Bar and nightclub owners and managers don’t have to be told that they deal with a clientele that can be fickle to the extreme. In the swiftly roiling leisure venue sphere, customers can fall prey to the latest buzz on the street as to which places are “in” and which ones are “out.” Many prospects sign up for an email newsletter subscription strictly on impulse and they can quickly succumb to a vast number of motivations to shift their interest to one of your competitors, resulting in a list churn rate that can exceed one third per year! One of the best ways to ensure that your newly acquired customer remains active on your list is to focus on the critical first thirty days.

A Stunning 15% of Major Email Marketers Ignore Their New Subscribers

Industry experts generally acknowledge that ignoring new subscribers is just as fundamental an error as drowning them in an inundation of overmailing in the first month, yet a recent survey showed that 15 percent of all major internet retailers failed in sending their new subscribers a single missive beyond their double opt-in confirmation in the first thirty days! This negligence can be termed as surprising or even shocking, given that engaging your customer within their first month reinforces the added value that they may gain by being a loyal customer to your bar or nightclub.

The Double Opt-In Message Does Not Count as the “First Email”

The most effective welcome programs are launched immediately and become key factors in reducing unsubscribes, inactivity and even spam complaints during the life of the subscription. It is critical to craft an effective series of messages that adhere to the frequency promises made on your signup form but are scheduled in such a way that they reach your customer as early as possible in those crucial thirty days. This is not a problem if your subscriber is expecting a weekly newsletter, but with monthly frequencies it is best to fire off the first of the missives during the initial week after opt-in. Remember that the double opt-in confirmation message does not count as the “first email.”

Welcome Them on Board & Promise Them Fun!

Your first campaign message should be targeted to the customer’s new status rather than just be the same content as you’re sending off to your entire (hopefully segmented) list. All of these elements should be covered unless they are already integrated into your double opt-in confirmation message content:

  • Confirm subscription details
  • Ensure you are added to the address book (and out of spam & block lists)
  • Invite them to fill out their profile in full (while supplying valuable personal data for segmentation)
  • Redeem any incentives you provided
  • Restate your campaign’s value proposition

…and most importantly, welcome them on board! As a bar or nightclub owner or manager, you are not a staid marketer of stodgy products such as motherboards or small engine parts, you are selling fun! Engaging your customer does not mean that they will be able to make their computer run faster or get better fuel economy on their lawnmower, it means that they can party hearty.

Move Inactives into an “Early Warning” Segment

Your customer’s activity should be closely monitored for any fall-off or outright engagement failure. If your client is showing all the signs of being DOA, move their email address into an “early warning” segment and start firing off surveys, requests to update their preferences and any incentive you can come up with to engage them prior to the point where they cross the event horizon into unrecoverability.

Keeping the focus on the entertainment, leisure and, let’s admit it, even hookup offerings of your venue is a primary prerequisite to obtaining the loyalty of your customer over the long haul with your critical messaging during that momentous first month. Hitting them hard as soon as they subscribe can help to ensure that your customer will stick with you over the long haul.