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How QSR brands use SMS to market LTOs

Taking a new Limited Time Offer to market can be difficult for Quick Service Restaurants, so how do you do it and what should it look like?

Everybody knows how difficult it is to plan, open, and run a restaurant in the United States.

According to recent statistics, 60% of restaurants won’t survive a year, while 80% of them will most likely fail in the next five years. For any aspiring restaurateur, that’s a pretty rough statistic to digest. However, thanks to continued advances in technology as well as our country’s widespread use of the internet and social media, there are always new ways for restaurants to promote themselves in unique and innovative ways.

One trending idea that many brands, specifically quick service restaurants (QSR), have started to implement in their marketing plans is SMS marketing. In fact, some of the biggest chains in the country (Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut—to name a few), have found great success in SMS marketing. Pizza Hut found that SMS marketing was 2.6x more effective for their brand than online advertising. Dunkin’ Donuts’ decision to utilize SMS helped them increase store traffic by 21%.

When it comes to running a limited time offer, it’s obvious that your brand will want to reach as many of your customers as possible with news of the deal.

Below are a few different benefits of running limited time offers and what makes them important:

Run a super limited time only promotion and offer it to your SMS subscribers before anyone else.

When it comes to speaking to your list of SMS subscribers, you should always promote the fact that being a part of this list gives them the VIP experience. Consumers love a good deal: so much so that a recent study showed that 77% of consumers opt-in to receive brands’ SMS campaigns to get coupons or deals. If your restaurant decides to run a deal for a short time, make sure that your SMS customers are the first to hear about it.

Pro Tip: Always make sure to include last-minute language to create urgency around your offering.

Hey <NAME>, we’re offering $1 beverages with the purchase of a menu item for the next 24 hours! Tap the link below to place your order for pick-up or come visit us in-stores. <LINK>

Limited time offers are a great way to test new menu offerings.

It’s not the smartest decision to add an item to a restaurant menu without understanding how customers will react to it. Before a restaurant decides to permanently add a new item to the menu, they should be testing it with their customers! This is where SMS marketing comes in. Offering your SMS subscribers the chance to try a top-secret food item that has the potential to be added to the menu is a fun way to give your SMS subscribers the VIP treatment while also gaining valuable feedback on a food item before a brand decides to commit long-term.

This one is for our VIP text subscribers! We’re offering a super secret new menu item to our SMS list only. Want to know what it is? Reply back with Y and we’ll send the info over along with how to place an order: <LINK>

Special events are a different version of a limited time offer.

With more and more restaurants and bars offering viewing parties for sports, award shows, and reality tv shows with cult followings, this is another topic to promote via SMS. Of course, not all QSR will offer these sorts of events, but if they do run holiday-themed campaigns, Trivia Nights, or daily deals on different menu items, they should be promoting it to their SMS list.

Pro Tip: Create an SMS campaign that is segmented to customers who have purchased menu items on the days they are on sale. For example: Mondays offer a BOGO deal on select menu items, or Wednesdays promote $5 off a certain offering.

Hi there! It’s Wing Wednesday! We’re offering $5 off all wing orders of $20 or more with <CODE> at checkout. Place your order below: <LINK>

Need help setting your SMS campaigns up for success? Get in touch with the Voxie team today!

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