The inbound marketing revolution has shown us the undisputed power of email marketing. In fact, nearly three-quarters of smartphone users in the U.S. check their email using a mobile device at least once a week. Email marketing provides the immediacy of social media while facilitating the exclusivity of a private club. To say it’s powerful is an understatement.

But accumulating email addresses can be tricky. You have to provide something of real value in order for potential customers to give up personal information. And while typical inbound marketing fare such as white papers and promo codes can be very enticing, they may not solve the most immediate need of your lead.

Do You Have WiFi?

If email marketing teaches us one thing, it’s that people have a strong desire to stay connected. Even in a bar, where customers enjoy the company of others, it’s important for people to be able to stay in touch with the outside world. One of the best ways you can provide value is to enable your customers to keep tabs on what’s going on outside your bar or restaurant–and spread the word that they’re there.

WiFi was once a neat perk that enabled businesses like Starbucks to keep customers in-house for longer, which helped them sell more products. Today, WiFi is a virtual customer service requirement. You may not notice the hit if you don’t have WiFi, but businesses that do offer WiFi sure notice the boost. A study of small businesses shows that 65 percent of WiFi-equipped establishments have received repeat business simply because they offer WiFi.

WiFi and Email Address Acquisition

You know that accumulating email addresses is the key to marketing domination. You also know that WiFi isn’t just a nice amenity, but an actual service that will attract customers. Why not combine the two?

An emerging trend is to offer WiFi to customers through a customized WiFi splash screen that asks them to submit their email address. This is the ultimate example of business and customers filling each other’s needs. People who want to check sports scores or social media accounts find that providing an email in exchange for free WiFi is a fair trade.  Then you can reward them for sharing this information by offering exclusive content and promotional offers.

If this sounds like an intimidating proposition, it isn’t. Companies like Adentro have made it super easy for you to set up an email collection portal for WiFi access. All you have to do is plug in your access point, run a quick one-time setup, and watch your email list expand.

The Hidden Benefits

There’s more to this arrangement than simply collecting email addresses. A whole new world of customer engagement is at your fingertips.

The relationship only begins with the collection of email addresses. Once a customer signs on to WiFi, some platforms will let you see how many times each customer visits, as well as how long they stay. Thanks to your new WiFi setup, you’ll have a deeper understanding of how customers patronize your business.

Your WiFi will also give you a true walk-through rate™ , unlike many other promotional efforts. Restaurants and bars typically only recognize a return on their email marketing investment when they see how many people redeem the coupons they receive via email. However, WiFi-powered email marketing will let you know exactly how many people visited your restaurant after receiving one of your messages. This has implications for market segmentation, A/B testing, and any other email customization you may want to try. It’s a level of feedback like you’ve never experienced.

Barney’s Beanery, the legendary group of gastropubs with six locations across the LA area, has already collected over 44,000 emails using Adentro. Since taking their email marketing to the next level, Barney’s Beanery has already seen a walk-through rate™ of 30%! What’s not to like?

No Reason to Wait!

If you want to take your digital marketing to the next level, there are few solutions as powerful as providing  WiFi access in exchange for your guests’ email addresses. It’s a great way to create a massive increase in your email list while exerting minimal effort. Best of all, not only will your email marketing go through the roof, but you’ll see an increase in business from new and returning customers. It’s a win for everyone.