Quiznos Serves Up Hot Loyalty-Building Programs

Talk about an extensive menu: Quiznos seems to have tried just about every online loyalty-building channel there is within the past couple of years. Correy Honza, director of Internet marketing for the company, ran through these efforts Wednesday at MediaPost's E-mail Summit; one couldn't help but salute the company's innovation quotient.

Fun is clearly a key element of the efforts' success. And they have been successful. In fact, Quiznos has 1 million-plus online loyalty program members, mostly built through coupon and sweeps offers, and had an open rate of 52% in 2006 (the quick service restaurant industry as a whole has an open rate of between 30 and 40%).

Some recent program highlights:

  • Last year, Quiznos partnered with New Line Cinema on a sweeps page. Entrants for winning a holiday gift basket that included movie passes could opt into the loyalty database for ongoing rewards opportunities. Open rate: 61%; click-through, 40% (typical QSR industry click-through is 10%, by the way); 15% conversion (including 4% new loyalty sign-ups).
  • A mobile campaign wherein prospects/customers in three types of markets (suburban, rural, college) who visited Q's stores saw a promotion hyping "Text for your instant offer!" Those who did download the offers could redeem them at the cashiers. They received an immediate follow-up e-mail saying thanks and offering the loyalty opt-in to receive ongoing offers/rewards. And four weeks later, Q sent a bounce back message and asked for feedback on the promotion. Those who responded got a $5 gift certificate.



This campaign generated a stupendous 83% open rate, 34% click-through, 19% mobile conversion and a 23% bounce back redemption rate. And of those who answered the survey, 83% said they'd like to receive one mobile offer per month.

  • Another mobile effort--off-deck, on-demand coupon effort through CallFire, in the Seattle market--drew a higher open and redemption rate than any other QSR in that market, with a 20% coupon view and 12% redemption.
  • Gaming is also in the mix. Quiznos teamed with Microsoft to be the exclusive sponsor of the Xbox 360 Pacman World Championship, a great way to increase its worldwide visibility. Gamers who played Pacman's latest version on their Xboxes and were top scorers were sent to New York for the tournament. Quiznos supported the launch with a $500 gift certificate give-away (that also, of course, encouraged consumers to sign up for the loyalty rewards program), plus online advertising. Quiznos benefited from great press coverage of the program, signage and sampling at the tournament.
  • Viral gaming: When it wanted to launch milkshakes in the chain, Quiznos had a Web site created (howmuchcanyoutake.com). Users tried to drink a shake more quickly than the shake being "consumed" by the computer onscreen, without getting "brain freeze." It was promoted through blogs and e-mail (loyalty and rented names). The campaign was a big hit (though shakes ultimately didn't pan out as an item at Quiznos).
  • An Adventure Sweeps with New Line and other partners that harnessed the power of the refer-a-friend component of e-mail. Loyalty program members who encouraged friends to also enter the sweeps got one additional entry for themselves for every friend who entered. Results: 29,000 new names. Cost: $1,500.
  • User-generated video: A Quiznos versus Subway campaign expanded Q's footprint. In an "Ad Challenge," consumers were urged to film their own commercials (iFilm partnered on the production end). VH1's "Best Week Ever" showed one user-generated Quiznos vs. Subway commercial each week and critiqued it. Quiznos received 130 entries, and the videos still live online.

Then there's Quiznos's recent entry into supplying content online in between coupons/offers. The "Chef-Inspired Minute" consists of podcasts by a chef who helps consumers produce high-end meals in minutes.

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