Case Study: Think of Valentine’s Day as a Way to Grow Your List!

valentinesValentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for the restaurant industry.  But the real prize you should aim for as a restaurant marketer is to use the holiday as a way to increase your list, which you can then leverage for the rest of the year.   One good way to do that is using Facebook Sweepstakes.  As we’ve discussed previously, restaurants can use a Facebook Sweepstakes to offer tantalizing prizes to attract guests to their stores.  Our SM3 team used a Sweepstakes to help a fine dining client bring in a substantial number of new  guests and more Facebook fans just in time for Valentine’s Day – not only are reservations maxed out for the 14th, the client has a bigger list to leverage going forward!

Restaurant Concept: Independent steakhouse focused on old school charm.

Business Goal: Grow Facebook fan base and E-club membership.

Campaign Length: 2 weeks before the big day.

Campaign Tactics: SM3 encouraged customers to enter the restaurant’s “Ultimate Valentine’s Day Sweepstakes” via Facebook’s Sweepstakes app.  At the client’s request, they restricted entrants to guests who already had a reservation on file. After liking the page, guests provided their email address for the chance to win dinner for two, admission for two to see a local show, and an intimate limo ride to and from the restaurant to the venue – a very rich offer!

Results: The client significantly grew both their Facebook and E-club lists. They gained over 400 new Facebook fans, a 20%+ increase to their total Facebook audience and a 650% increase over that time period in comparison to the previous two weeks! Their E-club added 290 new members, a 4% increase in list size. To compare, the Fishbowl benchmark for list growth is 1.6% month to month.

Lessons Learned: The higher value the prize, the more successful Sweepstakes works as a guest enrollment tool. Always evaluate what you are “giving away” in terms of how that prize will affect your bottom line. If you tend to offer up something like a gift card every month, think about running one sweepstakes per quarter with a sweeter prize.  You can build loyalty with the guests who respond, and they  are likely to stay to hear about your promotions on an ongoing basis. And the second lesson?  Don’t think of Valentine’s Day as just one day.  Think of it as an opportunity to attract new guests!

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