Case Study: How Vault Brewing Uses Email Marketing to Connect with Their Local Community
By Kristen Dunleavy July 1, 2015
Vault Brewing Company isn’t like other brewpubs. Inside Vault’s Yardley, Penn. headquarters (which happens to be housed in a turn-of-the-century bank), you won’t find TVs, top 40 music or even traditional bar fare like burgers and fries. What you will find is an upscale dining experience with a woodfire grill in full view of the bar, live jazz music and small batch beer tastings every Tuesday.
Owners and brothers John and James Cain treat every interaction with their customers as an opportunity to create a unique, personal connection and gain feedback. And they use email marketing to nurture every one of those relationships.
Using Email to Boost Social Reach
Vault used social media in the past, but social alone wasn’t allowing them to connect with their audience the way they wanted. That all changed when they added email marketing to the mix.
“We had a low reach on Facebook,” James said. “But when we started using AWeber and opting to have AWeber post on our Facebook page, our reach went up significantly – it tripled and then quadrupled. Facebook really likes to show people our AWeber posts in the newsfeed, more so than our own organic posts.”
Because it’s easy to share emails on social, Vault didn’t have to spend any extra time gaining that additional reach. That’s why email marketing is the perfect complement to any social media strategy.
Gathering Valuable Feedback
Remember those weekly beer tastings? That’s just the beginning of Vault’s customer-focused strategy. James uses email marketing to keep customers in the loop about special events and new menu items, but he also uses it to gather feedback so Vault can consistently give them what they want.
“Our emails come from me directly,” James said. “People can respond, and they do it all the time. It’s like having a personal dialogue with 2,000 customers all the time.”
Customers appreciate being heard and seeing their feedback in action. From the beer they brew on-site to the musicians that perform in their space, customers have a say in everything Vault does.
Connecting with the Local Community
Vault has always relied on word of mouth to grow their business. They’ve purposely avoided traditional advertising like radio, print and other paid ads because those channels lack the element of interaction they’re looking for.
Their email list’s growth is organic, too. Vault collects most of their subscribers in person by giving customers the option to subscribe to their list in a survey at the end of their meal. They also keep an iPad handy at their live music events so people can sign up using a mobile subscriber app.
James says Vault isn’t actively trying to grow their list beyond their current 2,000 subscribers, and that they’d rather focus on continuing a dialogue with their existing community.
“We don’t try to be pushy and we don’t try to sell because that’s off-putting,” James said. “We consider email a vehicle through which customers can connect with us.”
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