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  • Writer's pictureTracey Matney

How a piece of paper costs $450

Updated: Oct 29, 2022

(A Better Way to Collect Customer Info)

Let me tell you a sad story about this piece of paper.

This piece of paper that I’m holding here is from when I went to a restaurant the other day. When we went to go pay for our check, these little papers were in there.

It says, “Join our inner circle for seasonal updates, exclusive events and more.”

And then it asked me for my name, email, zip code, birthday and anniversary.

Wow, that's a lot of info, and we only just met 😊

I understand what you're tryin to do there, big corporate marketing department, and I 100% agree that you need to collect this info, but there's a better way.

If I don't fill it out, you have lost a huge opportunity and likely don't have the chance to get me back in a few more times this year...

Thus, $150 x 3 = -$450 in lost revenue.

So here's the thing.

I get what you're trying to do. I understand what your goal is, which is to get people's information so that you can email them your deals or just remind them or talk about menu items. And you should 100% be doing that. You should collect your customers' data and you should be sending them out information, emails, definitely.

However, there's a few things that I would recommend that you do differently than having a piece of paper with all these questions.

1. It’s paper

So first, it's paper.

And why is paper not the best? Well, who's going to take all that information and put it into the computer or put it somewhere in some system? I'm assuming it's probably you if you're the business owner or you might have a staff member you pay to do it for you.

Customers write it down on paper. It's hard to read. You're trying to copy it into the system. It's not always going to be legible, and then you're also trying to actually enter it in yourself... and it just takes up a lot of time.

So I highly recommend you doing this in a digital way (...And I'll get to that here in a second)

2. It’s asking too much info in exchange for nothing!

So the other really big thing is that it's too much information for not really anything.

It says “Join the inner circle for seasonal updates, exclusive events and more.”

What is an “Inner Circle”? What do I get for giving out this info?

Nope, I'm not doing it.

I’m not that invested in the brand, as it was only my second time at that restaurant. It's got really amazing food. However, I don't really care to sign up for another email list. I have so many emails. So I didn't do it. Me. And I sign up for all the emails because I usually want to see what kind of emails they're sending out as a digital marketer. I want to see what they're doing and see what works.

However, I was like, this is too much information to give them for... what? It doesn't say I'm going to get a free entrée on my birthday or a special wine dessert treat on my anniversary. It doesn't say any of that. So it's not enticing enough for me to give that much information.

If you're going to ask for your customers' data, you can't just expect them to do it. You need to give them something in return.


Now, I hear what you're saying. You're saying, “well, I have a nice restaurant and I don't want to discount because it cuts into my margins, or it makes my brand look cheap.”

I agree with you. You shouldn't do discounts.

What you should do is give something away completely for free.

Yes. FREE.

Love him or hate him, John Taffer says,

“People get addicted to discounts, they don't get addicted to free.”

Giving something away for free actually elevates your brand because people say,

“Wow, they're willing to give me something for free. They must really love their food.

I'm totally going to go in for that.”

It also makes it more of a no brainer. I'm definitely going to go there and get something for free. And then I'll probably add other things. Right?

I mean, I went to this restaurant and I didn't have any offers. I think we spent $80 on appetizers and drinks between my mom and I. That was it. So, you know, it wouldn't be that big of a deal for them to give me a free appetizer for my next visit, because I'm likely going to come in, get a $15 free appetizer and spend $80. So they just lost out. Not lost a customer, but they're not going to be top of mind whenever I want to go out to eat at a restaurant.

So I highly recommend coming up with some kind of compelling offer. So that way, even if you are going to persist with paper, at least that way people are more agreeable to give you their information. Don't expect them to give it to you if you're not willing to give them something in return for their personal data.

Friends, there's a better way. One that saves you time and makes people WANT to give you their details.


A better way… enter digital data collection!

OK, lastly, I know I talked about digital and I said I was going to show you how to do that.

What is it?

It's our specially designed digital system using social media that:

  • nurtures your customer relationship through an app they already have on their phone (not some fancy extra thing you get sold all the time)

  • collects the info they provide and automatically adds it to your customer database (and follows up with them to drive them back in automatically)

  • AND it's all trackable. Meaning you'll know exactly how much ROI you're getting.

What I highly recommend is using a system called Manychat. We use Messenger chatbots to do this. We ask for people's information right in an app that they already have on their phone. They already have Facebook, they already have Instagram, they're using it all the time.

So we set up a chatbot. It's a two-way, one-on-one conversation from your business to your customers where you can ask them one question at a time. So instead of asking for name, email, birthday, anniversary, all the stuff at once, you're actually just saying,

“Hey, did you want to get a free appetizer on your next visit?”

And they're like,


They click the button that says yes, and then they are asked for their email address to send it to. They put in their email address and it's digital, so they're less likely to make a mistake. Bonus is that it automatically goes into your email software, automatically adding them to the list so they can automatically get your updates. No more data entry from illegible pieces of paper!

Like, doesn't everyone love automation?

So then you could say,

“Great, did you want to also get reminders through text?”

(Text is a really great way to be able to reach out to people texting them about offers or special events).

So this is when you ask for their phone number if they want to get text updates, they can decline it or they can say yes.

What I found is about 60% of people will go ahead and give you their phone number just because you asked.

So then you could say,

“Did you want to register your birthday?”

(to get a free dessert or whatever on your birthday or anniversary)

Asking the questions one at a time is like little micro-commitments, little small yeses to you. Rather than feeling like they are writing down all their personal info, handing it to the server and hoping they do something safe with it. When they enter it into the app, they know it isn’t getting lost and what it is getting used for.

Easy Peasy.

If you have any questions, definitely click the link below and schedule a call with me. I'd love to chat with you about your restaurant or your local business.

x Tracey!

PS. Check out my FREE Manychat Chatbot template:

PPS. Or you can book a call and find out more:

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