CoverBoom's Blog

Holiday Marketing Success = Being Ahead of the Curve!

October 16th, 2013 • Posted by Stephany Toman • Permalink

The leaves have yet to fall, but before you know it the frost will be on the pumpkin and the holidays will be upon us! It happens fast, and the opportunities that come with the cooler days and nights mean you need to set your sights on enticing your diners in for a lovely respite from the holiday chaos.

How to capture the attention of people who are bombarded with nonstop spam and scam from hungry vendors? Be the real thing. Nurture the relationships you've worked so hard to engender over the years, and let your clientele know how precious they are to you!

Once you've laid your plans internally, maybe by adding a few holiday dishes or upholding sacred holiday traditions of dining and drink within your restaurant, it's time to let your diners know what you have in mind. Invite them in. Reward them for returning. Remind them at every turn that an evening spent in your place will nuture their body, soul and provide a much-needed break from their own holiday pursuits.

Create visuals for in-house

Table tents are a perfect way to let your diners know what's in store.  A simple, informative piece will net questions and help future bookings. Images help, too. And it's never been easier to drop a cool one into a point of purchase piece to create a pretty marketing piece that garners interest, which ultimately creates more business. Note: Be sure to insert a copy of your current promotion when you deliver the check - a takeaway reminder will generate even more response!

Update your website

Make sure your website is absolutely up-to-date. Feature your holiday menu, showcase your holiday events, make sure that any online visitors will get the lowdown in no time. Make it easy for them to get excited by the cool food and events you have in store this holiday!

Tell them about it

Nurturing your clientele means communicating with them on a regular basis. Use your blog to give an overview of your holiday plans, to share your enthusiasm about providing a warm, cozy, delicious way to to spend an evening as the seasons change from oh so cool to BRRRR it's cold outside.

Get social

Be sure your blog articles generate Facebook and Twitter posts. You'd be surprised at the high percentage of your diners that use social media as their go to for news and general information about their world. Use social media to your advantage, and be sure to include images in your Facebook posts. It's super easy to do and you'll love how your page looks adorned with colorful images that showcase your newest happenings.

Then tell them more about it, with Emails

Emails are the number one best way to say in touch with your precious diners. A simple missive from time to time featuring a new menu item, discussing an upcoming musicial event, or focusing on your prized new wine label is all it takes. Be consistent with your contacts, maybe 2-4 a month, but don't worry about making them War and Peace. Your diners are busy, and probably won't read it anwyay. They will, however, be inclined to open the email and see what you have to say if they know that when you contact them it's with fun and helpful information. Subject lines matter too. Don't get too clever; keep it clear, simple, and compelling. Caps in a subject line SCREAM at people, and you never want to do that. Ever. Or use !!!!!

As always, think about how you would respond if you received the email you're intending to send. If you'd balk at it, so will your recipients.

Be sure to link to any holiday specials you've created, and always include a link to your gift certificate page! We're all getting into gift giving mode now, so an email containing an instant way to provide great gifts of dining for our family, friends and colleagues will go a long way. Gift givers appreciate a solution, you'll sell the gift of dining. It's the perfect scenario!

Thank them for their business

It doesn't cost you much to offer up a free glass of wine, a complementary dessert or a discount off their next meal as a thank you for coming in twice in one month, or for referring a group of friends in for a nice dinner. And thanks, as we all know, goes a long way to creating loyalty and making our clients feel special.

The key to successful holidays is to nurture the precious relationships you've already established with your clientele, and to let them know how much they mean to your business. Happy people tell other people about their pleasant dining experiences, and that creates a win win for everyone.

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