From hiring and retaining employees to the rising cost of food prices and changing consumer behaviors, it’s no secret that restaurant owners face many business challenges. Add marketing your restaurant into the mix, and you have your hands full, like juggling ten plates at one time. Trust us—we get it! Easing the burden of restaurant marketing is why we started Check This Out.
Post COVID-19, we learned that the best way to market a restaurant wasn’t by sending a mailer, an email, or putting a sandwich board out on the sidewalk, hoping passersby would notice. It was using SMS marketing! SMS marketing—a form of marketing where businesses send nudges about weekly specials, events, or gift card giveaways to customers through text messages— is one of the most powerful customer engagement tools in the modern world. Its biggest advantage is that 98% of subscribers open text messages, while the average email open rate is only 21%.
While SMS marketing is one of the best marketing tools restaurateurs can use, you’ve got to stay on top of your engagement tactics to retain customers in every season. Because of our word-of-mouth software, we’ve learned an array of tips and tricks to boost SMS engagement, driving more foot traffic through your doors and skyrocketing revenue. In fact, by using Check This Out, we’ve seen restaurants like yours get a 17x ROI in gross sales for every $1 spent with a time-to-revenue of 2-4 hours.
If you’re looking for new ways to engage your audience through SMS marketing and raise revenue by increasing customer retention, we’ve got your back. Here are five proven tips to boost your SMS marketing engagement and get more people eating your delicious food.
5 Tips To Boost Your SMS Marketing Engagement
1.) Keep Messages Concise & Relevant
Shakespeare wrote, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” In a fast-paced digital world, brevity is key! When creating your SMS marketing messages, aim to write your messages clearly and concisely. Keep texts short and to the point. Don’t go over 160 characters, keeping in mind that around 150-155 characters is best. And if you include an emoji, that can shorten your message to only 70 characters allowed. Try grabbing your audience’s attention with a powerful opening line, and then focus on the most compelling aspects of your offer, like a new menu item or a unique dining experience. By keeping messages relevant and brief, you’ll significantly improve the likelihood that your audience stays engaged with your message.
2.) Include Eye-Catching Photos & Videos
Photos and videos grab attention and leave lasting impressions. Using eye-catching visuals in your campaign can significantly enhance SMS marketing engagement levels because they help viewers understand your text better and inspire their curiosity. Whether you use a video to give a sneak peek of your upcoming weekly specials or send a photo teaser about a special event, visuals can convey your message more effectively than just plain text alone. Keep in mind, though, to optimize your photo and video file sizes for quick loading. Doing so can prevent delays or frustration from your recipients, giving them a positive experience when interacting with your restaurant.
3.) Offer Irresistible Discounts & Coupons
Everyone loves a good deal! One of the most powerful strategies to drive engagement through SMS marketing is offering your customers irresistible discounts and coupons. By providing promotions they can’t refuse, you incentivize your customers to take immediate action. Including exclusive discounts, like those our one-of-a-kind word-of-mouth software offers, can make your customers feel privileged. Not only will this boost your sales, but it will also cultivate a loyal customer following. Just be sure to create a sense of urgency by setting clear expiration dates for your offers; this will motivate recipients to act quickly.
4.) Include a Call to Action
Once you have your audience’s attention with a beautiful photo of a delicious dish and a mouth-watering description, give them the opportunity to act on their excitement by clicking on a URL to make a reservation or place an online order. This gets them almost to the finish line of coming to your restaurant to dine and provides a digital footprint to track engagement and ROI on your campaign.
5.) Strategically Time Your Texts
Timing plays an essential role in the success of your SMS marketing engagement. When you send messages at the right time, you can significantly impact your open rates and engagement levels. It ensures that your messages are not only seen but also acted upon. Analyze your customer’s behavior and preferences to identify the best times for engagement. Take into consideration time zones, peak activity periods, and your customer’s behavior. Make sure your messages are delivered when they will most likely be read. Whether you’re sending a lunchtime weekly special or sharing a special event, strategically timing your texts can drive immediate customer engagement.
Are You Ready To Boost Your SMS Marketing Engagement?
Running a restaurant is tough, and today’s restaurant owners have more responsibilities than ever before. However, one thing you can do to make it easier on yourself is to use SMS marketing to grow your restaurant’s visits and retain loyal customers. By implementing these five proven tips, you can boost your SMS marketing engagement and ROI. And we can easily help you do that! If you want to elevate your SMS marketing and sit back and watch the seats fill up with happy customers, contact us and get a demo today!