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SMS Marketing Tips for Restaurants: Reach More Customers with Mobile Messages

Imagine if you could instantly notify hundreds or even thousands of potential diners about your today's chef special, a newly revamped menu or an exclusive discount code - all straight to their pockets within seconds.

Such power is no longer in the realm of imagination but right at your fingertips with SMS marketing.

As digital technology continues to evolve at an extraordinary pace, the traditional dining industry needs to keep up and redefine how they communicate with customers.

Delve in as we explore some proven SMS Marketing tips that can help restaurants like yours serve more than just meals – deliver meaningful interactions, foster loyalty,

and ultimately expand your customer base using the ubiquitous mobile device. This doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as texting a friend!

Some effective SMS marketing strategies for restaurants include sending out discount codes, encouraging online reviews, sending personalized birthday messages, promoting special events and new menu items.

It's important to keep messages short, personalize them, and provide an opt-out option to the users.

Additionally, creating a clear call-to-action (CTA) can help increase engagement and segmenting campaigns by customer preferences can help target messaging more effectively.

Utilizing SMS Marketing for Restaurant Growth

As a restaurant owner, it can be difficult to make your establishment stand out among the competition. However, utilizing SMS marketing can take your business to the next level and help you reach more customers.

By sending targeted messages directly to your customers' phones, you can increase engagement, boost loyalty, and ultimately grow your business.

Imagine you want to promote a new menu item or special discount at your restaurant.

Instead of just hoping that customers will come across an ad in the local paper or on social media, you can take a more direct approach with SMS marketing.

By crafting a personalized message and sending it directly to your customer's phone, you not only increase the likelihood of them seeing it - but also of them actually taking action.

SMS marketing has proven to be incredibly effective in terms of both open rates and response rates. In fact, according to recent studies, SMS messages have an open rate of 82%.

That means that almost nine out of ten people who receive an SMS message will read it. Compare that to traditional email marketing, which typically only has an open rate of around 20%, and the power of SMS becomes clear.

Of course, some people might argue that sending text messages can be intrusive or annoying to customers.

However, as long as you're following best practices such as only sending messages when you have something important to say and giving users the option to opt-out,

most customers are actually quite receptive to receiving texts from businesses they already patronize and care about.

Think about it this way: when someone signs up for your restaurant's mailing list or loyalty program, they're essentially saying they trust you enough to give you their contact information.

By sending them promotional messages via SMS (as opposed to email or snail mail), you're simply using the most effective method available to you in order to provide them with valuable information they're already interested in.

Now that we've established the importance of utilizing SMS marketing, let's take a closer look at why it's such a powerful tool by examining its high open-rate and customer preference in more detail.

  • A study suggested that 90% of SMS marketing messages are opened within the first three minutes, indicating its effectiveness as an immediate call to action.
  • An accumulated data suggests that about 75% of customers are more inclined to respond to promotional offers from businesses if they receive it via text message.
  • Research has found that about 30% of recipients end up making a purchase after receiving promotional text messages, fortifying the efficiency of SMS marketing in the restaurant industry.

High Open-Rate and Customer Preference

One of the biggest advantages of SMS marketing is the fact that people simply love getting text messages.

As we mentioned earlier, 75% of consumers are significantly more likely to engage with a brand’s promotional offer through SMS than through other channels. But why exactly is that?

For one thing, unlike emails or social media posts, text messages are typically read almost immediately after they're received. In fact, 90% of text message marketing texts are read within the first three minutes of being sent.

That means that if you have a time-sensitive promotion or announcement, SMS is by far the best way to get the word out quickly.

Additionally, most people these days simply prefer texting as a mode of communication over other options like phone calls or even email.

A survey found that 75% of customers want to receive texts from businesses - and not just for promotional purposes either.

People appreciate being able to use text messaging to get answers to questions, make reservations, or even place orders without having to deal with phone calls or online forms.

Of course, some people might argue that SMS marketing is becoming outdated or irrelevant in an age where social media dominates our daily lives.

However, when it comes down to it, SMS still remains one of the most reliable and effective ways for businesses to

reach their customers - especially with younger demographics who may be less active on platforms like Facebook or Twitter.

Think about it this way: imagine you're a restaurant owner trying to promote a new menu item. You could post about it on social media and hope that someone sees it.

Or, you could send out a text message to your entire customer base, knowing that almost all of them will receive and read it. Which option do you think would be more effective?

With the high open-rate and customer preference of SMS marketing established, let's move on to the next section and explore how to craft effective SMS messages that will get results.

Cheaper and Broader Reach Than Traditional Marketing

When it comes to restaurant marketing, traditional methods such as flyers, billboards, and newspaper ads can be costly.

Not only do they require significant upfront expenses to design and print materials, but their reach is often limited to a small geographical area.

This is where SMS marketing comes in as an incredibly cost-effective solution that can reach a wider audience.

SMS marketing allows restaurants to promote their offerings without the significant upfront costs of other traditional marketing methods.

Most people these days own a mobile device capable of receiving text messages, which makes SMS marketing a more direct and accessible method of communication for reaching your audience.

Moreover, SMS marketing is cheaper than most other types of marketing with similar outreach capabilities.

Let's say that you are planning a special event for your restaurant- perhaps something like stuffing competition or pairing wine and cheese.

You could use traditional advertising methods like distributing flyers or running an advertisement on radio or tv. Whereas, instead, you could decide to use SMS marketing.

With targeted messaging to subscribed customers interested in food competitions or wine tastings at restaurants in the area,

it's possible to circumvent the high cost associated with traditional advertising methods while still reaching potential guests in real-time.

Another advantage that SMS Marketing offers over its traditional counterparts is constant access to your audience.

Unlike a commercial ad that has a set endpoint or a billboard that someone may only pass by once every day, SMS messages offer high-quality engagement at any time when using best practices correctly.

According to market statistics, 90% of text message marketing texts are read within the first 3 minutes of being sent. It means businesses can deliver time-sensitive information straight into the hands of consumers with high efficacy.

What's more? Customers who receive SMS messages from businesses are almost eight times more likely (82%) to engage with them than traditional promotional media (email, print ads, and so on).

Evidence like this emphasizes the importance of working in a direction to offer the fruits of rapid response time while keeping costs lower and potential reach higher.

Now that we've established SMS marketing is an affordable and effective communication method let's discuss crafting effective SMS messages.

Crafting Effective SMS Messages for Your Restaurant

The goal of any marketing campaign is to lead customers to take action. In the case of SMS marketing, the objective is clear: prompt customers to visit your restaurant or book a table.

To achieve this goal effectively, it's vital to craft compelling and personalized messages using proven techniques.

Think of well-written text messages as bite-sized portions of information served at just the right moment when customers are most likely to be enticed by delectable cuisine.

An expertly prepared message maximizes the chance of a response from a prospective customer.

When it comes to delivering content via SMS, timing matters. So start by identifying optimal times aligned with specific goals you're trying to achieve or events you're promoting (or both).

Timing can play a crucial role in whether patrons open and click through your messages or ignore them altogether.

Sending dinner plans around 3 pm or Sunday brunch deals during Saturday brunch hours increase the odds of success in both numbers (responses) and quality (enticing potential clients).

One key rule is always getting permission from customers before sending out messages- unsolicited SMS texts are not only irritating but also unethical.

Customers must opt-in before receiving promotional texts which should make it alright for your restaurant and more agreeable for the client base.

While brevity is essential when crafting an SMS message, it's also important to personalize the content by addressing recipients by name where possible using data gathered from previous orders.

Knowing customer preferences enables customization down to niche offerings depending on specific dishes they previously ordered.

However, this isn't always the case as there's a risk of appearing too eager to know about your customer mentally. The trick is maintaining a balance between personalized attention and imposing prompts.

Think of it like a cooking recipe - if your main ingredient is steak, you wouldn't add fish sauce.

So it is with SMS content that should always be filtered by what your customers would appreciate and respond to without making them feel uncomfortable.

Text messages are also perfect for call-to-action (CTA) marketing strategies such as discounts, loyalty rewards, and push notifications for special events or fresh menus.

Short phrases like "Don't Miss Our Weekend Exclusive: A $50 Tasting Menu Offer" or "Join Us Saturday for Our New Dish Launch Party!" can encourage patrons to act promptly and visit your restaurant.

Instead of relying on generic messages like, "Come to our restaurant," create CTAs that entice people to take specific actions such as purchase a particular menu item or book a table at their preferred time slot.

Add in a sense of urgency by using language such as "limited-time offer" or "book now before it’s too late.”

We'll cover more on crafting the perfect text message in our next section, where we'll explore effective messaging techniques—further steps towards an enthralling SMS strategy.

  • The key to successful SMS marketing for restaurants is crafting compelling and personalized messages using proven techniques that prompt customers to visit or book a table.

    Timing matters when sending out messages, and it's crucial to always get permission from customers before sending promotional texts.

    Personalizing the content by addressing recipients by name and using data gathered from previous orders can increase engagement, but it's important to balance personalized attention with imposing prompts.

    Call-to-action strategies such as discounts, loyalty rewards, and push notifications for special events or fresh menus work effectively.

    Creating CTAs that entice people to take specific actions and adding a sense of urgency are excellent ways of boosting SMS marketing success.

Text Timing and Personalization Techniques

When it comes to SMS marketing, timing is everything. You want to send out messages at a time when your audience is most likely to engage with them.

Typically, this means avoiding early mornings and late evenings, as well as times when people are busy at work or during rush hour.

Instead, consider sending messages during lunchtime or in the early afternoon when people are more likely to check their phones.

Personalization is another key factor in SMS marketing success. People are more likely to engage with messages that feel personalized and relevant to their interests.

This can include using their name in the message, referencing past purchases, or tailoring the offer specifically to their preferences.

For example, imagine a customer who frequently orders vegetarian dishes from your restaurant.

In this case, you might send them a personalized message promoting your new vegetarian menu items or offering them an exclusive discount on their next vegetarian order.

This level of personalization shows that you understand your customers' needs and value their business.

Another technique for personalization is segmenting your audience based on demographics or behavior.

For instance, you can separate customers who have never ordered from your restaurant before from those who are frequent visitors. Then, you can create targeted messages and offers that appeal specifically to each group.

According to research by eMarketer, personalized messages have an average open rate of 18.8%, compared to just 13.1% for non-personalized messages.

That's a significant difference in engagement levels that can make all the difference for your SMS campaign.

It's also important to be strategic about the frequency of your messages. While it's tempting to send out promotions every day or every week, overdoing it can quickly lead to user fatigue and opt-outs.

Instead, focus on sending out messages only when you have something genuinely valuable or useful to share with your customers.

With these personalization and timing tips in mind, the next step is to consider how to make your messages stand out even further. That's where emojis, graphics, and call-to-action best practices come into play.

Emojis, Graphics, and Call-to-Action Best Practices

When it comes to SMS marketing, visual elements like emojis and graphics can have a significant impact on engagement levels.

Adding a colorful emoji or eye-catching graphic to your message can help it stand out in a sea of other texts and increase the chances that users will take action.

For example, imagine you're promoting a new seasonal drink at your restaurant. Instead of sending out a simple text message with the details, you could include a graphic with an image of the drink and a colorful background.

This kind of message is more likely to catch users' attention and entice them to visit your restaurant to try the drink.

Another crucial element of SMS marketing success is creating a clear call-to-action (CTA) in your messages.

Whether it's asking customers to reply "YES" or "NO" to confirm their reservation or click through to a landing page for more information about an offer, having a specific action for customers to take can significantly boost engagement rates.

According to data from Mobile Marketing Watch, SMS messages with a clear call-to-action prompt have an average response rate of 19%, compared to just 4.2% for messages without one.

That's a massive difference in engagement that can make all the difference for your SMS campaign.

When crafting your CTA, be sure to keep it short and straightforward. Avoid using vague or confusing language that might leave users unsure about what they need to do next.

Instead, use clear words like "Click Here," "Visit Us Today," or "Reply YES" so that users know exactly what their next steps should be.

Of course, there is such a thing as too many visuals or too many CTAs in a single message. Bombarding users with too much information or too many prompts can overwhelm them and lead to lower engagement rates.

Strike a balance between providing valuable content and keeping the message clean and straightforward.

Think of your SMS messages like a billboard advertisement: you only have a few seconds to capture someone's attention and convince them to take action.

By incorporating visual elements like graphics and emojis, as well as clear CTAs, you can make your messages stand out from the crowd and drive more customers to your restaurant.

When it comes to SMS marketing, the right tactics can make all the difference in driving customer engagement and retention.

By considering factors like timing, personalization, emojis, graphics, and CTAs, you can create effective SMS campaigns that resonate with your audience and help your restaurant grow.

Loyalty Building Through SMS Campaigns

Perhaps one of the most significant advantages of utilizing SMS marketing for restaurants is its ability to build customer loyalty.

By offering exclusive deals, promotions, and discounts through text messages, you can incentivize customers to keep coming back to your restaurant.

For example, imagine a small Italian restaurant that sends out personalized birthday messages with a coupon for a free dessert.

The customer feels valued and appreciated, leading them to return for dinner with friends or family. They may even share their experience on social media or leave a positive review, further increasing your brand's visibility.

Studies have shown that businesses that offer loyalty programs experience increased revenue, with repeat customers spending an average of 67% more.

When it comes to SMS marketing specifically, research has found that 64% of consumers feel more loyal to brands that send them personalized offers and updates via text.

However, it's important to consider the potential downsides of overusing SMS marketing campaigns for loyalty building purposes.

If your messaging becomes too frequent or not relevant enough, customers may become annoyed and opt-out of receiving your texts altogether.

The key is finding the right balance between keeping customers engaged and avoiding spamming them with irrelevant promotions.

So, how can you effectively build loyalty through SMS campaigns without overwhelming your customers?

One tactic could be to reward customers who visit your restaurant frequently with consistently appealing deals. This helps create a sense of exclusivity and makes the customer feel appreciated for their continued business.

Consider this analogy: Imagine you are a regular at a coffee shop down the street from where you work. Every time you purchase a coffee, the barista adds points to your digital rewards card.

After accumulating enough points, you receive a free drink or pastry on your next visit. This system incentivizes you to keep coming back, even when there are other coffee shops nearby.

This loyalty-building tactic has been effective for many businesses. In fact, research shows that 82% of U.S

adults are more likely to shop at stores with loyalty programs, and 69% will choose a brand that offers rewards over a competitor that doesn't.

Segmenting Your Audience for Tailored Promotions

In addition to building loyalty, another advantage of SMS marketing is the ability to segment your audience based on their preferences, location, and past purchases.

By doing so, you can tailor your promotions to different groups of customers and increase the likelihood of conversion.

For example, let's say you own a Mexican restaurant with multiple locations in different cities. You could send out SMS promotions specifically targeted towards customers who live near one of your locations.

Additionally, if a customer has previously ordered vegan or gluten-free options from your menu, you could send them tailored promotions for those items.

Research has shown that targeted marketing campaigns generate higher customer engagement rates and produce a greater return on investment (ROI).

In fact, businesses that utilize segmented campaigns see an average open rate of 14.32%, compared to just 10.94% for non-segmented campaigns.

However, it's important to consider customer privacy when segmenting your audience for SMS campaigns. Make sure you are transparent about what data you are collecting and how you plan to use it.

Give customers an easy way to opt-out of receiving messages or adjust their preferences if they so choose.

So how exactly can you effectively segment your audience for SMS promotions?

One tactic could be to ask customers to provide information about their preferences and interests when they first sign up to receive text messages from your restaurant.

This could include dietary restrictions, preferred dining occasions (such as date nights or family dinners), and favorite menu items. You could then use this information to target certain groups of customers with tailored promotions.

Think of it like personalized movie recommendations on a streaming service. If you frequently watch romantic comedies, the algorithm will recommend similar movies to you in the future.

Similarly, if a customer frequently orders vegetarian options from your restaurant, you can send them SMS promotions for other plant-based dishes on your menu.

By segmenting your audience for SMS campaigns, you can increase customer engagement and loyalty.

In fact, research has found that businesses implementing targeted campaigns see an average of 18 times more revenue than non-targeted campaigns.

Of course, there is always the risk of customers feeling like their privacy is being invaded or that they are receiving too many messages. The key is to find the right balance between personalization and respect for customers' boundaries.

In conclusion...

Remember to keep loyalty and segmentation at the forefront of your SMS marketing strategy. By building loyalty through exclusive deals and targeted messaging, you can increase customer satisfaction and repeat business.

And by segmenting your audience based on their preferences and past behavior, you can tailor your promotions to specific groups of customers, leading to higher conversion rates and ROI.

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