A Winning Recipe for Attracting Pizza Customers

What does a great media campaign look like for a Pizza company? Is it filled with the latest martech and reaching key demographics in places few have ventured before?
We happen to believe a great media campaign is a lot like ordering a custom-built pizza oven. You go into it with an idea of what you need and how you want your kitchen to function and your designer partners with you to come up with a product that incorporates both time-honored traditional elements as well as the latest technology. Each part of the oven has an important role in both the efficiency of your kitchen as well as the quality of the pizza that comes out. Similarly, a great media campaign incorporates time-honored traditional elements as well as the latest technology working together in harmony to deliver results that exceed your goals. But what happens when pizza companies go a different direction in favor of digital media versus print media like direct mail? Some pizza companies are trying this without fully understanding the new capabilities of direct mail and how costs have been lowered. We’ll explain why their approach is problematic and how they can achieve better results at a lower cost.

Technophiles Love Pizza And The Pizza Industry Loves Technophiles

Digital media has become a focus in the pizza industry and some are on the fence about print media taking a back seat. It’s not exactly a custom oven approach; it’s more like getting half the features because those features work great for certain restaurants. But what if they don’t work for yours?
This is exactly what happened with one major pizza player. In 2015, five of their corporate stores stopped using their direct mail program to focus on digital efforts. This resulted in an 11% sales drop. After re-joining the program in 2016, sales were up 15.5% in the five weeks after mailing.
This is a common scenario we often see here at Mspark and one that even the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has noticed. According to the DMA, 19% of marketers they surveyed planned to decrease usage of direct mail in the coming 12 months, which is consistent with previous annual studies they conducted. Oddly enough, these predictions are never fully realized by the DMA’s study participants.
Why are they changing their minds? Could it be that they are seeing what our anonymous pizza company saw?
Possibly. Direct mail certainly has brag-worthy response rates, averaging 5.1% for a house list, compared to 0.6% for email, 0.6% for paid search, 0.2% for online display, and 0.4% for social media. What about ROI? In the DMA’s response rate report, email is the clear winner (124%), but direct mail (29%) and social media (30%) are about tied for 2nd.  Paid search (23%) and online display (16%) show weaker ROI.
That might come as a surprise for pizza industry technophiles – how is print even able to compete? Why are response rates so much higher? The answer is so very simple: direct mail can hit any location, is tangible, has a strong call to action, and when combined with top-notch data and analytics, can achieve whatever you need it to. If you want foot traffic, direct mail delivers, if you want website orders, direct mail delivers, and if you want ROI, direct mail delivers.

Spend Less Dough to Make More Dough

Back to our custom oven analogy, direct mail is a vital piece of the design and is the time-honored part of the assembly that works in harmony with the newer technology pieces. But when you’re working with a designer who is building something customized for you, there is an understandable fear of what the final cost will be. Understandable because print media, specifically direct mail, oftentimes carries a higher cost per acquisition than some digital media. This is why ROI for email is so high and why, despite response rates being so low, the low cost per acquisition yields a higher return on investment than direct mail and other types of media. Though if you want a solid ROI with an email campaign, the address list must be spot-on with the right people. Acquiring a great list is an extra step in an email campaign but with direct mail, it’s built in.
Imagine what would happen if a high-response medium like direct mail had a lower cost per acquisition. This would be a lot like the builder of your custom oven telling you that the project would not cost nearly as much as you anticipated or have paid in the past. As part of their design, they have built in efficiencies and cost savings so that the product you’re ordering retains its high quality but also fits nicely within budget. In the competitive environment of the pizza industry, this can’t be something that one just “imagines “- it needs to be reality.
One direct mail solution we recommend of pizza companies is a form of direct mail called shared mail. Instead of advertisers going solo on the costs of advertising, they share the costs – resulting in a less expensive but highly targeted print advertising solution. For pizza advertisers, a favorite product is our Wrap. It can be mailed to an entire market or trade zone for pennies per household. The name “Wrap” comes from the fact that it wraps around the other offers that are part of our shared mail package. Each page of the Wrap is full-color, 8.5″ x 11″, resulting in high readership and high visibility in the mailbox. So, the big benefits with the Wrap is it enables you to reach a much wider audience, have front-and-center visibility, all at a lower cost than non-shared mail options.

Changing the Recipe for More Success

As a shared mail provider, our focus is delivering a solid response rate plus cost savings; the Mspark shared mail package and everything in it and around it is designed specifically for that reason. But if our efforts stop there and we are not adapting for change, we’re not innovating, not reducing costs for clients, then what are we doing? From our experience, we are at our best when our clients are successful – and that’s the kind of partnership we like. Pizza companies need a great oven with all the parts working together in harmony – and they need it at the best price possible. Let’s work together to make it happen…because a great pizza campaign probably won’t cost as much as you think. Check out some of our success stories below to see real campaign results.

Interested in learning more about the winning recipe of shared mail for your pizza business? Fill out the form to speak with one of our knowledgeable experts about the best direct mail solution for you!

2017 DMA Fact Book