SMS marketing is a growing market trend. Hardly surprising when you consider how easy and effective it is to shoot off bulk SMS that are actually read by your customers.
Today, we’re going to focus on restaurants and show you how to incorporate SMS marketing tactics into your marketing campaign. We will give you tips on how to get more opt-ins and offer guidance in how to construct your text marketing messages.
Before you can start a campaign sending out bulk SMS marketing messages, you need approval from recipients.
There are several ways to encourage consumers to provide you with their cellphone numbers, and the law also states you have to be given authority to send SMS messages.
Acquiring opt-ins for Bulk SMS services requires you to run marketing campaigns as a stepping stone. We recommend using as many of the following options as possible.
In all of the suggestions below, you need to run a promotional ad that offers a discount on meals when diners text in the shortcode. For example, “Get 25% off your next meal by sending TXT 25% to 15890.”
If you are an online business, it makes complete sense to have at least one social media account. Social networking is the quickest and most direct way of connecting with a mass consumer audience.
Traditional offline advertising is still tops for generating interest on a local level. Although it is costlier to run print advertising, local marketing campaigns are essential for restaurants.
Placing a small cardboard ad on tables, on walls, windows and by the cash register draws attention to your promotion.
Printing the promotional code on diner receipts can also serve as a reminder to text in the code. So make sure you encourage diners to take their receipts with them.
Ask your staff to tell their family, friends and anybody else they meet about your offer. The more diners that eat in your restaurant means more tips for them.
Display your promotional ad in a prominent position on the homepage of your website, on your contact form at the bottom of every page and in a blog post.
If you have the budget to advertise on TV, radio or make an online video about your restaurant, inform customers of your discount offer together with the text short code.
The key to using a bulk SMS service is how you construct your message and how often you send out text messages. Don’t ping messages to frequently otherwise recipients will unsubscribe.
Given you only have 160 characters to play with, text message ads have to be short and concise. However, it also has to be clearly understood. So avoid using text abbreviations that some customers may not understand.
You can take advantage of mobile technologies such as geo-location targeting. When a customer on your mobile opt-in list is in the area, you can purchase technology to inform you and ping off a meal deal. If the time of day is right, this could work in your favor.
The success rate of your bulk SMS messaging campaign will obviously depend on how appealing your offer is to customers. So make your promotion an offer they cannot refuse.
You can of course run more than one campaign using a bulk SMS service. To get opt-ins, the offer has to be an extremely good one. Promotions to mobile customers after that can be less appealing and less frequent.
Take the example given above offering 25% off meals. You can reduce this to 10 or 15 per cent. You may even want to offer a “free chocolate dessert” or “free beer/wine”.
You will soon learn which type of promotional deals increase your revenue and which people are not buying. Each offer should include an SMS coupon so you can track the success of each campaign.
You can even use bulk SMS services to conduct a poll with your customers. Ask them to rate the offer so you can better determine what type of promotions are most appealing to your customers. Do they want a discount or do they want a freebie?
Bulk SMS services are a great way to attract customers through alerts, notifications and promotions. So why not give bulk SMS messaging a try and see how much you can improve your revenue.
Editors Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.