Ordering takeout usually involves picking up the phone and calling a restaurant, who then deliver the food to your home. Large chains in the catering industry such as Pizza Hut have utilized SMS marketing for many years to increase the number of orders customers make through their app, which makes service more efficient, attracts customers with promotions which utilize geolocalization and combine actions with social networks such as Facebook. Many establishments, from small local restaurants to the biggest fast food chains, offer a delivery service for their products. In most cases, establishments don’t have someone exclusively manning the phone, but share the task of responding to orders with the delivery person, or combine taking orders with other tasks.
An app is useful in the catering industry because the fact that customers enter information into the app themselves ensures orders are correct and don’t contain errors – the information travels directly from the customer to the company. This increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Pizza Hut customers can sign up to the promotional campaign “Hut Lovers” by sending the word JOIN to 69488, or through the Pizza Hut website. Not only can they personalize their pizza order through the app but they’ll also receive a discount coupon for their next order.
Pizza Hut had already launched an SMS customer loyalty program previously. Signing up to the program couldn’t be more simple: send the word PIZZA to the number 69488. The subscriber would receive in response a message asking them to enter their post code, allowing Pizza Hut to segment their campaigns using geolocalization techniques and offer potential customers personalized campaigns.
In the UK, Pizza Hut put the campaign into practice over 15 months in 340 restaurants, establishing a half mile (800m) radius for each one. When a customer signed up to the campaign stepped within 800m of a Pizza Hut, they would receive a promotional code.
The campaign was so effective that at its end Pizza Hut evaluated the results and found that it boasted 142% more effectiveness than other channels used to increase sales. In contrast to conventional advertising, the SMS campaign was 4.4x better than television advertising and 2.6x better than online publicity.
Another area in which Pizza Hut has experimented with great success is in the combination of social media and SMS marketing. Making the most of the huge success of their Facebook page, which at time of writing has over 28 million likes, the company uploaded an image advertising their SMS campaign: by sending the word HUT to 69488, customers would get some free cheese sticks with their next order online.
As part of this process, customers were also asked to enter their postcode. Customers were then sent a link confirming their order, with the promotion already applied. In this way, the company was able to capitalize on the extensive reach of social media to increase the number of subscribers to their SMS campaigns.
In short, Pizza Hut has been gradually incorporating new methods into their marketing strategy, not just moving from televised advertisements to online publicity. It has also utilized its millions of followers on social media and the innumerable users of its website to channel customers towards the SMS campaigns, which have now become their most popular from of hosting promotions.