Holiday Messaging for Restaurants - Best Practices Marketing Webinar


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Plan now, message early. Managing Consultant Natalie Ikemeier knows how to optimize the holiday season for restaurant marketing. Join her in Fishbowl’s latest webinar as she explains Fishbowl best practices for the holiday season. Video of this presentation is available on our website,

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  • Note: WSJ report from Jan 2013.
  • Notes: Spend 2-3 minutes for slides 5-9.
  • Notes: Increasingly high email volume + the introduction of inbox filtering such as Gmail tabbed view, mean segmentation and unique offers that “break through the clutter” are more important than ever.
  • Notes: - Cyber Monday quickly out-growing Black Friday. We’re moving towards designing for mobile, but keep desktop in mind as we see 50-60% of some brand’s emails opened by mobile phones. Take some time here to give people time to absorb the graph detail/ Talk about why Fishbowl has better open rates than previous slide (overall trends dropped 3%).
  • Notes: Members browse and then purchase at similar times; however they are not similar to each other. It’s important to study individual member trends on when they open/click and deploy mailing that mimics past behavior.
  • Notes: Stand out in the inbox with unique creative, offers, and events: Ugly Sweater, Party, Personalized Gift Cards, Online Gift Card and Merchandise Purchase Options, Gift Card Purchase Offers for the Buyer, Special Holiday Hours, and Black Friday and Cyber Monday Specials.
  • Notes: A/B split subject line testing, mobile phones/preview panes Experiment with use of symbols - These subject lines had open rates of 50% and higher during 2012 holiday season
  • Notes: Notify guests of upcoming holiday mailing frequency, allow them to select frequency/topics Important to test, test, test – see what creative, subject line, offer works for YOUR subscribers Leverage demo/transactional data to personalize mailings
  • Notes: Utilize Fishbowl creative Best Demonstrated Practices: Limit length of message (1-2 topics) to eliminate need to scroll down for full review of messaging components. Position primary message call-out within top portion of message creative (“above the fold”) to drive click- through and open rates. Re-vamp and highlight the key website links within the header/logo to have a ‘holiday theme’. Increase size differentials for gift card purchase call out/link within main creative to draw recipient eye and convey need for action. Incorporate animation elements to draw the eye and pique interests for opening and engagement with message. Focus all messaging elements on one, common element (gift cards) to increase conversion to card purchase. Add an extended shape to catch the reader’s eye Optimize for mobile viewing - Include soft mention of Creative Services : If you don’t have a designer on staff or as a contractor for your restaurant, you can always use Fishbowl Creative Services to ensure you messages are optimized for email. Our designers’ sweet spot is designing specifically for email.
  • Notes: You don’t have to offer a discount to provide VALUE to your members Provide ideas for teachers, postman, hair stylist, etc. Make party planning easy with call ahead seating, online ordering, etc. Promote your brand’s charity, donate proceeds of sales
  • Notes: Flash offers – exclusive to database, valid one-day only Have fun with leftovers, full house, visiting family, Fatigue for cleaning/cooking, etc..
  • Notes: Customize eCard on Facebook Include links to connect with brand on Facebook, Twitter Great time for guest interaction on FB/Twitter – Best/Worst holiday gifts, funny family gathering stories, pin holiday wish lists, share New Year’s resolutions MUST DO – ask members to join eClub during online purchase transaction. Low hanging fruit.
  • Notes: Start early with your messaging, and then send 1-2 reminder mailings Re-send original mailing with new subject line or include still on-going promotions as a secondary message to your new promo mailings Re-blast to non-openers or those that opened but did not complete CTA
  • Notes: - Capitalize on the dramatic dip in emails sent after 12/25 but talking to guests about New Year’s eves/New Year Resolutions for end-of-year sales push
  • Notes: Take an opportunity to reflect on year’s accomplishments and show appreciation and gratitude. Shown examples for Fishbowl’s past EOY mailings: 2006: Very interactive/animated card. The radio dials hosted different music stations along with some Fishbowl carolers. Screensavers were inside the cookies along with a fireplace and other hidden surprises. 2008: Personalized with a picture of all the staff along with animated falling snow- “Click Here to meet our staff” 2011: Used animation to illustrate how a restaurant “powered by Fishbowl” helped drive members in house (more butts in seats).
  • Notes: Here are ideas for traditional and non-traditional marketing oppertunities: 10/1 – Holiday Marketing Season Begins 10/15 - “Catering” for Halloween Parties for 10/31 10/21 – Industry and Fishbowl volume spikes 10/24 – Dress in brand colors for special promo 10/29 – “Trade in Candy for Kid’s Meal” promo
  • Notes: 11/3 – Daylights Savings promo 11/6: Reminder, members may view the same message on multiple devices 11/8: Gift Card “Beat the Rush” Promo 11/11: Veteran's Day 11/22: Small Business Saturday (LSM?) 11/27: Hanukkah 11/28: Thanksgiving 11/29:“Fuel Up For Black Friday Shopping” 11/20: Small Biz Saturday
  • Notes: But, what the heck is Green Monday? The term was actually coined by eBay to describe its best sales day in December, and is designated as the second Monday in December. The main significance is that Green Monday signals the last chance for shoppers to receive online orders with regular ground shipping. ComScore reported $954 million was spent online on Green Monday in 2010. This represented the second largest day of online spending in the 2010 season, only behind Cyber Monday. 
  • Add Calendar: 1/2/14: Prompt members to tell you there New Year’s Resolutions on Facebook/Twitter 1/16: Promote Catering for SuperBowl 2/4/14 1/24: LSM mailings – weather related – Warm up with xx item.
  • Holiday Messaging for Restaurants - Best Practices Marketing Webinar

    1. 1. Holiday Messaging Trends and Best Practices
    2. 2. Welcome to a Fishbowl Best Practices Webinar Hosted by: Natalie Ikemeier Managing Consultant
    3. 3. Agenda A Snapshot of U.S. Holiday Email Data Holiday Messaging Performance Trends We’re Seeing Messaging Best Practices Calendar Planning Q&A
    4. 4. A Snapshot of U.S. Holiday Email Data
    5. 5. Holiday Period 2012 - Mailing Volume 0.0% 2.0% 4.0% 6.0% 8.0% 10.0% 2-Oct 9-Oct 16-Oct 23-Oct 30-Oct 6-Nov 13-Nov 20-Nov 27-Nov 4-Dec 11-Dec 18-Dec 25-Dec 1-Jan WSJ reports that consumers received an avg. of 38 promotional emails per week Estimated to have accounted for 28% of all email volume
    6. 6. Holiday Period 2012 - Day of Week Metric Comparison Internet stats indicate that nearly 80% of promotional emails were sent on weekdays
    7. 7. Almost half of consumers will use social media to assist with holiday shopping Retailers are expected to begin promotional offers before October 1st The most popular email types sent by marketers will be % OFF and $$$ OFF Upwards of 70% of consumers will use smartphones for holiday shopping The BUZZ on 2013 Holiday shoppers expected to spend 11% more in 2013 Gift cards are highest on list of what people say they want to receive
    8. 8. 2013 spending predicted to exceed $640 BILLION Holiday Period 2013 - Overall Spending
    9. 9. Holiday Messaging Performance Trends We’re Seeing
    10. 10. • Overall volume 7% higher in 2012 vs. prior year • 25% of total mailing sent occurred between Nov 4th – Nov 24th *Data collected from amongst all Fishbowl chain clients High email volume + inbox filtering makes effective use of segmentation, subject lines and unique offers crucial. Fishbowl Holiday Volume Trends
    11. 11. Fishbowl Holiday Volume to Open Rate Comparison • Open rates held between 20% and 22% throughout the holiday period • Highs in open rates came as mailing volume began to increase in October and again during the post holiday time period *Data collected from amongst all Fishbowl chain clients Keep mobile design in mind since many people view and make Cyber Monday purchases on their smart phones.
    12. 12. Fishbowl Day-of-Week Messaging Comparisons Highest: •Open rates on Sundays •Mailing Volume on Tuesdays Lowest: •Open rates on Saturdays •Mailing Volume on Saturdays Study individual member open and click trends, then develop a mailing schedule that mimics past behavior.
    13. 13. Holiday Messaging Trends and Best Practices
    14. 14. Think outside the inbox!
    15. 15. Motivating Subject Lines • Convey a sense of urgency • Include offer in first 2-3 words and offer in pre-header • Use new subject lines in re-blasts (“In case you missed it”) Top Holiday Subject Lines • Happy Thanksgiving, From Our Family To Yours • We Gift Thanks to You • You made the Nice List... Here is your Holiday Bonus! • ☃ Our Gift To You: More Holidaily Coupons! • Bonus gift card and no crowds, need we say more? • The Christmas Clock is Tick Tocking • There's Still Holidaily Offers For You, ##firstname##
    16. 16. Audience Segmentation •Holiday frequency opt-in •A/B split testing •Use existing profile data to customize message Male VersionMale Version Female VersionFemale Version Increased Frequency AlertIncreased Frequency Alert
    17. 17. Creative Design •Limit length of message •Optimize for mobile viewing •Try well-placed animation
    18. 18. Soft Benefits for eClub Members •Gift suggestions •Charitable donations •Free shipping •Reservation reminder
    19. 19. Thanksgiving Messaging Ideas •Flash offers •Leftover blahs •“Family Gatherings” •Catering and take out
    20. 20. Connect Online • Drive members to Facebook • Post special holiday offers and insights via Facebook status updates • Leverage Pinterest as a way of sharing wish lists • Add opt-in for eClub to online purchase page
    21. 21. Resend Holiday Messages to Non-Openers Change up the subject line •Get your holiday bonus card now! •Let us cook your holiday meal •Free shipping won’t last much longer… •Only 2 days left for this exclusive offer! Change up the subject line •Get your holiday bonus card now! •Let us cook your holiday meal •Free shipping won’t last much longer… •Only 2 days left for this exclusive offer!
    22. 22. Year-end Messaging (12/26 - 12/31) PRAGMATIC APPROACH •Simple •Straight Forward •Transactional
    23. 23. Year-end Messaging - Recent Fishbowl Examples… THANKFUL APPROACH •Retrospective •Interactive •Animated
    24. 24. Holiday Messaging Trends and Best Practices
    25. 25. HALLOWEEN Industry and Fishbowl volume spikes Candy for Kids Meal Promo Beat the Rush - Gift Card Promo Promote Catering for Halloween 2721 22 23 24 25 26 28 29 30 31 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 7 8 9 10 11 3 4 5 SUNDAY 6 MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY 1 2 Holiday Marketing Season Begins OCTOBER PLANNING • 4 in 10 consumers will begin holiday shopping before Halloween • Open rates for Fishbowl clients was highest in October • Not too early to plant the Holiday catering seed
    26. 26. HANUKKAH BEGINS THANKSGIVING Black Friday Small Business Saturday 25 26 27 28 29 30 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 8 9 10 Daylight Savings VETERAN'S DAY 4 5 6 7 SUNDAY 1 2 3 MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY NOVEMBER PLANNER • Thanksgiving day shopping a big hit with retailers • Smartphones have become a shoppers life-line • Holiday catering plans are being made
    27. 27. NEW YEAR'S EVE 30 31 After Christmas Sales 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Free Shipping Day Last Sleigh Day 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Green Monday 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Cyber Monday HANUKKAH ENDS SUNDAY 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY CHRISTMAS DAY DECEMBER STRATEGY PLANNER • Restaurant Gift cards make great “last minutes items” • After Christmas shopping now begins on Christmas Day
    28. 28. 27 28 29 30 31 Beat the Chilly Weather 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Catering for the BIG GAME 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 NEW YEAR'S DAY Share New Year's Resolutions SUNDAY 1 2 3 4 5 MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY POST HOLIDAY STRATEGY PLANNER • Rapid decline in message volume • Soft benefit messaging opportunity