Personalized Text Messaging: Your Next Top Revenue Channel

Discover how food, beverage, and restaurant brands are using SMS marketing to increase sales and build diner loyalty


Why Personalized Text Messaging is Your Next Top Revenue Channel

How can innovative food, beverage, and restaurant brands break through the digital clutter of information to interact with mobile-first audiences driving both engagement and revenue?

Follow this guide to learn how to get started with personalized text messaging.

Marketing in the Era of Information Overload

With the mass adoption of smartphones, consumers interact with companies and gather information online more easily than ever before.

Of course, this also raises some unique challenges. Because people can use their phones just about anywhere, at any time, to do anything, it’s become more difficult for marketers to capture and maintain their attention.

With overflowing email inboxes, screens full of apps, and ever-changing social media algorithms that control which content mobile users see, companies are constantly looking for new ways to break through the digital clutter to reach mobile-first audiences and drive engagement and revenue.

Think about your experiences. How many emails do you receive each day from brands, and how many do you read and click through on? How many apps do you regularly use—the same 2 or 3? But how many text messages do you leave unread? Probably none.

This is why food and beverage marketers are turning to text messaging as the next big way to reach mobile-first audiences and drive foot traffic, loyalty, and ultimately—revenue.

With 30%+ click-through rates on text messages and 10x more engagement than email per message, this channel cannot be overlooked.


of US adults ages 30-49 use 
text messaging. This rises to 100% for ages 18-29


of consumers primarily use mobile when shopping online, with 36.7% using an equal mix of mobile and desktop


of consumers say mobile ordering or loyalty programs would increase online orders

Text Messaging—Why Now?

Although text messaging has existed for years, it has only recently emerged as a new channel for companies to add to their marketing and outreach mix. Why is now the right time for food and beverage brands to adopt a text messaging strategy?


Unsaturated Marketing Opportunity

Text messaging is the most widely used mobile application. According to the Pew Research Center, 98% of US adults ages 30-49 use text messaging. This increases to 100% for the 18-29 population.


High Consumer

Previously, many mobile plans required consumers to pay to send and receive text messages. Today, plans that include unlimited text messaging are the norm. A recent survey of US adults across various age groups and demographics showed 98% of participants have an unlimited text messaging plan.

What’s more, mobile users want to interact with their most-loved brands via text. 91% of consumers are interested in signing up for texts from their favorite brands (and 55% of them already have). 45% of consumers say that mobile food ordering or loyalty programs would increase online orders.

“We’re seeing that a lot of our customers prefer to talk to us through text.”

Sommer White
Director of Brand Marketing

Net-New Direct Communications Channel

Mobile users have grown increasingly more comfortable using their smartphones to research online. In fact, 70% of US consumers are currently using their mobile devices as part of their interaction with fast-food and fast-casual restaurants, and 42% say they use their mobile devices to look for restaurant coupons and deals—making it the most popular dining-related activity.


Personalized Messages Increase Engagement

The impact of text messaging is amplified even further with the use of behavioral data. Previous orders, product preferences, and geographic information can be used to automatically build dynamic segments for highly personalized messages.

“Implementing text messaging has allowed us to drive more engagement.”

Brandy Butler
Director of Marketing

Powering Engagement With Personalized Text Messaging

Text messaging helps food & beverage marketers reach their audience where they spend the majority of their time—their smartphones. But why is text messaging essential for not only reaching—but engaging—your audience?

The largest single technology change to take place over the last 20 years is the popularity of mobile devices sweeping every part of the globe. Despite the differences throughout generations, smartphones have become essential for almost everyone.

More and more households choose to forgo having high-speed internet at home in favor of using their smartphones. 60% of adults age 18 to 29 say they mostly go online through their smartphones—up from 41% in 2013. Consumers are now using their phones to browse, research, and make decisions.

Because these devices have become extensions of themselves, consumers don’t hesitate to complete actions on their phones. For many, this technology equals convenience, with 59% placing takeout orders via their mobile device.

As customers pick up their phones to learn more about you, it’s vital that you’re ready and eager to answer their questions. In today’s world of information overload, it’s no longer enough to simply have a mobile-optimized website or one-size-fits-all communication channels.

Creating a text messaging channel presents food & beverage marketers with an opportunity to convert casual site visitors into loyal customers by sharing relevant, engaging content with them.

Fueling two-way interactions

Personalized mobile messaging presents an opportunity not only to drive foot traffic but to also increase engagement and loyalty.


Break through the information clutter

Today’s consumers have access to more information than ever. Your customers no longer rely strictly on “best-of” lists or word-of-mouth advertising. Instead, they browse for restaurants and brands that cater to their personal wants and needs in that moment—and on their smartphones.


Engage subscribers and answer questions

On average, consumers prefer to communicate with companies via text messaging vs. phone calls and email. Giving your audience the power to choose where—and how—they communicate with you means they’re more likely to engage with the content you share. Ensure they receive relevant content by building segments based on demographics and behaviors.


Drive engagement

82% of consumers primarily engage with marketing content on their smartphones. With consumer preferences and demands constantly shifting, brands are always looking for new ways to elevate the customer communications experience.

As food and beverage companies compete in a challenging market, it’s important that they are catering their content and communication options to what their customers want. Customers now expect fast, seamless, and accurate ordering from their smartphones. Brands should test various strategies to ensure they can meet these needs as efficiently as possible.

By continually analyzing message performance, companies will better understand how best to communicate with their audience and what content they want to receive.

What Food & Beverage Companies Are Saying

“Our text program consistently outperforms email when it comes to driving immediate revenue results. We couldn’t be happier working with the Attentive team—their expertise in the space is really unmatched.”
Shannon Murphy
Sr. CRM Manager
“We’ve seen a 39x+ return on investment with our text messaging program. We’re excited to try even more strategies and campaigns with Attentive.”
Brittaney Attride
Digital Marketing Manager

Personalized Text Messaging: 
Use Cases & Examples

What are some different ways your company could use this new channel? Here are a few of the most popular use cases for food, beverage, and restaurant brands.

Announcing new products

Engage with subscribers by sharing new products and menu items, keeping them up-to-date with the latest offerings

Gamifying list growth strategies

Convert mobile browsers into SMS subscribers with engaging opt-in experiences, such as Spin-to-Win sign-up units

Sending localized 
marketing offers

Connect with local customers using geo-targeting to ensure you’re sending the most 
relevant content

Increasing takeout orders

Reward hungry customers with exclusive offers they can 
redeem on takeout orders and curbside pickups

Recovering abandoned 
online orders

Remind subscribers about 
online food orders they 
abandoned to help recover otherwise lost revenue

Driving app downloads

Drive more mobile app downloads by cross-promoting it via your text messaging


How to Start Your Text 
Messaging Channel

Below are the first steps in launching your next top revenue channel.


Define your goals

As with any new marketing initiative, it's critical to first define your goals. For many marketers, text messaging is a new channel. Key performance indicators will often center around metrics like subscriber growth, click-through rates, and offer redemptions.

When done well, text messaging can quickly become one of your top 3 revenue channels. Before launching, it is important to have clear expectations for the channel and an agreed-upon method for how you'll measure success.

“We're achieving 15x ROI on our text messages and seeing strong subscriber growth using Attentive's list growth tools.”

Anthony Rosemond
CEO & Founder

Start growing subscribers

The next step in launching your text messaging channel is to grow an audience of opted-in subscribers. There are many ways to quickly scale your subscriber list, like acquisition tools for your mobile website (including our patent-pending "two-tap" sign-up, desktop website, in-app, email, social channels, paid media, in-store signage, delivery packaging, and more.

“Today, not only are we growing our text subscriber list 3x faster, but we’re also growing our email list. Attentive continues to enhance their tools so we can maintain this growth and keep sending relevant messages to our customers.”

Aarti Mehta
Director of Marketing

Send targeted content

By leveraging real-time behavioral data, food & beverage marketers can send personalized text messages to subscribers at scale. For example, you could create a drip campaign for new subscribers with welcome messages introducing them to your brand; set up a place-your-order reminder for seasonal offers, or invite subscribers to in-store events.

“Our text program consistently outperforms email when it comes to driving immediate revenue results. We couldn’t be happier working with the Attentive team—their expertise in the space is really unmatched.”

Shannon Murphy
Senior CRM Manager

How Attentive Can Help

We understand this is a new channel for many marketers. Attentive's full-service team will help at every step of the way with expert advice and guidance to maximize the channel—from goal setting to launching and scaling your program. And with real-time dashboards, you can quickly see high-level overviews of performance, click-through rates, subscriber growth, and more—allowing you to optimize your performance over time.

Our tools make it easy to grow your text subscriber list


  • Mobile & desktop website

  • In-store

  • Instagram

  • Text-to-Join

  • ...and more!


  • Patent-pending "two-tap" sign-up

  • Integrated incentive management

  • A/B testing

  • Targeted placement controls

  • Custom, on-brand designs

  • ...and more!

Text Messaging Acquisition Tools

Attentive's patent-pending "two-tap" sign-up solution

Seamless Sign-Up

Quickly grow your text messaging subscriber list with our patent- pending “two-tap” sign-up on mobile web

Automated Onboarding

New subscribers simply press "Send" on the pre-populated text to opt in and begin receiving messages

“When we first tested Attentive compared to our previous provider, I was shocked at the subscribers growth and conversion rates.”
Claudia Lugmair
Director of Customer
“Attentive’s team made it simple to get up and running right away. By being hands-on as we build our channel, Attentive empowers us to spend time scaling our other channels alongside SMS.”
Phill Glapa
Digital Marketing Coordinator

When done well, personalized text messaging can quickly become a top 3 revenue channel for food, restaurant, and beverage brands.

Want more food and beverage text messaging examples?

Explore Texts We Love

Want more food and beverage text messaging examples?

Explore Texts We Love