Business and Operations
Stamp ’n’ save
By Tom Stankiewicz
By Tom Stankiewicz
Smart entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to advertise their
businessess in unique, yet cost-effective ways. Word of mouth is still
the most proven way to accomplish this and the price can’t be beat.
Smart entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to advertise their businessess in unique, yet cost-effective ways. Word of mouth is still the most proven way to accomplish this and the price can’t be beat. Nothing is better than hearing your customers say how much they loved having dinner in your restaurant. The chances are pretty good that they will visit you again, and hopefully, tell their friends and family about you.
Although word of mouth is key, providing discount coupons is one of my favourite ways to generate extra sales and customer loyalty. Unlike permanent discounts, coupons give customers temporary price cuts while allowing you to return to full price after the expiration date has passed. An article published by Advertising Age magazine states that “dollar-amount savings tend to be more attractive to coupon users than percentage discounts.” The article also notes that two per cent is now considered a “good” redemption rate for most coupon programs.
In my experience, the least costly way to use coupons is to order a custom-made stamp. If you search the Internet or look in the phone book, you will have no problem finding a printing company to assist you from start to finish. This approach allows you to put your creativity on display. You can choose any design that you think will work best for your business. If you prefer, you can buy or download free software that will help you design coupons specifically tailored to your business type.
I offer my customers discount coupons called Bondi’s Bucks. Customers can use up to five Bondi’s Bucks per day with a minimum pickup order of $10 or minimum delivery order of $15 before taxes. We use our stamp on our pizza boxes. Our advertisement reads: “Find it on your box. Cut it out. Save it.” Based on the number of coupons that we get back, almost all of our customers cut them out and use them towards their next purchase. Bondi’s Bucks is a successful advertising campaign that generates a lot of return business for us.
When I ask our new customers how they heard about our pizza place, many of them mention that they saw our Bondi’s Buck coupon in a friend’s wallet and asked about it. Ensure your coupons are designed to be convenient to carry around so customers will hold on to them. They will help create loyalty in your existing clients and offer the great potential of introducing your business to new ones. Everyone is always looking for ways to save money and discount coupons are just another way to help them achieve it.
I had tried other advertising campaigns in the past, such as flyers with special offers. For a while, I hired students to deliver flyers door to door, and on other occasions I had local newspapers distribute them.. However, I found this method to be a lot more expensive and not always effective.
Educate yourself about how technology can make advertising your business less costly and more efficient, and allow you to reach a larger base of customers in a matter of minutes. When a print advertisement is necessary, try cutting the amount of paper to a bare minimum to satisfy your environment-conscious clients and lower your expense.
Check out what your competition is offering and be sure to note their online offerings as well. Knowing what kind of promotions your competitors are putting out there will surely help contribute to your business’s success.
Tom Stankiewicz has been in the pizza business for more than 15 years. He has been the proprietor of Bondi’s Pizza in London, Ont., since 2000 and is president of the Canadian Pizza Team.