Updated: Jun 19, 2020
Today, I will acknowledge an inquiry from Jonathan of Ohio. Here's his question:
How can text message marketing help us grow our restaurant sales?
There are three ways to grow sales in any business:
1. Acquire new customers
2. Increase our repeat business
3. Increase our average ticket
Text Message Marketing can grow restaurant sales by being the most effective method of increasing repeat business.
Acquiring new customers is expensive. We always need to have strategies in place where we gain new customers.
Maybe, you're doing Facebook Ads, Mailers, or Yelp Ads.
Now let's put this into perspective by having Papa John's and Pizza Hut as examples in our scenario.
What do you think is easier for Papa John's, acquiring a new customer that's already loyal to Pizza Hut or bringing an existing customer back?
Everybody has already a go-to pizzeria or a burger joint or whatever that people are unfailingly loyal to.
Remember that, for every dollar you spend on methods and ways to bring the customers back again and again, it is 7 times more expensive to get a new customer.
This is why acquiring new customers tends to be very expensive.
So aside from having strategies and initiatives in place getting new customers, we must be equally obsessed with assuring that we have a systematized and automated process where we directly communicate with our existing customers every week.
These are the people who love our brand already. They love us enough to give us money, and we have their contact information.
For us business owners, there are three common ways to reach out to our customers:
1. Social media - is free. The social media people, who are following your page like you enough or they know enough about you, they come in and like or follow your page.
However, the main challenge with social media is that the organic reach continues to decline.
Facebook is a company, they have a lot of bills and staff to pay.
They typically get profits from Facebook Ads. So it's more of a pay to play platform.
And the truth is, you don't own those followers.
If Facebook is down, or if Facebook blocks your page for some reason, there's nothing you can do to communicate directly with your followers. You don’t own the database.
Another challenge is that creating effective content takes time. You need to have different types of content, like videos and photos.
You must be creative in showing those to your audience so they will stop the scroll and pay attention to it.
2. Email marketing - is an effective way of direct communication with customers weekly.
Email marketing has been around for a long time, and we still use it to send weekly messages to the customers of our restaurant.
Unlike social media, it is a direct way of getting in touch with your customers.
It can be incredibly powerful because you own the communication channel, you own the database.
However, the challenge of email marketing is that it only has an average of 20% open-rate. Which means, about 80% do not actually view or read your email message.
For instance, if you have 1000 contacts on your database, only 200 of them read, and 800 don't.
Another difficulty with email marketing is that it takes time to set it up.
First, you need to think about a catchy subject line, so it drives the receiver to read it. Then you need to be creative with the body of the email. You need to think about the images and the text that you must put on it.
But then again, we continue to use email marketing for our restaurants because we need thousands of customers. It does work a little bit. However, I don't think it is the most effective method because of its 80% no open-rate.
3. Text Message marketing - is another way of directly communicating with your customers, just like email. You own the database.
However, unlike email, Text Message Marketing has 98% open-rate, and only 2% not open-rate.
Your database for your phone may be much smaller than your email, and that is okay.
Because out of every thousand text messages that you send, 980 people will see it. Only around 20 may not read it.
Another advantage of sending text messages is that it only takes a few minutes to set up. You only have a maximum of 360 characters that you can put in your text.
You don't need to be clever or be critical about it. In fact, we have a lot of templates that we use every single week.
All we need to do is to plug and play the offers, promos, or whatever message that we have into the templates.
Again it's only limited to 360 characters. You don't need videos or photos, only plain text. So it is remarkably fast.
So again, to answer Jonathan's question on how can text message marketing help us grow our restaurant sales?
The answer is by increasing the number of repeat business.
For easy Math, imagine you have a frequent customer that visits your restaurant once a month. By just getting them to come twice a month will have a tremendous impact on your sales.
For example, a family spends $30 every time they dine in your restaurant once a month.
If you double that in a month, with that same family, now you are taking $60.
So if we multiply that for 12 months, that means they are giving you $360 in a year. And that is $720 per annum.
That can be powerful. Text Message Marketing can be a very manageable and easy way of helping you achieve that.
By creating weekly offers and automating the process, you can have that $720 per year from a loyal customer.
So that only proves that Text Message Marketing remains the most effective way to communicate with customers consistently.
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