How to Start a Restaurant Text Message Marketing Campaign

Smartphone devices are becoming more popular each month, which is why our post about email marketing is so important. However, Nielsen reported on March 29th that about 50 percent of mobile devices in the United States are Smartphones. The other 50 percent are basic or feature phones that are mainly used for calling, texting and brief web surfing.

Louie 300x83 How to Start a Restaurant Text Message Marketing Campaign

Using QR Codes to have your customers opt-in to direct email alerts is a great way to market toward Smartphone users, but the best way to reach that other half of your audience is through short codes for text message marketing alerts. 

What They Are

haiti 300x190 How to Start a Restaurant Text Message Marketing Campaign

Text Haiti to 90999

Short codes are just that, a short code comprised of numbers and words to donate or subscribe to a specific service and are used by many different companies and causes. When Haiti was struck by the giant earthquake in 2010, you could easily donate $10 to the relief project by texting the word “HAITI” to the number 90999.

This is the same for alerts. Universities implemented a text alert system after the horrific shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois. Ohlone College students, faculty, staff and even parents can text the word “OHLONE” to 253788 and will receive notifications via text message about anything ranging from a loose gunman to cancellations or delays because of snow. 

You can use this same technology to send text message alerts with specials or coupons to your customers who want that information, but don’t have a Smartphone or would rather get text alerts instead of emails.

How They Work

When a customer initially opts-in to your text services by texting to a short code, her number is added to your customer list automatically. When you send out a text alert, everyone who signed up will receive a text message no more than ten minutes after the message was sent. People have their mobile devices within reach 14 hours of every day and 90 percent of text messages are read within three minutes of delivery. Pretty cool, right?

PapaJohns How to Start a Restaurant Text Message Marketing Campaign

Papa Johns Text Coupon

How To Send Text Alerts

The easiest way for you to start sending your own text alerts to your customers is to go through a marketing service that creates the short code and manages the list for you. Communicate when you want to send your message, and what you want it to say.

The best alerts are short with a strong call to action like a special discount or coupon. It’s best to send no less than one alert a month, and absolutely no more than four a month. 

Build Your List

Once you have your short code, start publishing it. Create hot cards to put in the bill jackets at your restaurant, have inserts in your menus, signs by your drive-thru, printed on your coupons and handouts and tell your social media followers to sign up. The bigger the list, the more alerts and the more business you’ll receive as a result.

Learn more about restaurant mobile marketing by visiting our website, following us on Twitter and liking our Facebook page.

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    About the Author ()

    Sara is a Kent State University alumna with a degree in public relations.

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