Pandemic or not, the holidays are coming and your restaurant or venue has time to generate a lot of business from seasonal event bookings and catering before the end of the year.
The key to success this season is having the right marketing in place to reach customers and prospects and convince them that your business has the perfect solutions for their holiday parties and events. To get you started, here are 20 marketing tips you can use that include Tripleseat features, social media marketing, email marketing, and your website.
1. Create a holiday lead form
The first thing you should do — before posting to social media, sending emails, or updating your website — is to create a new lead form for holiday events, catering, and other business. The Tripleseat lead form is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal to drive business during the holiday season and creating a lead form for the holiday season will enable you to track and analyze the business you book with your holiday offerings. Use this link in all of your marketing campaigns.
2. Pull lists of people who have booked with you
Tripleseat’s Most Booked Contacts Report allows you to pull lists of customers who have booked with you based on details like the date, the contact name, title, account name, the number of events booked, events actual revenue, description, owner of the contact, and more. Download reports of customers who have booked with you for past holiday seasons, corporate events, catering, buyouts, and other types of business that would be more likely to book this time of year. Take that list and upload it to your email marketing system, then send those audiences offers for similar bookings during the holiday season. You can also upload those email addresses when creating social media ads to target social media users who have been previous customers.
3. Set your Tripleseat account up for catering
Catering has been a popular option for smaller parties and at-home gatherings this year because it allows the client to control the location and social distancing measures. Take these steps to set up your Tripleseat account to accommodate catering services, and then use these tips to promote catering in your marketing content.
4. Get listed on the Tripleseat Booking Network
Tripleseat customers have an opportunity to be part of the largest collection of event venues where event planners gather to browse and book the perfect venue for their corporate or social event. Before the holiday season begins, add or update your listing on the Tripleseat Booking Network venue directory websites — VENUES by Tripleseat and EventUp. With these marketing tools, prospects can submit leads remotely 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And you can use Tripleseat to seamlessly follow up and book the event inquiries with just a few clicks.
5. Use marketing tools from our Marketplace
Connect with our marketing partnerships and integrations for even more reach. Constant Contact, fishbowl, and Mailchimp provide email marketing tools, reporting, and more. Made Symple is a digital strategy studio that can help your restaurant, hotel, or unique venue to grow your digital footprint and your revenue.
Social media tips
6. Change your cover photo
The cover photo for your Facebook page, Twitter account, and LinkedIn page is the first thing your customers see when they visit your business profiles. Be strategic with your photo. Use Canva to create an image that includes text about your holiday events, catering, and other promotions.
7. Share your Tripleseat lead form link
We really can’t share this tip enough. If you are promoting your holiday event bookings, catering, or takeout on social media, include the link to your Tripleseat lead form in your post so followers can click and immediately start to fill out an inquiry. Add it to your Facebook page’s call to action button. Do not ask them to call you or email you — they just won’t take the time. The lead form link makes it easy for customers to take that first step to spend money with you during the holidays.
8. Pin holiday promotion posts to the top of your profile
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn allow businesses to pin a post to the top of their profile’s feed, which allows you to put social media posts about your holiday promotions front and center for your customers to see right away when they check your page. On Instagram, you can pin a comment to the top of a post — you can’t include clickable links in your post, so put the lead form link in your Instagram bio and use that comment to tell people to click your link in your profile to book with you.
9. Go live
Start a livestream on Instagram or Facebook to talk about your holiday promotions. Broadcast from your phone and talk about what you’re offering for the holidays, take a walk through your space decorated for the holidays or take a peek behind the scenes in the kitchen at what your chef is making for the season. Instagram and Facebook will notify your followers when you’re live and will prominently display your livestream recording in the feed.
10. Buy ads
The social networks have made it extremely easy to get in front of the people who are in your target demographics and locations, but you do have to pay for it. Experiment with social media ads to get your holiday offers in front of the right prospects. You don’t have to pay a lot at first — try $25 to get started — and the ad platforms will show you the potential reach of your ads based on your target criteria. Adjust the criteria as you go to create the best formula for reaching prospects.
11. Use your lead form link
We mentioned this above and it’s worth talking about again. One of the biggest mistakes we see during the holiday season is email marketing from restaurants and venues about booking parties or catering for the season, but they include a phone number or an email address as the next step. Use your Tripleseat lead form link as the call to action in these emails. The lead form is easy, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and seamlessly saves each lead’s information to your Tripleseat dashboard.
12. Keep your emails short
If people don’t have a long enough attention span to call or email you, they are not going to read an email that requires a ton of scrolling. Your readers want a clear message with enough information to help them make a decision quickly. Keep your emails short, with a headline, an image, a couple of sentences about your message, and a call to action link or button.
13. Segment your email list
One of the best ways to get results from email marketing is to connect the right message with the right audience. You can segment your audiences — create different lists for different interests like holiday events, catering, and corporate clients and then target them with content they’re interested in. Send emails about holiday bookings from customers who have booked holiday parties or corporate events with you in the past. Reach out to catering customers with emails about your holiday catering specials. And don’t forget to contact your VIPs — the customers who have spent the most with your venue this year — they are more likely to come back to you for their holiday needs.
14. Use images
The words you use in your email marketing are important to get the message out, but the images you use are going to grab your audience’s attention first. Use compelling images of your food, cocktails, holiday decor, graphics that combine text and images, or just text with a colorful background that visually tell the story of your offer.
15. Include a call to action
You have a short window to get customers to act and they have a short attention span, so make sure you have a compelling call to action in your email. This can be located both in the subject line and the body of the email. Tell your readers what you want them to do. Here’s some examples: “Book your holiday event with us,” “Order your holiday catering now, or” “The holidays are coming — we’ll take care of the cooking.” Tell people what to do next — ideally, that would be to click your lead form link and send you an inquiry — and include the link as well as contact information they need to make it happen.
16. Create a page for private events and catering
If your website doesn’t have it already, create a separate page on your site that has all the information customers need about private events and catering at your restaurant or venue, including packages, prices, menus, photos or videos, contact information, and yes, the Tripleseat lead form. Consider creating a second page just for holiday events and catering if you have a lot of details for customers to review before booking. And make sure you link to this page in the menu and other navigation features throughout your site. This creates an easy way for customers to access all of this information and linking to it throughout prevents them from having to search your site and giving up if they can’t find it.
17. Ask people to like, subscribe, and follow
You have an email list and social media profiles that help get the word out about your holiday promotions. Don’t make them secret by linking to them on a page that’s buried on your website. Don’t put them at the bottom of your homepage. Add your social media profile links and your email list signup to the top of your homepage so prospects and clients see them right away and can take the actions that will keep them in touch with you throughout the holiday season.
18. Try popups
Most website platform software has tools and features that allow you to add popups; the small images or forms that appear on a website after the page is loaded. Create popups with compelling text and images about your holiday promotions and link them to your Tripleseat lead form.
19. Add testimonials
Have you received an email, online review, or social media post that thanks your restaurant or venue for making their event a success? Share it! 75% of consumers say that reviews help them choose a restaurant. Ask your customer if you can use the review on your website and in other marketing efforts. You can create a page just for reviews or add a couple of reviews to your private events and catering page to give prospects a look at how you can make their holidays memorable.
20. Be mobile-friendly
Test your website on your smartphone to ensure that customers and prospects can access information and take action anywhere anytime on their phones. 81% of consumers rely on mobile apps to find a restaurant, so if they can’t interact with you on mobile, they may give up.
Get ready for a great holiday season
It’s going to take some thought and strategy, but putting these marketing tips into place now will help you drive more holiday and catering bookings later. And having Tripleseat on your side will allow you to make sure all of those events and catering orders run smoothly. If you’re not a Tripleseat customer and you’re interested in learning more about Tripleseat’s CRM features, schedule a demo at your convenience to take a closer look.