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3 posts from August 2015


How Can My Restaurant Use Mobile Marketing Tactics?


The classic ways to drive traffic to your restaurant are becoming a bit outdated. Consider the advancements in technology in the past five years – with all of this new tech, it’s easy to imagine traditional marketing strategies might fall short of the ROI you had in mind. Well, we’ve been examining the research, and there’s no more effective way to reach your customers than SMS text messages. Have a look at how your restaurant can use SMS mobile marketing tactics to improve your business and generate more sales.


To start out, develop a mobile database to promote your text message marketing program.

A mobile marketing database allows you to keep track of the customers who choose to opt-in to your program. Promote the program everywhere you can: on coasters, doors, signs, online, and in your print marketing materials.


Try offering a free entrée to customers who opt-in.

This will grow your database immediately. In one example, a chain called Texas Roadhouse offered a free appetizer to customers who chose to opt-in to their “TextUs Loyalty Club.” The campaign generated an average 17% redemption rate during the pilot. Latest reports show that 44% of customers are willing to provide personal info in exchange for a reward, coupon or deal.


Send out offers for discounts on future meals.

This method is extremely effective: Taco Bell, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, and many others have had great success with this tactic. Carl’s Jr sent a series of SMS text messages in 2013 for a half-priced $6 burger combo. The ROI turned out to be $14 in new sales for every dollar they spent on the campaign!


Consider extending your discounts for several weeks.

In the United Kingdom, Papa John’s Pizza ran a three-week campaign via text message, offering any pizza at any size for 7 pounds (9 pounds for delivery). In those short three weeks, the franchisees benefitted from an increase in sales of over 33%.


Carefully time your multimedia SMS text messages to maximize your number of covers.

You can actually drive traffic to your restaurant whenever you send out text messages to your customers, so time them carefully. You may want to bring in customers during peak meal times (since you have a full staff), or you could build your off-peak hours through promotions like Happy Hours and late night events.


Create separate lists for customers by area code and type, then utilize geofencing to enhance sales.

When you separate your lists, you can treat your customers more like individuals. Divide them by categories: new customers, regulars, and VIPs. Using area codes, you can easily geofence your locations. Pizza Hut in Britain set up geofencing locations within a half-mile of their 340 locations – customers entering within the geofence would receive an SMS text message promotion from the nearest Pizza Hut. In its fifteen month run, marketers found that the program was 142% more efficient in increasing sales than other marketing channels (4.4 times more effective than TV ads, and 2.6 times more effective than online ads).


Instead of using beepers, use SMS text messages to let customers know when their table is ready.

This one’s a no-brainer. Why spend money on an expensive paging system, when your customers already own the technology necessary to page them? Just take down their number when they arrive, and text them when their name comes up on the wait list. It’s that simple.


Reward customers who refer your business to friends via text message forwarding.

Dunkin’ Donuts tried this in the Boston region, and achieved great results. Not only did they give discounts to loyal customers, they offered a free donut to those who refer their friends to the program. The result was a 21% increase in store traffic, as well as a boom in the number of new subscribers to their loyalty program. 

The strategy is simple: Use SMS text message marketing to grow your sales. Build up a strong customer list, offer discounts & freebies, text them in the right time and place, and use referral programs. Also, try asking your customers for feedback via text as well. You will find that they have terrific advice, and you can use that information to improve their experience even further. SMS text message marketing campaigns are the wave of the future for the restaurateur – so don’t miss out on this inexpensive and effective means to boost your company’s sales!



Judge Lets Apple Off the Hook


On Tuesday, the 4th of August, US District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that a class action lawsuit against Apple couldn’t move forward due to a lack of clarity in the plaintiff’s claims.

The plaintiff, Adrienne Moore, said in her 2014 filing that Apple willfully kept text messages sent from its iMessage system to other non-Apple devices, notifying neither the sender nor the receiver of the unsent messages. Further, Apple has taken little to no action in ameliorating the problem, leaving Android users to come up with their own workarounds to communicate with iPhone users via text message.

The iMessage Glitch

This glitch is unique to certain mobile users: only those who formerly had iOS-based devices and switched to Androids within their cell phone contracts have experienced the communication breach. Moore’s platform suggests that she is not alone in her troubles, and others who made the switch have lost several text messages as well.

The experts in the case estimate that the number of missing text messages is in the millions. Were the class action suit to move forward, the millions of messages lost could have resulted in millions of dollars in damages.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the case is that Apple actually knew about the bug, but didn’t really offer many solutions. Last year, Apple quietly introduced a microsite to deregister iMessage accounts in order to alleviate the problem. While this did help resolve the issue, it wasn’t very well advertised to Android-flippers, and it required cell phone users to fix the problem themselves. Other Android users have tried another workaround, namely asking iPhone contacts to sever the iMessage connection between the numbers. Again, this requires the owner of the device to do a great deal of legwork just to get the text message system to function.

Glitch is not provable as a breach of contract, according to judge.

Despite the difficulty for Moore and other Android users, Judge Koh would not allow the case to continue. She claims that the filing members of the lawsuit cannot prove that they were inconvenienced by any “contractual breach or interference” due to the iMessage system. The judge went on to say that individual claims may continue to be filed against Apple, if Adrienne Moore or any other parties wish to sue Apple on their own.

When Moore originally brought the case to the judge, Koh stated that Apple could be liable for “a tortuous interference with contract,” but she recently amended her statement in writing. “[The] Plaintiff does not have to allege an absolute right to receive every text message in order to allege that Apple’s intentional acts have caused an ‘actual breach or disruption’ of the contractual relationship,” Koh writes.

In any event, it is unlikely that there will be any individual suits against Apple, save for Moore’s claim, due to how much time and money a claimant would have to devote to the suit. In hindsight, a great deal of anguish could have been avoided by the tech giant had it just addressed the issue when the glitch originally popped up. But Apple got lucky instead, receiving a pass from Judge Koh on a potentially devastating class action lawsuit.



Indian Music Streaming App Saavn Raises $100m in Funding


As telecommunication infrastructure improves across India, more users are purchasing smartphones and accessing the Internet than ever before. Apps focused on Indian users have emerged as a result of this growing market, and quickly cornered live streaming music. Saavn, the Indian equivalent of Pandora online radio just raised $100 million in series C funding.

The latest funding round values the company at $350 million. Funding was lead by Tiger Global, Bertelsmann India Investments, Liberty Media, and Steadview Capital, as well as a handful of hedge funds headquartered in Hong Kong.  

One hundred million dollars is a lot of money, but Saavn’s track record and long-term plans for innovation helped catapult the music app into success. Currently, there are 14 million unique monthly visitors—up from 11 million at the start of this year.  

The competition is fiercely fighting over this vital market, which is only going to grow stronger as more Indian users get online. Among the competition are Times Internet-owned Gaana, Rdio and Hungama, which also secured 100 million dollars in funding earlier this year.  

According to CEO and co-founder Rishi Malhotra, innovation is at the center of everything the company strives to do. 

“We innovated to deliver the first music streaming platform dedicated to India in 2009,” said Malhortra. “We launched the first Android app for Indian music in 2011, and the first iOS app in 2012…while our products have many features, innovation is perhaps the best one.”

Saavn plans to use its funding to scale its latest features and expand its services as demand continues to grow. They are currently working to move into streaming video technology, another content area predicted to explode in India throughout the next several years. 

In 2013 the company launched its first mobile subscription product, Saavn Pro, which is similar to other streaming radio upgrades that allow a user to listen to music without commercial interruption. 

Malhotra is excited to offer a product that’s exclusively for Indian users, and now, one that will operate better than ever.  

“Enjoy our music while flying at 30,000 feet, reduce data streaming charges while commuting…[we] deliver the highest-fidelity audio available to users,” he said.  

The app is currently available to download for both iPhone and Android users. Desktop computer users can enjoy live streaming music as well online at www.saavn.com