Get Your Pizza

We've been working on a study of the pizza industry and how it is using the Web and email to take the neighborhood pizza parlor into the world of cyberspace. We are seeing some interesting findings. The first thing that stands out is that the companies that are hawking pizza are very savvy Internet marketers.

Take Papa John's, which emails every few days and sends multi-offer messages not only promoting its latest pizza concoction, but also the ability to receive Papa John's text messages on your mobile phones; its partnership with companies such as Netflix; and its Web service, where you can check off your favorite pizzas online to speed ordering.

According to Pizza Marketing Quarterly, the average online pizza order is $6 to $9 higher than the average telephone order. This is because online customers not only have a more leisurely experience than ordering by phone, but they also have access to the entire menu and can order without feeling rushed, says Pizza Quarterly.



Email promotions are a big component in driving visitors to the sites. As an example, while Monday is usually the slowest day for the pizza industry, according to Pizza Marketing Quarterly two third-party email promotions sent out by the NBA on two different Mondays in January drove some of the highest traffic peaks of the month for Pizza Hut.

And speaking of Web traffic, it is interesting to note that two of the most consistent email marketers (Papa John's and Pizza Hut) have Web traffic that is consistently high and almost identical, according to Alexa statistics -- while other brands such as Little Caesar's that do little email marketing show little Web traffic growth. While companies such as Pizza Hut, Domino's, and Papa John's send out email on busy pizza days (Thursday through Saturday), Domino's and Papa John's do heavy email promotions on slower days as well.

The most common call to action is a button in the email with the phrase "Order Online." Papa John's promotes impulse buys by providing a link to set up four preset favorite orders so they can be ordered with only two clicks of the mouse. Papa John's and Pizza Hut also heavily promote the ability to order through text messaging in their email promotional messages.

Almost a third of Pizza Hut's email marketing comes from third-party partnerships with organizations like the NBA. NBA Game Day Alerts are used to promote Pizza Hut's online game day delivery campaign.

We'll be publishing our full report shortly, and I will let you all know when it is available for download.

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