Last Fringe Festival, I discovered a new Mexican restaurant with the best taco and burritos I ever had. I immediately took all of my friends there. Heaps of local and interstate comedians started eating there.
The owner noticed me always coming in with new people and we quickly got to know each other. He often gave me some extra for free with my meal, a free drink here, and a free upgrades, blah blah blah. It was great.
Then one day he handed me a coupon with a hole punched in it and said “Eat here ten times and you get a free burrito.” like I was just another walk-in customer for the first time.
You know what, if I have a stand-out customer that I know is bringing everyone he knows, when I hand him a coupon, the first thing I would is punch it nine times. Don’t make me start from scratch.
I have eaten there exactly zero times since then.
I HATE COUPON CARDS!
I can’t think of anywhere I visit ten times often enough to warrant adding your crappy coupon to my wallet that already has no more room for crappy coupons. If I ever manage to buy ten salads, muffins, burritos or chinese massages I am sure that I will have lost the coupon long ago.
At least my coffee shop only makes me buy six coffees before I get a free one.
If you want to make me feel like returning to your store, don’t think that a free burrito ten visits from now will impress me.
Learn my name, suggest a new or exotic topping for my taco, give me the guacamole for free (seriously? $1 for guacamole? For $1 I could get a whole freakin’ avocado). These are the reasons I kept coming, and brought my friends.
I guess it costs about $2 to make a burrito, so I guess that the value you me each time I visit your store is only a tenth of that.
Do you keep a count of how many cards you hand out compared to how many come back full? I bet it is a percentage close to zero.