any done sms marketing for restaurants?

by ish
38 replies
Hi everyone,

I recently approached one of my clients with an sms marketing proposal (pizza shop owner) and he seemed very interested.

I have never done sms marketing before, so i was wondering what kind of promotions i should suggest the owner of the pizza shop should do?

something better than just buy one get one free pizza...

Also how should he promote this new service to his customers that would get them to subscribe?

thanks
#\\sms #marketing #restaurants #sms
  • Profile picture of the author HypeText
    Try a "Free Pizza for a Month" Promotion. Limit it to one per day...Dine in Only

    Before you panic...and before the Pizza shop Owner Panics...and they will...until you explain it to them.

    Run it as a contest. Say 100 people enter the contest. One wins and it costs the pizza shop owner 30 Pizzas max.

    Keep in mind...NOBODY wants to eat pizza everyday for a month. It might end up costing him MAYBE 10 to 15 pizzas.

    If he did a "Buy One Get One" Offer and 100 people participated that would be like giving away 50 pizzas. Way more cost involved. Make sure the Owner realizes this.

    Now, take into consideration that very few people eat alone.

    Average Family has 4 people in it. thats 4 Drinks, which are a Pizza shops highest profit margin item. Throw in Appetizers and Desserts being ordered by the diners and in the end the Pizza owner still comes out on top.

    He now has 100 people to send coupons and special offers to.

    Make sure their is signage promoting the contest in the Pizza shop as well as Table Tents at each Table. Make sure Staff mentions it to EVERY customer. Have him/her put it on the Credit Card Slips as well.

    The trick with Restaurants and Mobile Marketing is to keep it creative.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rymico
      I run that promotion for my restaurant guys also. Hype did not say it, but I am sure he was figuring this part in. You run this promotion with an opt in keyword. And they can only get the keyword by coming in the restaurant. So those 100 are customers. And opt ins for your lists.
      Get as outrageous as you want on this. Flat screen TV? Around $300 dollars. But the free meal is less cause they do not show up everyday.

      Have a opt in contest for the servers. Give each a keyword and see who signs up the most. Give them a prize of some sort. You can build an opt in list fast with this.

      Every text you send to the opt in list does not have to be a coupon. I ran a poll for one last week to see if his clients were interested in non fat ,non gluten,etc dressing for their salad.. Vote was 94% yes. When he gets it in, we will invite them in to try the new dressings. Return business. No giveaways on this, just a new product.

      I send out text to my clients opt ins just to tell them what is going on. New products, new decor, new staff, etc.

      Don't get hung up on coupons.
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    • Profile picture of the author affordableweb
      Originally Posted by HypeText View Post

      The trick with Restaurants and Mobile Marketing is to keep it creative.
      That seems to be the key to success with these. We let one client run their own campaign and it did not go so well. We tried some different things with another client and had a much better result.
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    • Profile picture of the author CollegeCEO
      Originally Posted by HypeText View Post

      Try a "Free Pizza for a Month" Promotion. Limit it to one per day...Dine in Only

      Before you panic...and before the Pizza shop Owner Panics...and they will...until you explain it to them.

      Run it as a contest. Say 100 people enter the contest. One wins and it costs the pizza shop owner 30 Pizzas max.

      Keep in mind...NOBODY wants to eat pizza everyday for a month. It might end up costing him MAYBE 10 to 15 pizzas.

      If he did a "Buy One Get One" Offer and 100 people participated that would be like giving away 50 pizzas. Way more cost involved. Make sure the Owner realizes this.

      Now, take into consideration that very few people eat alone.

      Average Family has 4 people in it. thats 4 Drinks, which are a Pizza shops highest profit margin item. Throw in Appetizers and Desserts being ordered by the diners and in the end the Pizza owner still comes out on top.

      He now has 100 people to send coupons and special offers to.

      Make sure their is signage promoting the contest in the Pizza shop as well as Table Tents at each Table. Make sure Staff mentions it to EVERY customer. Have him/her put it on the Credit Card Slips as well.

      The trick with Restaurants and Mobile Marketing is to keep it creative.
      This is a great idea. It actually gave me an idea of my own that I'll try out
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  • Profile picture of the author BrandyM
    I've also been looking for a list of sample SMS Messages for each industry. I'm working with Mary Kay Directors right now and I'd love some very creative messages to send out. The only way I know to do this is to sign up for a stores SMS campaign and just collect them that way but I don't see them very often and the ones I do have I think could be better offers or at the very least more creative.
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    • Profile picture of the author HypeText
      Originally Posted by BrandyM View Post

      I've also been looking for a list of sample SMS Messages for each industry. I'm working with Mary Kay Directors right now and I'd love some very creative messages to send out. The only way I know to do this is to sign up for a stores SMS campaign and just collect them that way but I don't see them very often and the ones I do have I think could be better offers or at the very least more creative.
      Brandy,

      Every Product, Industry, and Geographic Area will have its own nuances.

      What works in one Demographic will not always perform as well in another.

      Your best bet is to test your own messages and find what works best for your particular niche and clientele.
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  • Profile picture of the author ish
    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I will mention them to my client.
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    I have a pizza client that gives away a free large pizza each week to one lucky subscriber. costs them very little but it really tends to encourage people to opt in. Pizza is very cheap to make so it works well.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Even if you only got two subscribers a week giving away that one pizza, you'd still probably be in the green.
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    • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Even if you only got two subscribers a week giving away that one pizza, you'd still probably be in the green.
      Yep, it has slowed down now mainly because they don't promote it much, but the average has been about 15 per week since April 2011. For any business to be able to reach 800 people with an offer or coupon and have it read within a couple minutes is pretty powerful. I still don't think the majority of business owners know how powerful any kind of list building can be. 99% never build any kind of lists, email or SMS. It is so basic to our thinking, but not to your average business owner.
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  • Profile picture of the author natasha90
    Pizza Tower gets at least 30 to 40 more orders each week from SMS coupons - twice as many as from email promotions. Customers love them!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mo Goulet
    I have all my Pizza shop owners hand out sign up cards to enroll in their weekly "Coupons by Text" promotions. The best way to increase business is with repeat customers. Increase their visit frequency and increase the bottom line. They also tell their friends to sign up either on the customers website or facebook page. Everyone loves a deal.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lee M
      Originally Posted by Mo Goulet View Post

      I have all my Pizza shop owners hand out sign up cards to enroll in their weekly "Coupons by Text" promotions. The best way to increase business is with repeat customers. Increase their visit frequency and increase the bottom line. They also tell their friends to sign up either on the customers website or facebook page. Everyone loves a deal.

      When you say hand out sign up cards ... do you mean the type where they are writing their cell phone number on it ... then it is data entry? OR - did you mean the sign up card has a mobile call-to-action like ..."Text coupons to 12345 and get weekly deals etc....."

      And, by the sound of it ... the card also has a link to customers website and/or Facebook page?

      I would think that passing out a "promo card" like this could be pretty darn effective. Reason I ask ... I'm thinking of testing the idea with one of my pizza shop clients. The 'promo card' would get right in the hands of customers that way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mo Goulet
    I use all options depending on the individual owner. I use twilio for short code and long code and data enter the numbers into YadaText or some clients prefer to use the twilio platform at $0.01 per text. If a client has more than 500 subscribers they usually choose the YadaText platform. Under 500 is not bad for a max cost of $5 per send.

    In my local area, you can register VIA web form, Facebook page subscribe form, Promo card (fill in the card with your name, cell number and provider) or subscribe by simply dialing a local number.

    You can try out my sign up by call system by dialing 208-450-3586. I purge the system of non 208 numbers everyday since a lot of people are trying it out.

    BTW...locals only need dial the 450-3586

    I just learned how to forward all calls to twilio to a non twilio recorded message where new subscribers can simply leave their provider name after the beep...

    This is pretty cool but it's an extra penny. Twilio charges .01 for incoming and .01 for outgoing text but .02 for outgoing call and I haven't figured out which is best yet.

    With one you get a text immediately requesting a reply with the name of your provider and the other simply asks for the name after the beep...debating that one...
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    • Profile picture of the author kenshinmura
      nice thread for sms marketing
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      • Profile picture of the author Rymico
        The sign-up call to action on take out orders works great. On pizza, just a small strip of paper taped on each box. Text pizza to 71441. On a hamburger joint, stick it in the sack. Text fries to 71441.

        The pizza is especially good, since there are several people seeing the box, especially in a college town like where I am. Have them tape the notice on the box when they assemble it ahead of time. Otherwise, they will forget and it will not happen.
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        • Profile picture of the author Vinny C
          That's a great idea, especially if it's bright neon paper.
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  • Profile picture of the author ish
    thanks for all the great ideas guys! lets keep this thread going.
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  • Profile picture of the author kimboslice
    A few good ideas here. Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author TrumpiaTim
    Create a mobile business keyword such as JoesPizza and start building a mobile database for your client.

    As part of this process, you can provide an incentive such as 20% off for all mobile members. This should really encourage participation.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheLocalCoach
      Lots of great ideas and suggestions in this thread, especially regarding the contests... I just wanted to add one more.

      When you are working with the business owner focus on showing potential ROI and be sure to include the cost of discount to be given out as a part of the campaign that you will be running as well as the the cost of your service. Showing him/her that you care about their real bottom-line helps to build trust and goes will go a long way with your credibility.

      Something else to consider, if the restaurant is a place where you can sit and order meals try and promote something that has a higher mark up and doesn't get ordered as much like dessert, which will increase the average transaction per customer. Maybe try running contest or promotion for free dessert on next visit with the purchase of a regular meal or pizza. Then have the owner include that offer in all his advertising, in store signage and even staff promotion. Now, you are not only building internal list for increasing cusotmer frequency, but getting new customers by including text call-to-action in all external advertising. Good Luck
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  • Profile picture of the author RiskTaker
    I had this idea for a program I was in middle of scripting. Basically for the cheap slices or hotdogs scan this QR code for a free pizza slice. Would essentially be a mobile coupon locker. Consumer fills out two CPA offers, and the spot and I split the money.

    In large metro area = BANK!
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  • Profile picture of the author brandon_holcomb
    filling out mobile cpa offers do not cover the pizza joint's owners direct cost of food. Plus as soon as a customer sees an offer that ask's them to fill out some form you have lost them.

    My advice make it as easy as possible for customer to join.
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  • Profile picture of the author toddfromboston
    So I have a deal just about closed (waiting for the owner's signature on Tuesday). The person I worked the deal out with is pretty much second in command and took care of my bidding for me. This guy has been in the restaurant biz for about 15 years and he gave me some advice. I'll pass on the advice but I'd like to see if any other warriors have been met with similar situations and how you handled it.

    First things first, NO set up fees for SMS marketing
    Second - you won't get anywhere without giving them a free 30 day trial. Then if they see a good enough return negotiate a 3 month deal (restaurants work on 3 month contracts I found out)
    Third - you can charge $100 or $200 to build a mobile site but don't try and charge anything over $9.99 for hosting it.
    Fourth - you must design, print and pay for collateral material (table tents, cards in check presenters etc...) if you want to be successful

    I am in no way doubting this man's advice, he knows his industry, I'd just like to hear from others out there.

    -Todd
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    Rock n Roll is BACK!

    Best piece of advice I've ever received... "Listen, just shut the F*#^ up and listen!" (Because there's always going to be people who have been doing what you do/ want to do for much longer. Shut up, listen to them and learn from them)
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    • Profile picture of the author Danielm
      Originally Posted by toddfromboston View Post

      So I have a deal just about closed (waiting for the owner's signature on Tuesday). The person I worked the deal out with is pretty much second in command and took care of my bidding for me. This guy has been in the restaurant biz for about 15 years and he gave me some advice. I'll pass on the advice but I'd like to see if any other warriors have been met with similar situations and how you handled it.

      First things first, NO set up fees for SMS marketing
      Second - you won't get anywhere without giving them a free 30 day trial. Then if they see a good enough return negotiate a 3 month deal (restaurants work on 3 month contracts I found out)
      Third - you can charge $100 or $200 to build a mobile site but don't try and charge anything over $9.99 for hosting it.
      Fourth - you must design, print and pay for collateral material (table tents, cards in check presenters etc...) if you want to be successful

      I am in no way doubting this man's advice, he knows his industry, I'd just like to hear from others out there.

      -Todd
      To be fair, are you basing all of this from one guy's opinion, in one market? Lots of people do setup fees, lots of people don't do free trials. Just because one guy knows how much hosting costs doesn't mean anyone knows what "hosting plus 2 updates" costs, etc. For what it's worth, I owned a restaurant too, before the mobile era but I've known a lot of restaurant people and I don't know any of them that would say the same thing as you posted.

      We used to get pitched by advertisers all the time, I know the other owners probably would have been leery of someone who came in and said they'd design and print everything, for free, no setup cost, free month AND their monthly costs were really cheap.
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    • Profile picture of the author bumkeun
      Originally Posted by toddfromboston View Post

      So I have a deal just about closed (waiting for the owner's signature on Tuesday). The person I worked the deal out with is pretty much second in command and took care of my bidding for me. This guy has been in the restaurant biz for about 15 years and he gave me some advice. I'll pass on the advice but I'd like to see if any other warriors have been met with similar situations and how you handled it.

      First things first, NO set up fees for SMS marketing
      Second - you won't get anywhere without giving them a free 30 day trial. Then if they see a good enough return negotiate a 3 month deal (restaurants work on 3 month contracts I found out)
      Third - you can charge $100 or $200 to build a mobile site but don't try and charge anything over $9.99 for hosting it.
      Fourth - you must design, print and pay for collateral material (table tents, cards in check presenters etc...) if you want to be successful

      I am in no way doubting this man's advice, he knows his industry, I'd just like to hear from others out there.

      -Todd

      I started my own SMS marketing company. I am 26 and I have found that you do NOT need to offer a free trial to close a deal. I only offer a free trial if they are very skeptical about the service. Let's face it, the first month they are only going to collect opt ins anyway so there is a minimum cost to you.

      As far as paying for all of their design fees & printing, I have not yet had to pay for any of that either. I work with a graphic designer/printing company and it is working great. He makes whatever my client needs to get opt ins and they pay for it. I just make suggestions of what they can use and where they can get the work done and paid for. If they know someone else, then they know somebody else but by no means am I spending my own money for their business.

      I would like to know if anyone has had any success with real estate, automotive, & salon industries.
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  • Profile picture of the author rising_sun
    Banned
    Take care of something like:
    1.care about the quality,size and price.
    2.make add to your local poster and newspaper.
    3.be careful about your customer ,occasion,serving technique.
    do everything by your heart and for it's development.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mo Goulet
    I am finding success placing a TAB on my Facebook business page and offering a Free Trial. I don't bother with incidental costs; I make sure everything is covered in the monthly fee. They know up front what it is going to cost them. a simple video with an offer on the page works wonders. I'm also getting a lot more click throughs with the restaurant custom tab for restaurants. You can see my page as an example at Smart Solutions For Local Business | Facebook

    If you would like the image I'm using just email me at mo@cdbn.com and ask me to email your the sms tab for Facebook.
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  • Profile picture of the author madeinheaven
    Nice tab, I like the way you have your facebook page
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  • Profile picture of the author Cabbey
    Jason,

    Your experience will be a great asset to the members in this forum.

    Your strategy seems very helpful.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Originally Posted by Jason Bell View Post

    Simple Strategy:
    1) Create a compelling offer: Free Pizza for a year!
    2) get 4x6 table tents made to place in restaurants
    3) do associate training and make small cards to give to customers with your campaign text info on.
    4) list will GROW very fast
    5) Wait until you get around 100 people on your list and start pumping offers. Every offer is not the same, I have created about 10 types of offers I use consistently that depend on the restaurant's goal
    Jason,

    Coming in here and linking to your WSO in your posts is only ever going to end up with your posts being removed. Just keep that in mind.

    Leave self promotion for your signature like everyone else does.
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  • Profile picture of the author toddfromboston
    @bumkeun Thanks for your input. Funny enough the deal with that restaurant ended up falling through, but I've closed another deal since and have several prospects I'm speaking to tomorrow.

    Last Monday I finally closed a used car dealer on sms. I had visited with him 2 times and the third visit closed the deal. It is possible and I know some of the other mobile warriors have seen success in the auto business, but it can be tough. My best advice is to just walk right in and go for it, the more places you talk to the better. Also, if you have some experience in the biz that can help as well.

    Also, I've sold an independent repair shop in the Boston area a mobile app and two real estate companies south of Boston have bought apps from me in the past. That was back when all I had to offer was smartphone apps, I've added sms and mobile sites to my business since and I find it much easier to lead with sms.
    Signature
    Rock n Roll is BACK!

    Best piece of advice I've ever received... "Listen, just shut the F*#^ up and listen!" (Because there's always going to be people who have been doing what you do/ want to do for much longer. Shut up, listen to them and learn from them)
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    • Profile picture of the author bumkeun
      @toddfromboston Thanks for the advice! I have previously owned a retail store and I did very well but had to close due to unfortunate circumstances so I love the marketing aspect of business.

      For automotive, I was more curious for the service industry. My partner and I have been discussing car dealerships which I am working on doing a case study with them. I am going to offer my services for free and either get paid off each lead (opt in) or deals closed.

      Also, as far as helping your customers receive opt ins..what is the best signage you've made that you've seen get the most results. One of my clients has built up 400+ phone numbers in 2 months just by having a sign in their store saying.."to receive coupons & special offers text keyword to shortcode." I am working with my clients to offer different incentives such as "enter to win a free $25 giftcard to my own store by texting keyword to shortcode" or "receive $x off by texting keyword to shortcode."

      They are slowing receiving the opt ins but I was wondering what your approach was to this or are we doing the samething?
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  • Profile picture of the author toddfromboston
    I charge a monthly fee for my services. As for the solutions I offer there is another thread or two here on the forum where people were asking about the car business. Search for it or if you'd like find me on Skype.

    I find the two best ways to get opt-ins are:
    1) direct free offer - "text keyword to shortcode for 10% off your bill today" or something like that.

    2) when a customer is making a purchase (or considering a purchase) have a sign up sheet for them to sign (if they want) if they are interested in receiving future promotions, inventory updates etc... Make sure you get a name, number and signature that way if they ever try to come back at you saying that they never agreed to it, you can show them the signed form.

    You could also have the business add a text call to action to all of their traditional advertising media (a different keyword for each). This will not only help them test each advertising medium for effectiveness but also get more opt-ins.

    A bit off topic, yes, but I'm sure there's a nugget or two that other warriors can use.
    Signature
    Rock n Roll is BACK!

    Best piece of advice I've ever received... "Listen, just shut the F*#^ up and listen!" (Because there's always going to be people who have been doing what you do/ want to do for much longer. Shut up, listen to them and learn from them)
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  • Profile picture of the author bumkeun
    Yes, that is what I have been having my clients do. Some are just getting more opt ins than others and I do not like to see any of my clients cancel due to this when this does work!

    Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author bsbear
    The whole SMS market seems like it will be the next thing to blow up, as in I think there is a ton of potential there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mo Goulet
    I have a 10 year old and you know if I won the pizza a day for a month, he would bug the crap out of me to get that pizza everyday.
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  • Profile picture of the author bumkeun
    Pizza thing sounds great but I don't like to agitate my clients even for a second..that could make or break the deal for me right there.
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