What if you could get 98% of your restaurant’s customers to open a text message you sent about a special event you are hosting, like a wine dinner? Would you do it? Marketing your restaurant is essential to the success of your business. However, if you are a small business or manage multiple restaurants, you might not know how to track your marketing efforts or understand where your monthly budget is going. Let’s face it—running a restaurant is tough enough without adding marketing onto your to-do list!
At Check This Out, we are business and restaurant owners ourselves, and we understand the pressures that come with managing and marketing a restaurant. That’s why we’re sharing the most effective restaurant marketing tips we’ve learned through our years of experience helping restaurants succeed and fill seats. When it comes to managing a business, restaurateurs have a lot on their plate—figuratively and literally! So, here are 5 restaurant marketing tips you can take advantage of today to make it easier on you and increase your ROI.
5 Restaurant Marketing Tips To Get The Highest ROI
1.) Get 98% Open Rates with SMS Marketing
SMS campaigns are an excellent, modern marketing tactic that achieve real, trackable results for your restaurant. SMS stands for Short Message Service, and SMS marketing happens when a business sends marketing promotions to their customers through text messages. Since text message open rates are typically around 98%, SMS marketing can be an impactful method for reaching your customer base, seeing how many respond to your efforts, and increasing your ROI. Better yet, add a photo or gif to your message, making it an MMS (Multimedia Message Service) for an even higher conversion rate.
To get started with SMS marketing, customers sign up or opt-in to be part of a subscription list. Because a business is reaching out to customers via text messaging, there are Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations that need to be followed. But once a patron of your restaurant opts in, it is a great opportunity to provide them with exclusive offers, promotions, and special event news.
The biggest advantage of SMS marketing is that 98% of subscribers open your messages compared to the average email open rate, which is only 21.33%. Not only do they open your message, but they also have a high response rate because text messaging is a preferred form of communication for many people. Lastly, compared to other marketing tactics, SMS marketing can be inexpensive for restaurants with limited resources.
2.) Integrate Effective Digital Advertising Tactics
There are many types of digital marketing, including social media marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, SMS marketing, pay per click and paid social advertising, and more. Each of these channels can be used to attract potential customers at each stage of their buying journey.
For example, when a patron searches for best seafood restaurants because of SEO, they might then read a blog on your website about your restaurant’s seafood specialties and follow it up by booking a reservation. They might also see a post from your restaurant when browsing instagram and visit your profile to learn more, then book a reservation through a Facebook retargeting ad they received because they visited your page. These forms of marketing are measurable and trackable, so you can precisely pinpoint your investment compared with the rate of your return.
3.) Use Analytics To Set Goals & Track Conversions
Analytics platforms, like Google Analytics or Check This Out’s analytics dashboard, help businesses identify customer behavior by sharing how customers find and interact with your website. These platforms provide valuable data about customer behavior so you can set goals, track conversions, and measure behavior on your website to improve customer experiences.
Check This Out’s analytics dashboard tracks audience traffic and gathers information about customer behavior to provide you with in-depth insights that let you specifically see click-through rates, conversion rates, discount redemptions, top referrers, and more.
Information like this helps you make more informed decisions about your business. When you make better choices based on data, you can increase your customer leads and improve your revenue. For example, with Check This Out’s analytics dashboard, you can track your top promoters and reward them with a referral discount to keep them coming back for more. Platforms like Google Analytics let you see which marketing channels are driving reservations so you can focus your marketing dollars where they will make the biggest impact.
4.) Create Custom UTM Parameters
UTM parameters are links with tags that are included at the end of a URL. They are often used with pay per click (PPC) campaigns, social media links, or other externally-referring channels. UTM parameters work by showing you how your customers behave once they click on your tagged link to visit your website. They also let you know how your marketing efforts are performing. Each tag named—source, medium, campaign, term, and content—shares specific information so you can identify where your website traffic is coming from and which channels yield the most calls or reservations.
For example, Google Analytics combined with links tagged with UTM parameters can show you which of your social media campaigns are reaching your customers successfully and creating leads, so you know what kinds of messaging will be most effective in the future.
The advantage of UTM parameters combined with an analytics platform is that you can identify which of your tracked marketing channels are most effective. They can specifically pinpoint campaign ROI, track conversions, and provide information for campaign A/B tests. Knowing this valuable information can help you improve your marketing efforts.
5.) Contact Check This Out
We are business and restaurant owners who, like you, realize it takes more than advertising our weekly specials on a sandwich board in front of our restaurant to fill seats. We created a referral tracking software program to help restaurants and others in the service and retail industry grow their business through word of mouth referrals.
As we know, word of mouth referrals can make or break a restaurant, so our platform helps stimulate positive buzz for your business. Customers are more likely to buy from a business if a friend refers them. Our word of mouth software uses the power of referral marketing to engage with customers via SMS campaigns. Customers are incentivized with discounts when they refer a friend to your restaurant. It drives new traffic to your restaurant and keeps loyal customers returning.
The advantage is that restaurants who work with us generate a massive 21x ROI in gross sales for every $1 spent. Our easy-to-set-up campaigns have a 98% open rate. And we typically produce over $40,000 in gross sales in 4 weeks for our clients.
Are You Ready To Grow Your ROI?
If you are a restaurant owner, it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to take care of everything you are responsible for and track your marketing and see where your resources are going. But if you take steps to try a few of the restaurant marketing tips we shared, you’re sure to see your ROI soar. And if you want a customized solution so you can watch the customers roll in, contact us and get a demo today!