Today, we have a treat for our readers: our friend Ken Rhie, the CEO of Trumpia, wrote an article for us about managing your restaurant by using texting services.
SMS marketing is an essential tool to stay competitive in the restaurant business. Text messages are open at a rate of 98%, a rate much higher than the 22% open rate of email messages sent to new or returning customers. When you want to engage your customers, sending text messages is the way to go. You want to engage your customers, drive business to your restaurant, and offer last minute deals that only those who subscribe to your text messaging campaign. Here are the top three ways you can increase business for your restaurant using SMS marketing.
Offer Coupons Only Delivered on Mobile Devices
When you set up a text messaging platform for restaurant communication, you can send out weekly coupons to your most valued customers. You’ll want to let your customers know that the coupon they are receiving is exclusive to those who have signed up for text messaging, and provide a coupon that offers very real value. You can create lists for your most active customers, sending out even better deals to those who come in to your restaurant and redeem the coupons you offer. Make your loyal customers feel special by sending out coupons that are a thank you for their continued business.
Create a Text to Win Contest
If you set up a texting campaign for your restaurant, you will need to both get your current customers engaged and continue to build your list of subscribers at the same time. You can’t send out marketing texts to the general public. You must get permission to send marketing materials out through text, and this is done by getting potential customers to subscribe to your campaign. One way to build your list is to offer a contest. You can offer a “Text to Win Dinner for Four” contest, and have contestants text a specific word to your short code you have established. You can then thank those that have entered your contest by text.
Easily Send Messages to Customers
Part of running a successful restaurant is keeping your reservation list full. You can utilize text messaging to send out reservation reminders to anyone who is coming in to your restaurant. You’ll start by asking for their mobile number when they make a reservation, and you can even offer a deal for signing up to receive text messages. Part of the message can offer the ability to text a word back, indicating that the reservation is no longer needed. In this way, you will know if a reservation is cancelling, and you will be able to fill the space if someone else calls.
SMS marketing is a powerful tool for restaurants that have decided to use this in their marketing. While you’ll have to come up with creative deals and contests to offer your customers, you’ll continue to grow your customer base when you offer deals that are of real value. You can try a variety of coupons or deals, finding out which ones are most useful to your customers. It’s easy to use SMS texting, and it’s time to implement this strategy to stay competitive.
Ken Rhie is the CEO of Trumpia, which earned a reputation as the most complete SMS solution including user-friendly user interface and API for mobile engagement, Smart Targeting, advanced automation, enterprise, and cross-channel features for both mass texting and landline texting use cases. Mr. Rhie holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. He has over 30 years of experience in the software, internet, and mobile communications industries.