Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mr. Loss Leader

Every year around the New Year I'll get a few e-mails from some smart retailers who acknowledge my birthday.

For some time now, I've been signing up to receive e-mails from dozens of businesses including Circuit City, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes, and a host of restaurants too numerous to mention.

Some of them send me a simple "Happy Birthday" message... nice... but not really taking advantage of the extremely low-cost of e-mail technology. Others, though, send me a B-day greeting with a coupon. Yippee! A good example is Don Pablo's, a Mexican restaurant chain. Their message stated that they "loaded" my loyalty card with $10 to use up until January 14th.

Am I going to use it? You 'betcha. Am I going to go alone to eat? Not a chance. I'll probably bring the family and meet some friends there too. Those friends, I might add, enjoy copious amounts of Corona beer and margaritas. Cha ching!

Don Pablo's was smart. They used me as a "loss leader" - they'll loose a little money on me but make it back five-fold on the patrons I invite to "dine" with me that night.

Can you identify a loss leader in your business? E-mail me with your industry information and I'll send you back a couple of ideas for free!

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