While eating at Manggiano’s restaurant, they brought me a free pasta-to-go. If you aren’t familiar with Maggiano’s they have a buy one, get one free offer when you order pasta. So if you order spaghetti, you get a full serving of spaghetti to go at the conclusion of your meal. Which means even if you finish your meal, you end up with a to-go box.
Previously, instructions for re-heating their pasta were printed on the lid of the to-go container. And other than the fact that getting a second full meal to go might encourage people to return or tell others about them, there was no effort to capture customers’ contact information so they could market to the people most likely to purchase from them again -actual consumers.However, this time, they had changed their approach. The printed instructions had been replaced with a simple plain white sticker with the words “For reheating instructions visit…” printed on it and a web address. These plain stickers were stuck on the lid of every to-go container—driving consumers to their website.
Once there, not only did they give you instructions for reheating your pasta, but there was an offer for $10 off your next meal in exchange for entering your name and email address.
Such an inexpensive and easy idea to execute, any business could use this. Here are a few ideas to get you started and get your mind spinning on how you can incorporate this into your business too.
Most businesses include their website address on things, driving people to their home page. In this case you’ll be including a unique URL and driving customers to a landing page designed to get customers to take a specific action.
Think about what you may already be giving away for free. Maybe something you consider “extra value.” A free report, a free toothbrush, a free calendar, a free magnet, a tire gage, a pen, etc.
You may not even need a label to do this. For example, I have a magnet on my fridge from a realtor, a toothbrush from my dentist and countless pens from a variety of businesses. All are printed with their website and drive to their home page where no real offer is made. So instead of simply driving to your home page, you’ll put your specific URL here instead. This will allow you to track the response of giving away the free item plus unlike a home page, this will be focused on getting customers to take action.
You’ll want to provide sufficient motivation and an urgent reason for them to want to visit your website right away.
One way to do this is to tell them a shocking fact that creates curiosity and instills desire in the reader for more information.
For example, in the dental field, 80% of Americans have some form of gum disease. However, only 4% have received treatment. Couple this with the fact that oral health is integral to general health and gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases. This gives you a very compelling reason for patients to want to find out more.
Once you get them to your website, you want to capture their name and email pr name and address so you can continue marketing to them. To do this you’ll need to create an irresistible offer.
- Dentists could put a sticker on the free toothbrushes they give away. Drive patients to a web page with special instructions on how to brush or floss better. An irresistible offer might be a free sample of a teeth whitening product or toothpaste and mouth rinse product that is good for people who don’t like to floss.
- Eye Doctors could give a small bottle of eye glass cleaner, a bottle of contact solution or an eyeglass cloth with a web link on it that drives to page with special tips or tricks for caring your eyes. An incentive to give an email address might be to give a dollar amount off their next eyeglass frames or contacts.
- Automotive repair shops could include a link on the ” your next oil change” sticker inside the windshield. The web page could offer seasonal tips on caring for your car to prevent breakdowns or promote longevity. An irresistible offer might be to offer free topping off of fluids or a free oil change.
- A healthcare, skin care, or fitness product could put instructions or videos on how to use their product on a web page and make an offer for a sample product or coupon off next purchase.
- Realtors could use those magnets they give away and include a link to a page that has tips that help make your house sell faster. An irresistible offer might be an incentive redeemable when they decide to buy or sell a house.
- You could offer downloads for software, videos, reports and any number of things, the main point is to make your free giveaways work harder for you by providing you a way to grow your list so you can market to customers after they’ve made a purchase from you.
Dan Kennedy has said many times, your list is your most valuable asset. What opportunities are you passing up to build you list? Look at what you are already doing to increase value and use this simple marketing device to grow your list. The best part is, you’ll be filling your list with hot prospects that are already sold on your products and services, which means they are ten times more likely to buy from you in the future.