12 Email Mistakes Every Nightlife Marketer is Guilty Of


Back in October of 2011 I wrote 4 Mistakes in Nightlife Email Marketing.  Now I feel compelled to expand on that.

Am I sure EVERY nightlife marketer makes these email marketing mistakes?  Yes, I’m positive.  In fact, all small business owners are guilty of using email marketing improperly in some way or another.

I sign up to everyone’s nightclub email list.  I have a special email address i’ve set up only for subscribing myself to these lists so that I can see who is doing things right, and what some clubs are doing wrong.  (In the future I’ll write a blog showing you the best and the worst.  That’s going to be fun!)

Email marketing is one component of a mix of marketing strategies you should be using.  Is it the most important?  Some treat it as such because they don’t have the budgets to do other forms of advertising.

The more important email marketing is for your venue, the more closely you need to look at the list below and analyze to see if what you’re doing can be done better.

Here are 12 email marketing mistakes that nightclubs, bars, lounges and promoters are guilty of.

Sending One Big Flyer

Do you realize that if the person has images turned off, they see a BIG RED “X”?  I guarantee you nobody is turning their images on to see the flyer.  They read your subject line and they assume they’ve see enough.

Furthermore, having an image and no text can get you spammed right away.

Quit being lazy and write something about your event.

Stolen Lists

Did some promoter give you a list of 10,000 emails he’s been collecting over the years?  Did a marketing director bring a list from a previous nightclub into your database?  Are you using a list from a failed venture before this new one?  You’re searching for a quick way to get your word out and it’s a big mistake to just dump people into your list without permission.  Contrary to your marketing instinct, it hurts you more than it helps.  Avoid poisoning your marketing channel.

Read 4 Tricks for Building Your Nightlife Email List to get some ideas on how to build your list in a good way.

No Segmentation

Take my blog, Nightlife Marketing Resource, for example.  If I grabbed all of my emails from when I was a nightlclub promoter and threw them on my NMR email list, I would be sending emails to a bunch of people who could care less, unsubscribe, or worst, report me as a spammer.

The same is true when a nightclub fails to segment their lists into male vs female, electronic vs hip hop, high spenders vs low spenders, etc. Without segmentation, you have no real relevancy.  Your emails need to speak to that person as much as possible.  Yes, it might mean that you need to send the same email promotion in different ways.

For more information on this, read Segmentation: Even you can do it!

Lame ‘Thanks for Subscribing’ Message

Like I told you earlier, I have a special email where I subscribe to nightclub lists.  Not one of them had a cool “welcome” email that engaged me while thanking me for subscribing.

People, it’s not rocket science.  In addition to thanking me for joining, why aren’t you making me an offer I can’t refuse?  Why not start marketing to me right away?  I just signed up, so clearly I’m ripe for the picking.  Include a “free drink” or “cut the line” offer if I fill out a survey about your venue.  Or maybe you have a big memorial weekend celebration so for that month you change your auto-generated thank you to include the promotion.

Too Many Emails (or not enough)

Not all venues are guilty of this, some have a perfect frequency.  But I’m looking at the email lists I subscribe to for various nightclubs around the world and I notice a couple of things.  First, some don’t even email me at all.  I signed up and haven’t heard from them since.  Second, some of them send me an email every 2 or three weeks.  Finally, a few send me 3 or more.  That’s too much.

What’s the magic formula?  The answer to frequency is always:  as often as you have something interesting to say to an audience who cares.  Read my article How Frequently Should I Send Emails to My List?

No Personalization

How can venues personalize emails? It’s all about testing.  One thing is true:  it’s hard to personalize if you don’t know their first name.

There are two ways to personalize a nightclub email:

  1. Insert their first name, last name, or content relevant to their list segment.  For example, if you know that I love house music, then say “Alex, we know you love house music so here is our lineup…..”
  2. Write to the person from someone specifically in your club rather than from the club itself.  For example, emails to VIPs should be coming directly from the director of VIP sales.  His/her signature should be at the bottom.

No Interactivity

Email can be interactive if you ask for the interaction.  At the most basic level, if someone hits reply it should go to an actual person, not  Taking it a step further, you can include social media buttons inside of your email so people can share the actual email being sent.  Finally, include “call-t0-action” statements that make people want to click and do something more.

Return to Sender

Isn’t it annoying when you send out snail mail and you get it back and the post office has destroyed your piece with “RETURN TO SENDER” stamped on it?

You should feel the same way about un-deliverable emails.  When you look at your last email campaign and you see that of the 1000 emails you sent, only 200 were opened, you can safely say that 80% were undeliverable (that’s not totally true, but that’s the mentality you need to have).  What’s the point of sending emails if they aren’t getting to the email inbox?

The issues could be in a poor subject line, HTML formatting of the email, being blocked by ISPs, or their filters didn’t like something you said in the message.

Not Mobile Friendly

Before your campaign goes out, send a test and read it from an iphone, blackberry and android.  Be honest with yourself and say “would I read this?”  If the formatting makes someone have to scroll left and right, then some adjustments need to be made.

Same Template Over and Over

Have you been sending emails using the same template for a while now?  Studies show that people become blind to certain things after they’ve gotten used to them.  For example, if you always place a banner promoting a special event on the right side, people will become blind to that over time.

Keep making changes to your template over time and don’t let people get used to banners being in certain spots always.

No Email Analyzing

It’s all about click-throughs, conversions and open rates.  What?  Huh?  If you’re not analyzing your data after sending it, then how can you improve on it?  The more important email is to your marketing, the more you need to be paying attention to the email metrics.

One-Trick Pony (Relying on Email Only)

I know you probably have a twitter and facebook page, and that you’re probably doing some street promos as well.  But there are some clubs out there relying only on email marketing still.  It’s worth saying at the end because I just want to repeat that email marketing should not be your only form of marketing.  I know it’s cheap and time saving, but it’s not effective when used alone.


-This is a guest post written by Alex Miranda for Nightlife Marketing Resource. Alex is the co-founder and CEO of Creative Complex.

Alex Miranda

Guest contributor Alex Miranda is CEO of Miami-based graphic design group, The Creative Complex.

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