June 2, 2005, 12:00 AM

Restaurant gains 10,000 e-mail addresses through coupon offer

Through a coupon and event-driven e-mail campaign to a third-party opt-in database of local consumers, a single restaurant in the Melting Pot chain reports growing its customer e-mail list from 100 to 10,000 addresses in 10 months.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

A single restaurant in the Melting Pot restaurant chain had only 102 e-mail addresses in its customer contact list. But through a coupon and event-driven e-mail campaign to a third-party opt-in database of local consumers, it grew its list to 10,000 e-mail addresses in 10 months, its e-mail marketing firm says.

The St. Louis Melting Pot, part of a 70-unit chain of fondue restaurants, retained marketing firm Brighton INBOX to build its customer base and sales through e-mail marketing. Brighton sent $10 coupons for midweek meals, then expanded the campaign to include offers for specific events like a special Valentine’s Day dinner and offers of 50% off all wine on Mondays.

Ray Burrows, e-mail marketing specialist for Brighton, says the campaign has realized a return of more than $4 in new revenue for each $1 spent. He adds that a single e-mail newsletter has generated as many as 140 reservations.

The restaurant is now planning to automate e-mails to customers for such things as birthday coupons, anniversary coupons and reservation confirmations, Burrows says.

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