When it comes to promoting your restaurant and getting more butts in seats, there are few tools more effective than text message marketing. With a mobile marketing program, you can entice existing customers with today’s special or encourage them to save a few bucks by taking advantage of your latest promotional offer. It’s a great way to reach customers right where they are, and engage with them in real-time.
That’s because customers trust marketing text messages, and most will open them if for no other reason than to clear the unread text notification out of their text inbox (98 percent of smartphone users say they have no unread texts in their text inboxes). Sixty-four percent of consumers actually say they want businesses to reach out via text more often — it feels more personal, it’s more immediate, and it’s convenient, especially for phone-phobic Millennials. Here’s what you need to do to successfully implement a text message marketing program for your restaurant.
Use A Proper Opt-In
If you want to use text message marketing for restaurants to promote your establishment, you’ll need to make sure you’re following the law. In the United States, there are two laws that govern how you can market to consumers using telephone and text messages.
These are the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act. These regulations protect consumers from unsolicited, spammy text messages and phone calls, and they’re a big part of the reason why consumers trust marketing text messages and open them at an astounding rate of 98 percent.
You should familiarize yourself with your legal obligations before you ever send your first marketing text. You can only send marketing texts to customers who have opted into receiving them, so you can’t just start blasting your entire customer list without asking anyone for permission first. You’ll also need to include easy opt-out instructions in each text so customers can cancel their list membership at any time. There are also guidelines governing the times of day you can send marketing texts, and how many such texts you can send in any given period.
Offer Exclusive Discounts
Customers want to sign up for marketing texts from their favorite restaurants because they want the opportunity to access exclusive deals, offers, and promotions that the general public isn’t getting. Exclusive offers, early access to events, and other customer loyalty rewards help your customers feel valued. They also encourage repeat business and give new customers a reason to sign up for your text message program.
Promote Deliveries And Specials
The immediacy of text messaging is what makes the medium such a valuable marketing tool for restaurants. You can time your marketing texts for right before peak times to draw in more customers. Send your customers a text message at 11:00 a.m. advertising your lunch specials or encouraging them to take advantage of your delivery service. They’ll be starting to get hungry, and your message will bring a huge return on your investment.
Enable SMS Reservations
These days, no one makes a phone call if they can help it, and text message marketing isn’t just for offering discount codes and advertising special menu items or happy hours. You can also use your mobile marketing platform to give customers a forum for making reservations, placing pick-up and delivery orders, or offering feedback on the service they received. Customers will appreciate the ease and convenience of interacting with staff over text.
Branch Out And Engage Your Customers
You don’t want every single text you send to be selling something — customers want to feel like they have a real relationship with your brand, like you care about their preferences and are willing to make changes to suit them. Use your text message marketing service to engage customers with event and restaurant news, surveys, thank-you messages, and more.
If you’re looking for a way to get more customers in your restaurant, text message marketing is definitely the wave of the future. Customers want you to be available to them over text, and they appreciate receiving offers, discounts, and news when they’ve opted into a text message marketing program. Start putting together your first text message campaign today, and soon you’ll be serving more customers than ever.
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