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Generating Quick Service Restaurant Prospects: Best Practices

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Quick service restaurants (QSRs) are a mainstay of American culture, with millions of Americans dining out, and, especially recently, ordering in each year. QSRs have experienced steady year-over-year growth, with the amount of QSR franchise establishments in the U.S. growing 33% over the past 10 years. As the QSR market becomes more and more competitive, many QSRs and restaurant franchises have turned to lead generation campaigns to acquire and engage new prospects. The best practices highlighted below will help ensure lead generation campaigns geared toward QSR prospects are set up for success.


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Careful preparation is essential for any successful lead generation campaign. Developing and following through on a well-thought out plan can be the roadmap to success, resulting in a growing, engaged QSR prospect base.

  • Determine what media channels work best for your campaign: Seek out channels that can produce motivated users. Email and mobile experiences can be key components of successful QSR lead generation campaigns, and affiliate traffic can produce guaranteed conversions on the landing page of your choice. 
  • Plan for a cohesive multi-channel approach: Amplify TV, radio or OTT efforts by incorporating the creative into your performance marketing campaigns for a consistent brand message. These campaigns can be particularly effective when complemented by branding through display or programmatic initiatives.
  • Determine what success looks like: Identify KPIs (key performance indicators) that will be tracked and measured throughout the campaign. When working with third parties, be clear about campaign goals and how success will be measured up front. Core KPIs in many QSR lead generation campaigns are open rates and click-through rates on promotional emails sent to new prospects. Rates and timelines of offer redemption should also be closely monitored. Post-offer purchases can take an average of 14 to 30 days to come to fruition, but timely promotions can help decrease conversion time.



With so many QSR options for consumers to choose from, brands with the most engaging creative and compelling offers are likely to come out on top.

  • Know your audience: Determine who your target audience is, and develop creative that speaks to them. Mine your data to create ideal consumer profiles based on your most engaged customer segments. Use images that match your target demographics, enabling prospects to engage with relevant creative that is more likely to result in conversions. 
  • Keep creative fresh and engaging: Interactive creative that is eye-catching and has a well-defined, clear call to action will help drive strong performance. Coupon codes and discount offers work well for drawing attention. Be sure to update creative regularly to reflect holidays and events that entice prospects to visit one of your QSR locations or place delivery orders to take advantage of discounts and promotions.
  • Leverage the competition: Geo-conquesting campaigns can be particularly effective for generating new QSR prospects. Use geographical data to target consumers that have visited competitors’ locations in the past 30 days. Offer coupons or promotions to entice these prospects to order from your QSR or download your app.


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As with any marketing campaign, monitoring results and making adjustments based on outcomes is essential for QSR lead generation campaigns, as incremental improvements over time drive growth and profitability.

  • Test and iterate creative: Test various headlines, copy and images to determine what creative mix is resonating best with your target audience. Iterate to improve creative performance throughout the campaign lifecycle.
  • Share data with publishers: Empower your partners to optimize by providing them with outcome data as closely to real time as possible, ideally daily, enabling them to make adjustments to quickly and effectively improve campaign performance.


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About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Digital Media Solutions, LLC (DMS) is the leading global martech company leveraging innovative, performance-driven brand direct and marketplace solutions to connect consumers and advertisers. DMS deploys a robust database of consumer intelligence and leverages massive proprietary media distribution to provide customer acquisition campaigns that grow businesses. Continuing to experience explosive year-over-year growth, DMS has been continuously recognized on the Inc. 5000 list, securing its sixth consecutive ranking in 2019, and the Entrepreneur magazine 360 list. Earlier this year, DMS announced it is anticipating becoming a public company under a reverse merger deal with Leo Holdings Corp. Named one of America’s “Best Places to Work” by Inc. magazine and awarded the Excellence in Lead Generation Award by the LeadsCouncil, DMS brings together some of the industry’s most knowledgeable people, efficient processes and sophisticated technology across the digital marketing spectrum. For more information about DMS, visit Keep up with DMS news at and connect with us on LinkedIn at

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