Main Line Pizza, in Wayne, Pennsylvania, is rolling in the dough since it began using text message marketing a year ago.
“It has been very effective,” said co-owner Jennifer Saionz who handles the marketing for Main Line Pizza while husband Robert runs the restaurant’s day-to-day operations. “We plan to expand our use of it this year, because it is so cost effective.”
In the past, Jennifer has done direct mail, Valpak coupons, calendars and brochures to promote Main Line Pizza, but she has seen the effectiveness of those traditional advertising mediums decline as more and more Americans make their cell phones their primary means of communication.
“Direct mail wasn’t working as well as we had hoped since the cell phone became so popular,” said Jennifer Saionz. “We also thought texting would be a great way to promote our business to college kids to get them to come in.” Within three miles of Main Line Pizza are several colleges and universities, of which the largest is nearby Villanova University.
Main Line Pizza chose to work with 84444.com which operates a do-it-yourself text message marketing tool owned by Advanced Telecom Services. “I’m self-taught when it comes to computers and their system was very easy to use,” said Jennifer. “If you ever get stuck, all you have to do is hit the live help button in the upper right of the screen and they are there to help you.”
The first thing the Saionz’s had to do when they decided to utilize text message marketing was to create a database of its customers since all mobile marketing is opt-in marketing. That means that customers must give Main Line Pizza permission to send them text messages.
This was done through offering mobile coupons and discounts to their loyal customers. Customers could “Text MLPIZZA to 84444” to receive the special offer of the week. Then, once the customer has done so, Main Line Pizza is permitted to send them broadcast text messages in the future.
Main Line Pizza has promoted its keyword (MLPIZZA) and short code (84444) to its customers via window signs, menus, stickers on its pizza boxes, and even at the cash register. “Customers can text when they come in the store and get 10% off right there if they show me the text message,” said Robert Saoinz. “That really has helped build our database.”
The first coupon that Main Line Pizza did was to buy a large pizza and get a small for free. This was done to encourage business on Mondays and Tuesdays which are traditionally the slowest days of the week for the restaurant.
The restaurant also did a broadcast text message promotion for a special party platter for the Super Bowl. “We got an 11% return rate on the Super Bowl promotion,” said Robert. “That blew me away.”
To help grow its database of cell phone numbers, the restaurant is planning on giving away tickets to a Villanova basketball game next season through a sweepstakes on the text message system. “The more people we get in the database,” said Robert, “the more effective that our promotions will be.”
Main Line Pizza is also planning on implementing QR codes. When a customer scans its QR code from a smartphone, the customer will see Main Line Pizza’s current menu on the phone.
“Our new slogan is ‘we’re more than just pizza,’” said Jennifer.
Yes, you are Jennifer. You’re also getting a bigger slice of the local pizza market thanks to your text message marketing campaigns.
The family-owned Main Line Pizza restaurant is located in Wayne, Pennsylvania — a small town 10 miles west of Philadelphia. Owners Robert and Jennifer Saionz have been its owners for 18 years.
84444.com provides text message marketing solutions to businesses and organizations. It is owned by Advanced Telecom Services.