SMS marketing is a powerful tool that helps you connect with your customers and drive more sales. Here are some tips and tricks for your hospitality business:
Before you start sending SMS messages to your customers, you need to get their permission. This means having a clear opt-in process in place, which is easy with me&u!
Tip: Provide value before you ask for something from your customers. Give them a reason to give you permission - e.g. “Opt-in for weekly special offers”.
Keep your messages short and sweet
SMS messages have character limits, so keep messages concise. Get to the point quickly and avoid using long sentences or paragraphs, especially if you need to squeeze in opt-out instructions.
Tip: Write out everything you want to say in long form, then challenge yourself to write it as succinctly as possible. E.g. “During Happy Hour this Thursday, we’re offering 25% off X, which means your $10 pint is now $7.50 when you dine in with us. Bring your friends between 5-7pm to be eligible for the discount!” becomes “25% off X this Thursday, 5-7pm - bring your mates!”.
Personalise your messages
SMS marketing is all about building relationships with your customers. One way to do this is to personalise your messages. Use your customers' names and other relevant information in your messages.
Tip: Knowing their name means making the greeting less formal so you don’t sound like their great aunt. “Hey [name]” is less creepy than “Dear [name]”.
Use a call to action
Every SMS message you send should have a clear CTA. What do you want your customers to do after they read your message? Make sure it’s clear and concise.
Tip: The CTA is usually at the end of the message but doesn’t have to be. Read the message out loud to someone without context and ask them what they’d do next.
Send your messages at the right time
Don't send SMS messages at all hours of the day. Consider your customers' schedules and send your messages when they're most likely to be receptive. For example, you might want to send out a message on a Friday afternoon with a special offer for dinner.
Tip: The best time to send SMS blasts is early afternoon (lunch hours) or between 5-7pm (catching people on the way home from work).
A/B test your messages
It's important to A/B test your messages to see what works best. A/B testing involves sending two different versions of the same message to different segments of your audience.
Tip: Don’t overthink the wording of your messages - A/B test it! You might think one message is more eloquent, but another message might perform better. You’re sending the message to create an action, to change behaviour. Performance matters more than good English and that.
Use a reputable SMS marketing platform
When choosing a platform, make sure it offers the features you need, such as segmentation, scheduling, and analytics.
Tip: Ideally your email and SMS marketing is in the same place, but not every email marketing or CRM tool offers both. Make sure yours does so you’re not doubling up on maintaining databases and automations.
Here are some additional tips specific to hospitality:
- Send welcome messages to new customers. This is a great way to introduce yourself to new customers and let them know about your latest offers.
- Send reminder messages about upcoming events or reservations. This will help your customers stay on track and avoid missing out.
- Send promotional messages about special deals or discounts. This is a great way to drive more traffic to your business and generate sales.
- Send thank-you messages to customers after they've made a reservation or purchase. This will show your appreciation for their business and encourage them to come back again.