Written by: Stefanie Grey
There are many creative ways to engage with your customers using promotion text messages and mobile coupons and offers. Depending on the goal of the program, our retailer customers have had a lot of success in both increasing brand awareness as well as driving traffic to their locations by leveraging their SMS marketing lists.
Following are 5 restaurant mobile promotions that have generated results:
Based on in-restaurant and social media advertising, a customer enters a keyword to a designated shortcode on their mobile device (e.g., MYSOFFER to shortcode 78527). The customer will then receive a promotion text message on their mobile device with a link embedded in the message. The customer clicks on the link and a mobile web page is displayed with one of three possible offers.
Examples of offers include: a free dessert, 5% off of their check, or buy one meal and receive the second entrée for free. By entering a generic keyword (OFFER), the customer has no idea which offer they will receive escalating the anticipation and creating a sense of fun increasing customer engagement.
The particular retailer who implemented this promotion limited the campaign to four days – Thursday through Sunday – realizing a 15%+ increase in traffic over the four day period with well over a 100,000 people participating in the promotion.
Initially, the restauranteur was looking for new ways to increase customer engagement. With full support from the kitchen, the restauranteur decided to solicit feedback from their customers regarding which entrée should be added to the menu.
The kitchen created three new vegetarian meal options. Over the course of three months, the restaurant advertised the three new entrees asking customers to vote for their favorite dish. Customers texted in a keyword to the restaurants shortcode (e.g., ENTRÉE to 78527) and received a promotion text message with an embedded link. The customer clicked on the link and viewed a mobile web form where they could select which dish they ordered and rate it on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 indicating they would order it again.
At the end of the voting period, the entrée with the highest ranking was added to the menu. A text message was delivered to everyone on the restaurant’s SMS marketing list announcing the winner. In addition, everyone who participated in the voting received a 10% off mobile offer that could be used on a subsequent visit to the restaurant.
Results of the restaurant mobile promotion included a 35% increase in enrollment into their SMS marketing list. In addition, the restaurant received a lot of positive feedback from their customers thanking them for the opportunity to provide feedback.
One restauranteur wanted to capitalize on all of the celebrations that take place at their restaurants. Using Facebook, the restaurant let customers buy their “friends” a dessert in celebration of a special event.
The process was simple. The giver clicked on the promotion from the restaurant’s Facebook page and was prompted to select the dessert they wished to purchase, identify the special event (e.g., birthday, anniversary, graduation, etc.), as well as enter the recipients email address along with payment information. The recipient was notified via email that a friend had purchased a dessert for them in celebration of their special occasion. The email notification contained a link to a mobile offer that the recipient presented the next time they visited the restaurant to receive their gift.
The restaurant mobile promotion ran for 3 months and increased dessert orders by 25% (as well as highly profitable after dinner beverages).
Limited Time Promotion
Our retailer customers have found the best way to increase traffic to their locations is through the use of limited time mobile offers. Offers that are good for a very short period of time create a sense of urgency that can fill tables for traditionally slow periods.
One restauranteur delivered a mobile offer to their customers who were enrolled in their SMS marketing list. The offer was delivered on a Thursday and was good for three days only: Tuesday through Thursday of the following week. This particular restauranteur seated an additional 250 tables in all of their restaurants over the course of the 3 day promotion.
Similar to a voting promotion, a mobile suggestion box is a great way to engage with customers. The suggestion box can be used to collect general restaurant suggestions. The virtual suggestion box can be a long-term promotion designed to increase both customer engagement and loyalty.
General restaurant suggestions may include feedback regarding a specific dining experience or a suggested wine a customer would like the restaurant to pour. A customer texts in a keyword to the restaurant’s shortcode (e.g. IDEA to 78527). The customer then receives a promotion text message with a link to a mobile web form. The customer can provide feedback on any number of topics or issues.
These are just a sample of the types of restaurant mobile promotions in which our retailer customers have experienced significant success. Measurable results of these promotions include increased restaurant traffic as well as improved loyalty among our retailer’s most engaged customers.