Mug Clubs are programs created to reward beer-loving enthusiasts and build a loyal customer fan-base. Typically, these promotions require an entry fee, which provides members with a custom beer mug, T-shirt and exclusive club benefits. Entrants receive special offers and discounts, private event invitations and new beer announcements, and rewards like logo glassware, growlers, and other freebies. Plus, members can expand their beer palette and support a local brewer. As the owner, the benefit to you is enhanced brand loyalty, free word of mouth and positive buzz about your business, and an engaged group of customers. That sounds like a win-win for everyone.
We know Mug Clubs are relatively easy to start and manage, and deliver a substantial payback in customer loyalty. But what makes them work best? Why should you create one of your own? Check out the tips below to learn more and get started.
Give rewards, get rewarded
You can’t run a successful Mug Club without knowing what you’re going to provide. Start with a custom mug (stoneware or glass is best) stamped or tagged with a number, which will help identify the member with their mug. You can even create laminated cards with a corresponding number printed on it to keep the members and mugs straight. Next, quantify what the membership entails – maybe it’s a 20-oz. beer for the price of a 16-oz. pour, or a standing discount on merchandise. Just make sure it’s enticing enough to justify the entry fee and encourage additional signups. Also, consider creating a display to showcase Mug Club mugs. This helps promote the group without spending any additional dollars on advertising, and serves as a great marketing tool.
Easier is better
No one likes complicated and that includes your customers. Try to make the registration process as seamless as possible. Start by researching entry fees of competitors in your region and then keep your prices comparable. Your customers will want to know what’s included with the membership, so state the total fees upfront and be ready to mention the highlights, like custom glassware, growler fill discounts, and any other benefits or rewards you want to feature. To start the enrollment process, collect their name and email address, which can be used for both Mug Club communications and as a boost to your customer database.
Get them in the door
Once you have an outline of your Mug Club benefits and finalized materials ready to go, the next step is promotion. Start simple and inexpensively by using internal staff to spread the word, creating a mug display at your location, posting to social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, and tapping into your customer contact list with email marketing. If you’ve designed a Mug Club worth talking about, you can easily build a customer base who will spread the word to friends and family. Once you have them in the door, make sure you generate promotions and offers that will keep them there.
The bottom line is that for brewpubs, Mug Clubs are an inexpensive and easy way to engage with your current customers and help attract new ones. Design your mugs, create the benefits, promote the offering and watch as casual patrons become loyal fans.