Help New Place

Hi,

This is my first time posting here on this forum. To make a Long story short, I need help increasing foot traffic in my store. I recently sent out an “MDL” test. I sent 100 letters out and got a response of two. Not so great. On the MDl I offered Free bread sticks, Free garden salad, Free 2 liter of coke, with purchase of any large or greater specialty pizza. It was sent out with our menu. The cost of a large specialty pizza is 15.99 up to 19.99. We have been running ads in our local penny saver as well. The customers that we bring in are bringing us more by word of mouth and we tend to keep the people that come through our door. We are considering doing the MDL as a postcard along with some other offers. has anyone tried that? Any advice, outside the obvious, to help increase foot traffic?

Our store opened on November first. We are in a stand alone building, in a shopping center with a grocery store that has decent traffic. We have seating for 125 in a 4000 sq ft building. We average 20 deliveries a week.

Thanks
Casey

My favorite (and only) method is to give away a free small pizza - who can resist a free pizza? You get a little back from drinks, etc. And you can control exactly how much you give away a day. In your situation, I would make up a big sign, saying “FREE SMALL PIZZA RIGHT NOW!!” and put it out where the supermarket patrons can see it. Leave it out for a half-hour, or until you get enough people, the first day, then work from there. If you retain people that try your food, it’s worth the small pizza.

Hi,

I am open to try just about anything once. i will try the free pizza deal for a week during our slow times and slow nights. I gave away 80 free small pizzas for a bingo up the street at the high school and gt about a 20% return on those and did pick up some new patrons. It’s funny though, i was expecting all of the cupons to be redeemed. The people that came in allways bought enough to cover the cost also. So i’ll give it a try after i make a sign and let you know how it worked for me.

Thanks
Casey
Ps. Do these boards have a spell check?

I’m not sure how you could fit the text of a Million-dollar letter on a postcard. What’s important with the MDL is the way it’s written, the removal of risk and a personal feel about it (i.e. - hand-written addresses, a real signature, etc…). Which freebies you offer are almost a secondary consideration.

Would you be willing to post the text of your MDL letter on the forum and tell us exactly how you’re sending them out? I’m sure many of the posters could give you some tips for improving the response rate and then you could test mail another 100 to see if any changes make a difference.

Is this you?

http://www.scoreboardpizzeria.com

Scoreboard,

Welcome to THE forum and congratulations on your new business! Take some time to read the FAQ and ‘search’ for some of your topic questions. You’ll find a wealth of information!!

http://www.scoreboardpizzaco.com

Thats us… My site should go live by the weekend.

Here is My “MDL”. I edited one off one of the website links here.
FREE Bread Sticks (Mmmm),
FREE Garden Salad, and FREE 2 Liter of Coke,
When you order any Large Specialty Pizza

Dear Friend,

I hear you love pizza – and I’m pulling out all the stops to get you to try us out. My staff thinks I’ve gone crazy – giving away so much FREE stuff. But, I’m really serious – about having you try us out.

So, please – I’m inviting you and your family to treat yourself to some really Great Tasting Pizza – each one “hand-made” – just for you.

FREE Food and FAST Delivery!

This really is a “can’t lose” deal. Treat yourself to the areas best selling gourmet pizza. Plus, get all these extras – FREE. You’ll get a …

FREE order of Bread Sticks with marinara and ranch dressing (Mmmm)
FREE Garden Salad
FREE 2 Liter of Coke, and…
FAST delivery!

If You’re Not Blown Away By Your Pizza –
I’ll Refund Your Money Fast, No Questions Asked!

And, as usual – should you ever be disappointed – for any reason, let me know. If I can’t make it right – I’ll give you your money back – every penny!

Our top selling Pizzas are in the “Specialty Pizza” section of the menu (a lot of people go crazy over the The Hail Mary pizza). Take your time, pick one out – then give us a call. Our phone number is .

You’ll get fast delivery right to your front door, you can pick up, or enjoy a night out at our place. You’ll find us … Right next to Stater Bros. market.

I hope to see you soon – sincerely,

Casey

P.S. Please – take us up on this offer tonight! But definitely before February 15th. The FREE Garden Salad, FREE Bread Sticks, FREE 2 Liter of Coke are yours – and as always – if you’re not 100% satisfied, your money back – every penny!


I didn’t hand write the addresses, but i did sign them. I sent them out in a 9x12 envelope with my menu.

I went out for 1/2 hour and talked to people in the parking lot of the grocery store. Tried to give everyone a free small pizza. Only 18 peopple took me up on it. Well see if any of them come back. If they do that will turn out to be a very inexpensive way of advertiseing.

After reading your MDL, I still knew absolutely nothing about your operations. I would humbly suggest adding a 2nd & 3rd paragraph along the lines of…

Now I could tell you about how we make Fresh Dough every day just like in Italy, use only Wisconsin 100% real cheese - it costs a bit more but the way it stretches is worth every penny, or that our marinara is made from scratch with our secret blend of spices measured out one teaspoon at a time!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that all our pizza’s are cooked on the Roto-Flex 5600. This is the industry’s top revolving deck oven and it bakes our crust up to a crisp perfection. Just close your eyes, take a bite, and imagine you’re in Italy!

Also, I suggest saying something about yourself right at the beginning. Let them know who you are what you are all about as succinctly as possible. The only thing I know about you from your letter is that you might “be crazy.”

Sell yourself (or the company) and your product in the letter first. Giving away some free items is the cherry on a top of a sale that has already been made.

Brad gave some good advice. Marketing, especially the MDL, is about selling the ‘sizzle’ and not the so much ‘steak’. Use this as a tool to initiate a realationship with these people. Make them know who you are and believe that they can trust you take care of them in ways others won’t. WHAT MAKES YOU SO DIFFERENT than the $10 any size any toppings deal they can get any day of the week . . . from two places?

Another idea that struck me is that it felt sort of like you were pleading with me to come in. This marketing tool is about estblishing your solidity, committment and confidence in your food, place, and people. Maybe this sort of feel would work better? You want them to feel it in their gut when they read the letter . . . . you MEAN what you say when you care and will take care of them. This is about evoking emotions and not about intellect. (mine is probably too wordy)

Dear Neighbor,

I hear you love pizza – and I’m pulling out all the stops to get you to try us out. I invite you to come try our pizza and service at NO RISK TO YOU. No risk whatsoever. Present this letter when you place your order, and I will give you a

FREE 10" PEPPERONI PIZZA (or any one topping).

I’m really serious – about having you try us out.

We will give you the best pizza experience you’ve ever had! We are committed excellence and promise you, our new customer . . . If I or my staff somehow fall short and cannot correct it. . . . I’ll Refund Your Money Fast, No Questions Asked!

I know that every cutomer who buys our products is investing their hard earned money and trust in us and our staff. We get it. And we do everything we do at Scoreboard Pizza because you deserve the very best we can offer . . .every day . . . every pizza. Should we ever dissapoint you or fall short of your expectations – for any reason, let me know. If I can’t make it right – I’ll give you your money back – every penny! You deserve that. Scoreboard gives it.

Now I could tell you about how Scoreboard Pizza Company makes Fresh Dough every day just like in Italy, use only Wisconsin 100% real cheese - it costs a bit more but the way it stretches is worth every penny, or that our marinara is made from scratch with our secret blend of spices measured out one teaspoon at a time! I could brag that all our pizza’s are cooked on the Roto-Flex 5600. (This is the industry’s top revolving deck oven and it bakes our crust up to a crisp perfection.)

But you will be able to taste this committment quality in our pizza. Just close your eyes, take a bite, and imagine you’re in Italy!

If it is not everything I say it is, then I will thank you for the opportunity. I believe that you will know what we know . . . we make an incredbile pizza! When you place your next order . . . we will give you another FREE GIFT of one of the following . . . .

 FREE order of Bread Sticks with marinara and ranch dressing (Mmmm) 
 FREE Garden Salad  OR
 FREE 2 Liter of Coke 

At Scoreboard Pizza Company, our top selling Pizzas are in the “Specialty Pizza” section of the menu. You’ll find our creativity and flexibility featured in these pies. (a lot of people go crazy over the The Hail Mary pizza). Take your time, pick one out – then give us a call. Our phone number is 888-888-8888.

You’ll get fast delivery right to your front door, you can pick up, or enjoy a night out at our place. You’ll find us … Right next to Stater Bros. market.

I hope to see you soon – sincerely,

Casey

P.S. Please – take us up on this offer tonight! But definitely before February 15th. The FREE Garden Salad, FREE Bread Sticks, OR FREE 2 Liter of Coke are yours even if you order something different that the ffree 10" pizza – and as always – if you’re not 100% satisfied, your money back – every penny!

Thank you for the replies on the MDL. I will play with it today and repost it. I saw the free products as the only part of the letter that was immportant.
Thanks
Casey

A lot of us do/did. My take is from reading what Big Dave and Kameron talk about . . . the FREE is the thing that gets their attention, then hook them with the real message. You care, and you have a better thing than the other guy who also kows about giving away free stuff. Consider that is FREE was enough, you would have gotten overrun with the 1st time you sent it out :slight_smile:

I suspect from what I have read from lots of people, that 25% to 30% is a smoking response rate for this tool. 25 new customers in a week is quite a boost for a new place.

Casey,
I want to send a thank you out to you. Spending a few minutes working on suggestions to you has re-envigorated me to pick up this letter idea and mine the customer database with the “million dollar letter” as I kow it . . . telling customers how valuable they are to our business.

We are working on a draft tonight, and will send it out later this month to the top 50 to 100 customers in our database. We have to get them excited about what we do . . . and trusting that we will honor their patronage.

6 years in the business, and I needed you today. Thank you again!

You sound like I did when I stumbled in here after buying a underperforming shop about a year and a half ago. I had repaired the food issues and restored it to the superior quality that it once was, but then I was facing an issue of people who had either been turned off by the low quality or had simply forgotten about the store. It was so bad that I actually had a Thursday night where I only did $25 in sales between 5-9 pm.

The guys here had me start with pretty much the same thing. Giving away free pizzas. I selected 50 local, small businesses that employed my target demographic and that I thought were active enough in the community that I could get some word-of-mouth buzz. I offered them a free 12" pizza, any way they wanted it (be careful that offering a small cheese doesn’t make you look like you’re only offering them the minimum possible) and got a little over 50% back. Average ticket was around $15 and I remember only about 5 of them ordering just the free pizza.

It was a good start and got me thinking about things in a different light. I learned to look at it in the context of my cost, not the “lost” retail value. All I needed was to get them to order from me once and I would break even, I did not expect their add on orders to cover it the first time.

The other thing I learned was “snowballs, not blizzards”. I was so anxious about my slow sales that I kept trying to bring in a blizzard of sales with huge offers, events, ideas, etc. None of them worked very well and certainly had zero staying power for growing my customer base. I then started working on snowballs, trying to get one new customer a day, find a way to sell an extra $10 a day without going under my target cost of goods, or saving $10 a day in operating costs. That $10/day snowballs into $3,600/yr. Instead of busting my tail trying to land $200 group sales that I had to severely discount, I just kept thinking about “$10 a day” or “snowballs, not blizzards”.

Once you are bringing in enough to relax a little, then you start taking that extra $10 a day and find ways to spend it that will bring you another $20 a day. I’m not where I need to be, but I’m getting close. Even with a new competitor in town with deep pockets, I doubt anyone else around me is growing as fast as I am.

I was searching for some MDL examples and came across this page: Click Here. It has several different versions, some suggestions for mailing, and a video that explains how to make a “blue plate.”

The only thing I might suggest is that instead of having the address printed with blue ink in a handwriting font, I would actually take the time to write each mailing address out by hand. And maybe instead of having a blue plate made, take the time to sign each letter individually. At least at the start - if you’re slow, you should have time to pour a bunch of T.L.C. into your campaign. After you’re busy then put it on autopilot.

I’ll pm you a letter we send out offering a Free pizza
We do a certain amount to each surrounding suburb in a printed envelope offering a free pizza
If it goes to an existing customer it says thanks and here is a free pizza. If it goes to a non customer it says try one obligation free
Results have been fantastic with a high percentage of new customers attracted after trying our pizzas
I have copied straight from Adobe file so it hasn’t come out as it is printed but you will get the gist
Dave

Can I get a copy of that too? My MDL doesn’t work to well.

This is one we were using back in 2006. It saw 352 redemptions from 8565 mailed for a pull of 4.1% during the time I worked to keep track.

“You be the judge - if this isn’t the best pizza in town –
I’ll give you your money back – every penny.

Plus, just for giving us a chance, you’ll get a
FREE order of a dozen breadsticks, and two FREE cokes.”

Dear Neighbor,

Hi, my name is Brad Randall and I own one of the busiest independent pizza companies in the country – Aver’s Gourmet Pizza. We make our award-winning pizzas for take-out or delivery right here in town.

But, since every place claims to have the “best food around” – and even though I have high hopes of earning your trust and confidence – I realize I’m asking you to take a chance on us.

Now, I could tell you all about how we mix our dough fresh daily in-store, make alternative pizza sauces like Pesto and Alfredo from scratch, or offer 30+ pizza toppings – ranging from artichoke hearts to pepperoni to zucchini.

But in the end if we’re going to earn your business, you have to try it – you have to taste it for yourself. And, that’s why I’ll do anything I can to get you to order your first Aver’s pizza.

So, what I want to do is make you an irresistibly delicious offer – and I’ll take all the risk!

If I have to throw in a FREE Order of a Dozen Breadsticks – I will. If I have to further tempt you with two FREE fountain drinks - I’ll do that too!

If I have to put my neck on the line with an – iron clad, money back if you’re not absolutely delighted – 100% satisfaction guarantee – I’ll do that too!

All you need to do is order one of our delicious 14” Large Pepperoni pizzas for our every-day price of $9.69 and the rest is FREE! I’ve attached a GIFT CERTIFICATE for that very offer to this letter.

So come on, give us a try! Take a look at the menu printed on the reverse side – choose which one of the dipping sauces you’d like to go with your FREE breadsticks and which two kinds of fountain drinks you’d like for FREE – then give us a call.

And, if our gourmet pizza doesn’t live up to your expectations – if you don’t enjoy it in every way - just let me know right away and I’ll give you your money back! I’d just love for you to give us a try.

Hope to see you soon – sincerely,
(Brad Randall)

P.S. Please – take us up on this offer tonight! (But definitely before the coupon expires) The FREE Breadsticks and two FREE drinks are yours with the purchase of a 14” Large Pepperoni pizza at menu price – and if you’re not 100% satisfied, your money back – every penny!

Then we thought that the “pepperoni force” was a detraction so we changed it up a bit…

“You be the judge - if this isn’t the best pizza in town –
I’ll give you your money back – every penny.

Plus, just for giving us a chance, you’ll get a
FREE order of a dozen breadsticks, and two FREE cokes.”

Dear Neighbor,

Hi, my name is Brad Randall and I’m a founder of one of the freshest pizza concepts in the country – Aver’s Pizza. I offer my delicious pizzas for both take-out and delivery – including signature pizzas that have earned national recognition!

But, since every place claims to have the “best food around” – and even though I have high hopes of earning your trust and confidence – I realize I’m asking you to take a chance on us.

Now, I could tell you all about how the dough is mixed fresh daily in-store, how our signature Tomato sauce is loaded with spices instead of sugar, or that a selection of 30+ toppings – ranging from artichoke hearts to pepperoni to three varieties of sausage – can be put on any pizza.

But in the end if I’m going to earn your business, you have to try it – you have to taste it for yourself. And, that’s why I’ll do anything I can to get you to order your first Aver’s pizza.

So, what I want to do is make you an irresistibly delicious offer – and I’ll take all the risk!

If I have to throw in a FREE Order of a Dozen Breadsticks – I will. If I have to further tempt you with two FREE fountain drinks - I’ll do that too!

If I have to put my neck on the line with an – iron clad, money back if you’re not absolutely delighted – 100% satisfaction guarantee – I’ll do that too!

All you need to do is purchase one of our delicious pizzas, any combo and size, and the rest is FREE! I’ve included a GIFT CERTIFICATE for that very offer in this letter – please mention it when ordering.

So come on, give us a try! Order your favorite combination - or take a look at the menu I sent you and see which one of our amazing signature pizzas starts your mouth watering - then give us a call. You’ll taste why Aver’s Pizza has been a Hot 100 Independent - one of the busiest independent pizza companies in the country – for 7 years running!

And, if our pizza doesn’t live up to your expectations – if you don’t enjoy it in every way - just let me know right away and I’ll give you your money back! I’d just love for you to give us a try.

Hope to see you soon – sincerely,

Brad Randall

P.S. - Please take us up on this offer tonight! (But definitely before that dreaded expiration date) The FREE Breadsticks and two FREE drinks are yours with the purchase of any pizza at menu price – and if you’re not 100% satisfied, your money back – every penny!

In 2007 (while I tracked it), this version pulled 452 redemptions from 4718 mailed for a pull of 10%. I think I made three changes: one being allowing the customer to order whatever pizza they wanted, the second being including a full menu in the mailing instead of just printing some version on the reverse side of the letter (these were from when we started doing full-color printed mailings) and the third was talking up our accolades a bit more.

This is why I suggest doing an A/B split test. You might stumble on a change that doubles your response rate!

Back when we used to do Moving Targets (and offering a free pizza), our return rates were over 25% and were even higher when I changed their vanilla starting text to the format of a MDL…

Aver’s Pizza wants you to accept this Gift Certificate

WITH OUR BEST WISHES FOR SUCCESS IN YOUR NEW HOME!

That’s Right, Mr. X

To introduce ourselves – and to acquaint you with this area’s finest pizza – here’s a totally FREE GIFT CERTIFICATE.

Hi, my name is Brad Randall and I own one of the busiest independent pizza companies in the country – Aver’s Gourmet Pizza. We make our award-winning pizzas for take-out or FREE delivery right here in Bloomington.

But, since every place claims to have the “best food around” – and even though I have high hopes of earning your trust and confidence – I realize I’m asking you to take a chance on us.

Now, I could tell you all about our Cajun chicken, oven-roasted red potatoes, spicy pepperoni or our 30+ other pizza toppings – ranging from artichoke hearts to zucchini. I could ballyhoo our 3 signature pizzas that have won awards at pizza competitions around the country. Or, I could mention that we’ve been voted Best Pizza in Bloomington by the readers of both the Herald Times and the Indiana Daily Student.

But in the end if we’re going to earn your business, you have to try it – you have to taste it for yourself. And, that’s why I’ll do anything I can to get you to order your first Aver’s pizza.

So, what I want to do is make you an irresistibly delicious offer – and I’ll take all the risk! I have included a gift certificate for a totally FREE pizza with this letter.

It’s good for one FREE 14” LARGE PIZZA (your choice of DELUXE: Topped with Pepperoni, Ground Sausage, Fresh Mushrooms, Red Onions and Green Peppers; or VEGGIE DELUXE: Fresh Mushrooms, Onions, Green Peppers, Black Olives and Fresh Tomato) – up to a $15.30 value!

This offer is valid for carry-out only. We want you to come in and see our operations for yourself and meet our people before you spend a single penny on our product! Please mention your gift certificate when ordering.

Our North store is located on the 45/46 Bypass, in the Marsh Supermarket complex, next door to Subway (one stoplight West of N. Walnut & College Ave.) – call 339-6555 to order from the North store. We open at 11am daily, and stay open late into the night.

We look forward to seeing you soon! Brad Randall, Owner.
AVER’S PIZZA: GOURMET PIZZA TO GO!

That was back in 2004. But we started to see a lot of redemptions that never resulted in 2nd orders, so we went to the “a couple free sides with a purchase” format. The thought is that anyone willing to spend some money is truly interested in our concept, whereas most anyone will grab a free pie whether or not they “get” what you are doing - and those people are less likely to convert into regular customers.

Is our assumption correct? I have no idea. I’d test it if our POS database wasn’t such rubbish.

THe PM wouldn’t let me attach a PDF so I have copied and pasted it.
Doesn’t come up real good opposed to the printed letter with our logo and enhanced printing but the text says it all.
We have had great success with this letter, especially in newly established neighbourhoods where there are lots of houses under construction and new customers waiting to be wooed.

FREE LARGE PIZZA

Are you a customer of Pizza Pizzazz Currambine? Yes? Great, then we would like you to have a LARGE pizza
ABSOULTELY FREE on us because we appreciate your custom
If you haven’t tried us before now you can try before you buy - ABSOULTELY FREE - no gimmicks and NO
COST what so ever. Why FREE ? Because once you taste our pizzas we know you will come back for more
Just phone through your order on and come in and pick it up
ABOUT US:
• Conveniently located at Currambine Marketplace shopping centre
• Recognised for the best tasting, healthiest pizzas
• Only the best quality, freshest ingredients and low fat cheese used
• Not mass produced, dripping in oil or tasting like cardboard
• An independent local family owned business - not a multi-national group or franchise
Check out our menu and place your order for your FREE PIZZA from the “Favourites” range (excludes
Premiums and Gourmets). Sorry delivery not available on this offer
We look forward to becoming your local favourite pizzeria, as we have done with countless other satisfied
customers. Enjoy!
David & Lynda Waterman and staff.
shop 9
currambine marketplace
cnr marmion and shenton ave
currambine WA 6028
9305 3411
www.realpizzas.com
9305 3411

This tear off section must be presented fully completed when collecting your FREE LARGE PIZZA
Name: … Phone No: …
Street & Number: …
Suburb: … Postcode: …
Email: …
We respect your privacy and guarantee all details remain confidential and only used for our own internal information recording

Thanks for your help… The free pizzas I gave away on Tuesday has had a 40% return of people commong back this weekend allready to buy food. One booked a party for 20 people. Im going to take this a bit further and run an add for a small free pizza for residents in the city where im located and see what the turn out is. Go ahead and call me crazy;> I have owned many businesses and have found this one to be the hardest yet. I belive in risk takeing and service.

Thanks
Casey

P.S. Do they have spell check here?