5 SMS Sequences That Are Guaranteed to Increase Loyalty

Marketing 6 minute read 05 October 2020

More than 48 million consumers are expected to have opted into SMS marketing campaigns by 2020. Just like email, that makes it one of the most powerful tools any hospitality business can have.

If you’re not using SMS marketing at the moment, you’re missing out on a brilliantly engaging way to drive customer loyalty.

You’ve probably experienced this yourself recently. A well-timed SMS message may have prompted you to revisit a venue or retailer or placed them firmly in your mind for a future date.

The key lies in sequencing your SMS marketing activity to increase loyalty.

Here are five simple sequences which do just that.

Sequence 1. Tell us what you think

tell us what you think

When to send

You need to be pretty quick with this, so make sure it’s around and hour after their visit (i.e. while you’re still fresh in their mind).

What to send

A short message asking the guest to leave a review via a shortened link.

What’s the benefit of doing this?

This is your chance to receive guest feedback and social proof before they forget to leave a review. Unfortunately, you’ll last mere seconds in their memory, but a well-timed text will ensure you draw out that all-important review (good or bad).

Sequence 2. Happy birthday!

happy birthday sms

When to send

Get in early and send this super-personalised message seven days before their big day.

What to send

An impending guest birthday is the perfect opportunity for you to send a personalised message inviting them to save 5% by dining with you.

What’s the benefit of doing this?

We all love to feel special on our birthday. It’s what makes personalised SMS marketing of this kind so powerful; by getting ahead of the pack and sending a message inviting the guest to join you for their birthday (for a relatively small discount), you’ll live longer in their memory.

Sequence 3. Here you go, loyal friend

sms loyalty

When to send

You may have a different definition of a loyal guest, but ten visits is a pretty good benchmark. Just make sure this SMS is sent no more than three days after their tenth visit.

What to send

This is an easy one - reward them for their loyalty with a chunky 10% discount off their next bill.

What’s the benefit of doing this?

Loyalty can’t be bought; it’s something that will develop among guests who deeply value your service, menu and ambiance. The best news? They won’t be expecting anything from you because they’re already super happy. This 10% discount will therefore wed them even tighter to your brand.

Sequence 4. We hate goodbyes

sms example

When to send

This is quite a specific audience, so make sure you send these text messages only to guests who have visited five times but haven’t visited within the last 60 days.

What to send

You have a couple of options here. After addressing the guest by their first name, either offer a discount for returning or a link to something they’ve missed while they’ve been away (for instance, your latest menu).

What’s the benefit of doing this?

No one likes goodbyes - particularly when that goodbye is for a customer who was once highly engaged with your brand. However, they may just need a gentle nudge, and this message should remind them of your existence and rekindle their love of your venue.

Sequence 5. Who’s your friend?

refer a friend sms

When to send

Refer-a-friend SMS messages are best sent around a day after the guest’s last visit. It’s also a good idea to reserve them for guests who have stayed more than twice (that way, you know they’ve already developed some loyalty).

What to send

Keep it simple - offer them a 10% discount on their next visit if they recommend a friend. If you’re feeling brave, you could offer the same discount for their friend, too.

What’s the benefit of doing this?

It’s twofold. Firstly, you’ll hopefully gain a new customer, but you’ll also increase the degree of loyalty with the referrer, and the cost to your business for achieving this is negligible if you can retain that loyalty with both.

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