Vol. 2: Early-Week Trends Amid COVID-19 and How to Pivot Next

Fishbowl is committed to providing you real-time insight into what marketing and promotion tactics are working now, and will provide recurring recommendations for short-term actions most likely to generate impact during these fluid times.

Over recent days, we have seen that email continues to be a reliable method for generating promotional transactions, much more so than print.  #TheGreatAmericanTakeout on Tuesday was successful in driving phone and digital orders for pickup, which carried over into Wednesday. Finally, we are observing a 15-20% decline in average check on tickets that include an incentive or promotion.

With this most recent behavior in mind, here are tactics we believe are most relevant in the coming days:

  1. Segment your email membership into Active or Inactive, Redeemers or Non-Redeemers, etc. The more granular level of loyalty, the better. Provide your most loyal customers with deeper incentives to purchase – during this unique time even your best customers may need persuasion for a purchase occasion.
  2. As you consider your promotions and incentives, be mindful of protecting ‘net’ average check – build offers that will deliver a final check total that is at or above average or goal. $ off a minimum check amount is more effective than a blanket % off.
  3. Mondays continue to be the slowest day of promotion engagement, and thus should be your most aggressive incentive day of the week. BOGO continues to perform best among the deep-discount options.
  4. Promotion redemption activity at lunch on Wednesdays is increasing. Offering a ‘Free Item with Purchase’ will help steal share and drive up party size for this mid-week, mid-day occasion
  5. Evaluate your traffic sources from #TheGreatAmericanTakeout day on Tuesday. If your customers have a preference for takeout, stimulate that behavior via incentive for that order method.

In this time of heightened email marketing activity, here are some things to consider when sending offers to your guests:

  1. Check open rates on all mailings to make sure a 12% or higher open rate is maintained. The goal should be above 15%.
    • If a mailing has a low open rate, target a higher-engaged audience with yor next send.
  2. Mailings with same-day offers should go to an engaged audience; otherwise, there is a risk that some messages will be delivered after the offer has expired.