In the restaurant business, you are always looking for new ways to reach your customers. You use direct mail, email, radio, TV, but the effectiveness seems to be falling off a cliff. People are getting bombarded with so many messages that it is getting harder to get your message across, except for now.
Text messaging is the new marketing craze, and it has the facts to back it up. Compared to email, text messages are opened 98% vs. 19.8%, according to the latest quarterly report from the marketing firm Epsilon. In addition, look at the usage of the cell phone. According to the International Association for the wireless telecommunication industry 84.5% of the U.S. population has a cell phone compared to 66% in 2005. They yearly SMS (short message service) messages sent in 2005 were 7.2 Billion compared to 75 Billion in 2008. The statistics are unbelievable, and this is why every restaurant should start collecting cell phone numbers and permission to market to these customers.
Since we started using text messages, sales have increased 10% for the periods we promote. The key, though, is getting people to opt in to receive text messages from you. Here is how text messaging works. Each text messaging company has a 4 or 5 digit number that you use to market a word. The word becomes your group, so if you tell someone to text message the word “lunch” to 45231, then that word is your lunch customer group. You can group as many groups you want, but each word will cost money. Once someone text messages the word to your number, than that gives you the right to communicate with them by SMS text. They will automatically get a message from you that states they have opted to receive messages from (name of company) and standard text message costs apply. Before unlimited text messaging, this used to be a problem using text message for marketing purposes. Most people do not want to get charged, but now the majority of people have unlimited text messaging. how to find hidden text messages on phone
The best way to get your customers to opt in to your text message club is to give them an incentive immediately. Offer your customers a 10% discount or a free dessert, if they simply type in the text message word “lunch” to your number. Many people will do it. Then once a month or every couple of weeks, send them a text message promoting an event or lunch special.
This new technology may sound hard or confusing, but when you do it once, you will fall in love with it. It is so powerful to send a message out and immediately see the results at very little cost.
Costs will vary from company to company, but you can pay as little as $49 to get started. Many companies will charge per message sent out and that is usually around 9 cents, but some offer unlimited plans. The cost and the effectiveness compared to any other media give you the highest return on your investment.