Make sure your guests get the message
Text messages have become the digital communication vehicle of choice for many restaurants and it’s easy to see why: According to Gartner research, text open and response rates are as high as 98 percent and 45 percent, respectively – compared to 20 percent and 6 percent for email. The text medium can be a useful vehicle for alerting waiting guests that their table is ready, sending online menus, or making people aware of just-in-time offers or updates about their loyalty program status. But while email has become easier to ignore and more businesses are relying on text to reach consumers in the moment, this text-heavy environment makes it that much easier for the recipient of a text to choose to block the sender. So making your texts targeted, worthwhile and as distinct from spam as possible will help you maintain a high level of access to the people you want to reach. As a recent report from Modern Restaurant Management advises, make sure you’re sending texts to the appropriate audience (if you have locations in multiple cities, you obviously need to separate your distribution lists for those regions, but try to segment even further). Try to make your messages personal and specific, using the person’s name and the name of your restaurant so your message isn’t readily overlooked. If you’re sending a link, such as the link to your menu, you’ll come across more credibly if you include the full, identifiable link and not a shortened version. Finally, include in each text an option allowing recipients to opt out. It may seem counterintuitive to make it easy for people to unsubscribe, but you’re only going to be able to get through to people who are open to hearing from you.
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