Are your email newsletters a cure for insomnia? Try these tactics to wake up your patrons:

1. Fortune Favors the Unique

You want your Bar or Nightclub’s emails to jump out of the inbox ahead of your competitors, and the best way to accomplish that critical goal is by being unique.

Come to Madidus Bar because we have cold beer!

… is nowhere near as effective as:

2 for 1 Tuesday Specials on rare brews: Oskar Blues Oak Aged Old Chub, Hopfenstark Postcolonial IPA and Brew Dog Mikkeller Divine Rebel, only at Madidus Bar!

Preheaders display differently on various computer and mobile browsers, but you can generally count on them to display at least the first fifty characters of the email. By structuring the first sentence in this manner you are ensuring that your main point is getting across at first glance:

2 for 1 Tuesday Specials on rare brews: Oskar Blues…

Your From line is where the name of your Bar or Nightclub venue is found, so don’t waste valuable subject line or preheader characters on listing it again.

2. Reinvent Your Venue

While you’re focusing on being unique, why not take this opportunity to reinvent the entire image your Bar or Nightclub business projects to your patrons? Can anyone old enough to have watched Eric Clapton play Layla on MTV Unplugged not have wondered where the long-haired, guitar-shredding, wild man from Cream and Derek & The Dominos had gone? He was replaced by a scholarly, tweedy, bespectacled acoustic guitar teacher. However, that didn’t stop the laid-back version of the formerly hyper-frenetic song becoming one of the top hits of the decade. If your overall style is so last week/year/decade/century, refocusing what you do and how you do it to better suit what your patrons are seeking will help capture their attention. Are you:

  • Playing Bob Seger to a Nicki Minaj audience?
  • Pitching Bud to patrons who would rather sip a 2009 Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay?
  • Cooking up poutine when your customers really want seared foie gras with shaved Alba white truffle?
  • Stuck with décor that shouts blinking Christmas lights and wall mounted plastic fish when it really should be whispering sophisticated elegance?

3. Match Your Style to Your Patrons

Did you ever wonder why a billion+ dollar website such as Craigslist looks like it was designed for the 1996 Mosaic browser? Marshall McLuhan was correct in the medium being the message, and the “look and feel” of Craigslist is specifically engineered to subliminally portray the site’s values of economy, frugality and grassroots anti-slickness. If you want to see a diametrically opposite approach go to the or site and see how cars that sell for half a million dollars are sold… if you can stay awake long enough for their ginormous Flash presentations to load. You should structure your email and landing pages by catering to the profile of your patrons. If you’re running a tony wine bar in the East 80s you’re going to be better off adopting the Maybach or Lamborghini approach, but if you have a popular blue collar bar in an industrial town you might be well advised to strip your structures down to the essential basics.

4. Propose Exclusivity

Each of your customers wants to be the one in the long queue who strolls up to the front and is immediately let in. You have to make all of your subscribers feel special by offering them elite exclusives not available to non-subscribers. Providing special event VIP tickets, discount vouchers or 2 for 1 drink or food offers will demonstrate there is ample value in becoming and remaining your subscriber.

5. Portray Urgency

Urgent, limited time offers are only effective when you follow through. Nothing will alienate subscribers more than responding to an Act Now to Get 50% Off Mixed Drinks and then showing up at your Bar or Nightclub to read a sign offering half off to everyone. Creating a false sense of urgency will foster mistrust and will result in unsubscribes.

Optimizing your email campaign will help you get your venue filled, and not just on weekends!