According to figures from the Pew Research Center, 95% of Americans now own a cellphone of some kind while 77% own a smartphone. Add to that the fact that SMS has a staggering open-and-read rate of 98% and it’s easy to see why SMS marketing is creating such a buzz right now.
Fast, simple, affordable and easy to tailor to different target audiences, whether you’re a cute coffee shop or huge diner chain, restaurant businesses of all sizes can take advantage of mobile marketing.
Here are 6 SMS marketing tactics for restaurants that will increase footfall and create more happy customers:
Everybody loves a birthday gift. Make your customers feel special on their birthday and send them a one-off discount, free drink or free dessert offer. If you cater for private hire parties, offer a discount on venue hire if the birthday boy or girl wants to turn their celebration into a party. If you’re not sure of subscribers’ birth dates, get in touch and encourage them to let you know their day/month for a yearly surprise.
Gather More Sign-Ups
Looking to sign-up more email subscribers? Use SMS. Texting is easy. All it takes is a “Keep stay in touch!” text that asks customers to text back their email address in exchange for a discount off their next meal. You want to avoid hassling people who are already on your email list, so make sure you only get in touch with non-email text subscribers here.
Seasonal Flash Deals
Make the most of the lightning-fast speed of text marketing. People are far more likely to open up a text right away than an email - they can sit in an inbox for weeks. Local team won a game? Texting is great for promoting a last-minute two-for-one offer to celebrate. If the weather hits a cold snap, a quick SMS offering a free slice of cake with a coffee or hot chocolate can entice in more customers that day. Get creative and be spontaneous - your customers will love these little surprises, and it can encourage business on quiet days too.
A quick and fun way to get people excited about your restaurant is with a simple text-back competition. Offer up a free side dish, drink or two-for-one deal to the first 5 people that text you back, or choose winners at random. This kind of thing encourages sharing, increasing exposure, and all you need to do is send the winners a redeemable code.
Advertise your social media channels
Texting is a neat way to let your customer base know where your website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts are at. Point them in the right direction and let them know you want to hear from them on social media. A short text saying ‘Send us snaps of your favourite food on our Instagram!’, or ‘Got a new ice cream flavour idea for us? Let us know on Facebook!’ gets people talking, sharing and connecting with your brand.
Planning any special events at your restaurant? Whether it’s live music, Valentine’s Day or game nights, let your customers know via text. Send them guest invites for a personal touch, and encourage RSVPs. It’s a great way to build momentum in the lead-up to an event, as well as useful way to get in touch with a last-minute reminder on the day.
Run a restaurant? Get started with your very own mobile marketing campaign today!