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Restaurants Find Success In Mobile Marketing

Here’s something really helpful: one of the best ways to drive traffic to your restaurant is mobile marketing.

The report conducted by customer relationship management provider Cellit brought to light how the restaurant industry turned to mobile marketing in driving new business and traffic to their establishments this year.

The basis of the study sprung from 9,000 mobile marketing campaigns that Cellit conducted for 125 clients that they had in the QSR circle during 2011, where most are national chain franchisees.

Coupons as key elements

A lot of the mobile campaigns that the firm did involved coupons–each surveyed restaurant utilized a mobile promotional coupon this year. The average number of persons in the mobile subscriber list that was used was 791.

Among all the campaigns, it was found out that the most effective was the “buy-one-get-one-free” (BOGO) offer. 70% wanted the BOGO while 22% preferred price discounts. 6% opted for the “purchase plus free” offer.

In a mobile coupon blast done for two of Cellit’s restaurant clients, it was observed that the average coupon redemption percentage was at 23%. One of the restaurants offered “50 percent off” while the other gave out “free merchandize.”

A well-planned frequency will not annoy customers

Cellit emphasized that an efficient formula for mobile text blasts is sending a text not more than once a week and not less than once a month.

Multiple distribution lists

The study also observed that to be able to make the text blasts effective, QSRs have segmented their customers based on their interest on promotions—they would have a database of customers who are interested in promotions and contests, while they have a separate database for those who are only interested in discount offers of the meals prepared by the restaurants’ chefs in cool chef hats. That means that even if the restaurant would have two or more campaigns on a particular week, they would typically send only one message a week to each of their database.

Timing matters

As for the timing of the mobile campaigns, it was noted that the ideal time to launch a promotional text blast is during weekdays. The number of consumers who subscribe to QSR mobile texts is significantly higher during the weekday, with an average of 7.7 per quick service restaurant, as compared to the average of 5 during weekends. Those who unsubscribe from the mobile texts turned out to be also reduced during weekdays—1.85% of 1,000 sent messages, as compared to the 4.75% during weekends.

The time of day also matters. Sending out an offer for a complimentary dessert that was made by the restaurant’s chef in smart-looking chef hats may not be effective when sent at 10am; but when sent out at 3am, the results are higher—customers, during that time, are already thinking about their after-work plans.

Other findings:

• 10% of the people who came through the restaurants’ online sites (website, Twitter, Facebook) subscribe to their mobile campaigns;

• 21% of the restaurants’ current mobile subscribers join their refer-a-friend program; and

• 16% is the average increase that a restaurants’ database size has after the launching of a refer-a-friend program