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Newsletter #768: The “Fill Their Stomachs” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I Thought of That Email Newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Sometimes, the best way to your customers’ hearts is through their stomachs. A few ideas on how to do it:

1> At your store
2> In the cafe
3> On the highway
4> Check it out: First-Person Tetris

1> At your store

You don’t have to be a restaurant to attract hungry customers. IKEA, for example, regularly hosts free open-house breakfast events at its stores. Customers fill up on eggs and bacon — served on IKEA dinnerware — before exploring the store for their next Karlstad sofa or Poang chair. Even if you don’t have the resources to put on a big meal, a few handy snacks and refreshments might be just the energy boost your customers need to keep shopping.

The Lesson: Try offering to fill their stomachs before asking them to open their wallets.

Learn More:

2> In the cafe

If hosting dinner at your place isn’t an option, try partnering with a great local restaurant to fill their stomachs. Sitting down a bunch of 20-somethings to talk about retirement isn’t easy, but Ameriprise Financial in Chicago teamed up with Dapper’s East to award free breakfast retirement planning meetings. Participants simply dropped in a business card to enter, and winners could bring up to 15 friends to hear a 5-minute presentation from a rep before enjoying a meal with friends.

The Lesson: Inviting prospects to sit down to a meal with their friends is a great way to start conversations about how your business can help them.

3> On the highway

A hot meal isn’t the only way to win the hearts of new fans — sometimes a clever voucher for one can do it. The South Carolina Highway Patrol teamed up with local Chick-fil-A franchisees to offer drivers a coupon for a free sandwich if they were found wearing their seatbelts when pulled over. The program not only increases seatbelt use, but it also gives officers something positive to share beyond the typical traffic fine.

The Lesson: Look for opportunities where you can use a tasty treat to thank and reward your best customers.

Learn More:

4> Check it out: First-Person Tetris

This is Tetris like you’ve never experienced it before. (But fair warning: You probably shouldn’t play it after a night on the town.)

Check it out:

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  1. Pat Evans February 4, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    It doesn’t have to be a full meal, either, to give your customers a little extra. I teach jewelry making classes and always try to have beverages and a little snack available. It’s a nice treat for the students, and when someone is getting frustrated with a difficult technique, it clears their head to get up from the work and fix a cup or tea or grab a cookie.

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