Your Restaurant and Mobile Marketing: A New Age of Customer Engagement

Steve O'ConnorCustomer Service, Marketing, Restaurant, Small Business Marketing, TechnologyLeave a Comment

The instantaneous nature of texting and the average person’s need to be attached to a mobile device makes mobile marketing a viable option to increase traffic in your restaurant, drive up revenues, and find new customers while keeping old ones.

In the past 10 years, restaurants have been taking advantage of a new opportunity to reach out to their customers. With the ever-growing popularity of mobile devices, restaurants now have a chance to communicate with their customers directly with coupons, special offers, and announcements. According to the National Restaurant Association, the average redemption rate of conventional paper coupons is 1 percent, but the redemption rate of electronic coupons received through text messages averages 20-30 percent. In other words, mobile coupons can represent an ROI 3 to 5 times higher than traditional coupons.

The instantaneous nature of texting and the average person’s need to be attached to a mobile device makes mobile marketing a viable option to increase traffic in your restaurant, drive up revenues, and find new customers while keeping old ones.

How Are You Going to Get Your Customers to Tune Into Your Mobile Marketing?

You have a couple of options to implement and expand mobile marketing to your restaurant customers:

  • For existing customers, use table toppers to inform them of your mobile marketing program for special offers.
  • Place signs inside and outside your restaurant as well as around town to encourage people to opt-in.
  • Have your staff remind patrons about your mobile marketing.
  • Print opt-in reminders on receipts.

Don’t forget that you still have traditional marketing media (radio, television, and print), which you can use to promote your mobile marketing. If text message marketing is a success, mobile apps such as Huzzah Media, ScanLife, or Foursquare can further connect you with your customer base. In order to pique your customers’ interest in your mobile marketing campaign, remember to keep them engaged. Text to win campaigns, trivia, or user-generated content can drive people to opt into your messages.

Why Choose Mobile Marketing?

Mobile offers a cost-effective way to get your promotion into the hands of the masses. There are no printing or mailing costs. If you’re delivering via SMS, there is no design cost since the message is text-based. It can represent significant savings resulting in healthier returns. SMS can also be cheaper for the consumer as it does not require a data plan.

Reaching out to your customers using traditional radio, television, print and even email advertising is effective, but there is no guarantee that your customers will directly access this information. According to Venture Beat, the open rate of SMS is 98 percent compared with 22 percent for emails. Statistically, within 3 minutes of receiving a text message, the receiver will have opened and read it. This works the same in terms of your coupons and special offers you are trying to get out there.

For example, let’s say you are offering a 50% off lunch special for one day and you send this offer out in a text either the night before or the morning of. Because they’re likely to open your offer within three minutes of receiving it, your customers will be much more likely to decide to come to your restaurant for lunch that day, perhaps bringing along a few coworkers or friends. Taking advantage of mobile marketing in this way can provide more opportunities for your restaurant to expand your customer base while generating more repeat customers.

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