Who ever thought the text message would be considered ‘old fashioned’? In this day and age of Facebook and Twitter, sometimes simpler is better. While social media and e-mail based marketings remains a valuable and effective way to reach customers, it seems that some restaurants are finding that text messages are an even more effective (and less time consuming) marketing tool, so says MarketingVOX, a marketing website, in a recent article: “Restaurants bypas SocNets, Coupons and Email in Favor of Text”.

What should text messages include?
Text messages are short, simple and more often read by recipients than the average email. Restaurants that have been using text report higher redemption rates than those that soley rely on email. And there are lots of ways text messages can be used – a local restaurant might send out a ‘daily special’ text to regular customers telling them about a special meal or dish, or the text might include information about evening entertainment or Tuesday night early-bird specials.

How do restaurants collect phone and/or email information?
But you can only use these cheap marketing tools if you collect data on your customers. One way to do this is to distribute a small form with the check. Interested customers can opt-in by providing their phone or email address to recieve information about events, specials and discounts available only to those on the mailing list. You can also ask customers to drop business cards to enter a raffle for a free meal. Be sure you are getting their consent when you do this – the last thing you want is an annoyed customer getting what they consider spam in their in-box.