How to Use Text Message Marketing to Improve Brand Loyalty

December 7, 2017 | Back to the Blog

Consumers today are bombarded with dozens of restaurants to choose from, which means the challenge becomes trying to keep your diners loyal to your restaurant.

One of the most important ways to do that is offering delicious, mouth-watering food that your restaurant patrons won’t soon forget. The type that people crave for days and snap photos of to upload on Instagram.

On top of that, you need a solid team in place. One that’s attentive and provides the best customer service possible.

These ingredients combined in the perfect ratio will ensure your customers come back for more.

But what happens when you already have those down pat?

How else can you increase your chances of becoming the go-to restaurant in your neighborhood?

Many restaurants pack the house when they start using text message marketing.

Follow this route and you’ll capture your customer’s attention, build a stronger relationship with them, and increase your chances of earning precious word-of-mouth referrals.

Think the secret to achieving this is as closely guarded as your grandma’s mac and cheese recipe?

Think again.

Today we’ll show you how to use text message marketing to boost and improve your restaurant’s brand loyalty in a few easy steps.

Before we jump in, let’s first go over why this marketing channel works so well for restaurants.

How Text Message Marketing Will Change Your Business

As we talked about in this article, text message marketing is not as complicated as it sounds. It simply means you’ll be sending text messages to your list of customers to keep them interested in what’s going on at your restaurant.

Instead of only bombarding your list of customers with deals, you’ll start to build a relationship with them.

Since text messages are considered a 1-on-1 communication method, it’s important that the relationship aspect is prominent and clear to your recipients.

We’ll help you build a relationship with your subscribers using text messages today if that’s new ground for your restaurant.

Tackle these 5 strategies and you’ll be well on your way to creating loyal customers who can’t wait to see what your restaurant’s cooking up next.

But before you start sending messages to your customers, you’ll need them to sign up to receive them first. And that may require you to sweeten the pot a bit.

#1: Reward Your New Subscribers with Freebies for Signing Up

If you want your customers to sign up for your text alerts, you need to give them a good reason to do so.

That’s where offering a freebie or sending an enticing new subscriber discount comes in handy.

When new customers sign up, they should automatically receive a welcome text message that acts as a coupon for a freebie or discount.

In the case of a restaurant, send your customers a free appetizer, dessert, or premium side dish and you’ll increase your chances of getting those customers back in for a second visit.

This simple step ensures that your newly-subscribed customer comes right back to your restaurant for another meal.

Texas Roadhouse used this exact strategy and “acquired 60,000 subscribers to its mobile database in one year via a variety of loyalty call-to-actions,” one of which includes offering a free appetizer to those who join the database, according to Mobile Commerce Daily.

Another way to get your customers back in the door is sending a mass text to an exclusive list and offering only those subscribers a special deal, as we’ll see next.

#2: Send Portions of Your List Exclusive Deals

Exclusivity makes people feel special, which motivates them to take action.

This same logic holds true with text message marketing for your restaurant.

By sending a few of your subscribers exclusive discounts, they’ll feel appreciated and more connected to your brand. They’ll feel so many warm and fuzzies for your brand you’ll improve brand loyalty overnight.

When customers see that you’re taking time to make them feel special, they’ll feel more inclined to stop by your restaurant when their tummies grumble.

And when you combine this tactic with the next one on our list, you’ll see engagement rates that consistently improve each month, which further builds your brand loyalty.

#3: Personalize Those Deals & You’ll See An Uptick in Engagement

On top of using exclusivity, you should also personalize your deals to make them even more enticing to your subscribers.

This could be as simple as keeping track of subscribers’ birthdays and offering them a free or discounted birthday gift. Who doesn’t like a restaurant that offers subscribers a free slice of birthday cake?

Or it could include offering promotions based on your subscribers’ preferences.

If your customers want to receive coupons for bottles of wine, for example, they could sign up for your “Wine Deals” group. This way they only receive promotions they are actually interested in rather than cluttering their inbox with deals they don’t care about.

The more you can personalize your deals, the more likely they’ll be used.

Another way to keep your subscribers interested and engaged is to send them your weekly specials via text. We’ll show you how to do that next.

#4: Send Out Your Weekly Specials

When it comes to building your restaurant’s brand loyalty, it pays to keep your subscribers interested in what you have to offer. So keep your subscribers in the loop by giving them recurring messages.

One way to do that is to send out texts related to your restaurant’s weekly specials.

These texts should include enticing offers (more on this next), a glimpse into what’s on the menu, or seasonal items you’re highlighting.

By doing this, you’ll not only stay top of mind with your customers, you’ll also have them counting down the minutes until they can actually eat what you’re teasing them with.

To sweeten this deal further, send a BOGO offer with your weekly specials.

#5: Offer a BOGO Deal

Buy one, get one deals are always enticing. So how can your restaurant use them to increase your brand loyalty?

Instead of offering a plain ol’ BOGO, send your customers one where the deal involves bringing a friend.

The benefit of this route is two-fold.

Your deal will strengthen your original customer’s relationship with your restaurant and it will also help spread your brand’s awareness to your customer’s friend.

While you may take a small hit on the freebie entree, you’ll certainly reap the investment by essentially doubling your brand loyalty. Consider that extra friend a new customer who’ll happily recommend your restaurant to their entire network of potential diners. #NotTooShabby

With these 5 strategies under your belt, you’re ready to tackle this all-too important method of marketing ASAP.

Use Text Message Marketing to Improve Your Restaurant’s Brand Loyalty Today

To get started, find an SMS sending service that’s affordable and reliable.

When you partner with an SMS marketing expert, you’ll be ready to entice your customers with offers they won’t be able to refuse.

Keep in mind, you can’t just add your customers to your text alert mailing list — they must opt-in by law. That’s why it’s crucial to add an irresistible offer to sweeten the deal and motivate them to sign up.

After they’ve been added to your list, you’ll need to keep your subscribers engaged and interested in what’s going on at your restaurant. Use weekly special texts to do just that.

From there, send your loyal subscribers exclusive deals every so often to get them to visit your restaurant more frequently.

BOGO friend deals work well here. These can help bring in more traffic and increase your brand awareness with just one visit.

Keep rotating these tactics with your new and potential subscribers to uncover the deals and texts that resonate with them the most. Then you’ll be well on your way to improving your restaurant’s brand loyalty in no time.

And when that happens, you’ll soon become the favorite go-to restaurant in town.

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