Drive More Traffic To Your Bowling Alley With Text Marketing

Drive More Traffic To Your Bowling Alley With Text Marketing

market bowling alley advertisement

Looking to drive more traffic to your bowling alley? Text marketing, also known as SMS marketing, is a tech-savvy way to reach your audience. It’s affordable, easy to automate and a great method to get pertinent information to your contacts. If you’ve never thought of text marketing before it might take a few minutes to wrap your head around how you’d even start mass texing. Yes, texting is personal, but for business text marketing you don’t need to send messages one-on one. 

Here’s what text marketing is all about and why it could be the best way to market your bowling alley.

Why use text marketing for your bowling alley?

Text marketing for your bowling alley is probably one of the simplest ways to reach your target audience and keep them engaged with your establishment. If you’re looking for a modern way to do bowling alley advertising, here’s what you need to know.

Access your audience instantly

Text messages are a great way to market because they offer instant access to your target audience. Compared to traditional forms of marketing like posters, email blasts, billboards and weekly newsletters, a text notification is often harder to overlook. According to a recent study, 92% of the U.S. population owns a mobile device with SMS capabilities and 68% of the population owns a smartphone. Text marketing is a great tool for any business, especially one with an emphasis on the millennial demographic such as a bowling alley.

Utilize images for maximum appeal

It’s no secret that images, especially those with faces, are attractive in a digital sphere with an increasingly short attention span. Research shows that approximately 65% of people are visual learners, meaning that they intake and retain information visually. Using MMS marketing to send images, videos or GIFs can relay the excitement of your bowling alley could be the most effective way to reach your audience.

Automate marketing for easy communication

Automating your text marketing simplifies the process of getting information to extensive contact lists. Depending on which service you use to automate your texts, you’ll have the ability to write your message in advance and schedule a time to send it out. Additionally, automated marketing has filters that you can use to segment your audience based on preselected buying patterns, age demographics and more. 

5 Texting campaign ideas for bowling alleys

Once you’ve decided to use text marketing, coming up with an eye-catching campaign comes next. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Text-to-win contest

Launching a text-to-win contest is an exciting way to engage your contacts. Rather than simply sending information, these contests allow people to send a text to be entered into a chance to win a prize. For example, a bowling alley could use a text-to-win contest with a prize of a free game or concessions. It’s simple, casual and exciting for participants.


  • Text-to-win contests have the potential to establish your company or brand as exciting.
  • Giveaways are engaging by nature and increase word-of-mouth marketing, which can be highly beneficial in the long run to help you grow your list.
  • This method gives your audience the opportunity to win something while simultaneously offering information about your services. Use a text-to-win contest to feature a product or service and grow your contact list at the same time.

What to avoid:

  • When you’re making a text-to-win contest you want to be sure that your prize is actually something worth winning. People need to get excited and motivated to enter so that you can grow your subscriber list.
  • Also, don’t forget to ask people to opt into your regular text marketing list after they’ve entered your contest. Your goal for collecting entrants should be to grow your overall marketing list.

2. Loyalty rewards program

Loyalty rewards punch cards are hard to track and dated, but luckily there’s a modern solution for the digital age: tracking loyalty by phone number. With a loyalty rewards service you can get people to enter their number each time they visit and collect points based on number of visits or the amount they spend with you. If they opt in to your text marketing list at the same time you can text them updates about their reward status to encourage them to come back and visit you. 


  • Keeps people connected to you and could be the deciding factor between whether they return to your bowling alley or visit someone else.
  • Helps you keep more significant data about customer retention.

What to remember:

  • Be sure to incentivize your loyal customers with great offers they can only get through the loyalty rewards club.
  • Make your loyalty rewards program easy to join otherwise customers could be turned off.

3. Create personalized deals

With the increasing nature of personalized advertisements, it’s almost expected that you cater to the individual with your marketing tactics. Targeting the needs of your audience with personalized messaging will help your company grab attention and bring in more business. Additionally, creating a personalized deal shows your audience that you care about their individual needs, which is important to many consumers.


  • According to the 2017 State of Personalization Report, 77% of online consumers expect personalized deals from retailers and 71% of all consumers aren’t satisfied unless their experience is personalized. The advantages of creating personalized deals include meeting an increasing demand for personalization.
  • Consumers respond well to companies that single out their needs as an individual. This sentiment can be reflected in your marketing by creating personalized deals.

What to avoid:

  • Though a personalized message can be flattering, beware of sending mass messages with cookie-cutter wording.
  • Consumers can usually see through a generic message, so include as many specifics as you can. This can include their name, how long it’s been since they’ve been to your business, and even their last bowling score.
  • Use the information you have about your audience to let them know that their business is recognized and important, but don’t use information they didn’t give you or that doesn’t apply to their business with you — surveys show people find that creepy.

4. Send mobile coupons

Mobile coupons can be a lifesaver during annual low points in business. Try sending coupons via text message to encourage customers to come in for a special deal or discounted group rate. Sending mobile coupons is a great way to ensure that your audience gets important messages that could result in increased business.


  • Sending mobile coupons is a great way to drum up business if you use it right.
  • Offering seasonal deals, monthly discounts and even birthday vouchers are all great ways to stay current and offer your customers discounts that they’ll actually use.
  • Offering mobile coupons with value shows that you care about your audience and their experience.
  • A digital coupon is often easier to locate than a paper coupon, which helps ensure that people use them.

What to avoid:

  • If you’re putting the time into sending a mobile coupon, make sure it’s enticing enough for consumers to want to redeem.
  • Avoid small discounts which would be easy for people to overlook, and think bigger for the best results. For example, if you’re hoping to get more people into your bowling alley, try sending a mobile coupon for large groups or party discounts.

5. Send reservation reminders and notifications

Studies have shown that 98% of text messages are read almost instantly. This makes text messaging a great avenue for sending reminders, as the vast majority of your audience read the notification. As long as you limit the number of reminders you’re sending, this method is a reliable way to get information to your audience.


  • Texting reservation reminders is one of the best ways to make sure customers get the message. Try to keep reservation reminders short and informational for the best result.
  • Internally, you can also utilize text notifications to get important news to employees quickly and efficiently. Whether you use text reminders for consumers or members of your staff, you can almost always be sure that they got the message.

What to avoid:

  • Even though text notifications can be a helpful tool, make sure you’re not sending too many. The key to being effective with text reminders is to send them sparingly. You’ll get the feel for what’s best for your audience, but consider playing around with timing — perhaps one notification 24 or 48 hours in advance of a reservation is enough.
  • Make sure when you send the notification that it includes the time of the reservation and address, so that customers have a helpful text to reference as their reservation draws nearer.

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