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May 28, 2008
Case Study

Quiznos' Make-Your-Own Coupon Test Results

SUMMARY: Using an emailed coupon is a common marketing tactic, but could you get better redemption rates if you added a Web 2.0 element into the mix and let your customers make their own discount offers?

See how a fast-food chain combined email and a custom-built landing page that got staggering open and clickthroughs, plus download rates nearly double their average.
Industry statistics and common sense tell marketers that incentivizing email with a *proven* offer bolsters response rates. Correy Honza, Director, Internet Marketing, Quiznos, and his team wanted to improve their incentivization capabilities.

At the same time, they hoped to:
- Create a stronger bridge between the national brand and local stores
- Test user-generated content
- Optimize coupon offers without a consumer survey. “We wanted to get more insight to what motivates our consumers, instead of us simply thinking, ‘We know what they want.’ ”

Honza and his team devised an email-based concept that covered all of their initiatives: a campaign that let customers create their own coupons.

Subscribers put together their own redeemable coupons after receiving an email they could click through to a customized landing page. On the landing page, they could select from several coupon combinations.

And, it took only three steps to get the initiative going:

-> Step #1. Create a landing page

Honza and his team designed a landing page based on best practices. Generally, their layout for the create-your-own-coupon page involved a clean, easy-to-follow design in three columns from left to right.

The first column was a “Choose Your Food Mood” station where viewers were asked to click on one of four buttons:
o “Toasty Sub”
o “Fresh Salad”
o “Gourmet Breadbowl”
o “Feeding a Group”

After clicking on that selection, consumers had a slew of options to choose from. One example: Viewers who selected the “Toasty Sub” line were asked to choose -- in the middle column -- one of these coupon details:
o “$1 Off Small, $2 Off Large”
o “$6 Meal”
o “Buy One, Get One Free w/2 Drinks”

If viewers chose one of the other food stations, the discount reflected those product lines.

The third column was used to get viewers to redeem the coupons in stores. The following copy appeared at the top of the column: “Print it Out & Bring it In.” A “Print Coupon” button was featured just below the copy.

-> Step #2. Create email

Next, Honza and his team put together an email that used several images from their usual campaigns that represented their catering, subs, soups and salads.

But they stressed the UGC point with copy that displayed the following text stacked vertically at the top of the email:
o “Create-Your-Own-Coupon”
o “Because YOU should be in charge of YOUR appetite!”
o “Quiznos allows you to create your own coupon in 3 easy steps”
o In bold type, “Click to select your offer type”

They then defied industry norms that support punchy subject lines. They chose a 77-character phrase to plug in the UGC opportunity and two other offers: Quiznos: Create-Your-Own-Coupon, TV Ad Challenge and 500 Dollar Shopping Spree.”

-> Step #3. Get stores on board

The last step was to get their franchisees on board. They emailed and faxed marketing materials and other important info to franchise owners more than a month in advance of the promotion.


Turning over some promotional control to customers was a memorable win for Honza and his team. “It was more successful than anything we had done in several month.” Outlets across the nation took to the idea in a great fashion and accomplished one of Honza’s goals. “Participation was close to system-wide on traditional stores.”

Although they were unable to code the coupon and allow individual stores to track exact redemption data, they saw the following numbers, which exceeded recent averages for email coupons:
o 55.6% opened (vs. 49.8% average)
o 41.1% clicked through (vs. 25.8% average)
o 34.4% of the clickthroughs printed the coupon (vs. 19.4% average)

They also learned what coupon offers might be most popular in the future. Subscribers preferred $1 and $2 off deals for sub sandwiches. Here were the top 5 performers, including download percentage:
o [Sub] “$1 Off Small, $2 Off Large,” 37.24%
o [Sub] “Buy One, Get One Free w/2 Drinks,” 25.25%
o [Sub] “Combo for Free with purchase,” 8.19%
o [Salad] “$1 Off,” 7.56%
o [Sub] “$6 Meal,” 6.28%

The UGC nature of this effort proved to be fantastic as well for ROI when compared to both, running surveys for feedback and straight promos for sales. “I take a look at how much we’d spend on a traditional freestanding insert out there,” Honza says. “And then I take a look at what we did here and, honestly, it’s a no-brainer. To get the clickthrough and download rate that we got back, it definitely was more than worthwhile.”

Useful links related to this article

Creative samples from Quiznos' coupon campaign:

MarketingSherpa Special Report on online coupons:

Fluency Media - email service provider and online marketing agency:


See Also:

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