Whatever you do during this time, don’t stop communicating.

 With uncertainty shadowing every aspect of the hospitality industry at the moment, your loyal customers are going to be the ones who keep you afloat down the line—here are some of our favourite retention marketing tips to ensure they’re there when you reopen!

Tip 1:  Give a little to get a little

You probably have an example of retention marketing in your wallet right now: a loyalty card! These simple “frequent flyer” assets encourage customers to return and make them feel rewarded for their ongoing custom. Loyalty cards (or some form of a loyalty program) are a strong, simple way to incentivise repeated return business.

If you’re doing takeaway meals at the moment, you could offer a complimentary dessert after a fifth purchase, or slip a little extra treat in the takeaway bag of a diner you’ve seen a couple of times this week (because who doesn’t love a surprise!). If takeaway trade is a part of your usual business model, give double loyalty card stamps to keep people feeling great about choosing to spend their money on your business, especially when they could have just stayed at home.

Another great example of giving a little extra to drive retention is by boosting voucher purchases—send an offer out to your database stating that if they spend $150 on a voucher this month, they’ll get $200 to spend when you’re back up and running. The cost of these programs is minimal to you in the long run, and has a really strong value proposition for your loyal customers.

Tip 2: Use the data you have

At Liquidity, a simple way we work to generate return visits is with databases of past bookings/sales. Rather than simply mass communicating to anyone who’s joined your database, honing in to an audience of past spenders is immensely more effective in generating bookings or spend.

Simply placing a business card-bowl on the counter or extracting emails from the booking platform you use are easy and effective ways to build an audience for this purpose. When the time comes, you can easily retarget existing customers by sending out an EDM with new offers/additions to your takeaway menus, or even send a mass text with a limited-time special.

If you have five or 10 extremely loyal visitors, it might even be worth contacting them personally via phone or email when your doors open again, letting them know that their favourite dish is still on the menu and you’d love to welcome them back with a glass of wine on the house. Again, investing a minimal amount in order to affirm the sense of gratitude is a sure-fire way to see people back in your venue!

Tip 3: Focus on the long-term

While it might feel like you’re just dishing out “freebies” when you need to be frugal, the goodwill and relationships formed by incentivising repeat trade will ultimately serve to increase your business’ takings, presence, and customer base—basically, the old-school baker’s dozen concept never fails!

One of the main drawcards for investing in retargeting is the improved ROI of your own time; you’re better off sharing your new menu with people who you know already love (and spend money in) your business, rather than screaming it into the void and hoping someone a) hears it, and b) is interested enough to give you a shot.

If you need help with activating your existing customer base, contact us on hello@liquiditymarketing.com.au