Posts Tagged ‘Mobile Marketing’

3 Customer Texting No-No’s Restaurants Should Avoid

August 4, 2014

There’s no doubt that marketing to mobile devices is a smart move on the part of restaurant owners. There’s also no doubt that texting, or SMS messaging, is an efficient and cost-effective way of getting started with mobile marketing—well within the reach of even the smallest restaurant business.

Text marketing can be a powerful way to reach your customers, if it’s done well. Do it wrong and you end up alienating your customers and tarnishing your business’s reputation. Here are three text marketing pitfalls you’ll want to avoid on the road to a successful mobile marketing campaign.

No-No #1: Overwhelming Your Customers with Too Many Texts

There’s no magic formula for determining the right frequency at which to text your customers, but most sources say that 3 to 4 times a month is sufficient for the average restaurant. The reason people are sometimes reluctant to opt in to a text or email subscription is because they are afraid of how their information will be used. No one wants to feel spammed or badgered. Be clear upfront about approximately how often customers can expect to hear from you and stick to it. Let them know that you respect their privacy, will not share or abuse their information and that you appreciate their willingness to let you contact them. Ask whether or not they can/want to receive media text and ensure that you don’t send big media texts to people who request plain text only. Bottom line: realize that you are trying to build trust and a rewarding relationship with the people you’re communicating with. Remember that mantra in every message you send, and don’t over-do it.

No-No #2: Sending Poorly Written and/or Inane Messages

Perhaps more important than the frequency at which you contact your customers is the value of the content itself that you send. It is critical that every message offers something that is interesting and of value to your restaurant customers in order to keep response rates high and opt-out rates low. Text campaigns can include contests (text-to-win), text or loyalty clubs, soliciting polls, coupons, discounts, offers and announcements. You might even opt to send a text on a day when you have excess product or empty seats to let your customers know that a members-only special is available. Whatever you decide to say, ensure that it is an enticing message, and valuable to your consumers. It only takes a couple irrelevant or unprofessional texts for a customer to permanently opt out of communication with you. Pay attention to your grammar and spelling too. These texts are part of your brand’s overall reputation and image!

No-No #3: Sending Messages Blindly Because You’ve Failed to Do Your Homework

Assuming you’re sending out meaningful, well-written messages to your consumers at an appropriate frequency, your text campaign is still remiss if you haven’t analyzed your results. You need to know if your customers respond better to say, a 20% discount off their entire orders, or a buy one get one free offer. You need to test to see whether your response rate is higher if you impose a shorter time frame for coupon redemption or if you send out the offer on a certain day of the week.

This type of data takes some time to accumulate and utilize to fine-tune your mobile marketing campaign, but the effort is well worth the trouble. The better you know how to solicit a response out of your restaurant patrons with your text messages, the better positioned you are to utilize this form of marketing as a powerful tool in your overall marketing campaign and customer-relation efforts.

3 Tips for Effectively Using QR Codes in Your Restaurant Marketing Campaigns

November 18, 2013

Over the course of the last few years, QR codes have started popping up all over as businesses try to capture a share of the mobile market. As a restaurant, using QR codes can be quite effective in terms of directing people right to the promotions and information you want them to see – IF it’s done effectively. Here are three must-do tips to ensure that you’re getting the most out of using QR codes in your marketing campaigns.

Your Restaurant’s QR Codes need to have a Clear Purpose

It may seem obvious, but before you start using QR codes on your restaurant campaigns, take a second to ask yourself if having a QR code as part of the advertisement truly enhances the customer’s experience. You want to make sure that it’s worthwhile for the potential customer to go out of their way to scan the code. It’s important that they get something like discounts or special information for their effort – otherwise, why bother? If there’s an obvious benefit to participating by scanning your QR code, customers are more likely to participate.

Furthermore, size and placement of your QR code matters. It needs to be in an obvious location on the advertisement with a clear call to action so that people know what they’ll be getting by following it. Since people need to reach it with their phones, it also needs to be placed where it is accessible to viewers. Make sure the size of your QR code is in scale to the size of your advertisement as well – don’t put a tiny QR code on a big billboard, for instance.

Check Your Links, Shorten the URL, and Link only to Mobile for Restaurant QR Code Campaigns

When designing your QR code campaign, it’s critical that you print out the code at the size and medium you plan to distribute it on and then test it on a variety of different smartphones to ensure that it reads accurately. It’s also smart to use a URL-shortener like or to compact the amount of data you are storing in the QR code. Doing this makes the pixels in the code larger, and therefore easier to scan.

Last but not least, it is of utmost importance that you QR code link to a mobile website. The whole point of using these things is to get mobile users to check you out on the go, and the last thing you need is to lose them at the last moment because you’ve sent them to a site that is a pain to view on a small, mobile screen.

Test, Track, and Refine Your Restaurant’s QR Code Campaigns

It’s smart to test a few different versions of your QR campaigns to see which is the most effective at drawing in customers. You also want to track your campaign results so that you can see how users are interacting with the marketing message and whether or not it is serving its purpose. Most of the URL-shorteners will give you this information, but you can also hire companies that specialize in creating and tracking QR code campaigns exclusively.

The bottom line is that QR codes can be an extremely effective marketing tool for your restaurant if used correctly. Following these simple tips will ensure that you get the most out of your QR code marketing efforts and will help you gain valuable insight for future use.

Mobile Marketing a Key Opportunity for Restaurants

October 8, 2013

According to recent analytics, over 50% of all website traffic will be coming from mobile devices by the end of 2013. Furthermore, restaurants happen to be the most searched for industry on smartphones, greatly outperforming other highly searched industries. The vast majority of consumers say they often choose a restaurant based on how it shows up in search results and whether or not they are able to get the information they are looking for from their mobile devices.

When you consider that more than 56% of American adults are smartphone users (about 125 million people), these statistics highlight an important point: having a mobile-friendly website for your restaurant has become critical to your establishment’s online marketing success.

Three Main Options to Make Your Restaurant Website Mobile-Friendly

Obviously, the most critical step a restaurateur should take in creating a successful mobile marketing strategy is to have a mobile or mobile-friendly website that lets users find exactly what they’re looking for, instantaneously. There are three main ways to do this. First, you can build a ‘responsive design’ website which adjusts the layout of your content to display optimally on any device. This is a choice typically best suited for content-driven websites like blogs or publications.

Second, you could add a plug-in to your existing traditional website which will scale your content down, but won’t optimize its layout for mobile devices.

Third, you can build a separate mobile website, designed specifically for mobile screens. For businesses with a local presence like restaurants, this is often the best choice because you can streamline content that will help convert mobile searchers to actual customers. Since the odds are good that someone searching for a restaurant on a mobile device is quite likely looking for someplace to eat right now, it only makes sense to have pertinent information such as menus, prices, availability and a click-to-call button easily available for them to view.

SEO Matters More than ever in Restaurant Mobile Marketing

Search engine optimization, or SEO, has always been critical if you want to be found online. As of September of this year, it’s more important than ever because Google announced that it was going to start ‘demoting’ websites in mobile searches who don’t have a mobile site to direct people to or who have one that isn’t configured properly.

Mobile SEO is akin to traditional SEO – make sure your mobile site is optimized with the right keywords and is listed in appropriate directories such as Yelp, online Yellow Pages, Google +, etc. Make sure your listings and keyword terms are accurate and consistent.

Start Small with Restaurant Mobile Marketing Maneuvers

Developing a savvy mobile marketing strategy can be inexpensive and simple to implement. You can easily design a basic mobile website featuring your most pertinent information using templates that are readily available. Beyond having a mobile-friendly web space, you can ‘mobilize’ other marketing efforts that you’re already doing, such as birthday coupons or monthly special discounts for your online followers.

Optimize your emails to be read on mobile devices. Consider a text-marketing campaign. Add a QR code to your printed marketing materials. After you’ve done all of the above, toy with the idea of developing a snazzy app that will add extra value and enhance your customers’ experiences. Above all, do not ignore the mobile movement. It’s only going to get more prevalent and more relevant to your restaurant’s overall online marketing success. Learn more at

New Trends in Social Media Restaurant Marketing

May 18, 2010

Social media is a constant and growing buzzword in marketing, advertising and public relations today.  Restaurant marketing through these new channels is no different.

According to a recent report released by Restaurants and Institutions, several new delivery channels are becoming popular with consumers. These new channels provide new opportunities to take marketing to the next level while providing consumers with discounts and coupons.

Social Media Offers

The report indicates offers made by restaurants via social media channels work well. As an example, 63% of respondents to the survey said coupons and discounts are what they want when connecting to a restaurant’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Restaurants Getting Creative

Restaurants are finding creative, interesting ways to connect and market to consumers via social media channels. For instance, blast announcements of last minute happy hour and various restaurant discounts are popular ways to attract more business. These tactics are not only driving traffic to the establishments, but social media strategies develop their communities and followers via viral messaging.

Groupon, the New HOT Trend

Groupon, a relatively new coupon delivery system, has taken off with over 4 million subscribers. Groupon is a growing powerhouse in the electronic coupon niche.  Subscribers receive a daily email with a special offer in their city for restaurants, events, or activities.

These discounts include restaurant meals, such as half off the standard price of a meal by using a “Groupon” (or coupon). The offer becomes the main subject of a daily email which typically includes photos, information about the business, and links to its website. There is no upfront cost for businesses to participate.

New audiences tapped

Groupon does the processing of the transactions and retains a portion of each “Groupon” sold. The daily deal and email quickly become viral and are forwarded via email and announced via Twitter, Facebook and several other popular social media channels.

Restaurants report the program is a viable marketing vehicle and is helping them reach new audiences and communities.  Typically the growth is with younger, web savvy consumers. This is a low cost way for restaurants to do strong marketing through social media channels.