Sound Advice

Getting Noticed

After eight years in the pizza restaurant business, Mike Friedman had distributed his share of promotional coupons. The trouble was, so had all his competitors. "I needed something to help us stand out," says Friedman, who owns three Captain Tony's Pizza & Pasta Emporiums in the Cleveland area.

The solution came in the form of Post-it notes. At the suggestion of his printer, Mike Cohen at Cleveland's Guerrilla Mail Inc., Friedman switched from standard coupons to self-adhesive ones that look like delivery notices.

The first round of coupons brought in a hefty 30 percent response. "It was phenomenal," says Friedman. "In this business, a 1 to 3 percent response is considered good." A year later, Friedman's coupons are still drawing an almost-20-percent response.

"It's a fun, fast way of contacting people that isn't already being done to death," adds coupon creator Cohen. "And the Post-its stick to the refrigerator or telephone, so they're less likely to get lost."

Printing and production costs for 12,500 coupons runs about $450 through Guerrilla Mail. "It's a little more expensive than printing up fliers, but [for us], the response is noticeably better," says Cohen. And Friedman, for one, has definitely noticed the difference.

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This article was originally published in the October 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Sound Advice.

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