Pizza Sruvey

Has anyone tried to survey their customers through a newspaper ad?
I’m considering doing it, after I learned that it’s a good way to increase customer database. It also makes sense to me, but before I do it I like to consult with anyone who’s done it before, or hear from them about the results.
I learned about it from a program that I joined recently, it’s called PizzaCashCow.
Also, does anyone know which POS is heaviest on marketing, such as direct mail, as well as email marketing? I like a POS that can capture all the addresses correctly and sort them based on order history.
Thank you in advance. Saad.

There is a lot more going on in the question than one gets at first glance. Sorry to hear about your investment in PizzaCashCow. The archives here at the Think Tank are free, and you will get [size=5]LOADS[/size] more useful and practical information . . . for [size=5]FREE[/size] . . . that is up to the minute relevant.

I find that newspaper marketing for my area is nearly worthless in terms of return on investment . . . in increased sales, new customers, etc. Now, it does very definitely give me increased visibility in the extended market outside my direct service area, but I cannot see spending the sort of money it would take.

When I want to survey my customers, I survey my customers. We have an extensive email and address listing of our customers. The ones who are actually purchasing from me. If those are the opinions I want, then a newspaper will not help me. If I want to gather information from large groups of people for some other reason, then a newspaper ad could theoretically give me additional insights.

Others’ experiences will be different than mine. Your mileage will also vary.

For the same or less money, I can print door hangers with the “survey” on it and hang them everywhere within three miles. I can boxtop the survey for still less money and hit known customers. Do some more research about the rate of return and judge for yourself if it is a “good way” to increase a customer database. Also, your definition of customer database is in play . . . . mine is the collection of actual customers rather than a list of potential customers who may or may not be active purchasers of my product.

Thanks alot Nick for your reply.
I agree with you that this forum has a wealth of invaluable information. According to my limited experience in the pizza business -8 months or so-, fliers and now doorhangers have been my best customer generator. They have also been my best tool to increase sales overall.
However, in addition to being used to learn more from your customers, the survey itself is intended to be a customer database magnet. And once you collect the information and addresses, then you move on to the next phase, which is keeping them coming back.
I agree with you that concentrating on your own customers, through any communication tool, as well as increasing your database from people within your delivery area are much better than bringing people from your outside area.
You’re also right that, much of what the pizzacashcow program has is already offered here. I feel that most people on this forum are in my boat, and I see that their inputs are genuine.
Lastly, a question to you Nick. What POS system do you use? and do you send out postcards to your customers? if so how and at what cost?
Once again, I thank you.

judging by my response with local paper for ads i am conviced my family is the only one on this mountain that can read :o wait i take that back the guy at the paper that takes my money and writes out the recipt does pretty good :wink:

Right now, my customer database is on MS Excel spreadsheet and roladex cards. We do send offers and stuff to customers, but not specifically postcards every time.

We have run several newspaper ads of various kinds and have exceedingly poor response of any kind. In excess of $300 for small ad, and got 15 people or so each time mention it . . . no new customers that I can recall. A resounding bust in my marketplace where newspapers are not commonplace. Newspaper advertising is a numbers game from where I sit. If I can get my ad delivered to enough households, then the percentage who actually see the add, and then the percentage of those who actually act on it would theoretically make it worthwhile. Nowhere near enough subscribers in my marketplace to make the numbers worth the gamble. Dom/LC/PH don’t even saturate our county newspaper very often.

We sent out a mass mailed postcard in our service area that included a name/address/email section they completed for a free appetizer. My cost was about $450 all told. Response was measurably low, but our sales shot up 12% for three weeks after that mailing, ticket averages increased 5% and we had 20 new customers come . . . all are still ordering at least once a month. That is a huge number for me in three week period. Just in return on new customers, $20 apiece is a bargain to me!!

Email newsletters, school programs, flyers, ad in local monthly magazine, sponsoring local community events, and donating pizzas to charitable causes are all vastly more effective for me in generating customers “in the real world”. Every direct mailed postcard I have sent ($450 or so each time) has netted me some new customers that pay for the program . . . plus a 2 to 3 week bump in overall sales. Newspapers get me a receipt and a phone call the next month from the ad salesman asking if we want to re-run it.

Who do you use for your mailings? It sounds like a good ROI per campaign. How may do you send out each time?

Wife and I design the postcards, print at, and mail them ourselves using a bulk mail permit locally. We send about 2000 to our zip code. Last time we invested a couple hundred bucks in 2 neighboring zip codes and got some decent return on new customers.

Part of our new customer rate is turn over of rental housing. We need begin to to roll out marketing more regularly due to a growing number of rental homes and their turnover. Plus growing the awareness amongst the long timers. We aren’t disciplined about a marketing campaign, but that is our goal in early 2008. Our service area is about 2500, up to 3000 is you stretch to the outermost areas. It’s a challenge to get and maintain higher and higher sales in that limited a market, so we are building a dine-in business and will begin to market to farther areas more.

I actually just finished mailing out a survey to all 5000 addresses in my town and I recieved almost 400 back aprox (8%) If they filled out the survey and mailed it in they received a 10.00 gift certificate. The mail out cost me 540.00 the survey cost me about 320.00 to print and of course the gift certificates will be 4000.00 if they are all redeamed. Just to make it simple we will say the gift certificate will have actual cost to me of 50% so 2000.00 My cost to get a good idea of what customers think will be 2860.00 or 7.15 per customer that returned the survey. The best part of it all is about 25% are not regular customers so now I have a chance to get them in. A direct mail is the best way to reach the customer in my opinion. One thing that surprised me is at least 80% of the people that responded dont use the internet or yellow pages to find a pizza shop! Now these are just rough numbers as the deadline to return the survey was Dec 31 but I will work on this over the next week and inform all of you as to what the outcome is.

Thanks to nick and pizza guy for the info about the mailings. I’m looking forward to hearing about the results of your survey, pizza guy.

Best of luck to all in the new year!

so what did pizzacashcow come up with?
Anything besides a survey?

I think mailing or door hanging a $10 coupon that they would fill out and bring in, would get a better response :wink:
It sure would save all that postage and time mailing back and forth.
And more importantly, it would get them in the door ASAP.