3 Ways to Use SMS Marketing for Your Restaurant

group of friends take selfie

As a restaurant owner, selecting the right mobile marketing service can be a challenge. While you’d like to use the most efficient method of delivering an attention-grabbing message to an individual customer, you also want the flexibility to tailor your outreach efforts to different audiences and promotional themes. In this post, we’ll examine three ways to use SMS to promote your restaurant.

Why Choose a Mobile Marketing Service

By partnering with a mobile marketing service, you bring your restaurant’s promotions directly to a device which, according to recent research, will be within arm’s reach of 80% of consumers, 22 hours a day. In fact, 80% of Americans check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up—before they’ve even dressed for work.

Unlike television, print, and traditional online banner advertising, SMS marketing helps restaurant owners connect with consumers throughout the day, wherever they are.

Here are a few more interesting statistics on mass texting:

  • Texts have a 98% open rate (that’s about five times higher than email).
  • 90% of texts are read within three seconds.
  • 75% of smartphone users prefer mobile coupons to be sent by text.
  • 77% of smartphone users aged 18-34 are likely to have a more positive perception of a company that offers text capability than a business that doesn’t.
  • 50% of US consumers receiving SMS texts from businesses go on to make direct purchases.

Our mobile marketing service allows restaurants to easily share alerts, new menu items, and mobile coupons, while giving your customers an effortless way to get in touch. Let’s take a look at a few other examples.

Send Mobile Coupons to Drive Foot Traffic

It’s a statistical fact: mobile coupons are one of the best ways to bring new customers to a local restaurant. Using mobile coupons as a part of your campaign will allow you to maximize the return on your marketing dollars. Here are a few reasons why:

The vast majority of your customers are actively looking for dining deals. More than 80% of consumers search for restaurant deals on a regular basis.

The number of diners using mobile coupons is on the rise. Researchers estimate that the number of mobile coupons used will rise by 94% by 2022 (Juniper Research).

Customers spend more when they receive mobile coupons and visit their favorite restaurants more often. Consumers spend 26% more after receiving a mobile coupon, and 39% more if they receive personalized coupon. More than 60% of consumers are willing to pay from their mobile if they receive a coupon.

Convinced? Here are a few ways that restaurant owners can use mass texts to bring in more business:

  • Send a daily coupon just before the lunchtime and/or dinner rush, allowing diners to order ahead of time and receive loyalty points for repeat purchases.
  • Offer coupons that encourage diners to visit during your restaurant’s off-hours for special discounts.
  • Reward repeat customers with an in-store mobile coupon valid when they bring a friend along and purchase two meals.

Use SMS Alerts to Stay Connected With Customers

girl staying connected on her iPhone

While you may be focused on bringing in new diners, a successful campaign requires that you also stay at the top-of-mind with existing customers. That means you’ll need to find creative ways to remind your clients of what they love about your restaurant. Here are a few ideas:

  • Send an alert reminding customers of an upcoming 2-for-1 item special.
  • Use local sports events as an opportunity to bring the super fans among your customers into your restaurant for a fan appreciation night after a big win.
  • Prevent diner frustration in the event that your restaurant’s hours or menu changes by sending a text. Clients will appreciate the attention to customer service, and you’ll have the chance to encourage a visit to see what’s new on the menu.

Use MMS to Encourage Pre-Orders

It isn’t a cliche: pictures are worth much more than words—more than six times more to be exact. More than 60% of consumers seeing a relevant image with a marketing message will remember what they’ve seen, in comparison to those who’ve simply read ad copy. As a restaurant owner, you have a powerful advantage over businesses in other industries: you can send mouth-watering images from your menu at times when your audience is thinking about getting a bite to eat. MMS texts use images to drive your campaign’s message home. A picture of a slice of pizza can be a powerful attention-getter for an always-hungry college student. Here are a few ways to integrate MMS into your marketing campaign:

  • Send a weekly MMS of an upcoming “weekend special” featuring an image of a menu item that can be pre-ordered via text.
  • Send subscribers a daily MMS with a lunch special available only to the first 30 customers dining at the restaurant. Want to take it a bit further? Customers willing to post an image of their delicious lunch on social media will receive becoming the “featured post” of the day and receive a future discount at the restaurant.

Those are just a couple examples of how you can use MMS to build clientele. Here are two more ways to use our mobile marketing service to engage your audience.

Send Reservation Reminder Texts

Encourage diners with reservations to add a few friends to the list for a special discount.

Send Personalized Deals on Birthdays and Holidays

Build customer loyalty by inviting them to celebrate with you at special times with discounts and exclusive menu items that will make their night memorable.

Our mobile marketing service offers restaurants a simple, cost-effective way to build impactful campaigns in a flash, while stoking interest among loyal customers. At SlickText, we work with restaurants of any size, allowing you to set up a powerful campaign with a few clicks. We’ll make sure that your message reaches your consumer at the right time, maximizing the value of your marketing budget and getting the results you need. Connect with us today to find out how we can begin turning these ideas into actions.


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