When it comes to restaurant marketing, guest relationships are key. The best strategies focus on building loyalty through multi-channel, personalized communication. A crucial, sometimes overlooked element of a great guest communication strategy is SMS marketing.
By using SMS (text message) marketing, you can gain guests’ attention quickly, delivering your messages straight to the device they use most often – their phone.
While most restaurants are familiar with email marketing, SMS can be a more complex and confusing beast. We’re here to break down the most effective way to use SMS in your marketing strategy and give you the best practice tools to make sure it has maximum impact.
Why is SMS Marketing Effective?
SMS messaging (text messages) is a crucial part of a restaurant marketing and loyalty strategy. It allows restaurants to reach guests immediately with succinct, action-driven messaging delivered straight to the device they use most often.
According to this year’s Finances Online SMS Market Share Report:
- 90% of consumers prefer to communicate with businesses via text message and have gained value from SMS loyalty programs
- Consumers have reported they’re 8 times more likely to redeem mobile offers than traditional printed coupons
These numbers make a crucial point: SMS marketing increases both value and engagement, so it’s a win-win for customers and restaurants.
How to Use SMS Marketing for Your Restaurant
One of the best things about SMS marketing is that it’s versatile, and you can easily slot it in across different marketing goals and gain a lot of value from it. Restaurants can use SMS marketing for:
- Customer acquisition: Build a mobile database list by acquiring users via keywords or contests and offer special promotions and deals to bring in new customers.
- Information: Have an important announcement such as new closing or opening times, menu items, or news? SMS marketing helps you get your message across effectively and quickly.
- Loyalty: Reward customers for their loyalty through SMS-exclusive offers. You can also use the enticement of promotions and deals through SMS as a marketing tool to add more members to your database.
- Surprise and Delight: Using triggered campaigns, you can create fun messaging to build a connection for occasions such as birthdays.
Tips for Creating Killer SMS Campaigns
When it comes to running successful marketing campaigns for restaurants via text message, here are some of our key recommendations:
Make your message worth it
To be successful, your messaging should have a combination of value, exclusivity, and clarity. With every SMS campaign, it’s essential to ask the following questions: What value can guests derive from you? How exclusive is it? Is the message clear? Once you run more campaigns, you will start to see trends emerge that can help you refine messaging further.
Getting the frequency of text messaging campaigns right is often tough. Too much, and you risk being ignored. Too little, and it’s easy for customers to forget. The general rule is to stay consistent without going overboard.
Opt for 2-4 messages a month at the most, and try to send them at consistent times when you see the most engagement. Read through the Telephone Consumer Protection Act requirements to ensure that you are compliant with your campaigns.
Stay relevant and engaging
Staying relevant and creating content that recipients enjoy will help boost engagement. You can accomplish this by providing real-time information and promotions that are triggered by your guests’ recent behavior or transactions.
You can further improve the effort by partnering with location data to offer tailored promotions and deals. And of course, don’t be afraid to show off your brand personality with fun texts and emojis to make your campaigns even more interesting!
Personalize where possible
One of the benefits of SMS marketing is that it gives you a chance to create personalized content. This also goes a long way in boosting engagement and interest in campaigns.
Leverage guest data to send personalized messages around their last visit, purchase behavior, and time of day visited for maximum interest. For example, do you have a guest that frequently orders a sandwich for lunch on Fridays? Hit them with a sandwich and latte combo an hour before lunchtime to increase the value of their visit.
SMS is a powerful tool for restaurants to reach their guests and connect with real-time offers and crucial information when used correctly.
When implemented as part of a multi-channel marketing strategy with email, social media content, loyalty rewards and offers, and data-driven personalized communication, SMS marketing can help restaurants create and strengthen guest relationships and build loyalty.
To learn more about how Personica can help your restaurant optimize your SMS strategy, get in touch today!
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