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Text-to-vote strategy: How Postino WineCafé turns texting competitions into bruschetta sales

Take a peek at Postino’s text-to-vote campaign to increase sales and customer loyalty, and learn how you can adapt it to your own business.

Featured image for the article

After writing an article about SMS marketing ideas, I couldn’t get one of the campaigns off my mind. 

The campaign from Postino WineCafé — a restaurant and wine bar with 25+ locations — goes beyond your typical “Sign up for discounts and updates” call-to-action

Want a peek at this promotion? I’ll break down Postino’s strategy so you can see how they give customers a say in their menu items and keep them coming back.

Key takeaways:

  • Text-to-vote campaigns can help you connect with your customers and promote products and services.
  • Personalize the campaign’s theme, text messages, and visuals to your brand.
  • Include other marketing channels, like email and social media, for a greater reach.
  • Make sure you’re following texting compliance rules and guidelines

Table of contents:

How the text-to-vote campaign works

Postino WineCafé is running a text-to-vote competition called the Battle of the Bruschetta. 

graphic showing two types of bruschetta — the devilest egg vs. the mediterranean
Two battling bruschette from Postino’s campaign (source: Instagram)

It features a March Madness-style bracket with pairs of bruschette (an antipasto of toasted bread and toppings) that are duking it out for a permanent spot on the menu.

Each week, Postino invites customers to try two types of bruschetta and vote on their favorite. 

They advertise the campaign on:

  • Table tents at their restaurants
  • Social posts
  • Their website
Postino's call-to-action for their text-to-vote campaign, which asks participants to text "Battle" to their number to vote
SMS call-to-action for Postino’s campaign (source:

The invitation to join their SMS list is simple — customers can text the keyword BATTLE to Postino’s number to vote and enter for a chance to win a $50 gift card.

When I texted the keyword to Postino’s number, I received:

  1. A compliance text message that’s required in the SMS industry and helps set subscribers’ expectations.
  2. An introduction to the text-to-vote campaign and the week’s bruschetta duo.
First text messages in Postino's text-to-vote campaign. The first is a compliance text, and the second welcomes you to the Battle of the Bruschetta and lists the two bruschetta to vote on
The first texts I received from Postino WineCafé

Next, I texted in my choice (the Mediterranean bruschetta looks delicious), and Postino sent me a link to join their e-club.

Second text message in Postino's campaign that confirms your vote and invites you to join their e-club
Confirmation text I received after voting

On the e-club page, the headline says, “Sign up today, get a board of bruschetta on us.” 

Free bruschetta? Count me in. I could never turn down free Mediterranean appetizers — especially not with two Postino WineCafé locations 30 minutes from my house.

Postino's e-club sign up form
Postino’s e-club form (Source:

Two weeks later, Postino sent a GIF of tantalizing bruschette and an offer of $5 off an order of the third battle duo.

GIF of bruschetta images and an invite to order them with a $5 off coupon

🧑‍🍳 This text message gets a chef’s kiss from me. 

  • It has a GIF of bruschetta
  • It tells me how to place an order
  • It sweetens the deal with a discount

Why this campaign is a winner

If I had to sum up why I hold it up as an outstanding example of text-to-vote, it would be for these three reasons:

1. It’s a conversation starter. 

Imagine you’re getting brunch at Postino WineCafé with friends, and you spot the table tent inviting you to vote on your favorite bruschetta. 

Now you and your friends are trying delicious new foods and talking about which one you should vote for — and the $50 gift card giveaway is a bonus.

2. Postino’s brand personality is on full display.

From the ”ding, ding, ding” in the first text to the mouthwatering photos of bruschetta, Postino nailed the look and feel of this campaign. 

I love when business owners aren’t afraid to play around with text message copy and MMS messaging. Even without a large marketing budget, you can create engaging graphics with tools like Canva and tweak your text copy to compliment your brand.

3. It’s multichannel.

Battle of the Bruschetta is a true multichannel campaign — it reaches customers across SMS, email, social media, and printed materials in the restaurant.

Its messaging and visuals are consistent across each marketing channel, and participants have several ways to learn about and join the competition.

What I’d optimize

The Battle of the Bruschetta is already an outstanding example of text-to-vote done right. But I’ve been a marketer since 2015 and can’t turn that part of my brain off, even when brunch foods are involved.

As I was looking into this campaign, I came across a few things that I would test:

1. Including a disclaimer in the texting call-to-action

The one thing I feel is missing in the call-to-action is an expectation for what I’ll receive from Postino when I vote. 

Will I receive messages about promotions and new menu items, or will I just receive the voting options? 

Including a disclaimer up front with what messages you’re sending and how often is a solid way to set expectations and help keep your unsubscribe rate low. 

2. Outlining the benefits of e-club

Looking at the e-club sign up form page, I’m unsure why I should submit my email (other than getting a free bruschetta board). 

Will I receive promotions there that I can’t get via SMS? Is the e-club different from the texting list? 

I’m sure Postino has gotten plenty of e-club sign-ups, but mentioning what members can expect to receive could help anyone who’s on the fence and prevent them from unsubscribing after getting the coupon.

3. Adjusting the timing of the texts

One small tweak Postino can test out for future campaigns is to send messages like these right before lunch or dinner. 

I received mine around 8:00 PM EST. Though the discount code was valid for a few days, Postino may see an uptick in orders closer to typical meal times.

Postino has locations across the U.S., so they can send a Data Collection campaign asking customers for their city. This data will attach to their subscribers’ contact entries, allowing them to segment people based on location and schedule the campaign to each time zone.

As an added bonus: Postino can send targeted campaigns to each segment in the future, letting them know about location-specific deals or menu items that are popular in their area.

Adapting Postino’s campaign idea for your business

Text-to-vote campaigns like this one aren’t just for restaurants. You can give your customers a choice between any type of product or service.

For instance, let’s say you have a professional organizing business, and you want to increase revenue from existing customers. You could:

  1. Set up a special SMS keyword, like HOMETRENDS.
  2. Invite clients to text in their vote for which organizing trends and products they’d choose for their home. When possible, showcase your add-on services or those only available in higher pricing packages.
  3. Enter voters into a drawing for a complimentary organizing or decluttering service. Give them an entry every time they vote, so they’ll be on the lookout for your texts each week. The more votes, the more chances to win.
  4. Announce the winner via social, email, and SMS.
  5. At the end, send a discount code to all participants to upsell them on your services.

📌 Don’t forget to follow promotional text message compliance rules when inviting people to text you.

Thanks for joining Simple Home’s This or That game!
SIMPLESHOP: Msg&data rates may apply. 4 msg/month. Reply STOP to cancel or HELP for help.

How to run your own text-to-vote campaign

Have an idea for your own SMS polls or surveys? Use SimpleTexting’s Text-to-Vote feature, which automates the entire process and tallies the results for you.

To run one like Postino’s Battle of the Bruschetta without SimpleTexting, you’ll need an SMS marketing platform with SMS keyword and autoresponder features.

Here’s how to put it all together:

  1. Set up a keyword for your campaign and invite people to join so they can cast their vote.
  2. Automate a welcome message (sometimes called an auto-confirmation message) to thank people for joining your texting list.
  3. Schedule a text campaign for a specific date, or create an autoresponder message that triggers the voting options message soon after someone subscribes.
  4. Tally the responses in your SMS inbox to see which choice won.

💡 Sign up for SimpleTexting’s free 14-day trial to test drive the features and apps I mentioned in this guide. 

* Featured image courtesy of Postino WineCafé

Dani Henion
Dani Henion

Dani Henion is the content team lead at SimpleTexting and is continuously looking for ways to make text messaging strategies and tips more accessible to SMBs. When she's not writing or planning new SMS content, you'll find her decorating elaborate sugar cookies or thrifting in Atlanta.

More Posts from Dani Henion

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