Start 2021 off with our Impact Data email health check

Think email marketing is dead? Think again! 

Let’s be honest, it’s not a new headline as the demise of email marketing has been anticipated by a few for some time. 2020 proved that it’s hardly dead, but rather a vital tool that helped many businesses survive and some even flourish during the turbulent period brought on by COVID -19.  Engaging with your customers and members  proved to be critical, especially when you need to keep them up to date with what’s happening in your business. 

With more data available than ever before and customers expecting you to acknowledge their relationship in a positive (not creepy) way, it might be time to rethink your approach. Emails are no longer just a digital megaphone for your business. With the clever use of information your customers volunteered to you, it’s easy to create engaging communications they actually want to read.

Nearly 30% of small businesses surveyed in the recent Smart Company Small Business Trends research indicated they were planning to spend more on email marketing in 2021.

If you want to keep pace with your competitors and drive your business, you need a plan that will   continually improve your customer engagement. Your customers will demand to see more relevant, targeted and personalised communications.

Why not start the new year with an email marketing health check. 

  1. Check your levels of engagement
  • Are your open rates improving or decreasing?
  • What are the types of emails that get opened most?

2. Update your branding

  • If your communications and branding have been looking the same for a while, chances are your audience are taking a little less notice. Update your communications and branding to reflect and feature the season, new products or events that are happening in your business.
  • Use Gifs to capture attention
  • Most customers interact with email on their phone, so make sure you preview your communication in the smartphone view to ensure valuable content is still front and centre.

3. Get Personal

  • Are you using the right level of personalisation? Use ‘Merge Fields’ such as ‘First name’ in subject lines and body of email
  • Are you using recent behaviour to trigger communications such as sending an offer to entice a lost customer or asking for a review from a recent guest?

4. Get to know your customers

  • When was the last time you checked their details or asked something else to get to know them better?
  • Would knowing they are a Vegan or Vegetarian, a local or a visitor be meaningful in your communications?

TIP: An ‘Update details’ campaign is a great way to enrich your customer data.

5. Avoid email blasting

  • We are all a little guilty of hitting the ‘send to all contacts’ button when pressure is up.  Stop, think and plan for segmented communications that are relevant to the recipients.

Want more? Talk to us today about ways to improve the success of your email marketing.

Read our 2020 report to the secrets to successful communications here.

How to start a loyalty program, or update your current one

Here are our top tips

1.Clearly define your value proposition for members

Points, visits, mystery rewards…all have their place, so determine what is going to work for your business at the core of the loyalty program offering.

PRO TIP: can your staff articulate the key benefits of membership in a few seconds? E.g. One point for every visit and a free burger on your birthday. If they can’t, chances are customers will struggle to easily understand the value too.

2. Your staff are your most important asset

Make signing up to your membership program part of your staff onboarding. This will help them understand how it works and what the current offers are as they receive the same promotions and offers as customers and know what to expect. The other benefit is that they might see opportunities and operational issues that you haven’t seen, setting up an internal feedback channel for staff to send ideas about the loyalty program is a great way to understand and overcome problems that may arise.

3. Loading your data from another system

If you have an existing loyalty program or customer database that you are migrating to a new platform, you need to make sure:

  • You have a plan for the points transition – are they sunsetted, transferred in the same or a different currency/conversion?
  • Know who is subscribed to receive communications. If your database is in a platform, make sure you also extract unsubscribed customers or member contact status and import that into your new platform
  • Build a communication and customer engagement strategy to inform customers about the change and prepare your customer-facing staff. It’s also a good idea to have an FAQs section that you can add to as other customer challenges or queries come up.
4. Build the program into your everyday operations

If you want a successful program it needs to be part of every staff members’ role and they need to know how it impacts the overall business. 

The best way to achieve this:

  • Ask every customer if they are a member
  • If not, encourage sign up. Refer to the earlier point that the value of the membership needs to be able to be clearly stated
  • Create a scoreboard across your stores so everyone knows the targets and how they are tracking
  • Report on how the loyalty program is impacting your business – sales to members, average transaction value, repeat visits, engagement with promotions etc
5. Make Signup easy

Can you use Guest WiFi to create an easy signup process? QR codes have become part of our everyday behaviour, so why not include a sign up on your menu, on tables and on your digital signage that links straight to your signup from. Having a digital self signing up process means no paper forms and your front of house staff aren’t held up keying in new member data.

6. Ask the right questions

Consider what you need to engage properly with your members during the sign-up process. For example mobile and email, DOB (perhaps day and month if the audience may be sensitive), favourite store. Consider asking them some key questions eg are you Vegan or Vegetarian, chilli lover, favourite flavour etc to drive a more personalised experience.

7. Build your ongoing engagement program

Loyalty programs need to stay top of mind to be successful so make sure you have a schedule of promotions, new menu, updates etc to keep customers engaged. Using a digital marketing platform like TalkBox can help you stay engaged with customers and drive them back to the venue or online for more visits.

8. Automate your ‘always on’ communications

Communications can use customer behaviour and information as a trigger a message. These are a great way to keep engaging with your customers, optimising their visits while you and your staff focus on running the business. Automated communications can be easily set up and include an offer that entices customers back such as:

Sends after a new member joins your loyalty program. Read how one business uses this communication to get a second visit, automatically.

Send a happy birthday message to help them celebrate with you.

Send a message after a period of absence and recover customers who may have forgotten about your business or been attracted to a competitor.

If you don’t have the internal resources to analyse your data daily and are looking to understand customer behaviour then talk to us at Impact Data for assistance.

Impact Data Holiday Hours

From the whole team at Impact Data we wish you a happy holidays!

Impact Data will be closed on public holidays over the festive period.

14–24 December

25–28 December


29–31 December


1 January

4 January

Office re-opens; normal business hours resume.

We are here to help – any urgent technical matters will be responded to as a priority. All other requests will be handled promptly when we re-open.

You can visit our support centre which is open 24/7 to find informative articles, easy to follow how-to guides and marketing advice, to help you get the most out of TalkBox. Visit the support centre here.

New team member?
You can follow our step-by-step guide on how to add a new user to your TalkBox account. Each new user is automatically sent training videos so they can get started with TalkBox.

Need some TalkBox training?

Become a TalkBox pro with our short and informative training videos. Visit our Youtube channel or sign up for additional training.

The anatomy of a successful customer engagement journey

Did you know on average 80% of customers don’t return to a business, even if they have joined a database?

Whether your business has a customer database or a full-blown loyalty program, the key is to define your customer engagement strategy and execute it well for every customer.

There are four parts to a successful customer journey:

  • Welcome and onboard
  • Surprise and delight
  • Engage
  • Retain

Each of these stages is relevant to the individual behaviour of customers. The timing in which you react to those behaviours can be the difference between an engaged, inactive or even confused customer.

Our guide is designed to help you plan for the different stages and ensure that you can engage your customers across their life cycle with your business.

Download the Guide here.

Talk to us today about you can engage with your customer automatically with TalkBox.

How to stay busy all year long with Impact Data

You are busy now, that is great! But what if you could use the traffic you have during this time to give a quieter period a boost?  Imagine in six months time if you could drive sales on a slow day when you need it most? 

Well, here’s how; Capture every customer. 

Do you have a way to capture all these new customers who are visiting your business and want to hear from you, and come back?

  1. The systems in your business could be a great source of data and a way to grow your contact list
    Check out your booking platform, Guest WiFi, Loyalty program or, if you added new systems during lockdown such as online ordering, pay at table or even a customer check-in tool for COVID-19 contact tracing such as VisitSafe, talk to us today about connecting them with your TalkBox account.
  1. Add a sign-up form to your website
    You can use the form builder in TalkBox to ask website visitors for their details such as name, email and birthday.  Learn more about TalkBox forms here.
  1. Give your customers a reason to sign up
    A voucher or promotion such as a free drink is a great way to incentivise another visit. Include this offer in your welcome message and get that second visit automatically. Learn how to create welcome communications here.
  2. Take your contact list sign-ups offline
    With everyone busy celebrating there are a few ‘old school’ ways that can help to capture all the new customers who might be part of a large Christmas function, or too busy socialising to log on and sign up. A bowl at the end of the bar where customers can leave a business card for a chance to win a voucher for your business, signage in your premise to promote customers to sign up, or encourage staff to tell customers to join the mailing list to win a prize and receive exclusive discounts.

We have recently added a range of new data partners if you recognise any on our list get in touch and let’s get you connected. Set yourself up for success in 2021 today.

Check out our full list of Data Partners here.

Want to get in touch? Contact us at

How to reconnect with your members after the COVID-19 lockdown

2020 has been challenging for businesses on many fronts. With more time spent out of your venue than in it, how do you reconnect with members, ensure they stay members and keep coming back to your venue.

If you have made the decision to extend your membership term, reset points or give members more time to hit a hurdle or tier, you need to inform them of the change in conditions.

Your TalkBox account has a number of features that can assist you and help you improve the contactability of your database.

Here’s some of the tools that can help you:

1. Non-marketing communications

Sending a non-marketing communication is a feature that you can use to connect with all members even if they are not currently subscribed.  This is because critical membership updates are not marketing so you can use our feature to communicate with your whole member base.  Remember the primary purpose of the communication cannot be marketing but you should include an invitation to customers to update their details online or in-venue so they aren’t missing out on member benefits. If you have a large portion of your database that’s unsubscribed this is your best way to connect with your members. 

2. Get attention with SMS

Did you know that on average people check their phones 96 times a day, that’s once every 10 minutes!  This means that SMS is your best chance at getting your members attention.  An SMS sent from TalkBox is much more than 160 characters,  you can attach a beautifully designed and enticing email that showcases all the best parts of your venue and menu.  Need help?  Reach out to

3. Turn on automated messages. 

Whether it’s welcome, birthday, lost or a scheduled function reminder, always-on type communications mean your TalkBox account is always working for you.  Need inspiration? See how you can use automated communications here. 

4. New fields in your account

If you are an Impact Data Package client you might have some new fields in your account.  Over the last few months we have been upgrading accounts and adding new calculations such as weekdays visited and visit frequency.  These fields give you a chance to prioritise customers that haven’t come back since you re-opened and send them your best offer. Learn more about what these fields can do here.

5. Use vouchers to bring customers back

If you haven’t tried vouchers to drive customers and members back, now might be the time.  We have a selected number of partners that have a TalkBox voucher integration including SwiftPOS, Bepoz, Senpos and H&L/Zen.  If you have another provider you can use TalkBox vouchers which are simple to set up and even have ‘happy hour’ functionality

6. Get connected with our partners

If your member database is a bit stale it might be time to give it a boost.  Have you added new partners to your business such as a reservation booking platform, online ordering partner or even order at table?  Chances are that there are a number of potential new members hidden in those databases.  Talk to us about how to connect these additional partners and grow your database and membership.

7. Add all your marketing Opt-ins from VisitSafe

The pathway to reopening meant many businesses used a ‘track and trace tool’. If you have used VisitSafe by Impact Data we can add those recent visitors who have opted in for marketing to your database.

The Impact Data team are here to help you reconnect with your members and grow your business so connect with us at and we will work through a plan with you.

Local restriction tier system tips- what to say to your customers

Remove the confusion and let them know you are open

The tiered system that comes in to play on December 3rd may mean changes for your business. It’s important to let your customers know if you’re open and to what degree.

Clear and regular communications will remove any confusion that may affect whether a customer will purchase from you, and keep your business top of mind when restrictions ease. 

Read on for our list of ways you can communicate with your customers depending on what tier your business is located in. 

Tier 3 – Promote your Takeaway and keep customers engaged. 

  • Takeaway – Send regular reminders about your takeaway. SMS has proved to be a great way to drive sales and reach every customer.
    TIP: Promote specials and add a link to your menu by selecting ‘add promotion’ in the SMS editor.  Learn how one business received an additional 100 orders from just one SMS here.
  • Gift Vouchers – A great way to boost cash flow and a popular gift. Promote your gift vouchers with SMS before Christmas. 
  • Christmas and New Years bookings – Let your customers know about booking and availability for Christmas and New Years Eve. If you haven’t opened bookings, a communication titled ‘bookings opening soon’ is a great way to make sure your customers open and read your emails. 

Tier 2 – We are open, with some restrictions in place

All communication ideas from tier 3 plus…

  • Open / Closing times – Now that opening hours are restricted, let your customers know.  Include information on how to book and promote your takeaway food and beverage.
    TIP: Send this message via SMS to reach every customer. 
  • Incentivise a visit – Restrictions may mean limited foot traffic, which means a reduction in new customers. Prioritise your loyal customers and your contact list in TalkBox to keep business moving. Send customers an attractive offer to bring them back.  
  • Covid Safe procedures – It’s important to outline your Covid safe procedure. Include a link in every communication so that customers know what to expect when visiting you. 

Tier 1We are open, and keeping you safe and keeping you safe

Sad to say this only covers 1% of the population.  Hopefully, the government will address this through pressure by hospitality leaders & MPs so that more businesses move into Tier 1.

Want more? 

There is always something you can talk to your customers about. Here are a few more ideas to keep customers engaged when they can’t physically visit you.

  • Sending Christmas greetings from staff and management
  • Meal boxes a group customer can enjoy from different locations 
  • Promote hampers of your wine or condiments selection
  • Local news
  • Recipes from your chef 
  • Promote special festive menus 

If you want help connecting with your customers when they can’t visit you talk to us today.

Think Black Friday isn’t for your business? Think again

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is the biggest shopping weekend of the year and the unofficial kick-off of the festive shopping season. The four-day retail event traditionally starts with an in-store bargain hunt, ending with an online ‘click frenzy.’ Despite the changes, restrictions and economic uncertainty, with the right strategy in place businesses can use the new  consumer behaviour to strength and secure growth for the future. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the retail landscape, and along with it the purchasing preferences, behaviours and habits of consumers. Whilst in-store visits took a nosedive, online traffic reached unfathomable heights, paving the way for a new customer-business relationship. Businesses who could communicate with email and SMS with their customers when they weren’t physically on premise fell on less shaky ground than those who couldn’t. 

Many hospitality businesses also embraced online stores for hampers, dinner boxes and even their famous condiments.  Why not build on this momentum and create special packages with a Black Friday theme.

This year, after all we have learnt, we are now looking at a magnificent opportunity to regain some lost ground in both retail and online hospitality. Let’s turn this busy period regardless if your business is a bricks and mortar store or online into your best one yet.

Here’s how….

Capture their details

Create members only discount offers – this will encourage new customers to sign up, join your contact list.  Building your contact list means you can promote offers, new products or get them back after their first visit or purchase. 

Welcome or onboard new customers

Great they have signed up, now what? Don’t wait 6 months when things get quiet and you think ‘oh maybe I should send an email to my contact list’… Set up an automated communication that welcomes them to your store, tell your story and maybe even dangle a little carrot to get them back? 10% discount on your next purchase? 

Your secret weapon

Here’s the clue: You use it every day to talk to friends and family. 

SMS is a powerful and often underutilized marketing tool.  SMS reaches more customers than any other marketing platform and most are opened within 90 seconds after being received. Targeting customers with the tools they use is the perfect way to get the attention of a busy and distracted customer. 

SMS could help remind your customers about you while promoting your Black Friday sales. SMS is great to re-engage with customers who may not respond to other forms of marketing. 

Here are a few tips for Sending an SMS to promote your Black Friday sales:

  1. Keep your SMS short and tactical. Have a call to action that will get results, such as a time sensitive discount. 
  1. Make it personal. Include a merge field such as first name to grab your reader’s attention. 
  1. Make it more than just an SMS. In TalkBox you can  include additional information or promote the best Black Friday offers with images and text by selecting ‘add promotion.’ This will take you to the email editor where you can create a branded flyer with links to your website or directions to your store. 

Customers expect to receive lots of marketing during this time so sending 1 SMS each day with a different special or deal, can help to increase engagement as they anticipate what the next offer could be. 

Want to build better relationships with your customers and set your business up for success? Talk to us today.

Secrets to successful communications

– 2020 Report –

Greater personalisation and data-driven targeting has helped businesses using TalkBox to stay connected with their customers and keep them coming back.

This clever use of customer information has contributed to a more engaged audience and higher open rates. Our analysis shows customers are listening and want to hear from your business. Generally, email open rates have declined but our report bucks that trend.

Download our 2020 Report here.

A key takeaway from our 2020 report: build a list of fans.

Create a list of customers who want to hear from you. Connecting your data sources such as guest WiFi, POS, or booking platform to TalkBox means you will be able to communicate with your most recent and engaged customers.

Customers who ‘opt-in’ to receive marketing communications through these streams will be a valuable audience, and your communications will be less likely to end up in their spam or junk folders.

Want to know more about connecting the data sources in your business? Talk to us today.

Read about how one franchise uses guest WiFi to drive loyalty here.

Would you like Fries with your WiFi?

Case Study – Lord of the Fries NZ

Lord Of The Fries opened their first New Zealand store in 2016, overthrowing the traditional model of ‘fast food’ serving up ethically and sustainably sourced meals and snacks. Contrary to the 1950s namesake novel, there is no ‘spilling of the blood.’ Lord of the Fries celebrates a menu comprised entirely of vegetarian and vegan options winning over the hearts and stomachs of even the toughest carnivorous customers.

The fast-food industry is temperamental to trends, knowing this Lord Of The Fries implemented a clever customer retention strategy using Loyalty Automations Package by Impact Data to drive loyalty. Capturing customers’ contact details as they sign up for Guest WiFi and integrating TalkBox with their POS system IdealPOS means they can connect with customers when they are not in store, by sending clever targeted communications.

Lord Of The Fries has seen significant growth in its database since connecting their Guest WiFi to TalkBox, with an average monthly database growth of 24%. Guest WiFi offers immense benefit to both parties; customers get to access and scroll their favourite apps while they wait for their meals, and Lord Of The Fries gains behavioural data and opportunities to promote their products to their customers.

In this industry, new customers are especially vulnerable to competitors. Lord Of The Fries uses TalkBox to secure a second visit with an automated welcome communication. Shortly after a customer visits a Lord Of The Fries store and logs on to Guest WiFi for the first time, they receive a communication that thanks them for visiting and invites them back with the offer of a free small fries to enjoy next time. The offer worked to entice 8% of customers back within two weeks and 25% back within six months.

The key to beating the competition, and a longstanding rule of marketing – stay top of mind. Lord Of The Fries sends regular updates on new menu items, blog posts or special offers to keep customers engaged, and it works. Their open rates are 38%, above the industry averages as customers are keen to see if a communication holds a surprise, delight or reward.

Talk to us today about using Guest WiFi to drive your customer loyalty.