As a restaurant, delivering a best-in-class guest experience is a challenge. You’ve got to have all the data, know what your guests like, and get all of the guest data platforms to communicate together — all so that you can be proactive with your outreach of your restaurant’s most relevant offers. But with all of that data existing across multiple platforms, how can you make sure your guests are getting the best experience?
We’ve partnered with restaurant guest analytics platform, Venga, to shine some light on how combining their guest analytics with Emma’s email marketing platform can help you deliver the most effective customer experience, driving return guests and increasing their average spend in your restaurant time and time again.
Join this webinar and learn:
• How to consolidate all of the data you’re gathering
• 3 techniques to increase average spend per guest
• How to segment your audience to develop loyal customers
Miles: Hello everybody. Welcome to our Webinar here at Emma, “Deliver A 5-Star Guest Experience Powered By Email Marketing.” My name is Miles Price. I’m the Product Marketing Manager here at Emma, and also the host of this Webinar. Before we get started, I just want to kind of do a little bit of housekeeping. We are gonna be sending out the recording via email with the address that you guys all registered with, so keep an eye out on your inbox over the next couple of days. And we have everybody on mute for right now, but we will have time for a Q and A at the very end. So just submit your questions in the chat, in the sidebar and we’ll get to them. So, without further ado, let’s go ahead and do some introductions. With me here, I’ve got Michael Baker, who’s our Senior Account Executive at Emma. Michael, you want to say hi?
Michael: Sure, yeah. Hi Miles, hi Winston, hi, everybody. I’m happy to be here. I’m a Senior Account Executive at Emma. We are an email marketing platform based in Nashville, Tennessee. We have about 15,000 customers, and I’ve been selling exclusively into the restaurant space for some time now and have worked with Winston and the folks at Venga for a better part of those years. We’re really excited to have him on the line and to be working with him. We’ve just officially started our partnership last week, so we’re really excited to announce that, and excited to have him on the line. Winston?
Winston: Hey Michael. Thanks a lot. And hello to everyone. Some of you I know and others I’m glad to meet and look forward to getting your questions here at the end. Just to give you a little background, we’re based in D.C. Started the company about eight years ago and we first started exclusively working with restaurants and hospitality. We’ve actually recently have branched out into the fitness space as well. But for the purposes of today, I’ll give you a little background. We work with over 2000 restaurants worldwide. These include fine dining restaurants like Danny Meyer and Michael Mina, to more casual restaurants like Rosa Mexicano and Melting Pot, to the small independents, one to two, three location groups as well as a big enterprise groups like Del Frisco’s and The Palm, Fox Restaurant Concepts and a couple of others. So just really excited to be here and look forward to the conversation.
Miles: All right. And again, my name is Miles. I’m the Product Marketing Manager here at Emma. So yeah, with that, we’ll go ahead and get started. So today’s restaurant marketers can easily find themselves caught in this crazy balancing act. Leadership teams, constantly want them to adopt tons of new technology that becomes available. You know, they get enamored with the marketing channel du jour, so to speak. We’ve heard time and time again, you know, marketers say, “This month let’s use email. Oh, wait. Next month we’re going to use social. But now social is dead, so let’s use an App.” And at the same time they’re operating at these razor-thin margins, trying to maintain a strict budget and prove steady growth. But at the core of this, the real problem lies with restaurants just having too much data all over the place. There’s data from email, data from your POS system, OpenTable, social networks, etc.
So all this data all over the place, it makes it a huge time constraint, especially for marketers working in restaurants with a ton of locations. The restaurant industry is notoriously competitive with a bunch of new dining options opening up every single day. Nashville’s not immune to this. Nashville is blowing up like crazy right now. My wife and I tried to make reservations and, at a place in, you know, on a Thursday and can’t even get in. And also just the fact that there’s so many different locations opening up, you can’t keep track. So as a restaurant, when you’re trying to build success in this crowded market, anything you can do to streamline that workflow and ultimately know your customers better, the more results you’re gonna see. Because at its core, email marketing is all about building relationships. If you want to keep guests around for the long haul, it’s crucial that you find ways to connect with them on that personal level that goes beyond the transaction.
You know, if your data is scattered across a bunch of different disparate platforms, it makes building and maintaining those relationships really difficult. So in this webinar we’re gonna walk you through some of the best practices around using your guests’ data that you have with email marketing as the primary channels for engagement. And hopefully by the end your restaurant’s gonna to have some more clear insights into delivering a best in class guest experience that your customers require. So we’re gonna talk about pairing that guest analytics experience with your email marketing campaigns, and ultimately we’ll outline how to deliver the most effective guest experience, how to drive return guests, and how to increase your customers’ average spent. So with that, I’m gonna hand it over to Winston and he’s gonna walk you through Venga.
Winston: Thanks, Miles. To give a little background for those on the call, on the webinar today, we actually came to the idea of Venga, which was along with Jose Andres and his team here in DC. Jose Andres is a James Beard award-winner chef, who at one point had just a couple of restaurants, but as his empire is growing, it’s now over 30 restaurants. The ability to provide personalized service to his diners became very difficult because as Miles mentioned, he had all these new datasets that didn’t talk to each other. And so he actually approached us and said, “Hey, the holy grail for us as a restaurant is to help us better understand our guests.” And to do that effectively and efficiently, that will be somehow connect the guest data and OpenTable with the Point Of Sale data that has what is being spent and ordered at a certain table.
So to walk you through sort of a use case, let’s say you make a reservation for two people on a Saturday at a restaurant. When you check in with a host or hostess, that host is putting you into OpenTable and marking you present at table seven. A couple of minutes later, a server will come over and open up a ticket and 25 different POS integrations that we have, whether it’s a MICROS or Aloha or some of the new cloud-based platforms like Toast. And that point of sale is keeping track of everything that was spent at table seven, how long the guest was at that table, who the server was. And with that core integration, we’re able to build these detailed profiles for these restaurants and from that drive, essentially three different features. The first is to allow restaurants to provide a VIP experience for all diners while they’re dining.
So not just the VIPs that they know, but making everyone essentially feel like Norm from “Cheers,” welcomed and welcome back. So we’re arming the GMs and servers with these critical insights into guests’ previous spend and visit habits. Once they leave, we are helping restaurants stay engaged through both post-dining surveys and analytics reputation management. And then most importantly, what we’re going to be talking about today, email marketing. And so, with this email marketing, with our partnership with Emma, we are really helping to personalize the content that a restaurant can use to reach out to a guest. We should all keep in mind in hospitality that guests have given you permission to stay connected with them via their email, so I wouldn’t take the guest’s email for granted because what we’ve seen is just as quick as they are to give you that email, they are just as quick to break up with you if they find that the content that they’re receiving is not relevant.
People these days are craving relevant that’s, you know, relevant to them. So think about Amazon recommendations or Netflix recommendations or even hotels, who’ve been doing this for decades. You know, if you go to a Ritz Carlton in DC and request a down pillow, guess what, whenever you visit a Ritz Carlton anywhere around the world, guess what’s waiting for you on your bed? Down pillow. So a couple of different ways that restaurants are using the data from Emma and Venga, I’ll use a personal example. Three years ago I was single, didn’t have any kids, and so whenever I received an email from a restaurant talking about and raving about their new kid’s menu specials, I unsubscribed. That restaurant had taken a lot to acquire my email address, and with one click ,because I got irrelevant content, I unsubscribed and they lost me forever. Well, today I’m married with three kids, two kids actually, but maybe I just gave a secret way. And now I look for nothing more than those kids menus specials. You know, another way to look at it is those wine dinners that a lot of restaurants do. You know, making sure you’re sending, let’s say it’s a wine dinner featuring pinot noirs from Oregon, being able to target those guests who have ordered pinot noirs from Oregon before is gonna lead to a much higher engagement and click through rate.
Michael: Yeah, I mean, I have a similar example. My wife is a vegetarian and, you know, it’s not like she’s a militant vegetarian, but, you know, when she’s receiving emails and email campaign that has no relevancy to her whatsoever, you know, back to Miles’s point in Nashville where there’s a ton of options for us to go to. If something isn’t resonating with her, she doesn’t identify with it. Like we’re obviously, we’re not gonna pick that place to go that week with all these different options. So, you know, it’s really important we see this from our end, from an email marketing best practices standpoint to, that it’s really, really important to capitalize on that data that you have and target your audience with relevant content. We see it time and time again that the engagement is increased and Winston sees on his end that it’s effective, people are coming into the restaurants more, which is great.
And Emma specifically is built for restaurants. We have a great platform. We work with, you know, shared customers with Venga, we work with The Palm, with Del frisco’s, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Patina Restaurant Group. You know, we have, even to more casual dining too like Logan’s Roadhouse, Margaritaville, but you know, it’s really important across the board to create those targeted campaigns. And they really love using our platform because it’s easy to manage multi-location brands, multi-branded restaurant groups, even just single locations. We make it super easy to create emails, manage your audience, deploy those emails and then measure all those results. So yeah, it’s great. And some of the specific things we have in our platform that can help you are, we have tools to help you grow your list. Grow your list is always important, it’s something you always want to be focused on. You’re going to be capturing a lot of your OpenTable data through Venga and that’s going to get fed into Emma. But you ought to be everywhere you possibly can on those touch points that your customers are interacting with you. So have websites. People are going there to check out menus, checkout location details, hours of operations, whatever it looks like, you want to have those sign up forms, whether it’s lightbox or static form on your website, to make sure that you can capture the people that want to participate in your email program, want to identify with your brand.
Additionally, we have a cool iPad app. I mentioned this, restaurants find a lot of value in this if they have an event, you know, whether it be a wine event or a charity event or whatever it may be, you can have these iPads strategically placed around the restaurant. It doesn’t need to be in your face, but it’s just a really nice way for people to join your list. They look really slick, they can align with your brand and people can plug in their information and then receive some followup detail about your restaurant. When you’re hosting a wine event and they’re really liking what they see and experiencing, you know, they’re going to be a lot more apt to sign up in that moment. So it’s nice to have that.
Miles: And the interesting thing about that iPad app is it actually has an offline mode, so you don’t even have to have an internet connection to gather those contacts and those new subscribers. So it syncs as soon as you have an internet connection again.
Michael: And then segmenting. Segmenting, we’ve kind of touched upon this, it’s going to be a common theme throughout this webinar actually, but, you know, we make it really easy to segment in our platform. You can segment your audience based on, we recommend based on, like, engagement that you’re seeing with your email program. It’s one of the first things we recommend to customers when they come on board. We make it really easy to highlight and kind of parse out those people that have not maybe opened an email from you in the last six months. It’s really important to target them with some good content, some good subject lines, whatever it may be, and try to win them back if you can. If you can’t, we would highly recommend you consider removing them from your list. It’s really important with all the myriad points of data that are out there,that you stay really laser-focused on those people that are gonna affect your bottom line. And the people are going to affect your bottom line, are the people that are engaged with your brand. So stay focused on them, talk to the people that are engaged with your brand and they’ll come into your restaurant.
Automation within emails. This is a great way to just kind of keep in touch with your audience over time and without putting in as much effort every time you want to send out an email campaign. You build out an automated email series so that people can stay in touch with you and keep within a workflow or a journey that you take them along without having to actively send each time. A great example would be like, I go back to this, but if you have a wine event, you’re hosting some kind of charity event or something, you send out an email that’s promoting that event. Maybe you have a call-to-action of how to make a reservation or learn more, whatever that is, based on that link click, you can send an automated email that automatically follows up with the folks that has a lot more detail about that event already laid out, and that can just nurture those people that are interested in that. You can measure all the responses metrics on that and that can just flow out from your platform.
Miles: Cool. Thanks, Michael. And like we said earlier, you know, Emma’s had a great relationship with Venga over the past few years, but now we’re really excited to officially, you know, be partners in this restaurant marketing toolkit. So one thing we wanted to kinda talk about now that you’ve gotten a high-level view of what each platform does, what can they do together? So first things off, you’ve got awesome sync between both platforms, so your data is always up to date. You think, you want to walk through that?
Michael: The way I kind of think about this or explain it, is kind of like on the front end and on the back end. Venga is a really great platform. You’re gonna have a lot of data points that you can capture in your Venga account, and you can pass those on to Emma. What makes it really effective is that, you can build segments or groups within Venga and then those get seamlessly synched to Emma groups and segments within Emma. And then you can create emails that, you know, are, with targeted content that’s appropriate to those, that group of people deploy it to your audience and then capture that response metrics back in Venga. The great thing about this…
Winston: Michael, I think one thing to add there for a lot of restaurants is, with our integration, no longer do the restaurants have to download all the OpenTable emails they get by location from each restaurant and then upload it to their email service provider. Our integration allows that to happen seamlessly and nightly. So your lists at Emma is always up to date with the latest OpenTable email addresses.
Michael: Exactly. And if you think about this, it’s great. I mean, you set up a segment, let’s say your VIP customers, your threshold is at $5,000. So if somebody comes in last night and they spent, they hit that threshold, they would automatically join that group in Venga and then that would seamlessly come over into Emma the next day. You do not have to download a CSV file uploaded into Emma’s is, it works great. I’ve been doing this for quite some time and it’s good.
Miles: And no more manually updating groups or criteria, you know, all this stuff. All this stuff works together and it’s dynamic, automatic. And in both platforms, they make it very easy to create these personalized and dynamic segments. It’s very easy to set up these super specific criteria for the segments and like we said earlier, they’re dynamic. So when they’re updated and in Venga, they’re also updated in Emma. The benefit is all about developing the best, most personalized kind of customer experience across both of these channels.
Michael: And this is how you start building those campaigns. So you have your dietary restriction campaign, your vegetarians, your VIP list, whatever that looks like, and then can create that content accordingly, send it out to those folks. It’s relevant, it’s pertinent to them. And that’s the way you’re going to increase not only engagement with your campaign, but most importantly, you know, drive them into the location, whether it be that night or, or later on in the week. And that’s really what’s really important. And from a marketing perspective, what’s really cool about the platforms is that it really closes the loop on the ROI. So when the leadership is coming down on marketers to say, “Yeah, but we’re spending all this money and investing in these tools, where’s my return. Where’s my return?” You know, the partnership between Venga and Emma and that integration really closes that loop on that ROI. You could send out an email and you can see the results.
Winston: Yeah. So to pick up on that, it’s funny, or not so funny for this client before they started using Venga, they said they had their boss had a saying, “You can’t take click-throughs to the bank,” because the marketing team would always present status of an open rate or click through rate. And, you know, at the end of the day it was not showing that hard ROI that C suite was looking for. And so as Michael mentioned, what we’re able to do is close that loop and not only show you the great analytics that Emma currently shows on open rates and click on rates and bounces and unsubscribed, etc. We’ll take it that one step further. And so if you’re looking at the screen here, the thing that’s highlighted under ROI tracking is we’ll show you how many guests came back in, how many covers that resulted and the total spend.
So you really are getting that true ROI on each of these campaigns. The nice thing about having this ability to track ROI, restaurants use it in different ways. A lot of restaurants are using it for AB testing to see which campaigns are more effective. Is it the come for the appetizer or is it the complimentary dessert, for example. The example I’m showing you here is actually for Jose Garces, a group based out of Philly. And they use one of our more popular automated email campaigns, which is called the “We Miss You.” So what we’ll do with a restaurant is once we start working with them, we’ll look at their data to determine when to send the right campaigns because, again, it’s not about just the relevant content, but also the relevant timing. So typically for a “We Miss You” campaign, otherwise known as sort of a lapsed guest, a guest who hasn’t dined in a certain amount of time, you want to make sure, especially if you’re offering something to that guest, that you don’t send a “We Miss You” too early. If they’re already going to come back in, you’ve just cannibalized some of your revenue. Or worse yet, if you wait too long, that diner may have moved on to different concepts and will never come back despite what you may offer them.
And so we’ll look at the data and typically we would make recommendation to send a “We Miss You” when 50% of the guests come back in, but 50% still haven’t. So you’re sort of hitting that threshold where you’re not going to cannibalize revenue but it’s not too late to bring people back. And the exciting thing with our Emma integration is that you can create the HTML in Emma, and we can power this for you. And the content is up to you as a marketer. Some restaurants that are more casual are happy to offer discounts or complimentary advertisers. But we also have several restaurants that are sort of on the higher end that don’t need to necessarily offer a discount to drive people back in, but they’ll use these emails as gentle reminders of, “Hey, don’t forget about us.” So they may talk about the new spring menu that’s coming on board. So just a couple of different ways to automate, but again, keeping in mind, what diners are looking for, relevant and timely content. The beauty of this, another, I hate to use all these cliches and phrases, but it’s coming directly from our clients. I don’t know if people in the call remember the old infomercial for that chicken rotisserie infomercial, the whole, “Set it, and forget it.” The marketers loved this because they can set up rules and then can literally set it and forget it and only check on the dashboard to see how much money they’re making their bosses.
Michael: And these numbers are great. I mean, this is, this is how you can prove that back, right Winston? I mean, this is just…
Winston: Absolutely. These are real numbers too. So this is for a campaign for Jose that’s, I think, been a poster a year and they’ve generated close to $400,000 in business as a result.
Winston: Yeah. And not just static, potentially lost business that could have been going somewhere else and they have been able to recapture it. So that’s, I mean, that’s amazing. And that’s, that’s just perfect for closing the loop.
Miles: Cool. That was a great example. All right, so we’ve kind of talked about the platforms and what they can do. Now let’s walk through some content ideas to help you kind of develop more loyal guests and increase your return visitors. Right off the bat. First thing you can do, welcome email. Start that connection as soon as they sign up, you know. As soon as they give you your email address, have a welcome email ready to fire, automated, right in Emma so that your brand, your restaurant is top of mind. That’s kind of like the staple, number one thing to do.
Michael: Yeah. And I think it’s always important, like we can set up a trigger welcome, you know, based on what I was talking about before, those signup forms on your website. You know, If someone’s going to your website and actually, you know, taking that step to give you their email, it’s really important that you acknowledge that right out of the gate. You know, when they’re going into OpenTable, they probably had, they’re familiar with you, they’re making a reservation, they’re actively doing that. You still need to send them an email to acknowledge that too, but you want to be able to craft all these messages to the particular journey that they’re in. And the welcome email is a really effective way and not just one single one, but maybe two or three over the course of two weeks so that you can kind of bring them into the fold of the brand. It’s a great opportunity to set yourself apart, talk about whether it’s your chef, whatever makes you different. Your menu, locally sourced ingredients. These are all really important in the culture these days. So it’s really nice and important to hit that right when people first join your list.
Miles: And you know, once you do send that welcome email, don’t just stop sending at that moment, you know, continue that nurturing process. And so our automated workflows make that really easy so that you can build that content ahead of time and then based on a trigger or some type of behavior, they get these other types of messages. Winston had the awesome example from the lapsed guest, a couple of slides back, but birthdays and anniversaries, I mean, we all get those, you know. Come in on your birthday and get, you know, a free appetizer. Anniversaries are always special, you know, maybe a special menu for an event like that, and always take the time to send out a survey. You know, this is information that can come back to really improve their experience with you, let them know how you’re doing. So great piece of content with a lot of really good feedback.
Michael: And you can send several emails out of Venga, you can send a birthday emails, anniversary emails out of both of our platforms. It’s really important to hit that, those marks. Those birthday emails too are some of the highest open rates that we see across the board.
Winston : I agree with all that. And one of the great things about the surveys that we can power for you is that we tie those also back to point of sale data. So for restaurateurs, think of the time that you have to spend on guest recovery when you get an email or a survey that says, you know, “My food was overcooked and my server was nonexistent.” You’re oftentimes having to do the research, going back into OpenTable or going back into the Point Of Sale to pull up the check to figure what happened. With our surveys, those are all connected to the Point Of Sale, so we’ll immediately tell you that they ordered the steak and that, you know, Winston was the server and that maybe he needs to be retrained on attentiveness.
Michael: Most likely. I’m just joking.
Miles: And another type of content that’s good for that, you know, that nurturing is, you know, having that segmentation built out in your account so that you’re always sending the most personal and most human messages to your customers.
Michael: Yeah. And, yeah, I was kind of, I was thinking here of really kind of delivering, Winston, you know, you chime in with your thoughts, about some really good segmentation that some of the listeners can implement right out of the gate. I think that with this theme of data everywhere and so much information everywhere, oftentimes we end up just batching and blasting our audience. The month comes up and the next scheduled mailer due goes out and you have all this data and you haven’t had the time to put something together. It’s just kind of frustrating. You just end up sending what you, or similarly sent what you did for the month previous. So we wanted to kind of give you some ideas that we had. I mean, segmentation right out of the gate. We’ve talked about this a lot, but I think that one of the first places you can start is wine lovers. You know, the folks that are coming in and really like wine, they are foodies, they appreciate food, they’re most likely gonna be your highest check average.
They’re gonna do upsells on wine list, they’re gonna participate in a lot of your events. I think it’s really important to segment out those folks so that you can target them immediately. So one, target wine lovers, two, VIP customers. You want to be able to highlight those folks, I kind of mentioned this before, that are spending over a certain threshold with you. Somebody that’s spent over $2,500, $5,000, $10,000 with you in the past year, certainly you want to be able to speak to them a little bit differently than you do to the person that’s coming in once a year for their birthday. Albeit, you want to speak to both and you want to speak to both in a really good way, but it’s really important to highlight those biggest spenders so that you can focus in on them and craft a really good message for them.
Winston: Yeah. And sort of reffing off of that, you know, they use of the high spenders was used a lot by restaurants this past Valentine’s Day. So most restaurants are gonna be packed to the gills for Valentine’s Day and other special occasions. It’s not like you can add more two tops or four tops to your restaurant. The floor plan’s already packed. So how do you maximize revenue in that situation? You reach out to your biggest spenders and invite them to join you for dinner, as opposed to inviting Michael who’ll probably just order a salad and water. But, you know, another example is, you know, maybe during the holidays, if you’re looking at the holidays and probably a lot of you already starting to plan for the fall and winter holidays, is to look at who your big parties were that came in and try convert them into private dining reservations. So again, just the ability to use all this data to really personalize that content by email. And I’ll actually be honest, and Michael and Miles might kick me here under the tables.
You know, sometimes restaurants don’t use this to drive email campaigns. Sometimes for a restaurant, it’s still about that human touch and that human outreach. You know, sometimes it’s not by email, but maybe it’s a phone call by the GM because it’s a white tablecloth restaurant that tries to limit it’s emails. They will still use the data to make informed decisions as opposed to sort of just randomly pick and guess who to talk to or reach out to. So again, this data can be used either online by email or offline and sort of go back to the old school ways that some restaurants still live by.
Michael: Of course. And we certainly wouldn’t kick you under the table for that one. It’s a good point. It’s why we partner with, you, with people like Winston and companies like Venga, because, you know, we’re really looking to serve a holistic marketing scope to our customers, and in order to do that, you know, we, we, we know our place, we work in email marketing, we do email marketing really, really well, but it’s important to talk to your folks, to talk to your audience and your customers, especially when it comes to a service-based industry. Everybody’s gonna return to a restaurant based on the service that they had. If you could do an outreach, if you can use the information that you have in Venga to make a call to talk to people personally, you know, by all means, we are for it, and email is there to support that because, you know, it’s not gonna be, you know, the only single thing.
I mean, so just to kind of recap a little bit, I think in the segmentation piece, you know, you can segment out the wine lovers, the VIP customers, those group dinners, those are all gonna be really effective. And also, you know, the lapsed guest that we talked about that Venga can help you set up, and I think those are, you know, four or five really good examples that I would focus in on. If I was gonna give a recommendation, I would focus it on those, on those four or five things that could really help your bottom line right out of the gate.
Miles: Those are great recommendations. And ultimately, the idea here is to, you know, once you develop those loyal guests and those return visitors, now start to think about how you can increase their average spent. You know, how do you maximize the revenue from individual guests? And one thing that we found, add suggested selling into your content in your emails. I think we’re all familiar with being asked, “Do you want fries with that?” or “Do you want to see our dessert menu?” at the table, but instead use your email campaigns content to highlight exclusive or maybe, like, seasonal menu items that will up the check. You can also offer pairings that will accompany whatever food they’re typically interested in. You know, maybe something like a new appetizer or a wine pairing, for example.
Michael: Yeah. And even go off of that, maybe, you know, people are expecting the wine pairings and stuff. And you can kind of go off of a craft beer trend right now into a pair was with a craft beer flight or something. You know, I mean, those kinds of things just, you can put that, they’re probably happening in your restaurant. So you want to take a look at what’s happening in your restaurant, why are people coming back, what’s successful? You can see that in your restaurant, you can also see it, measure it in Venga and sort of take those kinds of things and put it out to the rest of your audience, and make that suggestive selling rather than some kind of, you know, promo or something that just pushing and driving one thing. Albeit, that may be effective. I mean, it’s not that you shouldn’t do that, but it’s also, you know, just talking about that well-rounded marketing scope that you can have.
And in addition to, I mean, even back to Winston’s point, suggestive selling in your content, but also some of those other elements that you can use, you know, digital technology for when you can identify customers that haven’t been back in a long time but they were your regulars. Maybe it warrants a phone call, you know. That could be highly effective. Or a specific targeted email campaign that’s to a specific group or a family or something that is really targeted to them, that is calling out things that are specific to them. That kind of thing just builds that brand identity.
Miles: Yep. And obviously using Venga, you’ve got all these new data points from an OpenTable, reservation integration. You know, when you integrate Emma with a platform like Venga, you’re using that Point Of Sale data to segment your emails and get the right subscribers the right content. For instance, you can segment out only your VIP customers for holidays where you’ll know, where you know your tables are going to be booked up or, you know, we talked about earlier, some consumer habits like dietary restrictions or wine drinkers, to invite those specific groups of people to exclusive targeted tasting events in your restaurant.
Winston: One thing I also want to mention is ways that restaurants are using our reputation management to drive email marketing as well. So Lettuce Entertain You based out of Chicago, they’ve got a concept called three dots and a dash, which is, in an alleyway, sort of got a secret doorway and all this kind of stuff. And they also, they’re a Tikki bar, so they’ve got these great glasses that they serve their drinks. What they did is used our reputation management tools which aggregate and analyze, you know, 20 different email or online social medias is like Yelp and Tripadvisors, etc. And they saw that people were raving about the experience of finding that hidden alleyway and getting the secret door and then getting that huge daiquiri with three straws and, you know, four animals, plastic animals, etc. So they, as a result, created videos that they then emailed to their mailing lists highlighting those two features that they had seen were the rave of all online reviews. So just another way to use Venga, which is putting all of your guests’ information under one dashboard in ways that at first might not seem like a natural way to use for marketing, but a lot of our restaurants are.
Michael: That’s pretty cool.
Miles: Yeah. And now let’s take a look at a customer that’s a customer of both Venga and Emma and how they use both platforms to, really drive some awesome email results. A little bit of background. Patina Restaurant Group. They are a restaurant group with around 50 locations in the country and they used Venga to track the covers and ROI for the restaurants. And by pulling in all that data and the email analytics, they can actually see what revenue was driven via email campaigns. So, here’s the look at the email that they sent out. This is from one of their restaurants called the Sea Grill. And this is clearly, you know, advertising an event. It’s a big patio party. And one of the interesting things here, you can’t see it in this screenshot really, but, the Sea Grill actually puts their entire menu in each email so that content, you know, the whole menu content is in each email. But the focus here is clearly on that reservation call-to-action. It’s clear, it’s right there in the main part of the content. And ultimately this email drove $9,000 in one night. And with their integration with Venga, they were able to see that 75% of their reservations from OpenTable were from clicks in these emails. That’s crazy.
Michael: Yep. Again, I mean, this is what you want to take back to your leadership and say, “Here. We invested in these platforms or this platform and these different marketing channels and we were able to bring in, generate $9,000 in one night.” So when you combine the Venga and the Emma solution, you can really just close that loop off, which is always, it’s kind of like the holy grail really in marketing, is putting these dollars out in the market and then being able to track them back into your system. So it’s just, it’s really, really cool and it’s a great way. I mean, Patina saw a lot of success from this and other restaurants are seeing it too.
Miles: Awesome. Well, that kind of brings us to the end of the content. We want to open up the floor for some questions. I’ll go ahead and get it started. We have a question, from Amy. “Are the two platforms, Emma and Venga, separate or are they together? Are they one platform?”
Michael: We are separate platforms, so Emma is its own entity in itself and we do email marketing. I kind of touched on this before, but we do email marketing. We do it really, really well. And so we focus all our efforts in that channel. And then we partner with best-of-breed solutions like Venga to take care of the other side of guest analytics and feed into our system.
Winston: Yeah. And we are, as Michael mentioned, we are a separate company. While we do work with other email service providers and are happy to do that, sort of the three things that Michael and Miles had touched on, the seamless updating of your email lists, the madly import of OpenTable emails directly into Emma and the ability to close the loop on the ROI for your targeted campaigns come as a result of our partnership with Emma. We’re happy to work with others, although we much prefer because we see a much better experience for the restaurant when we had that Emma integration.
Michael: Well, we appreciate that.
Miles: Yeah, thank you. Next question is from Kaylee. “What other restaurant brands you work with now?”
Michael: Well, we kind of touched on this a little bit, but we’ve shared customers, The Palm, Patina Restaurant Group, ThinkFood Group, Del Frisco’s. Are there others. Winston?
Michael: Fox Restaurant Concepts. Yep. Yep. So it’s a good rounded holistic, well, a good sampling of the fine dining establishments. And they’re actually, they’re sending us some really good content. I would highly recommend you sign up for the restaurants’ campaigns. It’s good to get ideas from them, it’s good to see what they’re doing in their content, especially if they’re not competing in your market, then all the better. You can really learn some great information.
Miles: Cool. A question from Mackenzie. “How do you manage multiple brands or restaurants that have multiple locations?”
Michael: Okay. Do you want to take that Winston or do you want me to?
Winston: Why don’t you start from an email marketing side and I can add color as relates to Venga.
Michael: So from a Emma side, we have an enterprise level platform.This allows for multi-unit, multi-branded locations to set up their account in one parent account that kind of sits over different sub-accounts. These sub-accounts can be locations, they can be different brands that you operate, however, you want to set it up. It’s pretty easy. What’s great about it is that you can create these sub-accounts at the parent level, you can create templates at that parent level and share them down with the individual sub-accounts. It’s particularly strong with people that have GMs or location level marketing managers or field managers logging into the platform and responsible for, you know, local store marketing at these local locations. You can easily create emails, grab them, they’re, on brands or on point. So they can grab the emails, send it out, maybe there’s some recommended content, whatever that looks like. Grab it, send it out and then measure all the response metrics in their account. They can also be siloed, so, you know, one location doesn’t cannibalize another location. They all have their own individual lists and can market to each accordingly and then we can hook into, sync up with Venga to accommodate the same structure.
Winston: Yeah. As it relates to Venga, we are an enterprise platform as well. That’s meaning that you can provide different permissions for access to different parts of the dashboard depending on who you want to give that access to, whether it’s a director of operations who’s in charge of a region or a single GM just needing to see his or her’s locations’ data, etc. That said, we know, we’re also a great tool for the smaller independents as well. I know we’ve talked a lot about some of the bigger groups here and obviously we love working with them, but we love working equally as much with a smaller mom and pops and helping them drive this loyalty into more personalized content.
Michael: And us the same. I mean, we make it really easy to manage your marketing programs. We understand, as Winston, that, you know, marketing is maybe not the first worry that you get up and think about every morning, you know. You’re operating a restaurant. So we try to make our platforms really easy to use, intuitive, so that you can, you can deploy these messages and see these results quite easily and each of the platforms. You got another one, Miles?
Miles: Yeah. We’ll ask one more. “How long does it take to get set up?”
Michael: That’s a good question. From our end, you know, it depends on the situation that we’re dealing with. I mean, we’re transitioning your list in, we’re going to be creating some custom templates for you maybe. So typically I like to say it can take about two weeks, it could take, you know, if it’s a really large group, it could take four to six weeks. It kinda depends on that situation. But it’s super easy. What we do recommend when we’re configuring our two systems’ email platform with Venga, we recommended that you set up each individually and then once you’re set up on each individual platform respectively, then we can configure the accounts and get that set up. So we kind of work in parallel and then connected, you know, down the line.
Miles: Cool. That wraps it up pretty much everybody. Thank you so much for attending. Just a quick recap. We went over how to consolidate all of the guest data that you’re gathering with Venga’s platform and through their OpenTable integration and putting that data to use with Emma’s email marketing platform. We went over some tips to start developing the loyal guests and return visitors and ultimately how to increase your average spend per guest. I want to thank Winston at Venga. Thank you so much, Winston and Michael, from here at Emma. Everybody, remember we’re going to be sending around the recording of this webinar, so keep an eye on your inbox in the next day or two. Visit getvenga.com to learn more about how Venga can help wrangle all that customer data and get that OpenTable integration set up, and head over to myemma.com to learn more about Emma and how we can help you in your email marketing efforts. Thanks, everybody.
Michael: Thank you. Have a great day.
Winston: You too. Thank you.