SMS and Text Restaurant Loyalty Rewards Programs

Marketing 16 minute read 30th March 2023

SMS and text restaurant loyalty rewards are brilliant marketing techniques. Loyal customers are at the heart of every successful restaurant business. So the fact that you want to invest in a loyalty program is terrific news. Restaurant rewards act as great positive reinforcement for customers, and SMS messaging is an effective tool to complement it. You can treat loyal customers with rewards and keep in contact via SMS marketing. It is a win, win really.

This kind of loyalty and rewards program is light-hearted and friendly. It is ideal for building a ‘mates’ vibe with your customers - nowhere near as formal as email marketing. Since restaurants are selling experience and happiness rather than corporate businesses’ professionalism of sale, it’s a great fit.

This guide will cover everything you need about SMS and text restaurant loyalty rewards. We’ll take an objective and thorough approach - analyzing everything from the advantages to disadvantages of a loyalty program. Let’s take a closer look at this type of marketing effort. It is a niche category of a rewards program, but we can quickly find out if it’s suitable for you.

What Is Restaurant SMS Marketing?

sms and text restaurant loyalty and rewards

Restaurant SMS marketing is a simple concept to grasp. It just involves using text messages as part of your marketing campaigns. For instance, you could be wanting to push a customer loyalty program.

In this scenario, you can run a system that targets guests a month after signing up. Guests could receive a 72-hour code for discounted food or a 6-digit offer code. The point is whatever target your offer needs to be enticing. Restaurants can be expensive - there’s no lying there. SMS and text restaurant loyalty rewards give your guests the temptation and justification (maybe even means) to return. Think of it as bait that pings right at their mobile phone.

Collecting phone numbers is a breeze. You can sync your software to your wifi for customers when using restaurant SMS marketing. Many restaurants link these two marketing techniques together. The captive portal collects critical details like a valid phone number and then pings it straight for marketing.

With this said, restaurant SMS marketing campaigns usually rely on software rather than manual marketing. It is time-consuming sending texts off every day, plus who knows what typos you’ll make. Software is ideal for larger businesses or those wanting to take text marketing seriously.

Everyone has a mobile phone these days, so restaurant SMS marketing is a real industry shaker. Despite the strategy behind it, it still appears as a casual marketing effort too. SMS marketing is the best if you want to come across as cool and ultra-personal. With some planning and automation, you are on to a winner.

5 Benefits of SMS and Text Restaurant Loyalty Rewards

sms and text restaurant loyalty and rewards

The benefits of SMS and text restaurant loyalty rewards are plentiful. There is a reason so many restaurants invest in it - it’s effective. We could spend ages discussing the benefits of SMS marketing with you. It is suitable for a range of budgets and business sizes, a genuinely flexible marketing effort. In this section, we are narrowing it down to the top 5 benefits of an SMS marketing loyalty program.

1. Understand Response Data Through SMS and Text Restaurant Loyalty Rewards

Understanding response data is half the battle when measuring marketing effectiveness. SMS marketing is perfect because it lets you access response data in the first place. Out of all the marketing types, SMS marketing is the easiest method to monitor responses. You can see your open rate and gauge how many people your texts genuinely reach.

When using automated software, this response data is displayed on a dashboard for you to analyze. You then have full rein to draw as many conclusions as possible. Of course, this is effective because an automated SMS and text restaurant loyalty rewards system gives you direction. It not only collects the data for you but also provides insights. You can adjust your SMS marketing tactic and see what approaches work best. Improvement is critical for marketing effectiveness.

2. Improve Immediacy Through SMS and Text Restaurant Loyalty Rewards

Improving how immediately your customers receive marketing is one of the biggest benefits of SMS marketing. Using mobile phones to market your restaurant means it notifies people immediately and directly. Considering how people keep their phones available, it’s likely that people will see your text the second you send it. Society has practically trained us to jump at the sound of a text notification. This is probably why many reports read rates of 97% when using SMS marketing in their loyalty program.

You can see the difference when you compare this to email loyalty program marketing. Email marketing has its place but seriously needs more immediacy. After all, the number of people jumping to grab phones and shouting, “I’ve got an email,” is significantly lower. Texts instill that urgent “I need to check my phone” reaction in customers.

3. Personalize Customer Relationships Through SMS and Text Restaurant Loyalty Rewards

The ability to personalize customer relationships is a crucial benefit of using SMS and text restaurant loyalty rewards. It can deepen your relationships - ultimately creating loyal customers who feel favorable toward your restaurant. Text messaging is personal and casual, creating ease and familiarity. Customers regularly see your restaurant name in their text messages, so they associate with your brand. You can make this association positive and personal by sending positive texts (like loyalty reward notifications).

Small details like including customers’ names on each text or sending ‘happy birthday’ messages can amplify this tenfold. Carefully draft your SMS marketing material. Remember that you are targeting real people with real feelings. Keep it as individual as possible.

4. Improve Sign up Rate Through SMS and Text Restaurant Loyalty Rewards

Half the battle with creating a loyalty program is getting customers to sign up. SMS marketing has a huge benefit here because it is so easy to opt in and out. Customers are much more open to a loyalty program without expectations or commitments. They also commit to interacting with your business by opting in. This psychologically creates a lean towards familiarity and investment - the perfect response to your business.

Improving your sign-up rate is one of the best things about SMS marketing. You can tempt more people and create an initial connection between you and your customers.

5. Stick to a Budget With SMS and Text Restaurant Loyalty Rewards

Finally, a massive benefit of SMS marketing is its affordability. Sending an SMS message is a complete breeze and super affordable. You can splash out on the latest software or do market research and find a modestly priced option. SMS and text restaurant loyalty rewards don’t need you to take out a business loan to fund it. It is an affordable option that even start-ups and small businesses can utilize.

You can send a quick text manually if you are so inclined. For those with no budget but plenty of time, you can also take SMS marketing into your own hands. We love that this marketing technique is open to different businesses and budgets. It really is a creative method that levels the playing field.

Disadvantages of a Restaurant Loyalty Program

sms and text restaurant loyalty and rewards

Despite all the benefits of SMS and text restaurant loyalty rewards, there are some disadvantages. For instance, many people can be wary when interacting with SMS marketing due to increased fraudulent texts. It is essential to communicate on multiple platforms to alleviate this. You can even reference emails sent and social media posts in your texts and avoid sending links.

Another drawback is that text messages are limited in length. Because of the limited length, you must be concise and say what you mean. This could be a tricky writing task. It also places restrictions on your marketing efforts. Take your time drafting SMS messages. A solid rule of thumb is to outline what you want to say and then reduce the word count by at least 10%. It is a learning curve, but you’ll get there.

Finally, you could get negative responses to SMS marketing. If you flood customers with a torrent of marketing, opt-out numbers will likely rise. SMS marketing is an intricate balance. You want to stay connected but without appearing invasive. Getting this balance requires a bit of wiggle room. Track your opt-in and opt-out data and see what number of texts customers best respond to.

How To Set up SMS and Text Restaurant Loyalty Rewards

Setting up SMS and text restaurant loyalty rewards takes little time. You can quickly cook up a killer loyalty program in a day if you get your head down. Even half a day if creativity is your forte.

  1. Your first step will be deciding whether to run the program manually or with software. The manual is generally okay for small businesses, and if you want to save on budget, not time. Software is best if you have a modest to a large budget and want to save time. Once you decide, you can either move on to the next step or start software shopping.

  2. Next, devise some marketing texts. If you use software, you might be offered templates for this stage. If you still need to, get your creativity on. Try to draft at least 10-20 texts to start with - this way, you have plenty to choose from later. Plus, it allows you to think about long-term SMS marketing strategies.

  3. If you already have phone numbers available, send your first SMS marketing text! If not, then reinvest in your collecting strategies. This is most likely using a captive portal wifi system. You could also advertise a loyalty program at the payment stage to offer an immediate discount.

  4. Finally, link your SMS marketing strategy to other marketing strategies. For instance, you can create a digital loyalty card and customer levels and start investing in social media marketing. Diversifying your approach is crucial to success.

Final Thoughts: Setting up SMS and Text Restaurant Loyalty Rewards Today

SMS and text restaurant loyalty rewards are a perfect type of marketing campaign. An SMS marketing program is brilliant for building rapport and connection between customers and your business. It is fun and casual, plus extremely effective. If you have the day free today, we recommend starting immediately. SMS marketing is a profitable strategy thanks to the ridiculously high engagement rate (with a staggering average of 97%). And who doesn’t want to see quick results?

Want some extra help with SMS marketing? At Beambox, we can help you start running an SMS-driven loyalty program. As experts in content marketing and building restaurant success, we can help create your journey. Outsource to us, and let’s take the following steps.

Let’s get the ball rolling today. Beambox offers the best all-in-one wifi marketing platform. We leverage a dynamic approach to connect, capture, and keep more customers. Start your Beambox free trial today, and let us help you maximize your content marketing potential.

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