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A new sandwich is about to make its debut at your quick service restaurant. The company has run several television ads, as well as numerous radio spots, to hype the new menu addition. But even so, you still wonder if there’s something more you can do to get the word out about your new triple patty hamburger smothered in a zesty pepper cheese sauce.
The answer is yes, there is something else you can do: text message marketing for your fast food chain.
Text message marketing is all about sending short, clear messages to both customers and employees alike. Referred to as short message service, SMS is considered one of the most cost-effective and comprehensive communication tools available for fast food chains to use. And with fast food chains operating on one of the thinnest profit margins of any other type of business, SMS marketing software should be the operational backbone of your business.
Why It Makes Sense to Build a Texting Platform
Communicating with customers in real time represents the primary benefit of running a texting campaign for your fast food restaurant. No other digital marketing strategy gives you more bang for your marketing buck. More than 90% of your customers read text messages every day. Combined with the face that the average American keeps their smartphone within arm’s reach most of the time, you have a prime target audience for powerful marketing messages.
Here are several other reasons why it makes sense to build a texting platform:
- Promote discounts and special events
- Present irresistible offers to customers
- Attract more foot traffic
- Improve customer engagement
All of this leads to one important business metric: an increase in the total revenue for your quick service restaurant.
Get Started with Text Message Marketing
With an understanding about why you should build a texting platform, the next step is to learn how to do it. Read on to learn how to start boosting your business with SMS marketing.
Pick an SMS Service Provider
As with other types of digital marketing strategies, text marketing for fast food chains is most effective when you choose the service provider the best meets your industry’s unique needs. Find an SMS provider that offers the features you need at an affordable price, whether that means scalable campaigns or global coverage. Then, choose a short code (or multiple short codes) and start building your first texting campaign to increase revenue and profit margins.
Choose the Right Keywords
You’ve seen the text messages before: "Text OFFER to receive a free cookie with your next meal!" In this example, the word OFFER represents what is called a keyword. SMS marketing involves using keywords to motivate subscribers to reply to messages or even better, act on the call for action written into the text message. For example, you can send a text message to subscribers promoting a special on onion rings, with the message asking recipients to respond with the keyword "RINGS."
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Increase Your SMS Subscribers
With an email newsletter, you have to ask people to opt-in to receive them. The same principle applies to text marketing; you have to ask permission to send promotional messages. How do you get people to opt-in and grow your number of SMS subscribers?
- Print an opt-in special offer on your cups and meal bags
- Strategically place opt-in offers throughout your store
- Mention your SMS service in your emails and newsletters
- Include information about your SMS service on social media
- Put an opt-in widget on your website or the ‘Contact Us’ webpage
- Ask customers to sign up to receive texts and e-receipts during checkout
Developing an SMS Marketing Strategy for Fast Food Chains
Fast food restaurants don’t have a lot of time to spare, especially during their peak busy times. Lunch time on a Saturday? Forget about being able to take an hour or two to compose and send out emails. Quickly reaching out to your customers, employees, and vendors in real time is one of the most effective ways to leverage the power of SMS marketing software. Send out information about special events, last-minute shift openings, and new supply requests all with the touch of a button.
Let’s look at some other ways text message marketing for fast food chains can give you a competitive edge.
Promotions for New Menu Items
Fast food chains frequently roll out new menu items. New items increase customer satisfaction, drive sales, and help you stay ahead of the competition. International fast food chains have the financial resources to run media campaigns that make sure everyone knows about their new menu items.
With SMS marketing, you have the power to even the proverbial playing field.
Make your SMS subscribers the first to know about a delicious new sandwich, oft-requested side dish, or special holiday meal. If you’re rolling out an entirely new menu, such as a new breakfast menu or late-night menu, you can also let subscribers know when the new menu will be available.
Digital Coupons and QR Codes
For decades, print coupons have ruled the marketing campaigns run by fast food chains. You clipped out a coupon that offered a two-for-one deal on a medium order of fries, and then took the print coupon to the quick service restaurant for redemption.
Now, savvy fast food restaurant operators have turned to digital coupons and QR codes to increase foot traffic. Customers can simply present the coupon or scan the code at checkout to claim the offer. And as an extra bonus, you can link the coupons and codes to your loyalty program so that customers also rack up points to redeem during another visit.
Text marketing is not just about reaching out to customers. You can use this powerful communication tool to stay in touch with your employees. Send out employee satisfaction surveys, notify the team of last-minute schedule changes, and request feedback about operating procedures.
Work with Dash Notify
Fast food chains face a growing number of operational challenges, from rebounding from natural disasters to an increasingly saturated quick service market. With Dash Notify, you can stand out from the crowd and drive sales with targeted SMS marketing strategies. We offer affordable packages, scalable features, and 24/7 customer support. Contact us today to learn more about text marketing for fast food chains.