While a wealth of data promises new marketing potential for restaurants, data overload creates task saturation among busy managers.

Punch cards, rewards programs, neighborhood pamphleteering, coupons – they can all be digitized using WiFi marketing, streamlining processes, reducing costs, and providing actionable, automated data.

Consumers hungry for unique dining experiences make this an ideal time to open a restaurant, but that same enthusiasm creates more competition as new restaurants saturate the market. Even if you build a loyal customer base, you’ve got to prod and persuade them to move from passive patronage to passionate advocacy. 

WiFi marketing offers several solutions and some distinct advantages to restaurateurs that weren’t available in past years. Punch cards, rewards programs, neighborhood pamphleteering, coupons – they can all be digitized using WiFi marketing, streamlining processes, reducing costs, and providing actionable, automated data.

What is WiFi Marketing?

WiFi marketing offers restaurants a way to grow their email lists, gather useful customer data, and automate hyper-targeted marketing messages using something you’re probably already paying for: your WiFi hotspot. Customers enter their email address into a gated sign-on splash page in exchange for access to your restaurant’s WiFi network.

This one-time process logs them into your branded WiFi portal. Then, your WiFi marketing software begins to securely and discreetly gather information about patrons that drills past demographics into real-time, relevant, highly actionable data.

How does WiFi marketing benefit restaurants?

An enviable email list: To say that WiFi marketing grows email lists is an understatement. I’ve seen my clients’ email lists swell by the thousands after the implementation of a gated hotspot without any additional marketing efforts to build the list.

Added value: Offering WiFi to customers adds value to their dining experience. Most of today’s diners take WiFi into consideration when they’re deciding what’s for dinner, and they prefer a restaurant with connectivity. 

Precise customer profiles: Through WiFi marketing tools, you can learn exactly who your customers are, their lifetime value, their habits, preferences, location and behaviors, empowering you to make business decisions based on finely tuned customer profiles. 

Segmented audiences: Data is generated each time a connected customer walks through your doors, refining your understanding of your best customers. A high quality WiFi marketing app will parse this data and provide you with segmented audiences for more personalized marketing.

Automated messages: WiFi marketing empowers you to relieve task saturation by automating some of your most powerful marketing practices. Customized messages can be created to deliver highly personalized, relevant messages that are delivered at the exact moment they’ll be most effective.

Usable marketing measurements: Paper coupons and old-fashioned punch cards offer perks to your patrons, but like many other promotional efforts, their impact can be difficult to measure. Digitized, WiFi promotions offer concrete evidence regarding what’s working and what’s not, allowing you to pivot quickly to get the most return on your marketing spend.

Borrowed opportunities: Some WiFi marketing hotspots even allow you to benefit from a neighboring restaurant’s WiFi marketing. When a customer signs up for WiFi on their hotspot, the customer’s data is automatically pulled into your database. This provides you with a chance to entice them to your establishment next time they dine out.

Customer enthusiasm: WiFi marketing creates personalized, real-time, location-specific promotional potential. That allows you to respond to patrons promptly and intuitively, improving customer loyalty and encouraging more active patronage.

Better reviews: A robust WiFi marketing platform allows you to request a rating from customers while you’re still front of mind. If the rating is positive, you can encourage them to leave a review on a public review site like Google. If it’s negative, you can respond quickly and personally to improve the relationship before the customer gets to a review site.

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How are other restaurants using WiFi marketing campaigns?

WiFi marketing can be tailored to connect with customers in any number of ways. The only limit is the imagination of your marketer. Some of the most common WiFi marketing campaigns include:

  • Warmly welcoming first-time guests

  • Thanking repeat guests for their patronage

  • Rewarding frequent visitors with a special discount when they arrive

  • Tempting back lost customers with a promotional offer

  • Offering to set up reservations on anniversaries or birthdays

How does it work?

While getting set up for WiFi marketing may take a little technical know-how, once your app is up and running, reaping all the rewards requires very little effort.

  • You setup a WiFi hotspot and a gateway for patrons.

  • Customers sign into your network using their email addresses. 

  • You deliver personalized, automated marketing campaigns.

  • Your customers leave happy and return often, boosting your sales.

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