Birthday Promo Facebook Messenger Marketing Campaign For Restaurants

Birthday Promo Facebook Messenger Marketing Campaign For Restaurants

In this post I will show you how to create a birthday Facebook Messenger bot that will generate new customers, increase your revenue and boost customer satisfaction.

Facebook collects your date of birth when you sign up and lets your family and friends know when it’s your birthday, thanks for that! Whilst Facebook is legally required to collect your date of birth it can also be used for advertising purposes, it’s a very valuable piece of marketing data.

In the run up to my most recent birthday, I were targeted with a few promotional adverts from local restaurants, bars and other leisure activity venues via Facebook & Instagram. All of them were using standard advertising objectives (reach, traffic, etc.) alongside a click-to-website call to action button.

Whist this social advertising strategy is a huge step-up from distributing flyers to random households and people on the street, it can still be significantly improved!

The critical improvement starts with updating the objective to “Messages” and encouraging people to contact your business using Facebook Messenger. This objective in conjunction with a Messenger bot connected to your Facebook page will allow you to automatically continue the interaction with your audience beyond the initial ad click, unlike traditional adverts.

This birthday Facebook Messenger marketing strategy can be used for a number of establishments including cinemas, bowling alleys, activity venues, escape rooms, coffee shops, cafes and bars. Throughout this post I’ll be using a restaurant as an example but anywhere people come to celebrate their birthday can implement this Messenger marketing strategy

restaurant facebook marketing

Facebook Objective & Targeting Options

The first step is to create a new campaign with “Messages” set as the objective, this objective will allow you to connect a Messenger bot at the ad level.

Once the campaign is created, you can move onto the ad set, this is where you specify who you will target, simply put, this is where the magic happens. The most important targeting option in this scenario is “Upcoming birthday”, this option allows you to target people who have birthdays within the next 7 days. You can also target people by their month of birth, this option is useful as it provides ample time for your target audience to plan and arrange their birthday.

With Facebook ads, you can use geo-targeting to get your ads in front of people based on their country, state and city. This is very useful if you’re a local business and you want to target users in a specific city, like Leeds (UK). Facebook also includes more advanced geo-targeting options that let’s you target zip codes surrounding your restaurant, if you have multiple locations, you can upload your locations for  detailed targeting. Lastly, if your restaurant attracts a particular generation or gender you can update the age and gender of your target audience. This targeting option can be effective for advertisers looking to reach people who are set to celebrate an important milestone birthday.

ℹ️ Bye Bye Audience Fatigue
It’s not unusual for Facebook adverts to be seen multiple times by the same person in a short period of time, this is called ad fatigue.
The birthday targeting options in this scenario means that your audience will be constantly refreshed which means no audience fatigue.
These targeting options are evergreen.

Advert Creative

With the campaign (objective) and ad set (target audience) setup, it’s time to move over to create your actual ad.  When it comes to creating your promotional birthday offer, test different offers to see what what works best for your specific target audience as well as the financial constraints of your business, I’ve included some example promos below: 

  • A free starter, desert or drink with every main
  • Free fries & drink with your burger
  • Free meal for your birthday when you bring 3 or more friends
  • Enjoy a free bottle of wine when you order 2 main courses
  • Grab a free coffee on your birthday

 Remember, this offer will set the foundations of your future relationship – make it worthwhile. 

The desire to save money will never go out of fashion, a recent study from Valassis highlighted that a massive 77% of consumers said they use restaurant coupons, and 68% would be willing to try a new restaurant if they had a discount.

To help inspire you, we’ve included some of our Facebook advert creative below:

Once you have uploaded your creative (a photo, gif or video), it’s then time to create the ad copy, headline and connect the advert to your Messenger bot.

Click-To-Messenger Adverts

With the campaign objective already set to “Messages”, this displays the “Messenger setup” options alongside your creative.

When creating ads that click to Messenger, you can configure a JSON structured message. This message can include text, an image and action buttons among other items. It’s the first message your audience will see when the advert is clicked – it acts as a double opt-in and the user will instantly become a subscriber when the message is interacted with.

The initial JSON message will typically include buttons or quick replies that include a unique payload, the payload will trigger a specific section of the birthday Messenger chatbot into action.

Restaurant Chatbot Conversational Design


Before you connect a restaurant Messenger bot via a unique payload, you’ve got to design and develop it. Whilst creating your own restaurant Messenger bot will certainly require more muscle the benefits gained make it worthwhile.

Although this blog post is specifically about the Messenger bot restaurant birthday promo strategy, a restaurant chatbot can be so much more than just the birthday promo scenario.

Other restaurant chatbot features could include:

  • Booking a table via Messenger – It can be integrated with your internal booking system in real time.
  • Checking out the menu & showcasing your specials
  • Instant answers regarding opening times, directions, allergies, etc
  • Automated smart reminders for bookings and promos
  • Feedback and reviews on auto-pilot
  • Telephone & email data collection for additional touch points
  • Prizes and competitions
  • Ongoing promo and menu updates

The conversational flow for your birthday restaurant chatbot should be personal to your establishment.

In the example above, once the person taps/clicks “Yes – Start Now” they’re presented with the option of either booking a table or takeout. this will allow you to create custom response based on the user’s input.

The individual is then provided with clear instructions on how to redeem this promo, in this example, the server/waiter just needs to tap the redeem button, it’s a double opt-in to avoid any accidents. When a promo is redeemed that information can be sent instantly to your internal CRM or spreadsheet to help track the ROI.

24 hours after a promo is redeemed, a follow-up message is sent asking for recommendations, if it’s a positive response the user can be redirected to post their feedback publicly. It’s a fast and simple method to generate customer reviews at scale – on auto-pilot!

restaurant facebook marketing

A Look At The Results

The industry average for coupon redemption is right around 1%, however, for the Messenger marketing birthday campaigns we run we typically see redemption rates hover around 17%, sometimes as high as 30% if the promo is very strong.

On average this birthday Messenger marketing strategy generates £6 direct revenue for every £1 spent on social advertising and that’s not factoring in lifetime value (LTV) which would see the ROI skyrocket even further.

Using a Facebook Messenger chatbot to power our Facebook & Instagram advertising is by far our most effective marketing strategy, with the help of Chit Chat we usually see a 8x return on our investment every month. Our customers love it and it’s been great for the restaurant financially.
David Joules

Results taken from a small independent restaurant based in the US. Exchange rate: $1 (USD) = £0.78 (GBP)

Want to increase your bookings?

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