10 Ways to Use Restaurant Text Marketing

Restaurant Text Marketing Photos

Take a photo of a new dish and send it to your SMS subscribers to really entice them.

One study found that 67% of mobile phone owners use text messaging.

That’s a big percentage of the US population.

If you’ve been reading about text marketing and have decided text marketing is right for your restaurant¬†you’ve come to the right post.

Try these 10 ideas to spice up your restaurant text marketing strategy.

1. Be Spontaneous!

Shaping up to be a sizzling summer’s day? Text your loyal customers to come in for a half-priced smoothie. Make it a this-afternoon-only deal.

Spontaneous marketing is fun and effective. It makes people want to be on your SMS list. It also gets people in your door during unexpected quiet times.

Another spontaneous idea: flash celebration deals (eg. two-for-one bar snacks) when your home team wins.

Text marketing is a great way for restaurants to fill the slow times with surprise offers. (tweet this)

2. Discount Codes

Texts are perfect for short discount codes. Use a text marketing service to send out a unique code to each subscriber. Get creative with the letters/numbers. Your customers will be glad they signed up for random treats!

3. Birthday Greetings

Let your loyal customers know you’re thinking of them. Invite them in for a free birthday dessert!

Always send these messages in the morning so the birthday girl/boy has a chance to make plans. It will also help to brighten their whole day.

Don’t know the dates? This is an opportunity to bond with your subscribers. Reach out anytime and ask them to respond with their day/month for yearly surprises.

4. Polls

“What should Dragon Grill’s next sandwich be? Chipotle Chicken or Steak Supreme? Text back with CC or SS to get a free taste of the winning sub!”

Get to know your customers’ needs. Involve them via text. You get valuable market research done and they feel more connected to your brand. Win-win!

Polls can also be integrated with your website and other platforms. Add results and encourage feedback through print and digital media.

5. Event Invites

Restaurant Text Marketing

Fill the quiet times with people by sending a surprise offer to text subscribers.

Texting is personal so it’s a great way to send out special invites. Make it like your own exclusive guest list. This is really effective for events like music performances, game nights and art shows.

Get event organizers, performers and others involved. Ask them to send out their own texts as well.

6. Email Sign-Ups

“Let’s stay in touch! Text us your email and receive 10% off your next meal at Saucy Sam’s!”

Email addresses are short and texting is easy. What better way to gather sign-up’s? Offer an incentive and make sure to filter out contacts who are already on your email list. You don’t want to bug people who’ve already signed up.

7. Market Your Website

More than half of Americans have smartphones now. That number will only grow. Hyperlinks don’t clutter smartphone texts like the old dinosaurs. They’re also easy to follow. Add a URL to your texts to get more web traffic.

Try going beyond your main page for some messages. Integrate your text and web campaigns by sending out a special link just for the texters. Create a web-text campaign with a secret ingredient or promotion. Leverage the recipient’s curiosity to have them click through (eg. www.yourwebsite.com/secretdeals).

Make sure your site is optimized for mobile devices!

8. Special Announcements

It could just be your new Instagram profile or maybe you won the local food truck contest.

Make space in your text marketing strategy for special announcements. Encourage subscribers to follow a new profile. Thank them for their support. Keep them in the know!

9. Competitions

“Say CHEESE! First 5 text-backs win an extra large fries! Compliments of Paul’s Poutine :)”

Get your subscribers in the competitive spirit! Send the winners a redeemable code. This is a really simple and easy way to get people excited about your restaurant. The response and exposure will be worth the giveaways.

10. Useful Tips

Not all your texts have to be directly related to your restaurant. Send useful tips to engage your customers in other ways. I know a local chef who loves to share new bits of info about local events, new cafes and cooking tips.

Restaurants that share more than just promotions find success with text marketing. (tweet this)

To avoid spamming, have this as a “Top Chef Tips” type thing that customers can opt into separately from other texts. That way they’ve volunteered to hear from you more often. Your “basic” subscribers won’t feel over-texted.

Flyers are classic, emails are invaluable, but there’s some things only a text can do. Take advantage with these 10 tips!

Have you used text marketing for your restaurant? What are your experiences? Share in the comments below.

Photos by DacQuaDC and megeb

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