It’s a truth universally acknowledged that any merchant in need of big revenues must be in need of email marketing. And not just corporations with marketing budgets, but also mom and pops in your neighborhood. Why so much hype? To put it simply, email marketing has a 3800% return on investment. This means that for every $1 spent on email marketing business owners make $38 in revenues. Wow!
For this reason 46% of all small business owners are investing in some kind of email marketing. The success of their campaigns depends upon the right audience receiving the right content, and the rest is history (in the form of big revenues). But the right audience is actually a smaller demographic than you’d expect.
A 2014 study shows Americans drive up to 17 minutes to visit your restaurant and only 14 minutes to visit your bar. This means merchants need to capture locals living within a 3-5 mile radius. Then they have to drive repeat business consistently from these people! Because 70% of people who visit a business for the first time don’t come back.
So what’s the universal way to get more returns – email marketing? Yes. But not only that. The most important part of the success equation is a good, high-quality email address database. This is hard to come by, and this is also where most merchants are losing a lot of money.
Why is email marketing still so sexy?
At about 1c per email, email marketing is downright cheap. There are tools that make it fast, easy and automated. It’s the most popular tool for retaining customers and driving revenues. There’s just one caveat – the success of email marketing hinges on how many customers hand over their email addresses to the merchant. You always want more, more more!
So where are small business merchants getting email addresses?
Everyone has a different approach. Each approach loses the merchant money. Some merchants collect emails through apps or at the POS when customers pay. Others have those self-serve loyalty tablets where people can punch in their email or phone number to sign up. More traditional methods are comment cards or fish bowls. And these have to be entered manually (manually!) into some sort of database.
The truth is that these methods work well when you do them all together. The modern merchant now has to use at least 2 different sources to gather enough emails to account for declining open rates. And it’s hard keeping track of all those platforms! You need to integrate them. Transferring data between them should be simple. In many cases these platforms just don’t talk to each other. So merchants are spending time micro managing their marketing databases. That’s not worth an owner’s time. It needs to be easy peasy.
How do you gather emails without losing money?
Here’s the truth – not every shopper wants an app, some don’t make it to the POS, and even fewer fill out comment cards. Sometimes people are just plain loitering around. These people are good future candidates, and merchants are struggling to find a way to capture them. (Hello window shopper, would you like to download our app? No thank you.) And just like that they’re gone forever.
The holy grail is gathering email addresses from these “potential” customers.
Even then collecting a few hundred emails doesn’t ensure success. People are getting dozens of emails a day. Merchants today need to email more people than they did a decade ago to see real revenue spikes in their monthly reports.
What’s the solution?
Tens of thousands of merchants in the US alone are now collecting data through automation tools. One of these tools is marketing WiFi. Instead of using a pass code, customers are now signing into WiFi with their email addresses. WiFi is becoming the most high-volume contributor to email databases all over the country.
What struggle does this solve? Well, it solves a couple major struggles every merchant has wrestled with at some point.
One – collecting emails from new potential customers (AKA outsiders using their WiFi.) Two – getting enough good-quality emails from a wider but still local audience. And three – taking away the friction of traditional loyalty programs (downloads, tablets, etc.) to encourage more sign ups into their marketing programs.
And it’s surprisingly powerful. Marketing WiFi helps merchants gather 5x more email addresses than traditional methods. WiFi is the most widely used technology at any business. Hundreds of people get access to it at any given business every week. And for the first time in history merchants are benefitting from outsiders using their WiFi!
As a result email marketing is becoming 5x more profitable.
Its beauty is in the simplicity. The technology is now easy enough that tens of thousands of mom and pops are using it. We have the case studies to prove it.
Contact us to get a case study of how tier 1 businesses are leveraging their WiFi systems for data.