As texting becomes increasingly more popular than email, especially for the younger demographics, marketers are using text messages as an effective way of promoting brands. Because of the types of messages they need to send, text marketing is a great way for restaurants to increase customer loyalty at an affordable price point.
What Is Text Marketing?
Text marketing is simply using text messages to communicate with your customers. Since most people have their phones close at hand most of the time, texting is a reliable way to get messages to customers.
Marketing texts for restaurants can include promotional information like event announcements or special offers and practical details like reservation confirmations.
What Are the Benefits of Text Marketing for Restaurants?
Text marketing is a great fit for many businesses, especially restaurants. A good local restaurant should feel like a friendly spot that’s part of the neighborhood and the community. Texting lets you connect with customers on the same channel they use to talk to friends, which makes messages feel direct and personal. Texts also allow for personalized communications, such as birthday greetings and deals, making customers feel valued. All of this increases customer loyalty.
People are much more likely to open a text message than an email, especially those from younger generations. Open rates for texts can be as high as 98% compared to email open rates, which are usually around 20%. Since most people get notifications for texts, they’ll usually see your message right away. This aspect is what makes text marketing a great way to inform your customers of same-day deals. If you’re running a half-price special on appetizers for happy hour today, sending a text will let your regular customers know about it.
Text marketing is also relatively inexpensive, especially for a channel with such high open rates. Texts usually cost a few cents each to send. Since the messages are short and straightforward, they’re simpler to create than other types of marketing campaigns. You won’t need to spend the time and money to design graphics or write in-depth copy.
How Do I Get Started?
In addition to the many other benefits that text marketing can provide for your restaurant, getting started is fairly easy. Use the following steps to set up a text marketing process that integrates seamlessly with your ongoing, regular operations.
Pick Your Number
Before you start sending texts, you’ll need to choose the phone number the messages will come from. There are a few approaches to this. First, you can opt for a five or six-digit short code. These numbers are easy to remember, which can make promoting your texts and asking customers to opt in much simpler. You can also choose a number with a local area code, which can help support your image as part of the neighborhood. If neither method is ideal for your business, a toll-free number can also work well.
Get Customers to Opt In
Because text messages feel so personal, getting customers to opt-in to receive them is essential. There are several ways to do this, depending on what other advertising and communication tools you have in place. Asking customers to text a keyword to your number, putting a sign-up form on your website, and creating QR codes are all great ways to get people to sign up for your restaurant’s texts.
Send the Right Messages
As with any marketing campaign, it’s important to understand who your customers are and what kind of messages they’re interested in seeing. Testing different versions of your messages and sending different types of texts to different customers will help you get a better idea of which marketing texts work best for your business. As a starting point, here are some reliably effective message formats you can try:
- Offer an introductory coupon when customers sign up for texts.
- Send updates about rewards the customer has earned through your loyalty program.
- Ask for a review after the customer has visited your restaurant.
- Let customers know about special events like themed dinners.
Regardless of the content, keep your text messages short and simple.
Adjust as You Go
Pay attention to the performance data collected during your text campaigns and use this information to adjust what you send and how to word texts going forward. As you work texting into your regular marketing process, you’ll get a better feel for how your customers like to use the channel.
How Can Text Marketing Work for Restaurants?
Text marketing is an excellent loyalty solution for restaurants. It’s an easy way to communicate with customers in real-time that feels friendly and personal. Text marketing is also a cost-effective way for restaurants with tight profit margins to advertise. In order to reach your customers in a timely manner, text marketing is the way to go.
Restaurants can benefit greatly from this method by focusing on crafting messages that are time-sensitive and delivered straight to their customers’ phones. Start leveraging the power of text marketing today to stay ahead of the competition.