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Why In-House Marketing Automation Isn’t As Hard As You Think

Authored by: Orly Reitkop (9fold by HungerRush)


Source: Shutterstock

The restaurant industry is booming. 

As of 2022, it was worth 80 billion U.S. dollars. But between the labor crisis and growing customer expectations, how are restaurants supposed to compete with rivals ten times their size?

Marketing automation can be a key solution for converting curious customers into loyal supporters. And—spoiler alert!—you can implement these without investing a ton of cash, without hiring an entire marketing department, and without pulling your hair out.

Ready to get on board with the future of marketing? This article tells you:

  • Why marketing automations are a game-changer for revenue
  • What exactly a profit-driving marketing automation consists of
  • What we learned from implementing SMS and email automations in thousands of restaurants

Let’s get right into it.

Here’s Why Your Restaurant Needs Marketing Automation

Having the best poke in the plaza isn’t enough—you need better marketing than your rivals. Before we dive into Marketing Automation 101, here’s a quick refresher on exactly why you need to invest in a marketing strategy:

  • Great marketing keeps customers coming back for more. Repeat orders are your restaurant’s bread and butter. Marketing automations remind customers to come back time and time again, tempting them with new and/or relevant menu items and offers.
  • Great marketing is not one-size-fits-all. Statistics repeatedly show that a segmented approach is much better for driving orders. You need to dive into your customer data and build out a profile of their ordering preferences in order to be effective (Are they vegetarian? Do they usually order on Wednesday or Friday?). The more detailed the profile, the more accurately you can segment orders and drive revenue.
  • Great marketing keeps your customers thinking of you. Staying top of mind with customers fosters engagement and loyalty. You can also use this to redirect customers to your first-party order platform, rather than greedy third-party apps that steal up to 30% of your commissions.

Implementing marketing automations into your eatery doesn’t have to be painful—plus you get the benefits of a marketing team without hiring additional staff and without overloading existing employees with extra work.

But how exactly do you set this up?

The Three Steps To Marketing Automation Success

Source: Canva

It’s the 21st century and everything is automated—we’ve got self-driving cars, robot kitchens, and smart AI to take your orders. But what about marketing? Surprise, surprise! That’s automatable too.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Get the Opt in. Customers will usually tick a box on your website or app to consent to marketing. Now you have permission to send them emails and texts.
  2. Collect their data. Customer data is essential for effective email marketing—generic just doesn’t work. This allows you to build a profile of that guest and analyze their past orders. If they only ever order meat pizzas, giving them a coupon for that new vegan pizza on your menu might not be the brightest idea.
  3. Automate. Create relevant automations that incentivize repeat orders. There are many ways you can do this. Think welcome email sequences, habit booster campaigns that encourage them to order every week, and re-engagement campaigns if they go dark.

Your goal is for customers to order at your restaurant every 1 to 2 weeks. That will put them firmly in the loyal customer category and drive up your revenue. And if they go dark, marketing automation can begin a 30-day or 60-day re-engagement campaign that takes into account their prior preferences to lure them back for yet another serving.

Learn more: Restaurant & Food Delivery Digital Marketing | HungerRush 

Email & SMS Automation The HungerRush Way

At HungerRush, we’ve been helping restaurants with their marketing since 2003. We were at the forefront of the restaurant tech revolution and have years of experience integrating email and SMS automation into thousands of QSRs.

HungerRush 360 Marketing is a done-for-you marketing automation service that allows restaurants of all sizes to compete with their larger rivals through marketing—without a sob-inducing price tag. Once customers opt in, the system collects their data and sends automated campaigns based on their food preferences and past behavior.

Everything mentioned in this article—data gathering, customization, plus automated email and SMS marketing campaigns—is fully integrated into HungerRush 360 Marketing. Our goal is to get your customers ordering from you every week via segmented and personalized SMS and email campaigns.

These campaigns consist of welcome sequences to, well, welcome customers warmly. Habit-building campaigns aim to keep them ordering regularly (tempting them with personal favorites or new menu items), while re-engagement campaigns kick in after 30 or 60 days of inactivity.

Here’s what Daniel Potash from Harry’s Italian had to say about it:

“I know it works—I have the data. 10% came back to us in the HungerRush 360 Marketing platform. That’s 10% we didn’t have before. HungerRush has a strategic marketing plan that helps Harry’s Italian be profitable. That’s what it’s all about. They’re tremendous at it.”

HungerRush 360 Marketing also syncs with other HungerRush tools, such as our loyalty program, for a seamless experience and clean, actionable data.

The best part? We handle everything—from the writing and email design, to the technical setup and segmentation. All you have to worry about is keeping up with the extra demand.

And HungerRush 360 Marketing isn’t just for single-unit restaurants. If you’re a franchise with a marketing team, using it to free them up from easily automated drudgery allows you to focus on bigger ticket items and further drive up profits.

HungerRush 360 Marketing is a turnkey solution that consistently delivers measurable results. If you’re ready to start automating your marketing and punching above your weight class, talk to our customer success team today.

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