When someone turn on their computer in the morning and log on to the internet, one of the first websites they check is their email. Oftentimes, the inbox is overflowing with a variety of tasks, personal messages and newsletters. Most likely, they will not open all of those emails.
The person then moves onto other tasks, occasionally checking their email and social media, still not opening every notification. However, around 10:30, they start thinking about what they will eat for lunch. Their phone vibrates and they reach to check the notification. They open a text message to see that their favorite fast casual restaurant is offering a free sandwich with the purchase of a drink and side starting at 11:30. At 11:15, the hungry customer gets up from their desk, walks out the door and heads to a delicious meal.
Therein lies an incredible opportunity for small businesses and restaurants. Text messaging marketing or SMS marketing takes advantage of our ever-growing smartphone use. Customers have the option to opt-in to special offers from your restaurant through a unique short code. You can then create a list of specials, offers or promotions to send out on a monthly or weekly basis that can help encourage returning customers and maybe even help you connect with some new ones. For those owners wary of pestering their customers too much with messages of offers and promotions, remember that they can easily opt out at any point.
Below are five reasons you should consider implementing text message marketing into your restaurant’s strategy:
Immediacy: Whether you want to schedule out your text messages or send out a last-minute dinner special, you can get in touch with your customers with the push of a button. Since email is often 10x or more the frequency of text messages for most people, you can cut through the noise pretty easily.
Cost-effectiveness: Much of the conversation around social media has been the increase of advertisement on the various platforms. However, as more emphasis is placed on boosted posts and paid reach, the higher businesses will have to pay to get a decent ROI. Text message marketing lets you create a list organically through a simple short code that you can display on your website, pin to the top of your social media profiles or send out to your email list. Once you build your list, you will feel more confident knowing that your marketing reaches that exact amount of people every single time instead of praying for an organic reach miracle.
Mobile-ready content: As we all know by now, having a mobile-friendly or mobile-ready website is more or less a requirement for any business to succeed in search inquiries. SMS compatibility is a feature for nearly every mobile phone and if you use links in your text message offers, a mobile-friendly website will encourage people to continue browsing your content even after they claim they offer. Who knows how many purchases your website can influence them to make?
Customer interaction and engagement: More important than brand accessibility and content is brand engagement. More than ever, people want to interact with the companies they support and know that the brand will personally respond to their questions and needs. With text message marketing, you can allow your customers to provide feedback on the offers you send them to see if there are any ways for improvement on the next batch of specials. You can also make your text messages conversational and casual to remind people they have the support of the brand on the other end of the screen.
Open Rate: As mentioned earlier, open rates for text messaging and SMS messaging is phenomenal, far outpacing that of email blasts and business social media posts. The open rate within two minutes of receiving a message is a strong 98% and the open rate over a 24-hour period is nearly 100%.
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