People like to feel as though they have a personal relationship with their favorite restaurant. But the challenge in marketing a restaurant is that it can be difficult to reciprocate that feeling. One solution? SMS marketing that allows highly personalized, two-way conversations—while texting in bulk.
Sending out a text message to your loyal customers who have chosen your opt-in doesn’t only reinforce that loyalty, it also helps you advertise mobile coupons, promote your restaurant to new customers, and create a marketing campaign that stands out from everything the other restaurants on your block are doing. Here are some tips for SMS marketing that restaurants can use:
Why Business SMS Marketing is Ideal for Restaurants
First things first: let’s talk about why SMS marketing might work out for your restaurant. When you send out a text message to a bulk group, it’s tempting to think that you need all sorts of incentives to justify a higher open rate. But text message open rates tend to be high already. This immediately gives any restaurant a leg up in marketing its recent deals, special weekend offers, and more.
Restaurant owners are already familiar with how special deals can fuel sudden bursts of traffic from customers. These kinds of marketing efforts have a demonstrable effect. But imagine the result of an SMS campaign with high open rates. Not only can you launch a special deal designed to bring in more people, but your special offers can reach more of your most loyal customers.
The result? Loyal customers—the kind who know your phone number by heart—get rewarded for opting in and becoming subscribers to your SMS texting.
Why Restaurants Should Consider SMS Marketing—Right Now
Why bother? For example, what if you don’t think your typical customers will want to receive SMS notifications about your latest deals and offers? Consider some of the most important reasons restaurants should consider text marketing .
• Consumers prefer brand updates via text. Believe it or not, when consumers get updates from brands they like, they prefer SMS overwhelmingly over email, app notifications, and even direct mail. In fact, SMS marketing beats out direct mail campaigns by 48% to 8% in this regard.
• You won’t annoy your customers. It’s tempting to believe that your text message updates will turn away customers. But if you use a service like Slytext, for example, you allow your customers to easily opt-out of your marketing efforts. That’s not so easy for them to do when it comes to direct mail campaigns. If anything SMS marketing is less invasive—and it’s only sent out to people who sign up in the first place.
• People are always on their mobile phones. Mobile phone usage is skyrocketing these days. Why not meet your customers where they spend their time? And with SMS messages designed to attract a customer base in a notoriously fickle food service industry, these kinds of direct brand awareness efforts are more important than ever before. Mobile phones are the medium of the 21st century—it only makes sense to reach your customer base by meeting them where they are.
• SMS marketing is a cost-effective marketing solution. When you’re advertising a loyalty program or a limited-time offer, you want to be sure that you’re using a cost-effective marketing solution. SMS is it. You don’t have to buy your ink by the barrel when you use a purely digital service. This results in cost savings for your marketing efforts while also increasing the efficiency of your efforts to boost sales.
How to Implement SMS Marketing for Restaurants
If you’re already convinced that SMS marketing can be one of the best marketing channels for your restaurant, let’s talk tips. Here are some ways you can use your SMS marketing to promote your business:
• Create an SMS-unique loyalty program. Promote special offers: free appetizer offerings, free dessert offerings, even free dinner programs. Advertise these exclusively through your SMS campaign. You’ll be amazed to see how many people want to be part of this exclusive club and opt-in to receive your promotional messages.
• Use SMS messaging to promote new items and new dishes. Expanding your menu items? A quick text to your SMS customers will instantly raise awareness—you’ll barely have to lift a finger.
• Offer valuable insights and tips. When people receive a restaurant text, are you making it worth their while? If you’re not offering discounts, don’t forget to create value in other ways. You might consider sending out invites to weekly specials or special events, or even offer valuable insights and tips for making the most of your existing menu.
SMS marketing is ideal for restaurants who want to create a loyalty program with minimal expenses. You can allow people to conveniently opt in or opt out based on their preferences, so you’ll never feel intrusive as you advertise. It’s a great way to pair restaurants with some of its most loyal customers—and to make your marketing efforts that much more effective.