What Restaurant Owners Need to Know About Text Message Marketing

If you are running a restaurant, a good way to increase brand awareness and improve your sales is via SMS Text message marketing. Text messaging is a simple communication channel, but it is very effective because most people today have a smartphone. In addition, text messages cost very little.

Advantages of Restaurant Marketing via SMS

Compared to other mobile marketing forms like emails and social media, SMS marketing is more effective because of its wider reach. In terms of raising brand awareness, it produces results that are 4 to 5 times better than online ads. Likewise, redemption rate for coupons attached to text messages is at least 8 times higher than coupons sent through email. People also read text messages within a couple of minutes of receipt. This cannot be said of email messages.

Want to see text message marketing in action? Text ‘help me’ to 31996

Uses of Text Messaging for Restaurant Marketing

A restaurant has many other uses for text marketing other than to send coupons. SMS can be used to promote special events and VIP promotions, and share positive reviews. Text marketing services can also be used to create a remote ordering service or to hold sweepstakes-like contests.

The immediate and intimate nature of SMS marketing makes it possible to trigger a sense of urgency on your target audience. As soon as an incoming message notification is heard, people immediately reach for their phones to read the message and reply.

Starting a Restaurant Text Marketing Campaign

Two things are necessary when launching an SMS marketing campaign for restaurants:

  • Access to a bulk SMS platform – Access is often free. You can subscribe to a bulk messaging service and pay only for the messages you send every month. Some providers offer a pay-as-you-go option, as well.
  • A database containing names of prospective customers to send the messages to – This can be tricky since you first have to invite existing or potential clients to join your SMS marketing service. One way to do this is to make an offer using short codes and keywords (for example, “Text discount to XXXX to avail of a 10% discount on your next order.”) You can promote your offer on your business website or FB page. You can also share it via email or Twitter.
  • Want to see text message marketing in action? Text ‘help me’ to 31996

Using a Bulk SMS Platform and Its Features

First, you need to login to the bulk SMS platform. Then, upload your customer database, write your message, and send. You can also schedule message dispatch at a pre-determined time when it will have a greater impact. You can expect the recipients to read your message within minutes, wherever they may be.

You can monitor the performance of your SMS marketing campaign through the platform. It offers various information like delivery and open rates, as well as spikes in engagement. This way, you can tweak your future campaigns if necessary. Other features include the option of creating templates and message personalization. Through its API, the platform can even be integrated into a POS system.

Raising Brand Awareness and Generating Engagement

One of the most important features of a bulk SMS platform is the poll builder. Through the poll builder, you can encourage more engagement and increase brand awareness. Send your target customers a survey. Request them to reply by selecting from several sub-keywords.

To show how polling your client database works, imagine you own a restaurant named “Happy Tummy (HT).” You want to know what your customers’ favorite cola brand is. You can allow them to choose a reply from any of the following:

“HT Pepsi”

“HT Coca Cola”

“HT Nice! Cola”

“HT Vintage Cola”

“HT Zevia”

The bulk SMS platform will then collate the responses. Using the gathered information, you can come up with plans for your mobile marketing campaigns for the coming days. The poll results will also give you a good idea on which beverages to promote and how much inventory you should maintain. Customers tend to share the surveys and polls they find interesting with their family and friends. Now, if these people also send their responses, your customer database will quickly grow.

Final Word

Text message marketing is a great way to promote your restaurant. It is more effective than other types of mobile marketing because of its wider reach. Best of all, a text message doesn’t cost a lot of money.

Want to see text message marketing in action? Text ‘help me’ to 31996

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