Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Text messages and the restaurant business are a match made in marketing heaven. From the biggest global fast-food franchise to the local diner, restaurateurs the world over are using the awesome power of smartphones to boost their campaigns. Here are some top tips for leveraging mobile technology for the good of your business: 

  1. Texting. SMS is a cheap, fast, reliable way of reaching out to customers. Send menu updates or reservation reminders. Establish an opt-in text list by offering promotions to those who join.

  2. Mobile coupons. A highly effective way of attracting opt-ins, mobile coupons have a redemption rate nearly 25% higher than coupons printed from the web to a hard copy. The redemption rate is 10 times greater than for coupons printed in newspapers and magazines. Mobile coupons are also significantly cheaper than other forms, so if you’re considering offering special deals as a way of attracting custom, it really is the only game in town.

  3. Geo-fencing. This up-and-coming technology uses GPS to define geographical boundaries for mobile devices. Restaurants can trigger texts and emails to a specific device at the moment it enters those boundaries, so if a customer is nearby, you can send them a promotion on their favorite dish.

  4. Polls and surveys. Ideal for engaging your customers directly, text polls can help you find the most popular combination deals, and other likes and dislikes that could affect your business. Send surveys to get feedback on customer service, or harvest star ratings for new items – the applications are almost limitless.

  5. QR codes. Perfect for out-of-hours engagement, a strategically-placed QR code on a storefront can reach customers who regularly walk past your restaurant when you’re closed. If there’s enough out-of-hours trade passing through, you can consider extending your opening hours.

There are so many opportunities for localized, targeted customer engagement using bulk SMS and geo-targeted texting. Smaller operations are finding texting to be an affordable, quick-to-implement route into the mobile marketing revolution. If you’re hungry for new customers, start changing the way you do business with text marketing and other mobile marketing tactics.