Page 2, Continued
A dislike of telemarketers is almost universal, but in these days of cell phones, marketing to consumers via their hand-held devices is not only easier, but also more effective.
And the main reason is that it’s no longer about a phone call: Text messaging is now the way many people prefer to communicate. In fact, according to Quora, a statistics website, around 7 trillion texts were sent in 2011.
But how do you collect and then communicate with hundreds—or maybe even thousands—of your customers?
- Build a cellphone database.
- Send messages out to your entire database.
- Create coupons to incorporate into messages.
- Create a message then schedule a time for it to go out.
- Track message effectiveness.
Contacting customers—or potential customers—via text messaging is easy. Announce everywhere when you are offering a special text deal—maybe a free appetizer with dinner or half off a bottle of wine. Include it on your Facebook page, Twitter, your website, and don’t forget inside your actual restaurant.
Consumers who read the announcement then simply text a key word such as “wine” or “Tuesday” to 90210 and then receive a text that they show at their next restaurant visit for the special deal.
You can also include offers at the bottom of other texts—one that announces that a table is available or on the bottom of a delivery order, for example.
Once someone has sent a text to you, you have his or her number, from which you can build an unlimited database.
Restaurants not using text messaging are missing an opportunity, says Bert Martinez, president of Bert Martinez Communications, Houston, Texas.
There are really no downsides, he adds, especially since more and more consumers own smartphones, on which texting is very easy. Texting is also inexpensive for restaurant, he adds.
But if you do run a text-message-based marketing campaign, don’t bombard your recipients, Martinez cautions.
“Restaurants must be careful to not overwhelm customers with multiple text messages a day, too many in one week or messages that are too long. They must be timely messages, succinct and to the point, as well as useful to customers and something [that] will make them want to come to the restaurant,” says Brian Geary, spokesman for And Plus, a mobile development company in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The most important part of text message marketing is that text recipients have “opted in” to receiving the messages, he adds.
And don’t always try to sell customers something. “Maybe send an information text one week and a discount text the next week,” Martinez suggests.
“I encourage our customers to recognize that phones need to be fun, visual, and, most of all, action-oriented,” says William E. DeLamater, founder of AppCreatorPro, Huntingtown, Maryland.
“Static content on a smartphone is the kiss of death, so keep the pot boiling by alerting customers to something they can do to enjoy your restaurant even more.”