Free Pizza – The most powerful word in marketing is FREE – How are you using it? Learn how to best market FREE in your business.

by / / Strategy

Make FREE part of your open play marketing strategy


F.R.E.E. shouldn’t stand for Frequently Ruining Earnings & Equity. You have two tools to get your message to customers; your words and your images. Your magic wand in marketing is to use the word properly. In this month’s issue we are going to give you 5 ideas that will put more money on your bottom line. We used a bowling centre to give you examples in of how to use FREE to market your business.


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  1. FREE Pizza. Move away from the bundling of bowling and food. For example, a ‘Pins, Pizza & Pop’ bundle offers “Free Pizza when you purchase two hours of bowling and shoe rental”. Do the math on your bundled offers and you will probably find you are giving them the pizza free anyways, so why not tell them it’s FREE instead? In this way you can write off the food expense in a simple way that can be loaded and tracked as a coupon or reward on their Loyalty Account.
  1. FREE Bowling. Rather than discount your bowling prices charge full price and give your customers back 100% of the money they just spent. This gift could be in the form of a coupon or reward loaded right onto their Loyalty Account. Many centres run ‘All You Can Bowl’ specials that are about half price. The hope is that the bowler will return because they had a blast, but it’s not guaranteed and there is 50% less cash in the register. Rather than discount your bowling prices give them a great reason to visit you again. You can bring more money in and hopefully they come back with a friend. It’s the new way to offer a BOGO.
  1. FREE Bowling Ball. Give your customer an incentive to spend some money in your center. You could offer a “Free Bowling Ball when you purchase a $200.00 Gift Certificate”. This way you aren’t discounting already slim margins in your pro shop and you’ve brought in real revenue. You have given your customer another reason to visit your center AND having their very own bowling ball inspires them to be a lifelong bowler! That bowling ball sitting in their house will beckon them to return to the lanes.
  1. FREE 30 Minutes of Bowling. Getting customer to bowl longer is challenging for many centre. Offer your customers 30 Minutes of free bowling if they purchase a second hour. Do not discount the price, give them the equal dollar amount on a gift card or load it on their rewards account. They were probably going to bowl an hour and a half anyways, they will feel like they are getting a deal and you have given them a great reason to come back.
  1. FREE Game of Bowling. Rather than give free games of bowling put the right message in the gift. You could have several different free game certificates; there’s one for 1st time bowler, 1st 100 game, 1st year anniversary or 1st game with no bumpers. Including the right message and rewarding loyalty and achievement will make the free game worth much more. The opportunities are only limited by your imagination. They value it much more when they’ve earned it, rather than receiving it for no reason.

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You will notice on all of these different ‘FREE’ opportunities you are putting money in your register and driving customers back for another visit. Isn’t that what you have been trying to achieve when you use the most powerful word in marketing?  F.R.E.E. at your center should stand for Frequent Returns Earnings & Equity. Applying these to your business will put your mind in a different place when you think about F.R.E.E.

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