card sent in mail, with guest passes to stimulate referrals and repeat business.
- Day 5: Phone call follow-up. Ask if they received card, chat to build relationship, tell them to come down if they ever want to party. Obtain their Facebook information. Add them to your friends list.
- Day 15: Update Facebook status to reflect next upcoming promotion.
- Day 25: Send e-newsletter or upcoming events schedule by email.
- Day 30: Personally text customer, invite them down.
That’s the kind of structured follow-up system you should have in place to build relationships with your client base. As you can see, the diversity of methods allows for a higher frequency of contact over a 30-day period than one that relies on just one method. This is how you build a fence around your customer base. You want your message, more than anyone else’s, in front of them. And you want to utilize as many different kinds of media as possible to reach your customer.
It is hard work to actually implement this kind of plan. You have to come up with the material and draw on various resources to get this done. Publishing a newsletter or upcoming events schedule every month takes money, discipline, and focus. Also, you may have noticed that one of the methods I mentioned earlier involves actually phoning people. Talking on the phone can be difficult, but it is one of the best ways to stimulate repeat business. Despite the challenges, following up with people using these strategies will undoubtedly produce more business.
You should never give up on contacting your old customers to try and get them to come back. Timing is a big issue that affects people’s ability to patronize your nightclub or bar. Sometimes people are out of town. Sometimes people get out of the party scene and get married. Some people start families. Sometimes students have exams and other activities that keep them from going out. Others get caught up with work. The bottom line is that sometimes the timing is not always right for people to come out to party. However, the way you get them to come back to your bar when they finally do decide to go out is to keep your message in front of them, even when they are not going out.
Owners, bartenders, and managers all mistakenly think that it’s the customer’s job to remember to come down. They have this backwards. It is never your customer’s job to remember to come back and patronize your establishment. It’s not their job to stay updated with your website and to know what’s going on in your world. You have to make the effort to go after them and stay in front of them.
**This article is an excerpt from Kevin Tam’s book, Night Club Marketing Systems – How to Get Customers for Your Bar. The book is available at: https://www.createspace.com/3611856. Kevin can be contacted directly at [email protected].