Some experts quote a typical direct
mail response at 1% to 2%, although
strong mailings can have up to 40% redemption, Siff says. Ultimately, it comes
down to return on investment. “What
did it cost you (in food costs, not retail
value)? What did it return?” asks Siff.
“Who’s coming through the door, and
what are they spending?” Also evaluate
your original goals—were you looking to
pep up a slow month, kick-start a holiday
weekend, or attract new lifetime customers who will spend over the long term?
Davis notes that many operators look
solely at initial coupon redemption, but
that might show only part of the ROI.
“Counting coupons is, by itself, an inef-
fective way of analyzing direct mail ROI,
but it’s an effective way of analyzing what
people are and aren’t reacting to. And
that’s crucial in being able to leverage
what’s working and replace what isn’t,”
he says. “I recommend looking at mul-
tiple factors, including coupon redemp-
tions and sales, analyzing new guest
traffic and calculating the lifetime value
of that new customer.”
Finally, once you’ve gotten that cus-
tomer inside the pizzeria, you want to
capture the information that will allow
you to spend less on future contact. “Di-
rect mail is expensive unless you have a
strategy on collecting information, such
as email addresses,” Gendusa says. “Put
a system in place where employees are
trained to get the customers’ informa-
tion.” Response rates fluctuate depend-
ing on how many pizzerias are in the
area, she notes, and many factors (such
as signage or parking) can sway someone
to visit—or stay away.
Tracy Morin is PMQ’s senior copy editor.