What Is a Captive Portal and How Do We Use It in a Business Environment
The benefits of an excellent wireless network don’t stop at data transfer speed and the ability to support more clients concurrently. A high-performance wireless network comes with other benefits, not only those related strictly to the propagation of the radio signal.
Today we intend to talk about the Captive Portal, what it is and why we recommend it as a tool for business.
The story starts from the fact that businesses that rely on multiple sales, on returning customers, have a clear need to correctly compile a database with as many information about the customers as possible and with their contact data.
Gathering this database is relatively difficult, as the classic methods have a high degree of uncertainty in what regards the accuracy of information returned by filling in a form (there may be willful mistakes or omissions that make a name, an e-mail address or a phone number unusable). With a Captive Portal we eliminate all such mistakes, build a database in a correct and legal manner and are able to organize campaigns to promote our products and services with high success rates.
But let’s define what a Captive Portal is, so that you may better understand why we are so eager to recommend it And this is because here, at Net Shape, in addition to preparing a high-quality wireless network (traffic speed, concurrent client support depending on demand and increased security) we also provide our customers with customized Captive Portal solutions, tailored to the needs of each business. By Captive Portal we mean a gateway to the wireless network that opens to each client by accessing a key. This key consists of willingly providing personal data (e-mail address, phone number, other data…) according to the terms and conditions defined in the application. Through such a Captive Portal, customers have access to a high-quality wireless network, and business owners obtain concrete information about the persons that used the wireless infrastructure. The data thus obtained, according to the terms and conditions approved by the customer, can be used in marketing campaigns (newsletters, SMS, telemarketing).
Of course we do not encourage spam, and we advise caution in using such data. A well-made campaign, promoting a concrete and honest message, will have greater success than an insistent push that will either annoy the customers or even cause them to voice their dissatisfaction.
Because we like to use examples to make us better understood, let’s see where the Captive Portal would perform better.
In retail. Customers come and go. Many of them only come back if something truly memorable happens during their visit. Gathering a database with current and potential customers using a Captive Portal gives you the opportunity to turn visitors into future customers, by letting them know about new promotions or special terms (vouchers, personal discounts, etc.). Furthermore, a Captive Portal can be a good tool for incentivizing customers that are present in the store. Offering a special discount or a gift product are only a few examples of what can be done to encourage people to buy from a store. We also advise caution, so any spam under any form is not recommended. A well thought-out campaign does not need to be very aggressive, and the messages that are disseminated to the customers must be carefully chosen. We are very good at this, so we can create interesting campaigns together
Hospitality Industry. An area where a Captive Portal can indeed show its business power is tourism, in hotels and guest houses. This is a place where a customer that is happy with the service can be very easily motivated to return. The database gathered during a season can be a goldmine for years to come. It is also the place where all customers need a wireless network, so the database subscription rate will be very high. Announcing special promotions, but also early birds prices for future seasons are certainly messages that will attract new reservations. There is a trend that any hotel or guest house manager should consider, it is an opportunity for efficient, carefully targeted marketing, at very low prices. We have covered wireless networks at a hotel or guest house a while ago in a dedicated article, which you can read by clicking this link.
Clubs, restaurants, bars. As for the above two “industries”, a Captive Portal can be an excellent business tools for a club or a restaurant. Customers come back not only if they liked it there, but also if they are motivated to do so. Announcing a new concert or event or giving special terms through a newsletter or an SMS campaign are actions that are certain to be successful. The database only needs be carefully built and extremely prudently managed. We could come with very good campaign ideas, but also with a wireless infrastructure that will make your customers go “wow”
Other than the three above applications, a Captive Portal can be extremely effective in many other places. In general, areas with high customer traffic, waiting areas, are excellent opportunities for those who have a wireless infrastructure to supplement their set of marketing measures with new tools that give them the opportunity to enhance future actions.