Best SMS Marketing Strategies for Restaurants

Strategy #1: Capturing contacts & Growing Your List
What’s the best text marketing strategy for restaurants like yourself to grow their list?

The first thing you will want to do is let your customers know how to sign up for your text list. The best way for any business in the Food & Beverage industry to do this is by offering an incentive to join and directly asking your patrons to join.

Step: 1

Think of a great incentive that has value that you are willing to offer your customers. Most restaurants will offer a free appetizer or something of that sort for joining a list. Remember text is personal and people need some sort of hook to entice them to join your list.

Set your Auto-reply to include a deal that your customer can redeem as soon as they join.

Step: 2

Print marketing flyers via your SlickText account. You can do this by logging in to your SlickText account, then clicking on the purple button that says, “Help Grow My Lists”. On the next page click on the button that says, “Create Marketing Flyers”. Setup your flyer with the correct info and customize it with some colors.

As a best practice, in the body message type out what the patron will receive for joining your list. This would be considered the hook. The hook is what grabs them, and entices them to join if no one is around to ask them to directly join.

You may also want to edit these flyers on your own, by a third party or contact us and we will do the custom editing for you.

After you are done editing the flyer with the correct information click on the button to the right that says generate flyer. The flyer then can be opened immediately or downloaded to your desktop for editing and printing purposes.

Step: 3

Print the flyers to 4 per page and print a massive amount. Cut the flyers into their correct sizes and deposit a pile of flyers at the hostess counter. You will need to explain to all your staff and servers that it is now protocol to grab a flyer before going to a new table to bring with them menus and greet them.

The server will go to the new table, say hello, present the flyer letting them know they can get a free order of something for joining the text list today by texting a special word to 31996. In return they will receive an auto-reply immediately, which they can use then or at a later time depending if you used a expiration stamp in the auto-reply, like EXP 12/13.

Side note: As a best practice, only allow 1 person per party to redeem a mobile coupon per visit. For example if a table of 4 come in and everyone joins your text list they will all receive an auto-reply with a mobile coupon for a free appetizer.

FYI -SlickText is setup so you can only receive the auto-reply message 1 time for joining a text list, so you don’t have to worry about people unsubscribing and re-subscribing and receiving your auto-reply message more that once. If they do try, they will get back a message saying thanks for coming back.

For disclaimers or fine print, while setting up your flyer you can put a limit on the redeemable values. Here is an example.

Example Disclaimer: Limited to 1 mobile coupon per/party/visit. (on the flyer)

This is great because now that table of 4 can redeem 1 coupon and the other 3 people can come visit your restaurant 3 more separate times.

This is by far the most effective way to grow you list of contacts for any restaurant or establishment in the food & beverage industry. Remember creativity is up to you and these are only our suggestion.

Step: 4

            Post your flyers to join you text list everywhere. This includes treating all your current advertising outlets as a funnel for your text list.

Start by printing off extra flyers. Take these flyers and liberally post them throughout your establishment. Anywhere your customers eyes land is where you should put a flyer. Some of the craziest spots like bathroom stalls will be the most successful in capturing contacts. Here are some examples.

  1. In the bathrooms above where you wash your hands
  2. In the bathroom next to where you grab for paper towels
  3. This is a big one. On the bathroom stall walls above the toilet and urinals for guys and on the doors for when you sit.
  4. On the windows of your establishment.
  5. On the doors right where your eyes meet when you come in
  6. Any waiting or standing areas
  7. On counters
  8. If you have table tent flyers
  9. Inside your menus
  10. Behind your bar
  11. Upload this flyer to Facebook and repost many times in future

Strategy #2: Treat all your advertising outlets as a funnel   There’s really only one way to sum this up. If you use radio to advertise you should also include your text call-to-action in the announcement over the air.

Example: Today at Bobs Burgers you can join their VIP list for specials and deals. Text, “ your word here  ” to 31996 and get a FREE appetizer for doing so.

That is your call-to-action. It should be included in every form of advertisement you do. Here is a list of places to include it.

  1. Newspaper
  2. Television
  3. Radio
  4. Print ads
  5. Billboards
  6. Website (use the web widget as an easy entry form)
  7. On every post via Facebook
  8. On every tweet via tweeter

Suggestive strategies for building your list

-Create Marketing flyers through your account instantly by clicking on the purple button titled, “Create Marketing” or go to your, “my textwords” tab and click, “create marketing” on the right of your textword, then print.  ß Easy one

-Include sign-up flyers in every bag of merchandise that leaves the store and every receipt.

-Post sign-up flyers in conspicuous places where your customers can see and sign up instantly (front counter, sign-up to receive discount) ß Easy one

– Use Facebook and Twitter to gain customers by posting your flyer to your wall or message board. This will allow all your friends and followers to instantly join and receive deals. ß Easy one

– Send a text to all your current customers on your text lists to forward this message to your friends. “Text, ‘demo’ to 31996 and get a FREE appetizer for joining” ß Easy one

-Add pre-existing contacts (with their consent) through your, “Contacts” tab via account.

– Treat all previous and current advertising outlets as a funnel for your text campaign. Meaning, If you have a radio ad. tell your listeners how to sign up for your deals over the air.

Strategy #3: Print ads are a key funnel point for your campaign. In our previous post about treating all your advertsing outlets as a funnel for your text marketing campaigns we threw out a handful of good old advertising techniques. In this post we will dive into one of those techniques and focus solely on the one form.

Today’s post is focused on the power of print adds and growing your list using a traditional form of advertising. Lets take a look.

Print Ads/News Papers

News paper and print ads are still effective forms of advertising for many businesses and organizations. The key here is to continue doing what you have always done but convert those news paper dwelling readers and customers into permission based text followers.

So how do we do that?

Simple! We offer them a deal they can refuse. Remember the incentive is the hottest part of hooking a new customers on your text marketing list. In your news paper print ad you will want to clearly state what the customer will receive for joining the list.

Example: Text, Bobs Burgers to 31996 to get a FREE appetizer.

That’s it! Clearly state how to join your list by texting in and clearly state what your customers will receive for doing so.

Side Note: You can also place a scan ready QR Code in your print ads so people can scan and join your list. This is done free for most text marketing services. As always we have our recommendations. At the top of our list remains the customer focused company They offer a free QR Code generator with all their plans including the free account which can be found by clicking here.

No matter where you are advertising with your print ads, weather it is in the newspaper, in a magazine or The Penny Saver, make sure you include your text-call-to-action. Bottom line, take your normal print add and insert that example from above into a suitable spot on your ad.

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