Idea of The Week: Bring this coupon with you.

 > The Situation:
I shop at Meridian Meats and Seafood, a small chain of four stores here in the Fraser Valley area of Metro Vancouver. On a recent visit, I entered an enter-to-win contest. My entry didn’t win (of course), but that’s not the story.

 > The Idea:
The story is the little invitation printed on the little enter-to-win entry form (say that twice in a row). The little invitation read: Please print your email address if you would like to receive special offers and coupons by email. I would. And I did. A few days later – right there in my in box – a coupon. “Three for the price of two” on gourmet sole fillets stuffed with my choice of crab meat and scallops or garlic seasoned shrimp – brushed with “a decadent lemon butter glaze.” Are you hungry?

 > The Risk:

The idea – obviously – is to start using the web to promote your business. I like this example because it is so very simple. So easy.  And so easy to write about and explain. Key point: In order to track the effectiveness of their direct marketing email campaign, the offer was only made available by email. If they advertised the same special in the traditional media, or via in-store marketing, Meridian could not know if it was effective.

 > The Reward:

The reward – obviously – is the opportunity to drum up business using advertising that doesn’t cost money. And it doesn’t need to be limited to repeat customers. While Meridian has the words “forward email” printed at the bottom of their email ad/coupon, they could drive what we call “word of mouse” advertising (otherwise known as viral marketing), by using these words: “Yes, please forward this offer to family and friends. Thank you for spreading the word.”

 > The Call to Action:

It’s time to wake up and smell the dollars. Today’s idea is just one of hundreds of inexpensive ways to use the web for business promotion – including the use of social media (yes, even Twitter). To learn more, watch for the launch of our Marketing Dangerously Social Media Challenge – a 100-day campaign to use social media to boost our MD membership, and the sale of our marketing and sales coaching products. Each day we will share a blow by blow report with you, on what we did; how we did it; what worked; and what wallowed. Stay tuned.


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