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Viral and Social Marketing Hall of Fame 2010

Viral and Social Marketing Hall of Fame 2010
Chick-fil-A Free Chicken Mailer
Campaign webpage

MarketingSherpa Summary:  
A free meal is hard to turn down -- two free meals are even more difficult. See how this quick serve restaurant location added a dash of social media to a direct mail coupon for two free sandwiches and achieved a delicious viral response.

Chick-fil-A Stores in Covington, LA
Campaign launch date:
February 21, 2010
Target audience/demographic: Women ages 31-40, household income $40,000 and higher

The primary goal of this campaign was to create a customer database for local stores and to increase redemptions. The initial audience was a purchased list of household addresses: women ages 31-40 with a household income of $40,000 and higher.

Campaign Description:
A personalized, plastic postcard with two perforated cards boasting a personalized URL was mailed to 5,048 households. Each card could be activated online and brought in-store and redeemed for a free chicken biscuit and free chicken sandwich.

After activation, users could go in-store to receive their free Chick-fil-A Chicken Biscuit for breakfast and a free Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich for lunch. All users who shared the offer through our viral sharing tool were entered into a sweepstakes for Free Chick-fil-A for a year.

In the activation process, users could share with up to 233 social networks, and via email and SMS messaging. This dramatically increased the reach and response of the campaign by leveraging the reach of each customer. All users who walked through the site, shared on a social network, and had friends respond were added to a qualified database.

Channels Used:
This was a direct mail campaign, but due to our viral sharing tool users could share on multiple social networks, email and via SMS. Users primarily shared on Facebook and Twitter.

Measurement Tactics:
Our back-end analytics dashboard extracted tremendous data from the user experience and sharing, including: real-time detailed customer information, demographics, geographic information, campaign statistics, poll results, social sharing behavior, responses and customer list data.

How the Audience Helped Spread the Message:
They shared from our platform and posted links on social networking sites of their choice, as well through email and SMS messaging. A Chick-fil-A logo and a pre-generated message were posted so users could quickly share with one click on any social sites.


- The direct mail piece alone gained a 22% response, with 1,111 users logging on to their personalized URL to activate the offer.

- Integrating the viral sharing tool into this direct mail campaign brought the total response to 14,124 users, a 279% response.

- This campaign reached 3x the number of people in the initial list.

- Our analytics identified the primary demographic for the campaign to be women between the ages of 31-40.

- Facebook proved to be the primary sharing outlet for the offer, with 1,218 users posting the offer on their newsfeed, bringing in an additional 6,499 users to the site, a 1:5 ratio.

However, Twitter users were the most responsive to the offer, with a 1:11 ratio.

- At the close of the campaign, storeowners received 1,300 redemptions in store, a 26% redemption rate.

How Results Changed Over Time:
The campaign was pretty consistent -- within 24 hours it had achieved a 100% response rate. There was tremendous activity in the first part of the campaign. By the end it did slow down.

Biggest Lesson:
A great compelling offer coupled with strong technology equipped this direct mail campaign with unlimited potential, resulting in unprecedented responses. I would shorten the campaign dates and implement a POS system at local stores for easier tracking. I was surprised at how quickly the great responses were achieved.