postcards are immediately perceived as
advertising. A letter done in a nonsales-y
way is unique and gets customers in the
door the first time. Once you have them
as customers, then switch to postcards.”
Price matters to operators, of course,
but Davis says price shouldn’t be the only
consideration; evaluate all of the differ-
ent types of pieces, sizes and costs. “The
more you print, the lower the print cost.
Depending upon the piece and quantity,
your cost will be anywhere between 25
cents and 41 cents each for designing,
printing and full-service mailing,” he
explains. “However, looking only at the
price per piece is a trap for many op-
erators; if you don’t have a short-term
strategy to deplete any quantity of pieces
that you print and mail, it could be det-
rimental. When your profits are based
on commodity-driven food costs and an
ever-changing industry, having the flex-
ibility to change your advertising is key.”
Hence, Davis recommends printing only
what you need to get you through the
Nail the Frequency. Customers like a
great deal, but they don’t want to be bombarded with too much information. “If
discounting is your model, it might never
be too much, but if you’re defined only by
your offers, customers might not come
unless they have a coupon,” Siff says.
“Are you desensitizing customers? Is response dropping off?” He recommends
mailing every three to four weeks to keep
your pizzeria at “top-of-mind awareness”
without overwhelming them.
D’agostino advocates using EDDM and
mailing to two or three carrier routes sur-
rounding the pizzeria every four weeks.
Consider attacking two routes on the first
week of the month, then doing another
two on the second week of the month.
“Rotate the people getting each mailing,
but ensure that at least once per month
the customer gets your menu,” he says.
“Don’t try just one carrier route, and
change something on the piece for each
printing—the cover, coloring, specials or
pictures—so the customer tosses the old
one, not the new one.”
Karington agrees that owners should
spread out their contact over a period of
time to better ensure they reach custom-
ers when they’re ready to order pizza.
“People don’t buy when you advertise;
they buy when it’s right for them,” he
says. “So if you mail to 10,000 people,
mail to 2,500 of them every 10 days.
Aim for less reach and more repetition.”
The easiest tactic, he notes, is saturating
an area in concentric circles, but look
out for natural barriers (such as high-
ways) that people avoid crossing; it can
cause significant dropoffs in response.
You’ll also want to target customers who
haven’t visited in 30 or 60 days with a
Track Results. “Results” can mean different things and can be hard to directly
quantify. Look at all of your areas of business to get a good handle on what’s working. “Response means nothing; sales
mean everything,” D’agostino says. “
Pizzeria owners know their weekly averages.
Are sales up $2,000 in a weekend? Are
you getting new customers on your email
list? Did 32 new customers order?”