Everybody seems to be an expert when the discussion turns to mobile marketing for restaurants. “You need to improve your social media profile”. “You need an integrated inbound marketing campaign”. “You need a smartphone app that can take orders, cook food, clear tables and lock up when the last customer has left”. If only!
There is only one form of mobile marketing for restaurants that consistently delivers results. It is one of the oldest forms of mobile marketing for restaurants, yet one of the simplest to manage. It reaches 98% of the population and is the favored channel of communication for the important 18 - 34 year-old age group. It is text message marketing.
How Text Message Marketing for Restaurants Works
Text message marketing for restaurants works via an online SMS texting platform. In order to get access to an SMS texting platform, you simply register for an account with a service provider like EZ Texting. Thereafter, you log into your account, upload a list of people you want to receive your text message, write your message and click send.
Within minutes, your customers will receive your text on their cellphones wherever they are, whatever they are doing. You can time your messages in advance so that they are delivered when they will achieve the greatest impact (just as your customers are getting hungry is a good idea) or schedule messages to be sent out periodically to coincide with regular events.
How Effective is Text Message Mobile Marketing for Restaurants?
Incredibly effective. 83% of millennials open SMS text messages within 90 seconds of receiving them and off-premise on-demand coupons attached to text marketing messages have a redemption rate of 30% - 50%. Incredibly, on-premise on-demand coupons have a redemption rate of 70% - 80% once your customers arrive at your restaurant.
These figures knock the stuffing out of other channels of mobile marketing for restaurants. Emails have an open rate of 22% within three minutes. Text message marketing for restaurants performs four to five times better than online advertising for creating brand awareness, and just 29% of Tweets and 12% of Facebook posts are ever even read.
Attracting Customers to Your Text Messaging Service
Text message marketing for restaurants is a permission-based activity. This means that you cannot simply acquire a list of cellphone numbers and start texting people. You have to attract customers to your text messaging service and have them opt in to receive your text messages. Attracting customers to your service is not difficult.
Undoubtedly, offering customers a discount or free offer if they text a keyword to your text messaging service (i.e. “text ´discount` to 313131 to receive 10% off your next order”) is a great way to get customers to join your service. Alternatively you can offer a text-based loyalty program to your existing customers, or run a “first-to-know” campaign for forthcoming events.
Retaining Your Database of Customers with Polls
One of the best ways of retaining a database of customers is to solicit their opinions. Text message marketing allows you to do this via polls and surveys. Polls and surveys are easy to construct via the online SMS texting platform. You send a text message asking a question, and ask your customers to reply using a specific keywords. Here´s an example.
Imagine you own a restaurant called “Cheers”, and you surveyed your customers about which beers they would like you to serve in your restaurant, giving them the choice of replying with:
- “Cheers Bud”
- “Cheers Coors”
- “Cheers Millar”
- “Cheers Busch”
- “Cheers Michelob”
Your customers´ replies are collected by the online SMS texting platform, giving you an insight into their preferences and also giving you material with which to plan future marketing campaigns. Polls and surveys that appeal to your customers often get shared among families, friends and colleagues - helping you to grow your database of customers, generate a higher level of engagement and increase sales.
Advanced Text Message Marketing for Restaurants
As a rule, you do not have to have any advanced technical or design skills in order for text message marketing to be successful. People hear the ringtone of an incoming text message and reach over for their cellphones in order to read the message. However, there are some features of the online SMS texting platform that can help make text message marketing for restaurants even more efficient and more effective.
- With text message mobile marketing for restaurants, you have the option of integrating tiny URLs into your text message to direct customers to your website.
- You have the option of saving sent messages as templates to use again in the future so you do not have to compose a new marketing message every time.
- When your database of customers increases in size, you can divide them into groups based on their interests and only send text messages to whom they are relevant.
- If known, you can personalize your messages with the recipients´ names, adding a personal touch to your text message marketing for restaurants.
- You also have the option to complement or replace plain text messages with multimedia files such as audio, images and video - a great way to show off the best your restaurant has to offer.
Try Mobile Marketing for Restaurants for Free from EZ Texting
We stated at the beginning of this article that text message marketing was the only form of mobile marketing for restaurants that consistently delivers results. Rather than take our word for it, why not try it yourself - for free.
EZ Texting is offering the opportunity to try text message mobile marketing for restaurants for free through our Free & EZ program. There are no set-up fees, no credit cards required, no contracts to sign and no obligation to upgrade to a higher level of service at a later date.
Simply register for an account today - or speak with one of our friendly Client Success Managers - and you can be sending marketing texts to your customers within minutes. We´ll even include a free demo keyword and “Click-to-Join” forms that you can place on your website to start building your database.
If you have any questions about text message mobile marketing for restaurants, our team of Client Success Managers will be delighted to assist you. Or, you can find more information about text message mobile marketing for restaurants (and some case studies) in the EZ Texting Restaurant Info Center.