We’re all guilty of signing up for a loyalty/reward program or mailing list just to get a little discount — 10% off your first purchase, free shipping, perhaps a free cookie when you buy your next coffee.
Some of the largest brands in the world have successfully found the right offers to get us to share our contact information. While many consumers will quickly unsubscribe, the company gets their foot in the door and now has easier access to these potential customers.
The exact value varies, but hospitality businesses consistently flaunt greater per visit revenue and more frequent visits from these engaged guests. But despite the customer’s willingness to offer up their email address, are breweries getting better at grabbing it?
In this article, we will explore data from
Going into this study, I anticipated seeing strides made when comparing 2018 to 2022 data. However, the results were disappointing. Despite the challenges the beer industry has faced over the past 5 years, the data does not show breweries getting better at collecting emails.
Disclaimer: I know POS systems often ask guests to input their email. We do not have data on how often this occurs and how often the guest takes the time to complete the form. However, a human touch/engagement goes a long way and that act of asking a guest to sign up/join has financial and experiential value – that’s what we’re measuring.
In 2018, staff suggested a guest sign up for a brewery’s mailing list or loyalty/rewards program 13.8% of the time. In 2019, this peaked at 14.3%. I had expected a significant increase from 2019 to 2021 (you know, pandemic times, and the need for greater loyalty/spending), but the opposite occurred. In 2021, staff only performed the action on 13.4% of taproom visits. The number decreased to 11.9% in 2022.
From pandemic data, guests were visiting breweries less frequently. All the more reason to use loyalty/membership programs and your mailing list to deepen your connection once they leave your taproom and, hopefully, open the door to encourage more frequent visits in the future.
Are guests that sign up spending more?
You better believe it. For this, we look specifically at 2,244 visits from 2021 and 2022. Over these visits, where staff make the suggestion about 13 times out of 100 visits, we see guests that are encouraged to give their email spend on average 18.5% more ($59.38 vs $50.12). They also tip higher (27.2% vs 25.4%).
Not only are these guests spending more on said visit when the sign up was suggested, but they’re also coming back sooner. These guests are 60% more likely to return within a week. Perhaps that Thursday email they woke up to reminded and motivated them to comeback.
While our study’s question reflects the staffs’ behavior and not the guest actually providing their email, I would argue, just like with to-go beer, a guest is much more likely to sign up when you take the time to ask.
While the human touch is the best option, depending on your taproom setup or ordering model, additional methods may be able to also generate awareness. Consider table top signs with a QR code and clear motivation for someone to sign up. Make it a no brainer.
The team at TapWyse, who help breweries with memberships, loyalty, and selling more beer, offer insight into how to successfully get your guests to join or sign up for what you’re offering. When it comes to joining or signing up, they encourage you to consider the following:
- Why would a guest download your app or sign up in the first place?
- Think of this as an upsell opportunity for your staff, just as they would encourage another beer or something to go. “Would you like to join our loyalty program, etc.?”
- What are you going to give that person in return for the guest giving you permission to message them? Perhaps a discounted pint? Free sticker? A little present on their birthday? Give them something of value to sign up.
Guests that sign up for loyalty/rewards programs or your mailing list are going to receive more frequent communication from your brewery and feel a more meaningful connection. Simply put, people spend more money around people they like spending time with. The opportunity for greater interaction with your guests, both via an app/email/text and in-person, has the benefit of transforming them into more valuable customers.
The data was collected from a set of 8216 unique taproom visits from January 1, 2018 to November 14, 2022. Each visit represents an average of 1.9 guests and the total spend includes tip.
Andrew Coplon is the Founder of Secret Hopper, a mystery shopping company for craft beer businesses, and Craft Beer Professionals, a community dedicated to the growth and betterment of the craft beer industry. Check out all of his CBB articles here.