Pizza shop promotional strategy.

Hey! I have a question. I’ve started a new pizza shop in my town and I am looking for various ways in which I could promote it. I have already approached a flyer distribution service, here in Toronto for flyer distribution. But I was worried whether these flyers are still a popular mode of promotion or not. Should we try more advanced strategies like Internet Marketing, email marketing and SEO? How do you think the results will differ in each of these strategies?

Every shop is different in location, style, competition, etc. and as such every method of marketing can bring different results…

IMO nothing beats the return of a nice looking shop with “curb appeal” to bring in customers that travel by your shop…Also near the top of my list is “wrapped” delivery vehicles…These extend your “curb appeal” to a wider audience…As far as distributing menus, they still work for many operators…They are not a “one hit wonder” so they need to be done on a sustained basis…Some stores circulate menus as often as every 4 or 5 weeks to make them standout in an area with lots of competition…Others only a few times a year where they already have an established client base and/or they do not have very aggressive competition…

Not sure if SEO, email marketing, etc., is advanced or just “different”…Some shops do quite well with no traditional marketing and rely solely on these methods…Again results will vary depending on your market…

In the beginning you need to get names in your database (a POS system is a must)…So you might have to live with higher costs and lower returns until you get there…

Good luck…

Tried and true methods of printing menus and fliers are always a good bet but traditionally are very expensive and provide limited return. SEO marketing is key so that you can show up organically when someone searches for pizza in your town. Make sure that you or a trusted 3rd party partner owns/manages your Google My Business listing. It is the item that appears on the right-hand side of a google search when you search for your pizzeria. It usually includes: photos, a map, and links to online ordering or your website. This listing will drive a lot of traffic to your site so it is key that it is always up to date. Hope that helps!

I am coming to the point where I disagree with this. Organic search falls below paid search and on a smartphone is often not even showing unless the person scrolls down. Furthermore the right hand side you refer to is really only a desktop issue. When I look at my data I am seeing over 90% mobile devices… admittedly, I am in a resort market where people searching are on vacation and away from computers.

At least for us, I think a focus on mobile users and paid search is the priority.

I bought my shop exactly a year ago. Started direct mailing program with Mail Shark. Since then we’ve more than doubled our business, and we keep setting new records almost every week. But we’re in metro LA, where there’s a lot of competition. Our shop isn’t very visible, so most of our business is delivery ad carry out. We haven’t done any SEO thus far, but I probably will as soon as I get around to it. Does anyone here advertises on Yelp?

Very valid point. I think you may be seeing such high mobile volume since you are in a resort area. The industry average is about 56% mobile. With that said, mobile is important and SEO is valid for both mobile and desktop. Regardless, branded paid search is the best way to ensure you appear at the top of the search 100% of the time.

Also a lot websites aren’t mobile optimized. With the above stats at this point what is happening is when you do a organic search on “google” it searches first for the mobile optimized site’s first. It will rank them much higher than a non optimized site. Keep that in mind

I am sure you are correct about that. I think it would also be true in any college market or any place with a lot of travelers like near an airport.

Here are a few thoughts from an internet marketing background:

For SEO, you really just have to make sure that your website metadata (your web developer would know where this is) is set so that your pizzeria shows up relatively high when someone searches Google for “Pizza MY TOWN” (insert your town name). But Yelp, Trip Advisor, and other sites like this will most likely show up above your site because they have a lot of authority and history. There’s not much you can do about that. Most likely, no matter what you do, when someone Google’s “pizza MY TOWN”, Google will top the list with paid ads, then comes Yelp and TripAdvisor, then will come your website. Making sure your website metadata is correct should keep you in the middle of page 1, which is good. But paying someone a monthly fee for SEO is a complete waste of money (yet a lot of people are paying for it).

If you have a Wordpress website and are using the Yoast SEO plugin, you would change the settings “Meta Title” to “Jimmy’s Pizza – Best Pizza in Albany NY”, and the setting “Meta Description” to something like “made from scratch pizza with nothing but the freshest ingredients.” That way all that text is displayed in your Google listing. That’s really all you should focus on from an SEO standpoint.

The key to growing a business will always be getting paid advertising to work profitably. So that means magazine, Google ads, Facebook ads, Yelp ads (DON’T USE), any type of paid ads, you need to answer one question: If I spend $1 on this ad platform, do I make more than $1 back in a reasonable amount of time. If the answer is yes, then you spend more money on that platform. If the answer is no, then you need to spend your money elsewhere where it will be profitable. If the answer is “I think so, probably”, then you are on dangerous ground. You could be spending money where it doesn’t come back to you. So you’d be better off not advertising at all.

Facebook and Google are some of the best places to advertise right now, mostly because they are trackable, and you can automate your advertising system. You can test different ads very cheaply ($20 and you know if this ad is good instead of guessing with magazine ads), and you can very clearly see the winner and then scale that one ad up. There are differences between advertising on Google and Facebook though, and those differences should guide your stratgey. On Google, people are in “Buy Mode”, which means they are searching for an answer to the question “What am I going to eat tonight”. The cost per click on Google may be higher than on Facebook, but since they are in Buy Mode, your conversions (# of clicks that become restaurant visitors) will be higher, more quickly. On Facebook, you target “people who are probably interested in your product” based on things they post and like on Facebook. That means that they may not be looking for pizza right now, but they probably will be soon, so let’s get their email address so I can email you when you’re ready for pizza. Because people are not in Buy Mode, they may not come in as quickly as Google ads, but the cost per click is much less. Pair that with a solid automated email system, and you have yourself the best solution. You send out ads, ask them to sign up, and then you email them weekly so that when they do think of pizza, you are in the front of their mind.

The reason email marketing is critical is because it’s “free advertising”. When you put out an ad, no matter which platform you use, you are paying for “impressions”. You are paying ad platforms to put your business in front of potential customer’s faces. Sometimes someone will remember you from the ad and come visit, and sometimes they won’t remember you from the ad. The traditional strategy is “get in front of their face enough times, and they will remember you”. The problem with this strategy is that every time you “get in front of that person”, you are paying for more ads. You are paying multiple times to reach the same potential customer.

Here’s where email marketing is much better. The new strategy that works very well is this: put out an ad that gets potential customers to give you their email address. This buys you the ability to advertise to them whenever you want via email, FOR FREE, forever (or until they unsubscribe). Once you capture a new lead’s email address, you can stop paying for ads to reach that person, and simply communicate with that person via email, which is VERY cheap ($25/mo for a good system). So if you get 3,000 emails in your database, the cost per email is essentially pennies. Much less than reaching that person via more ads.

Then, from an ad standpoint, you tell Facebook and Google to stop sending ads to people who already gave you their email. That way you don’t spend any more money on ads to that person, and shift that money to acquire new potential customers’ email addresses. You can do this very easily in Facebook.

The strategy is: only pay to reach the same customer ONCE via ads, get their email address, then advertise to them via email for free for as long as you want.

Another huge benefit of collecting email addresses is that you can send an email and immediately bring in revenue. If you have a database of 3,000 email addresses and you send out a special that is only good for Mon-Thurs, you will typically get a 2%-4% redemption rate based on my experience (depending on how engaged your customers are with you). So if you have an average check value of $25 and you have a profit margin of 60% (on new traffic. Existing customers pay your bills and may get you 10% margin, but if we double your traffic, your rent, insurance, and most labor don’t increase. You just have to cover food costs on that increase in business), that equals $15 profit per ticket. If 4% of your 3,000 person list redeems a coupon ($5 off $30 say), then that’s 120 people, with $13 profit per check, which is an extra $1,560 profit from sending one email, and that’s during Mon-Thurs (the hardest days to fill). Do that 4 times a month and that is an extra $75K a year. Big time dollars.

The smart way of doing this is by automating everything. You automate your Facebook ad system and you automate your emails. That way you aren’t writing and sending emails all the time. You write a bunch of emails that an email program sends out on a set schedule after they sign up. This runs in the background so you don’t have to touch a thing. The emails are going out while you run your restaurant. This also allows you to learn about your customers. You learn what specials make people open an email and click on a coupon and come to the restaurant. You test different specials to see which ones get the best response. The email system allows you to track email opens and clicks, and that tells you what specials are most attractive to your customers. You can also survey your customers directly and ask them what they want. Much better that trying to guess what they want.

This is what I do for my clients. If you want to get into more details, send me a message. I hope this message was helpful! Online advertising is incredibly powerful if you do it right!

Karl, Thank you for the informative reply. One question. How do we “fix” our domain so that less of our emails go to junk and more go to inbox? I feel like due to past poor practices we end in junk a lot of the time. I even experience this with my own emails and even emails sent to other companies that we work with going to spam. We average under 12% opens on 1,400 in our list. Also, we don’t have a seamless integration between our online ordering and our email platform. They are both independent of each other and it compounds the whole problem.


Hi Dan,

Are you sure there is a problem with your domain? Do you use an email program to send your emails? You can check to see if your domain has been blacklisted by going here, but that usually isn’t the problem. Usually the problem is email programs catching certain trigger words that it flags as spam. If you have sent a lot of spam-type email that have gotten you a very, very low open rate over time, then email programs may send you to spam because of your reputation. But one problem for low open rates is usually writing emails that don’t get opened. That usually has to do with the subject line. The field of copywriting is the science of using words that create action. The purpose of the subject line is not to tell the person exactly what is in the email. The purpose of the subject line is to get the email opened. That means using a little intrigue instead of saying “Half-off pizza today”. People don’t need to open that email to know what’s inside. A better subject line is “Just for today…” and that’s it. They have to open the email to see what’s inside. That’s probably where I would start!

Easy promotions for pizza business are following :-

Discount offers

Best combo deals for every meal

#Customer Satisfaction

List business on region specific websites.

Well Said …!
Agree With You .