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Friday, April 11, 2008

Using Event Marketing and Your Website to Build Your Customer Database

Recently, I attended a tasting at a local restaurant. The event was organized by the local adult education in the town that I live. Because the restaurant was new, the obvious objective of this this event was to expose as many people as possible to their food.

The event was well attended by mostly new people. I also noted to myself, before writing this blog, that the restaurant has a web site that captures email address.

At the end of the tasting, the owner gave everyone in attendance a coupon, (nothing professional, just an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet ), with a discount good until the middle of May.

Here was a perfect opportunity for the restaurant to combine the event and their website! Instead of handing the discounts to everyone, they could have directed everyone to go to their site and REGISTER for the discount. A coup would have been emailed to each customer who registered.

The advantages are obvious:
  • The restaurant builds their customer database.
  • They build their opt-in list of emails.
  • They will have a permanent record (of at least an email address) for future communications.
  • They can begin an ongoing dialog with requests for additional information and feedback from future emails. This can be captured with a customized form in your website and stored in your database. If your website doesn't have this capability, go to www.dmwebsites.net to see how I use a registration form to capture leads in my web development business.
  • The restaurant can also use this email list for referrals to people they might know.
  • By encouraging sign ups at the site, it dramatically lowers the owners cost of keying in the information themselves.
Instead, they handed the customers their discount and thanked everyone! They were very professional, but missed a golden marketing opportunity. Here was a simple and very inexpensive marketing approach integrating two communication channels, your website and event promotion.

Your website is, or should be, a very flexible marketing tool. Use it and integrate it in as many creative ways that comes to your imagination.

2 comments:

Sam said...

Hi Eric

Great suggestion. How would you handle the 'asking' people to go to the website? I was thinking that instead of the coupon you could have the web address and a description of the coupon. You could also have a list of restaurant review sites so people could post reviews if they wanted to.

Cheers,
Sam Mooney
www.fortheloveofwork.com

DMWebsites.net/DMTraffic.net said...

The asking for their contact info is accomplished in several ways:
1. Give the website address to each participant at the event directing them to a specified form set up on the website. There you can do one of two things.
a. Have an auto responder set up to send the coupon AFTER they click on the form submitting the information
b. Manually email the coupon
c. Redirect them to a landing page that is password protected. You email the password AFTER submitting the requested information.
2. If you do not have form functionality on the site, you can also build an email list by directing them to a service like The asking for their contact info is accomplished in several ways:
1. Give the website address to each participant at the event directing them to a specified form set up on the website. There you can do one of two things.
a. Have an auto responder set up to send the coupon AFTER they click on the form submitting the information
b. Manually email the coupon
c. Redirect them to a landing page that is password protected. You email the password AFTER submitting the requested information.
2. If you do not have form functionality on the site, you can also build an email list by directing them to a service like constant contact. You can set up a registration form with a hyperlink embedded on the site. Constant Contact can create a form that each person fills in. You can then email a coupon to each person that registers.
I am not sure having multiple restaurants on a site would create an email list.
You can set up a registration form with a hyperlink embedded on the site. Constant Contact can create a form that each person fills in. You can then email a coupon to each person that registers.
I am not sure having multiple restaurants on a site would create an email list.

Eric