Shaka Zulu, an African-themed restaurant in London, UK, teamed up with Footfall123 to develop a surprisingly successful and captivating email marketing campaign, aimed at driving new customers through the door and increasing bottom line sales. This article is copyright 2013 The Best Customer Guide.

The restaurant set only one objective for its email-driven marketing campaign: to convert website visitors into actual paying customers. It wanted to create a compelling offer for people to visit the restaurant that would result in an increase in customers, generate further income, develop customer loyalty and increase profits. It was also important for Shaka Zulu to ensure its campaign was secure and there was no risk of fraud or exploitation.

So, to satisfy the objectives of growing customer share, increasing footfall (and therefore profit) Shaka Zulu used Footfall123's in-house technology to produce a Free Cocktail offer every time a new personal visited its website. A pop-up box appeared, asking the user to input their email address in return for a free cocktail when visiting the restaurant. There was no further obligation with the offer, but the free drink could only be redeemed once by each recipient.

New levels of insight
While email marketing is far from being a new concept, it is often undertaken with little real measurement in place. So Footfall123's campaign took into account all the different preferences and habits of customers that signed up for the offer. By tracking the redemption rate of the email, the campaign provided Shaka Zulu with new levels of insight that allowed it to more clearly understand:

  • Who opened the email offer that was generated upon entering their details;
  • When each email was opened;
  • If and when the free offer was redeemed;
  • How much money the customer ultimately spent when visiting the restaurant with their free offer.

This not only allowed Shaka Zulu to calculate exactly how much money was generated via the campaign, but also to see which days and times were most popular with new visitors, allowing the restaurant to adapt its marketing campaigns accordingly. For example, it was able to identify which periods were popular for visitors and if additional marketing tactics were necessary during quieter periods. It also allowed contact to be established with customers depending on their individual behaviour (for example, sending a follow-up email to those who had claimed a cocktail, or emailing a reminder to those who had not yet retrieved their offer).

Shaka Zulu remained tightly in control of the whole email marketing system, and could update and adjust the campaign as required. For example, it was able to set limits on the number of vouchers distributed, or it could choose to cancel the whole promotion at any time if it ever became necessary. At the same time, Footfall123's system took care of security and fraud elimination, as each voucher has a specific code allocated to the individual customer, removing any risk of duplication.

ROI exceeding all expectations
The campaign significantly exceeded all expectations. According to Footfall123, within six months, 12,515 individuals had registered to receive a voucher, greatly boosting Shaka Zulu's database. Following distribution of the campaign, 8,285 individuals opened the email (66%), which is far better than the average marketing email open rate of 22.5%.

Some 2,479 people actually redeemed the voucher between October 2012 and April 2013, representing almost 20% of those who opened the email. This was a great success when compared to the industry average of around 1%.

In terms of return on investment (ROI), each customer entering the venue spent a minimum of £10, resulting in estimated additional revenues of some £24,790. The cost of running the campaign with Footfall123 was £546 per month, plus an estimated cost of £2 per cocktail given away. Therefore, with a total cost over six months of £8,234 the resulting profit equated to an ROI of 301%.

"Footfall123's technology let us develop a simple but effective campaign to develop customer loyalty and encourage new business," said Sheena Patel, marketing manager for Shaka Zulu. "The success of the campaign was down to its simplicity; customers weren't turned off by any complicated terms in order to redeem their free cocktail. The added value for us was the ability to analyse results in real time and quickly adapt our marketing practices. Elimination of fraud was also vital for us, and meant our investment in the cost of the cocktails and the marketing could not be exploited."