Our world has gone digital – including everything from how we work to how we spend our free time. Business owners are well aware of this trend, as almost all have a strategic social media marketing plan in place. Marketing via social media is no longer “recommended,” it’s required.
With that come more innovative ideas for increasing sales, gaining new customers and growing your business.
The Electronic Push
Think about email versus print mail. Almost all companies now choose to go the email route, as they can reach thousands of people at the click of a button. But did you know that the open rate of emails is less than 15 percent?
No matter how great your offers are, only a few people are going to even going to get the chance to see what they are. While email marketing campaigns are still valuable, there are other, more clever, ways to get people into your place of business.
Welcoming in SMS Marketing
Welcome SMS marketing, or short message service. More simply, it’s a form of advertisement involving texting your customers. This is especially useful for those in the restaurant business. Get your customers to “opt in,” or sign up, then proceed to offer deals as little or as often as you’d like to get them back in your place of business.
The success rate of those who open text messages is almost 100 percent. Whether or not they choose to use the deal is up to them, but at least you can feel confident that you did your job in letting your customers know about upcoming sales and discounts.
Texas Roadhouse is one restaurant choosing to utilize SMS marketing. To get people to sign up, they offered a free appetizer to new members. About 17 percent of customers redeemed their free appetizer.
In order to get customers to opt in, offer a deal they can’t refuse. Whether it’s a free appetizer, a meal on you or half-off their entire order, give them something they can’t refuse. Now, it’s up to you to keep them on your list.
Increase Restaurant Sales via Texting
The article “Mass consumer texts driving up sales at restaurants” states that restaurants want to get more business in during slower hours. Makes sense, since no restaurant owner wants to see their place empty at any time of day.
For example, if your restaurant is near office buildings, you can offer incentives to entire teams or staffs that choose to opt in. Then, during your slower hours, send out a message offering them a discount within the next hour.
To keep customers opted in; you want to formulate a strategy that makes it so the customer isn’t bothered by your texts. In other words, don’t text your customers too much.
Every day, for example, is probably a little excessive and may lead to you losing customers. Restaurants can comfortably send a mass text a few times per month. Other industries – such as real estate agents or car salesman – should text even less.
Finally, keep your text messages short and to the point. Let the customer be able to “skim” your text and get the message. If your text is lengthy, the point will most likely be skipped due to the customer deleting the message.
SMS marketing is proven to give your restaurant business the boost it needs to increase customers. Give it a try for a few months and measure the results.
You may be very surprised!
About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC. She writes on a variety of topics including small businesses, social media and personal finance.