Why you need GOOD front-end Pizza

David_Perrera-225x300Guest author, David Perrera, is MFA Director of Sales.

For the majority of my life I have called the state of New Jersey my home. New Jersey is known for its mobsters, high taxes, and really really good pizza. It’s also home to the greatest football team ever created, the New York Giants. OK maybe I’m embellishing there a bit… or maybe not; you can decide.

About 4 years ago, before I understood the first thing about Direct Response marketing, I recall getting an offer for Monday $8 Pizza from a local Italian restaurant that I had never been to.

Now, if you know anything about New Jersey pizza, $8 pizza is like a fabled unicorn that lives inside your washing machine. It just isn’t there.

So, excited and concerned, I take my coupon to the restaurant the following Monday for my $8 box of takeout pizza.

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Knowing what I do now about marketing — front-end vs. back-end, ROI, ACV, etc. — this seems like a perfectly acceptable play, IF and only if, the intention is to gain a new customer.

In other words, if the restaurant knows that the average lifetime value of a customer is $500 for example, would it make sense to pay $4 for advertising, and $4 to have me walk through the door, if the future value of my patronage would be $500? Of course it would…. If I come back.

Very often marketers get the sense they just need to get a cheap lead magnet out to a prospect in order to gain their information and put them on their list, or better yet – some cheap “tripwire” product (cheap as in value, not cost). That’s exactly what happens when I go to pick up my pizza.

There are about a dozen pre-made boxes of pizza sitting under a heat lamp when I arrive. You can tell they obviously skimped on the cheese and sauce as if to say “hey it’s only $8, what more do you want?”

The pizza is lukewarm and not very good at all.

This is their one opportunity to wow me… their one chance to potentially gain me as a repeat customer and make back their investment.

And I never go back.

At the time I was truly baffled as to why this shop would go through the trouble of placing an ad, driving traffic to their door, and then letting me leave, utterly dissatisfied. The lady at the counter wasn’t even really happy about giving me the $8 pizza (although that attitude is typical of us Jersey Italians so maybe I was reading too much into it).

But the point is valid. Are you offering a flimsy, dissatisfying, front-end offer just to get someone on your list and become a customer? If so, why? Why wouldn’t you go the distance (one of our core values) and give the prospect an over-the-top offer that makes them want to keep coming back for more?

If you OVER deliver on value, your customers will notice, and you might have a customer for life…

If you UNDER deliver, you might lose the opportunity to earn their business… forever.


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