I just sent my first batch of BB Letters. They returned pretty well, so we’re going to be doing bigger batches.
I sent them out all First Class mail though, which is quite expensive. 39 cents vs. 14.7 cents for a bulk mail. What have you all used on your BB letters, and do you think there would be a big difference in return with a stamp versus a permit imprint?
It is widely held in the marketing business that a stamp gets significantly higher response than an imprinted indicia. It costs more to use an indicia for bulk mail (now called Standard Mail) than a precancelled stamp. You purchase special precancelled stamps for use on your mailers and pay the lower “bulk rate” postage.
That said, the best possible response will come from a hand-addressed envelope with only a street address as the return address and a First Class postage stamp. You can get a VERY GOOD substitute for a hand-addressed envelope by purchasing a handwriting font for your computer and printing the envelopes on a printer.
BB Letters are the sales letters outlined in Kamron Karrington’s book on pizzeria marketing and sales improvement. It’s called the Black Book. The details are here: http://www.blackbookreport.com/RR.htm
I’ve put my store’s name in the return address field… so you think I shouldn’t do that?
If the goal is to get a prospect to open the envelope, some direct marketers say it’s better to entice the prospect to find out what’s in the envelope. Putting your restaurant name in the return address space gives away something about the contents. The handwriting font accomplishes the same purpose as omitting the return address – A handwritten address is far more personal and enticing than an address label.
The goal is to make the envelope not look like a mass-mailed direct marketing piece. People call that junk mail!
Sorry, I was just jokeing. I just don’t know why so many people spend SO MUCH money on his book. I’m sure there are alot of great ideas in the thing. I just can’t get past the whole "Don’t discount your pizza " philosophy. I mean, it sounds great, give the customer something free instead of discounting your pizza. The thing is though. I have visited his web page many times, and never bought the book. Then a few days or a few weeks later, I get these e-mails from him telling me he will sell me a book for half the money. Isn’t he doing EXACTLY what he tells everyone else NOT to do? Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems I read one of his articles and he said discounting was attracting all of the “Bottom Feeders” or something to that affect. Does he consider ME a “Bottom Feeder”.
I use clear poly envelopes for most of my mailings… http://www.uniquepacking.com/product_in … cts_id=447
The 6 x 9 weighs less than a white envelopes and the content show through to entice the reader…My results have gone up substantially since changing to these envelopes…RCS…
Russ. I agree with you on a lot of points (I’m the original poster.) There’s A LOT of areas that I don’t agree with Kamron regarding marketing. And I agree that discounting his book is kind of odd; but remember he’s in a different market than pizza. He’s not trying to gain loyalty… just sell something one time. What he’s doing is smart for him, he’s maximizing his revenue by getting the people that are willing to pay $400 to do so, and those that are willing to pay $200 to do so. His costs of producing another book are close to zero, so $200 is better than nothing at all. Agree with him or not, the man’s not stupid.
I am a proponent of not discounting for MY business, but it’s not the model for everyone. I’ve been open two years now and we’re doing very well. I’ve NEVER discounted my pizza. We’re expensive, and that’s the demographic we’re going after – people that are willing to pay for higher quality (or at least ‘perceived’ higher quality.) People that are looking for a cheap pizza can go somewhere else, and that’s fine. I think it was Big Dave that said “You can make money being the best, or make money being the cheapest. But you can’t do both.” If you’re going to market yourself as high end, you can’t be sending coupons out for a $7.00 large. You’ll never get people to pay $15 again. When’s the last time you got a coupon for a 4-star restaurant?
That said, I am in no way a big proponent of the BB. You won’t find me shilling it out here on the boards. But, I can tell you that I was a naysayer on this whole “letter” idea for two years until I finally tried it. I got a really big return on that first batch, and I was shocked.
I think the “letter” part is really the best part of the entire book… and it’s interesting to note that the entire thing is available for free right here on this website
BTW Jeff, thanks for the advice. I sent out a batch today with a handwritten font from that website and precancelled stamps. We’ll see how it goes!
What is the difference between giving things away for FREE and discounting your pizza either way they both cost money.
I have found that there are alot of people that just want pizza not the FREE drink Garlic Bread or what ever the black book suggest to give away
I will take bottom feeders in my shop paying $1 less per pizza as well as anyone who wants to pay full price and get a FREE Drink. There money is just as good as anyone’s and either way they cost me the same.
It does not take a brain sergeon to work out if you give things away for FREE with a pizza purchase your pizza sales will go up but no one mentions how much the sales in the FREE areas go down
The best marketing idea Kamron has had was THE BLACK BOOK.He has got alot of money out of Pizza Shop owners who will try anything to make a extra dollar
Here is a Question for everyone ???
If you sell
1 Large Pizza Normal price $13
Garlic Bread Normal price $3
Bottle of Drink Normal Price $3
Think what you want but the best thing that I ever did for my business was to buy the Black Book. I was ready to close the doors at the point when I decided to buy Kamron’s book. Now a year and a half later I now own 2 shops that are doing really well. To this day, the best marketing piece I have done is Kamron’s letter. On average it pulls around a 25% return with an average ticket of $18. I give away free bread sticks, a free 2-liter, and 2 free toppings with the purchase of a large pizza. This only costs me about $2 and 75% of the time the customer also adds wings. If anything it has given me many new customers. The letter gets their butts in the door to try my food. When I send out my black book letters, I mail out 1500 a week. The worst batch I ever had with the letters was a 15% return with a $17 ticket average. I still made a lot of money on that batch of letters. I got 225 letters back and made $3,825 in sales from them. The free food cost me $450 and the mailing cost me $500. After food cost, I profited $2,200 and any future orders from those customers. That’s $2,200 extra that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t send out Kamron’s Letter. The difference between giving a money discount and Kamron’s deal is the word FREE. Customer’s love to get things for FREE. With Kamron’s letter they feel like you are giving away the house when actually you are only giving them around $2 in food. Remember the word FREE gets results.
I think the best thing about Kamron’s book is the price you pay for it.
I believe there is no such thing as a new advertising or promotion idea. There are just new versions of the old tried and true tactics. Buying Kamron’s book does several very good things:
Gives you ideas of where to start and what to do
Gets you to think about marketing
Gets you COMMITTED to DOING advertising and promotion because of the investment
Gets you MOTIVATED to make a promotional campaign work because you are excited about the possibilities in your own business
An unwillingness to try anything new or do anything about your stagnant sales is the first step down the road to a failing business. It seems that there are always lots of people with opinions on what won’t or can’t work. The ones who MAKE IT WORK will always be more successful.
The funniest thing just happened! I just received a Black Book letter – The envelope was addressed using a handwriting font and the postage was a precancelled stamp!
This is the third Black Book letter I have received from this restaurant. After I got the second, I and two others from my office went to the restaurant for lunch. Their letter WORKED, but they were closed for lunch on Monday and Tuesday. Very bad thing. I had no idea that they could possibly be closed for lunch since they sent the letter to a business.
The bottom line is that I would have never tried to try this restaurant without receiving the first two letters.
Hey all! Where did you get the info on pre-cancelled stamps? I talked to my post office and they said they never heard of such a thing. I called the main hub and they too said it was bulk or nothing. Please let a guy know!