15 Effective SMS Marketing Strategies for Restaurants

A restaurant business like any other business can have its own difficulties. There may be busy days, as well as, days where you hardly see someone walking in. SMS marketing works wonders attracting customers.

Why is SMS Marketing a great marketing tool?

15 Effective SMS/Text Marketing Strategies for Restaurants
                 Benefits of SMS Marketing

Among all marketing strategies, SMS/Text marketing is the most preferred communication channel.

  • SMS marketing is budget-friendly, with a delivery rate of 97% within four minutes.*
  • SMS campaigns are much more successful than Email campaigns; SMS’s get an average response rate of 30% whereas Email’s get a mere 4%.*
  • SMS marketing coaxes customers into quick action; 19% of consumers will click on SMS campaign link whereas only 4% for Email.*

    Key requirements

Effective SMS Marketing Strategy
Key Requirements of an Effective SMS Marketing Strategy
  • Marketing messages can be sent in bulk via a shared short code and by associating a unique keyword with the campaign.
  • It is important to know the data protection and privacy policy – consumers have the right to opt-out of receiving marketing messages.
  • A consumer should have provided consent to receive a marketing message via SMS. This consent has to be in writing (for example, an email) or other formal methods; which means before sending marketing messages you need to ensure that consumers are informed about what they will receive through an opt-in program.
  • The opt-in program must disclose the frequency with which you will be sending text messages.
  • It is mandatory for businesses to maintain a record of the consent of consumers. These records should include the time, date, and location of agreement and the method by which a consumer agreed to receive your marketing messages.
  • The CAN-SPAM act requires businesses to provide the consumer with a clear and easily accessible option to opt-out or to stop receiving messages.
  • It is best to provide your costumers with a simple way of opting out from receiving marketing messages via Most businesses provide a simple STOP message to opt-out of the SMS marketing program.
  • You also need to honor an opt-out request received via any other channel that you can be contacted on, for example, via email or by a phone call.
  • A STOP confirmation message must be sent to the consumer to confirm the opt-out along with the name of the company.
  • You should maintain records of opt-out communications.

SMS Marketing- Best Practices

  • The content of marketing messages must be appropriate to the intended audience.
  • Keep within the 160 character limit of text messages
  • You can get better results if you tailor the message to the individual as much as possible.
  • While sending messages take time zones into account
  • Make it easy for subscribers to reach customer support with a shortcode like “HELP”. Let your customers know that they can reply with this code to be directed to customer support.

15 Ways to build a database and leverage SMS database for a Successful Restaurant Business

Effective SMS marketing Strategies
  1. Before jumping into building a database, it is very important to have knowledge of SMS regulations and The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and CAN-SPAM Act. Invest in building your own customer base through genuine opt-in Do not be lured into buying third-party lists.
  2. Use attractive keywords like a foodie, VIP, offers, deals etc; make flyers and social media posts/banners.
  3. Add a subscribe form on your website and social media accounts and encourage customers to subscribe by giving them freebies.
  4. Make in-store promotional posters “Sign-up for more exclusive offers” to attract customers to sign up for your SMS program.
  5. Print the SMS opt-in shortcodes in the bill saying “Sign-Up for more exclusive deals and offers”.

Once you have a considerable number of customers in your database, it is time to leverage the same.

  1. Create a BUZZ during your restaurant opening by sending SMS invitation with an offer code for lunch/dinner.
  2. Promote special menus of your restaurant regularly.
  3. Make attractive special event reminders and promote them frequently.
  4. Use emoji’s in your text message, as people relate more to your business when it touches their emotions.
  5. Use MMS for promoting attractive deals or offers, and to create a visual experience.
  6. Nurture existing customers with special offers, mobile coupons, and promotions.
  7. Always make sure you target the customers based on the zip code to boost the response rate.
  8. Take care of updating and maintaining your SMS database according to the customer’s opt-in and opt-out preferences.
  9. Include call-to-action in your message like follow us on Twitter, use this coupon code, order online now, etc.
  10. The frequency of your message shouldn’t disturb your customers. Restrict to 2-3 messages in a week and make sure the customers receive them during the day.

End of the day there is no secret success mantra for any marketing campaign; it is always better to go with the best practices and an informed strategy.