Have you used TalkBox to send an SMS to your customers? It’s time to start.

SMS is an incredibly valuable tool that gets results. This month we are offering businesses 350 FREE credits, with a value of £10.15. 1 SMS = 1 credit. Why not try SMS and see the results for yourself?

Claim your free credits here.

SMS is a powerful tool to help drive business.
Italian eatery ‘Amore’, brought in an additional 100 orders and £3500 in a single day with a just one SMS campaign. Including a special discount and adding a link to the menu by selecting the ‘add promotion’ in the SMS editor, enticed a significant number of customers to take up on the offer and order.

Why use SMS?
1. Get the immediate attention of your customers
The majority of SMS are opened within 90 seconds of being delivered.

2. Reach more customers than any other marketing tool
Customers do not apply the same level of filtering to SMS than other forms of marketing.

3. Get your message read
Delivered directly into your customer’s hand. The short and succinct format demands attention; customers don’t need to scroll through long emails to find out what you are trying to promote.

TIP: Add your menu and link to additional information by selecting ‘add promotion.’

When to use SMS
1. Last-minute promotions 

Make sure your dining room is at capacity or promote the nightly meal special.

2. Keep customers engaged
Send weekly reminders to your customers to keep them engaged and remind them about your offering.

3. Update them on business operations
New menu? New management or opening hours? It’s a great way to keep customers informed and stay top of mind

How VisitSafe helped Melbourne restaurant through lockdown 2.0

Award-winning restaurant Embla had only just welcomed their much-loved guests back before the second round of lockdown was announced for Melbourne in July.  The popular CBD wine bar and restaurant previously had a no-booking policy, and every night the dining room was buzzing, with a long waitlist of hopeful diners and Jazz blasting on the stereo. The new guidelines for businesses introduced post-lockdown meant drastic operational changes.  Embla now needed to take bookings, record guest details, limit capacity, and they may have even turned the music down, a little bit.

The second round of lockdown came hard and fast and meant relaunching their weekly set menu for delivery and take away. This time they used digital marketing platform TalkBox by Impact Data to promote it and tapped into their most recent and highly engaged customer list they had been building for a short time with VisitSafe and their online booking system.  After just one email to their contact list, they generated over $5000 in additional revenue. 

To adhere with requirements for contact tracing, Embla asked their guests to register their visits using VisitSafe.  When registering their visit customers could also opt-in to receive marketing communications from that business. Approximately 12% of customers have agreed to receive marketing communications when registering their visit. 

Never having sent an email communication before, Embla was initially unsure of how receptive their customers would be. The response from customers was so overwhelming they needed to increase the capacity for orders for that weekend and still sold out.  Open rates were over 60%, which proved Embla’s customers were keen to receive updates from their favourite city wine bar. 

‘We had no idea how receptive our customers would be, we didn’t realise they still want to hear from us when they aren’t here. We had our biggest weekend since lockdown thanks to just one email campaign.’ Embla manager – Andrew Green

Having a highly engaged and invested customer base can be a safeguard and help keep business moving. By capturing and unlocking the customer data from systems that are already in your business, you can build an audience that wants to hear from you quickly.  Talk to the team at Impact Data today on how you can stay connected with your customers and drive your business.

Talk to us today about how we can help you connect with your customers.

Hello@impactdata.com.au

It’s time for #TakeawayTuesday with TalkBox

The team at Restaurant and Catering Australia have been supporting members in many ways during these difficult times.  In fact, they have been supporting the industry since 1922.  In 2020 with many venues closed during the early stages of the pandemic, they created a campaign #EatAloneTogether to help drive takeaway business sales.  This campaign in conjunction with Entertainment and Unilever Food Solutions has now evolved into #TakeawayTuesday.

Many restaurants embraced takeaway during the lockdown, proving that takeaway can be a valuable revenue source. Creating awareness and leveraging off a national campaign, venues can create a new reason to engage customers on a traditionally quiet evening.  

An added benefit of launching takeaway, is that many venues added providers that collect and pass on customer details.  This can help a business rapidly build a database of engaged and recent customers.  

To support this campaign the team at Impact Data have created a dedicated #TakeawayTuesday email template in your account.

To find it simply navigate to: Communications>Create new>Email>Business Critical Emails.

All you need to do is update the links to your ordering partner and menu.  This is a typical TalkBox template that can be easily updated to suit your needs and branding. 

SMS is a really effective way to get attention and boost your Tuesday sales. SMS communications reach more customers than any other marketing tool and can help promote campaigns on the day they are valid. Remember to select SMS when you are setting up your campaign.  This type of campaign is perfect for SMS, learn about how one Impact Data’s customers bought in an additional 100 orders with one simple SMS.

So let’s make every Tuesday #TakeawayTuesday and remember to get your customers to share their experience on your social media pages with the #TakeawayTogether tag.

Need some more inspiration?  Read about ‘telling your takeaway story’ here.

Make the most of the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme with SMS

From August 3 you can offer diners a  50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person,  all day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 31 August 2020. Once you register you can redeem claim the money back from the government.  Register your business and learn more here.

SMS reaches more customers than any other marketing tool and gets their immediate attention. Getting direct contact with your customers is an opportunity to get your message across and boost sales. To support businesses during this time we have reduced our SMS rate to 2.9p per SMS.  

Contact customers on the days the scheme is valid and Include additional information by selecting ‘add promotion’ as a link. You can create a TalkBox flyer with information such as your menu, how to book and opening hours. 

  • Keep it short and simple. SMS over 116 characters will be spread over 2 SMS and you will be charged accordingly.
  • Include a merge field such as ‘First name’ to add familiarity and engage your reader.
  • SMS on the day the offer is valid to remind customers and get immediate results.
  • Add a call to action such as ‘Book now’ or ‘Find out’ more and Include your business phone number or link to book.

Here are a few examples you can use to help boost sales during the government scheme and after.

Over 500,000 visits and counting!

With over 500,000 safe visits recorded, businesses of all sizes, all around Australia are using VisitSafe to record customer details for COVID-19 contact tracing and help keep the community safe. Impact Data, the team behind clever digital marketing platform TalkBox, developed VisitSafe to assist businesses and give customers the confidence they are being kept safe. VisitSafe is a completely free tool that takes less than 1 minute to set up.

‘This is a challenging time for hospitality operators, so we’re thrilled to be able to offer this tool to all businesses and help where we can. With a number of new guidelines in place, businesses can use VisitSafe assured they are keeping the community safe.’ Impact Data CEO Lachlan Opray


As each state continues to battle with the virus, businesses are operating under the guidance of state governments with rules in place to help keep their customers safe. New measures and recommendations have just been announced for NSW, which includes further limitations on capacity as well as digitising the record of customer details who enter a business premise. To limit transmission through pen and paper and create a more reliable system the NSW government suggest businesses are ‘ encouraged to strongly promote QR code sign-in.’

VisitSafe is a contactless solution allowing customers to use their own devices to add the details about their visit when entering a venue. Businesses simply log on to VisitSafe.at, register and then direct customers to the URL or QR code and register their visit. Guest details are securely stored and can be retrieved by that business at any time. 

How does it work?

  1. Signup at visitsave.at and choose your unique URL for example visitsafe.at/YourBusinessName. We also give you a QR code pointing to your unique URL.  
  2. Ask staff to present visitors with your unique URL and or QR code.
  3. Customers scan QR code or enter URL with their own device and are directed to an online form where they can enter details. Details of their visit such as time and date will be recorded and securely held.
  4. Log back into visitsafe.at to download your records if required.
  5. That’s it! We automatically delete records after 28 days per government requirements

Contact tracing remains the most effective way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. To re-open safely, the government requires hospitality businesses to record every customer who enters their venue.  Customer details must be recorded and kept for 28 days and then subsequently destroyed. 

As well as capturing guests details to comply with government guidelines, VisitSafe gives your customers the options to opt-in for marketing.  Impact Data has recorded approximately 13% of customers agree to receive marketing communications when registering their visit. Sending business updates, and inviting guests to return is a fantastic way to keep driving business. Opt-in records are available at VisitSafe for download or automatic addition to an Impact Data TalkBox account.  

How 1 SMS campaign brought in an additional 100 orders

Amore is one of Glasgow’s most loved and established Italian restaurants. The government restrictions due to Covid-19 forced Amore close its doors on March 19. One month later, due to an overwhelming response from Facebook fans craving their favourite Italian cuisines  Amore launched a takeaway and delivery service.  Amore used TalkBox to promote their new business model and dramatically boosted sales by £3500 with SMS. 

SMS is a direct and immediate way to reach customers who may not engage with email marketing.  Amore brought in an additional 100 orders on the same day they sent an SMS campaign with TalkBox.  The SMS included a special discount and they added a link to the menu and other deals by selecting the ‘add promotion’ in the SMS editor.  You can see an example of the SMS below.

SMS is a powerful and often underutilised tool.  While some people may opt-out, that’s ok. The result is a contact list of highly engaged and receptive customers who are willing to spend with you – not surprising as, after all, they were your customers to begin with.

Tips for sending an SMS to boost sales: 

  1. Offer a deal customers can’t refuse.
  2. Include additional information by selecting ‘add promotion’ as a link. Here you can create a TalkBox flyer with information such as your menu, how to order and opening hours.  
  3. Keep it short and simple. SMS over 116 characters will be spread over 2 SMS and you will be charged accordingly. 

Get in touch with the Impact Data team to start making SMS work for you.

BIRTHDAYS – WE CAN STILL MAKE THEM SPECIAL.

Did you know that customers spend 37% more when celebrating a special occasion such as a Birthday?  Sending a ‘Happy Birthday’communication by email or SMS is a great way to engage with your customers or better yet,  get a sale. This year businesses need to think creatively about how to capture sales in this challenging environment. Even if customers can’t visit your business you can still help them celebrate. 

Whether your business has transitioned to a takeaway and delivery model or you are riding out the lockdown wave, you can still engage with your customers and help them celebrate. Below are a few ways you can keep engaging with customers on their birthday and guarantee footfall when you re-open. 

Automations
If you have disabled birthday automatons when lockdown began, you might want to edit your message and turn them back on. 

If you are offering takeaway or delivery wish them a happy birthday and include a voucher or a free gift you will include when they order from you. 

OR

Wish them a happy birthday and that you can wait to celebrate. When your business does re-open send them a free drink voucher.

Special occasion packs.
Dinner, dessert and wine?  Perhaps think about offering a special occasion deal that customers can purchase for their loved ones as a gift. An afternoon tea box, or a Sunday roast that customers finish cooking at home? Get creative and promote what you are doing via email or SMS.

Gift vouchers
Gift vouchers are not only the perfect gift for that person who has everything but can help your business with much-needed cash flow. Set up recurring automations in TalkBox to send a couple of times a year and, before key celebrations such as Father’s Day or Christmas. 

Build a local experience
Why not work with other businesses in your area to create and deliver an experience. Dinner, wine, chocolates and even some skincare might be easily assembled with your local traders and then you can all sell the package to all your customers to maximise everyone’s sales opportunities.  (Let us know if your collaborators don’t have access to TalkBox and we will look after them)

We hope a couple of these ideas might work for you. You can find birthday email templates in your TalkBox account to help you get started.  

Need help, reach out to the Impact Data team.

Keep your customers safe with a free tool from Impact Data – VisitSafe

Introducing VisitSafe, a free tool designed to help re-open your business confident you’re keeping the community safe. A contactless way to safely record and store customer visits to meet government requirements for COVID-19 contact tracing. 

 ‘VisitSafe was launched by our Australian operation just before their 1 June hospitality restart and has already helped more than a thousand businesses to record visitor check-in details. Following the UK government announcement that businesses are required to record visitor details, we’re thrilled that we can immediately offer a proven solution to businesses here in the UK.

Our goal was to make VisitSafe as easy as possible for businesses to set-up and use. So making it free and super-fast to set-up was critical. Customers and other visitors can use their own devices to check-in so businesses can use VisitSafe assured they are keeping the community safe.’ Impact Data CEO Lachlan Opray

Powered by Impact Data the team behind the clever marketing application TalkBox, VisitSafe is a completely free service for all businesses that can be set up in under 1 minute. Records will be accessible and securely stored then automatically deleted as per government regulation. 

Government-imposed regulations designed to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 will require businesses to collect contact details for every customer who enters their venue.  While the government will provide guidance, businesses are required to handle the recording of this information. The problematic task of keeping sensitive information such as customer details as well as the issues around customers sharing pens and paper is solved with Impact Data’s tool, VisitSafe.

VisitSafe is a contactless solution allowing customers to use their own devices to add the details about their visit when entering a venue. Guest details are securely stored and can be retrieved by that business at any time. Businesses simply log on to VisitSafe.at, register and then share the URL or QR code with their customers. 

As well as capturing guests details to comply with government guidelines, VisitSafe gives your customers the options to opt-in for marketing. Sending business updates, and inviting guests to return is a fantastic way to keep driving business. Opt-in records are available at VisitSafe for download or automatic addition to an Impact Data TalkBox account.  

How does it work?

  1. Signup at visitsafe.at and choose your unique URL for example visitsafe.at/YourBusinessName. We also give you a QR code pointing to your URL.  
  2. Ask staff to present visitors with your unique URL and or QR code. 
  3. Customers are directed to an online form where they can enter details on their own device. Details of their visit such as time and date will be recorded and securely held.
  4. Log back in to visitsafe.at to download your records if required.
  5. That’s it! We automatically delete records as per government requirements.

Stay in touch with your customers
VisitSafe gives your customers the options to opt-in for marketing so you can send them business updates and keep them coming back. Opt in records are available at VisitSafe for download or automatic addition to an Impact Data TalkBox account.  

Multiple venues?
No problem! You can set up multiple VisitSafe venue accounts. You just need to provide a unique email address for each venue account you setup.

Already an Impact Data TalkBox user? 
Just add your TalkBox account API key at VisitSafe. Job done!

Not an Impact Data TalkBox customer?
Talk to us about TalkBox today!

Not interested in marketing?
No problem, VisitSafe is freely available for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need any special equipment to use VisitSafe?
No. Any internet-enabled device such as a mobile phone can be used to access your VisitSafe form URL to check-in details.

What customer details should be entered when checking-in?
Per state government guidelines customers should be checked in with their name, phone number and table number. If you are asking customers to check themselves in please ensure the table number at which they are seated is clearly displayed.

What if a customer doesn’t have a phone number?
If a customer doesn’t have a phone number then can enter their email address or home address in the “phone number” field.

What if one person wants to check-in all customers at a table?
Details of multiple customers can be added from a single device by submitting the form multiple times.

How can staff be sure my customers have checked-in?
Staff can ask to see the form success page. Staff can take details verbally and check customers in on their own device. Alternately staff can view the reports to see who has and has not checked-in.

SMS dramatically boosts sales for Sydney restaurant.

Restaurant marketing expert Clive Morley from Foodshot has revealed some astonishing results from an SMS campaign he ran with Sydney restaurant Long Chim.

Famous for serving traditional dishes from Thailand, Long Chim (which means come and try) is by chef David Thompson. Pre COVID-19, the restaurant did not offer take away so when restrictions were put in place, Long Chim was forced into 1 of 2 options; temporary closure or immediate innovation – Long Chim went with the latter.

A takeaway menu that you can (almost) taste through the screen was the first operational move. Then to sell it. Long Chim had cleverly connected their booking system (Now Book It) and guest WiFi to TalkBox 12 months prior,  equipping them with a substantial contact list in which they could promote the new menu to.

Email proved to be a success, links to order online with pick up and delivery options brought in steady trade but was in no way comparable to the bustling ‘booked outs’ dinner shifts they were used to. Until they tried SMS.

Clive found that SMS was a fantastic way to reach customers on the database who weren’t responsive to emails. “Industry standards on email open rates are around 20% – so what about the much larger group of customers who don’t open the emails but may still be very responsive to marketing?”

“In the case of Long Chim, we found that sending the SMS had a 400% higher engagement rate than email, not to mention close to 100% delivery rate. Some marketers feel that texts can be a little intrusive, but the data is compelling. The SMS campaign for Long Chim brought in over 150 covers within 24 hours with a tracked ROI of 900%.” – Clive Morley

Below is an example of an SMS designed to drive sales; it includes the special on offer as well as a link to the menu.

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While some people will opt-out, that’s ok. Not everyone wants to be contacted by SMS so allowing people to opt-out filters out the people who may find it intrusive. The result is a contact list of highly engaged and receptive customers who are willing to spend with you – not surprising as, after all, they were your customers to begin with.

For more information about how to send an SMS read the article here or get in touch with impact data at hello@impactdata.com.au

Telling your take away and delivery story

Hospitality businesses across the globe are rapidly changing their offering to takeaway and delivery options to keep some form of revenue flowing in. For many businesses this has been a massive upheaval to operations and the focus has been on selecting the right technology partner and assessing your menu’s appropriateness. Delivery and takeaway may become an important part of your business model now and when things return to normal.

Now it’s time to tell your customers!

Simply changing your business to delivery won’t guarantee it will work, you need to engage your audience and get them purchasing.  Impact Data has gathered the top tips to help you grow your takeaway and delivery business.

  1. Create a beautiful email with images of your food.  If you don’t have images of your new menu do your best and take some shots of what’s on offer now.
  2. Talk about how to access your delivery or pre-ordering.  If you have gone low tech and are just using a phone number considering sending an SMS message to your best customers so they can call you direct.
  3. If you have chosen one of the third party delivery options like Uber Eats they will market your business but don’t take your eye off your existing customers so consider creating special offers that you can send to them to redeem on these platforms.
  4. Plan your communications.  If you have a different menu across the week or theme nights then plan to send regular messages to let customers know what this week’s menu is.
  5. Think about special events.  Now that we can’t gather for Mothers Day, birthdays or other special occasions people have turned to video events.  Can your business deliver in multiple locations so families can still enjoy Sunday dinner at the same time, all from your business?
  6. Birthdays still matter.  If you have your customers date of birth and you previously sent them an offer to dine in, why not send them an offer for delivery?
  7. Ask for reviews by setting up Feedback in TalkBox.  Not only is this important to understand how your customers are viewing your current options, getting feedback and reviews on your socials can help keep you top of mind and boost your brands profile.
  8. Get your customers involved.  Ask customers to post photos enjoying your food to their socials and tag your business. 
  9. Use this time to get to know your customers better.  Set up a TalkBox form and ask things like favourite menu item or drink.  You can then even send offers relating to your customers favourite dishes.

And most importantly, gather and connect your data.  

If you are using a delivery partner that allows you to capture and keep your customer data then get it into your TalkBox account so you can build your business now and after the crisis.

For help with telling your delivery story or connecting your data to TalkBox, talk to us at support@impactdata.com.au