Customer Relationship Management

How SMS marketing helps restaurants engage their customers

Mobile marketing for restaurants

Any restaurant owner will know that engaging with customers is an important part of building your brand and increasing clientele. A simple yet effective way to do so is to introduce SMS marketing to your marketing strategy.

It allows your customers to stay updated about your restaurant and keeps you in the technological loop of today’s modern world, which is vital to staying ahead of the competition.

Use SMS marketing to give your customers insider information

Customers enjoy feeling like they have exclusive information. It makes them feel special and engages them in a unique manner. This insider information could include behind the scenes photographs of your kitchen leading up to a special event, messages about the event of a sale before you have announced it on other platforms or an announcement about a menu change.

By giving access to this insider information, you’re showing your customers that you value them. You’ll notice that your customer engagement levels improve after using SMS marketing since you’re able to personalize messages to suit your customer base. Customers are also more likely to share SMSes with insider information, which will increase your clientele significantly.

Offer location-based deals

Using SMS marketing for a chain restaurant allows you to offer deals, promotions, and coupons on a daily basis. Another way to improve this tactic is to include location-based deals. This means that you will send relevant SMSes to people in specific areas.

If you are not a chain restaurant owner but have a smaller niche coffee shop or bakery, using location-based deals can bring more local traffic to your doorstep. There are apps that you can use which will feed data to the AI behind your SMS marketing campaign about who is in the area in order to send them relevant information when they are close to your restaurant.

Send out reservation reminders by SMS

An effective use of SMS marketing is to use it to send out reservation reminders. Not only is this more efficient than having to phone customers, it’s more customizable and will make them feel as though you care about them.

When people phone in to make a reservation, you can enter their cell phone number into the system and schedule a reservation reminder to be sent to the customer on the day of their reservation. SMS marketing allows you to create personalized reservation messages using the information supplied by the customer. You could even send them a voucher code along with this reminder as an extra perk of joining your text list.

Introduce ‘text to win’ contests

Text to win contests are an effective way to engage with your customers and build up your customer base at the same time. Almost 90 percent of text messages are read within three minutes of being received, making text to win contests highly effective.

If you want to draw in more customers, it’s important to have interactive contests or opt-ins. Include a link to your website or social media page as part of the message. This will allow customers to connect to your various pages and explore what your restaurant offers. Remember to keep your messages short and sweet.

Use surveys and polls

Customer engagement will rise if they see that you are taking their thoughts and opinions seriously, which is why polls and surveys are so effective. You can make polls or surveys interactive by including links to social media or to a certain page on your website, for example.

As a restaurant, you could use a poll to see which dessert is the most popular among your customers by sending out a message asking them to send in a response. Once the poll has been answered you can follow through and include it on your new dessert menu. An interactive survey could be used to create a new dish for a seasonal menu. It’s important to always follow through after you have gathered responses to show your customers that you care.

Mobile coupons

Mobile coupons are an effective way to use SMS marketing and can be tailored to suit your customer list. Sending out mobile coupons to those who are on your SMS list makes customers feel as though they are being treated like VIPs, and exclusivity can help you to win customers.

Once a week or once a month you can send out messages offering coupons to your most loyal customers, and using the location-based data, can base these deals on whichever one of your restaurants they frequent if you are a chain restaurant owner. You can use their reservation data to tailor these coupons to the times they usually book, such as a breakfast coupon for early risers or a romantic dinner for two for evening visitors.

Competition, eat your heart out

By making use of bulk SMSes as a restaurant owner, you’ll have the edge over the competition. More customer engagement means more traffic to your door, so read our piece to find out more about why SMS marketing should be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

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