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Drive QSR Loyalty Directly from SMS

Overcoming app fatigue doesn’t need to be difficult when you implement SMS. Here’s everything you need to know.

When it comes to customer retention for quick-service restaurants (QSRs), the ability to stand out amid fierce competition is crucial for sustained success. In 2024, QSRs are increasingly turning to innovative strategies like automated SMS programs to bolster customer loyalty, drive sign-ups, and ultimately increase revenue.

There’s a symbiotic relationship between SMS and your loyalty program. How often do you look at the value of SMS from that lens?

Let’s dive into this relationship and see how SMS can serve as a catalyst to help your QSR brand grow both revenue & customer loyalty!

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The Power of SMS Marketing in QSRs

SMS marketing is a potent marketing tool for QSR brands. With unparalleled open rates and exceptional engagement levels, it’s an invaluable channel for reaching customers in real-time with personalized offers and promotions.

One Voxie customer, a nationally recognized QSR brand, recently began incorporating Winback campaigns into their SMS strategy, a simple yet effective strategy for maximizing offer redemptions and customer engagement. The strategy? Send a $3 off coupon only to customers who have not purchased in 90+ days. The campaign drove over 10,000 orders, resulting in a whopping 24x ROI.

Voxie believes brands should be taking this approach one step further. In addition to texting customers based on their past purchase behaviors, use SMS to understand what each customer’s current preferences are, and segment your audience based on those responses.

The Voxie platform was purpose-built to help brands extract zero-party data from conversations at scale. The result? Your brand forges a deeper connection with consumers and is equipped with a wealth of data to help you send more effective Campaigns.

Every day we experience heightened consumer expectations, so QSRs that invest in robust loyalty initiatives stand poised to reap substantial rewards in terms of revenue and market share.

Complementing your Loyalty Program with SMS

It’s no secret that a well-designed loyalty program can play a critical role in customer retention, driving repeat business, and increasing customer lifetime value (CLV).

But how do you use SMS to complement your loyalty program in a way that increases participation, without becoming just another channel to push your loyalty promotions through? (I’m looking at you, Brand who simultaneously sends an email, SMS, and in-app Push notification about the same promotion to all your subscribers)

Most customers have their app notifications turned off. When you’re sending push notifications about your latest deals, they’re not getting as much visibility as you think. SMS is a great way to get around this.

SMS is a low-friction entry point for a consumer to receive communications from your brand - Voxie makes this even easier through integrations that enable automated opt-in strategies. When you integrate your loyalty program with your SMS program, you’ll immediately unlock highly effective, differentiated messaging strategies for your SMS audience (ex: “Sign up for our loyalty program to get X offer, enter here: [link]” versus “Loyalty members only: Get $2 off your next order by…. [link]”)

With Voxie, we take this a step further by using Playbooks by placing your SMS subscribers who aren’t enrolled in your loyalty program in a journey to help educate them on the benefits of joining: double point days? loyalty member-only exclusive offers? milestone rewards? Now we’re using SMS to turn casual customers (some of whom just signed up for SMS to get your initial offer 😏) into loyalty members, greatly increasing that customer’s lifetime value!

Once an SMS subscriber enrolls in loyalty, the messaging strategy shifts - how can they get the most out of your program? what milestones are they close to hitting?

Voxie can help you implement SMS strategies that complement, and grow, your loyalty program. If you’re ready to learn more, we’d love to talk to you!

Some additional examples…

  • Minimize or even close the disabled notification gap with text:
    • 50 points away from the next reward/tier - That’s just 1 more purchase!
    • You unlocked a free X, or you have enough points to redeem the X offer.
    • Drive in-app purchases - rather than ordering through a 3rd party ordering service like Uber Eats, cutting out the middle man, driving sales back directly to your brands, and improving your margins.

Which QSR Brands are Driving Revenue with SMS and Loyalty Programs?

An exercise prompt graphic inviting readers to spend a few minutes reflecting on their shopping habits with Quick Service Restaurant brands, the mediums they use for shopping, their decision-making process, and the influence of loyalty programs on their choices.

Across the QSR landscape, numerous brands have harnessed the synergistic potential of SMS automation and loyalty programs to drive revenue growth and enhance customer satisfaction.

The strategic integration of SMS messaging with loyalty initiatives yields tangible results such as increased foot traffic, higher order values, and enhanced brand loyalty. This moment underscores the transformative impact of SMS automation in augmenting the effectiveness of loyalty programs and driving sustainable revenue growth, your choice is whether or not you want to be a part of it.

Best Practices for SMS Automation in QSR Loyalty Programs

Integrating SMS automation into Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) loyalty programs requires a thoughtful strategy based on industry best practices and consideration of TCPA compliance requirements. Once regulatory requirements are met, several additional factors merit attention:

Prioritizing Personalization: Emphasize personalization to deliver messages that are relevant and engaging. Tailoring content to individual preferences enhances the effectiveness of communication.

Defining Desired Outcomes: Clearly define your objectives. Whether it’s encouraging repeat purchases, boosting online ordering, expanding subscriber base, or fostering customer loyalty, understanding your loyalty goals is crucial.

Budget Allocation: Determine your budget and consider factors such as offer value and the number of recipients. A well-defined budget ensures effective resource allocation and maximizes ROI.

Audience Segmentation: Identify your target audience for the loyalty program. While you may invite all customers to participate, segmenting them into smaller categories allows for tailored messaging and more effective engagement.

Adopting a customer-centric approach and leveraging SMS automation as a central element of their loyalty initiatives, QSRs can forge deeper connections with patrons and drive sustainable revenue growth over time.

A visual featuring three SMS marketing message examples aimed at enhancing customer loyalty, including a double points offer, a reward for social media engagement, and a special deal on meals with a free dessert promotion.

The QSR landscape will continue to evolve… there’s no stopping it. So the integration of SMS automation with loyalty programs is emerging as a linchpin for success when driving revenue and fostering customer loyalty.

By embracing SMS as a powerful conduit for engagement and interaction, QSRs can unlock new avenues for growth, deepen relationships with their audience, and solidify their position as industry leaders. As the digital revolution reshapes consumer expectations and preferences, QSRs that leverage SMS automation to its fullest potential stand poised to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

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