Bill York's idea forum – five more great marketing ideas

Strategy #104
Swinging and Springing Sidewalk Signs

Stationary sidewalk signs are a great way to grab customers' attention, but ones with movement are sure to get more attention and pull more customers into your store. AutoSox USA (Cassel Promotions) has two new styles of signs that are guaranteed to increase exposure of your message or specials to pedestrians as well as passing motorists. These attractive Sidewalk Swinger and Springer signs combine durability and mobility with attention-getting motion, changeable messages and customized graphics.

The Sidewalk Swinger and Springer signs have several advantages over regular signs in several ways. Normal fixed position signs just sit there waiting to be read. These products don't wait to be seen, but rather beg to be noticed because they are mounted on your choice of a spring mounted base or swinging base that brings life to the message with the slightest breeze. They are made of rustproof techno polymers with internal steel supports for years of trouble-free service. Not only are they durable, they are easy to relocate and store because of their relatively lightweight and narrow 24-inch profile. But, this doesn't mean they are easily blown away. These signs can handle rain, snow and 30+ m.p.h. winds and much higher gusts with a little added weight at the base.

Another great option with the Sidewalk Springer and Swinger signs is the ability to change the message with 4-inch track letters. The signs can have double-sided messages and up to seven lines of changeable letters. Blank face signs can easily be customized with computer cut or vinyl graphics. Signs can also be made in custom shapes. These products can also combine permanent graphic with changeable messages and can be custom produced in various colors with logos molded directly to the parts. Sidewalk Springer and Swinger signs are available in sizes up to 28" x 44" and weigh less than 20 pounds.

For more information visit or call 1-800-729-7769 to see what attention-grabbing design they can create for you.

Strategy #105
Cutting Edge Marketing Tool

This unique customer gift by Express Cam is the Swiss Army Knife of promotional pizza tools. It can hold up a lid, cut up a pizza and pump up your sales…all for about a nickel! Regular lid supports are trashed as soon as the box is opened, but not these. They are a lid support and a pizza cutter for your customers and a marketing tool for you. With its punch out center, you can have Express Cam attach a magnet to the punch out and now they are a refrigerator magnet, magnetic coupon or discount token…all for just pennies.

Here's another idea, why not assign a value to the magnetic punch outs and use them for "pizza dollars" the customers can collect for discounts. Imagine a promotion where customers can collect the punch outs and trade them in for free appetizers or pizza with delivery orders. If you ran a promotion where they can trade 10 punch outs for a free pizza, customers would collect them with each delivery and before they knew it there would be six or seven of them on the refrigerator. They couldn't help but notice them every time they went to the fridge and see they only needed two or three more orders before they get a free pizza. Hey, now it's a customer loyalty program, too.

Because they are available in several colors, you can have different colors and different messages printed. Why not have one certain color dedicated as a prize-winner, like blue for a free pizza or yellow for a free order of bread sticks. If you use them as coupons or "pizza dollars," customers will return them and you can reuse the punch out tokens for other promotions, such as trinkets to toss out at parades, reissue them with dine in orders to encourage repeat business or give them to employees to pass out to help bring in business. The possibilities are endless. They are strong enough you could probably downsize the heavy boxes you use now for lighter ones. This could even help the Pizza Cutter lid support pay for itself.

Express Cam also produces the Pizza Cutter lid support with different themes. During Valentine's Day, you can include heart-shaped cutters or clover-shaped cutters around St. Patrick's Day. Sporting themes, such football, basketball and helmet-shaped cutters are also available. These guys are the only source for these products and they only cost pennies each with volume discounts. For more information visit their web site at or call Express Cam at 847-680-1133.

Strategy #106
Double Response Rates With Fun Scratch-Off & Win Card

Your pizza store has just become more popular, fun and irresistible to some. Winning a special offer or discount makes customers much more likely to make a purchase than getting the same old coupon everybody else gets. Research proves it and pizza operators see it every day: When customers are involved in creating their own offer, response rates go way up. Not only are you adding a little fun and suspense to the mundane chore of buying pizza, you are giving your customers a chance to fantasize, win, celebrate and brag. And now, thanks to Stick-n-Save's scratch-off game coupons, you and your customers can both be winners.

Besides the higher response rates, Stick-n-Save's scratch-off & win cards can practically force your customers' attention on the particular product or idea you want them to know about. Want to lead customers to your lunch buffet? Want customers to be familiar with all 27 toppings? Want customers to know you are open late and that you deliver? Making each of your store's favorite selling points a prize can make these points clearly and emphatically.

If you really want to keep them coming back, have Stick-n-Save create a scratch-off card where customers have to collect pieces to win prizes like McDonald's does with their Monopoly game. What about one that looks like a lottery ticket? These promotions are sure to work for your store whether it's sit-down, carryout or delivery.

Stick-n-Save's scratch-off cards can be tailored to meet your specific objective. Winning cards can be cash discounts, free food, a pizza party, T-shirts or many other great ideas. Because pizza operators having been using Stick-n-Save for years, they have a great library of ideas you will want to discuss.

Since the Stick-n-Save scratch-off cards have two games per card, you can substitute one game card with two classic detachable coupons so it has guaranteed discounts with the additional chance of a "big winner". Hey, what about one where you have a coupon on top and a scratch-off chance to double or triple the value of the coupon on the bottom? Once the coupon and/or game cards are used, the top portion of the card with the self-sticking adhesive allows your logo and phone number to remain attached to a wall, computer, refrigerator, phone or wherever your customers place it for easy reference. Because they attach to any surface, they have more versatility and work better than a magnetic coupon and are less than half the price.

For more ideas on how to use Stick-n-Save's scratch-off coupons visit or call 888-381-8898 ext. 13.

Strategy #107
Attract Customers & Promote Specials with the Ticker


Many restaurants keep customers informed of what's happening in the news, sports or stock market by putting a TV in their location. Most establishments can't help but have the TVs tuned, but loud volume isn't appropriate, and most people can't follow it without the audio. Here's an answer to the problem that will satisfy all of your customers and have additional benefits for you – "live" BREAKING NEWS LED signs.


Ticker Communications, Inc. (TCI) has silent LED "reader boards" that can be read from anywhere in the room. Customers are not invaded with the sound of the television and don't have to strain their eyes to read the ticker at the bottom of the screen. In addition to keeping customers informed of sports scores or breaking news, your wall space has untapped value. Some pizza operators even sell board space to local businesses to pay for the Ticker. Another great use of the Ticker reader boards is to advertise your own events or specials. Because the scrolling messages can be changed anytime you want, you can have daily specials or new entrees featured on the "reader boards.'

The units are wireless and do not require you to run any cables, which makes them easy to place anywhere in your store. By adding the small box produced by TCI, you can make the sign "come alive" with all the breaking news, including market index updates, and still have room to include your own messages. The service is very economical ($39.95/month), and the 'receiver' is free. For establishments who don't already have an LED sign, there are many sizes available, including units in backlit advertising boxes. Contact TCI for information on available sizes and pricing for LED signs. This is the solution for the tasteful presentation of the news, sports scores or stock market updates that can still be avoided by those who wish to escape. And it can also provide additional advertising revenues. For more info on TCI's wireless 'reader boards' visit or call 888-884-2537.

Strategy #108
Absolutely Free Internet Pizza Store Listing

OK. Your Bunker Buster Pizza is a big hit, but what else can you do to express your patriotism? Normally, this is where we show you a strategy to sell more pizza. Perhaps patriotism shouldn't be a soapbox to increase sales, but many pizza operators and customers are asking where they can find patriotic-themed items, which seem to be in short supply. Maybe you need them for your store and crew or to sell or give to your customers. 

You'll find many ways to pump up your neighborhoods. American flag banners, towels, antenna balls, pens, and flags are just some of the patriotic-themed items you'll find to promote your upcoming pizza sale. How about a 4th of July Pizza Sale this coming 4th of November and 4th of December? Perhaps you'll want to tie in a patriotic theme for a pizza fundraising effort for the Red Cross or related 9/11 relief organizations. Maybe you'll want to sell an American Flag Pizza. Sell "Old Glory" and give customers a free patriotic gift.

Other patriot products available are: American Car Window Flags sold by Autosox USA (800-729-7769), Signs and Shapes has a 10' inflatable Uncle Sam (402-331-3181), Window Decals (Kolbi Bumper Stickers) (847-459-7313). See our magnet advertisers in our yellow Pizza Pages.