Mobile smartphones have become one of the top ways people communicate and research information, especially on the go. A study by Constant Contact found that 80% of customers searched for a restaurant using their smartphone. While some diners plan and make dinner reservations when eating out, a larger number of restaurant-goers select a restaurant at the last minute. This isn’t surprising when thinking about how people select a place to eat. Restaurants are selected when people are on their way to or from another social event or when they get hungry as they do other activities. Once the decision has been made to eat out, a mobile search begins to find the right restaurant.
Why SMS is Effective
Since diners are already using their smartphones to find a restaurant, SMS is particularly effective in this demographic. SMS messages that are received on the same device that diners search on can be saved by the customer for their next restaurant visit. Additionally, SMS restaurant promotions can influence patrons when they are in the process of restaurant selection. Studies have shown that 90% of people say they’d rather receive a text than a phone call from a business. And according to Forbes, 95% of texts from businesses are read within 3 minutes of being sent. Restaurateurs can successfully use these trends to invite their patrons to return for specials and holiday promotions.
Useful for Local and National Restaurants
The effectiveness of SMS-channel promotions can be used by both local and national brands. The cost of SMS advertising is very low compared to traditional radio and television marketing. With SMS, brands can communicate directly with prospects and previous diners to make them aware of discounts and special promotions. Since diners often choose their restaurants at the last minute, a quick text the day before or day of a promotion will result in a high percentage of ROI. SMS is an affordable and successful way of building brand loyalty, marketing to customers who already are primed to respond positively to your message.
SMS Ideal to Make Short Announcements
SMS is ideal for timely promotions such as a weekly contest night or special deal on a single popular food item. Since an opt-in is always required to send SMS messages to customers, restaurants have permission to inform diners of anything that is important to the brand. Everyone wins in this scenario, creating a positive vibe for both the restaurant and the customers that dine there.