In the 1990’s the Federal Communication Commission eased regulations in the long distance telephone world. The increased competition led to clever marketing to grab the attention of a newly expanded customer base.
During this time it appeared MCI had pulled of a real coup with the introduction of their Friends & Family plan.
The deals for the original Friends & Family customers were unheard of at this time. Customers received lower rates in calling circles of up to 20 other MCI customers. If one member of a calling circle decided to switch to a competitor they would have to explain to their “circle of friends” that each call would now cost them more.
Then in June of 1991, a direct mail piece used to promote the Friends & Family plan earned the first ever perfect 10 score using the Deith Evaluation Index, and ad industry rating scale.
This was the real deal, not a bunch of hype.
By the end of 1991, MCI had increased market share by two points that represented a little more than $1.2 billion in incremental volume. (Incremental volume is a key component of the promotion in a retail store.) It is also important to note that this increase was just during year one of the plan. As retailers, we understand things like the lifetime value and future value of customer relationships.
MCI scored a homerun on nearly every front.
In 1994, while working to grow a 5-store furniture company in Ohio, we were looking for ways to spur top line sales while avoiding the damaging advertising of the time.
By the way, the advertising of the early 1990’s has changed very little. We were running the “World’s Greatest Whatever Sale,” or offering (at the time) unheard of finance offers giving customer an entire year without payments or interest. Some things only get worse!
Because the Friends & Family plan was at the peak of its pull, the message was everywhere. One skull session led to another and another, and before we knew it we had created a retail promotion that had the power to change the course of our year. (Before you say it, let me: “He thinks he’s is Al Gore creating the internet. He didn’t create the Friends & Family promotion for retail stores.” No, I didn’t – but read on to find out how I did perfect it.)
On Sunday August 24, 1994, our stores did over $1,000,000 in just four hours on a Sunday night. A month’s volume in four hours! Mouths hung open. Commissioned salespeople had earned as much in one Sunday night than they had earned the entire month before. Cash flow was amazing. Can you imagine getting an entire month’s worth of cash in just one night? I couldn’t, but we had done it.
We worked hard for the next several days picking up the pieces from our great night. Then we sat down and documented each and every step we went through to pull off this amazing feat.
Since August of 1994 I have run a Friends & Family event annually with each company I owned or managed, and the results have always been about the same: about a month’s business in only a few hours.
Over the years we have tested nearly every aspect of the event. We have tried different days, different seasons of the year, running two in one year, offering terms, not offering terms, playing with vendor discounts, printing a fancy invitation, running the promotion as a direct mail event… and the list goes on.
My point is this: you may have already heard about a Friends & Family event, but unless you worked for me between 1994 – present, you have never been privy to the details of our Friends & Family event.
If you have tried a promotion by the same name but didn’t get the same results, I would suggest that you ran a bastard version. I have seen this title used to promote shoes, boats, corn dogs, jewelry and chicken. Maybe someone else has figured out a way to improve the outcome, but I kinda doubt it.
For a limited time, for only $499 I will share the intimate details of my version of this sale.
Do think $499 is expensive?
Either that, or it’s the crime of the century.
As part of my current role in advising independent retailers on ways to make their businesses more profitable than ever, I buy and place newspaper, radio and TV advertising around the country. I know with absolute certainty that there is very little marketing you can buy for $499.
There are retailers who have picked my brain about this event in the past. I have shared with them 99% of the necessary steps to have a huge sale night, but never – and I mean never – have shared the last top secret 1% of information that changes this event from merely great to Olympic proportions.
For $499, I will give you the full skinny, nothing held back, no holds barred version of the promotion. I’ll also answer up to three emails with questions you may have about sale preparation.
If you follow the secret recipe of this promotion, I’m confident the event will produce the biggest day of sales in your company history. I’m even pretty sure you’ll do nearly one month’s business in just four hours!
Are you ready for the biggest night in your company’s history?
I’m ready! Send me your name, company name, billing address and phone number. For $499 you’ll receive a book with step-by-step instructions, tips and trade secrets. You’ll also be entitled to up to three email answers to your questions as you prepare for the biggest night of sales in your company’s history.
I’m not ready, but I’m interested.
Email me or call 800-549-9206 ext. 1 with any questions.
I think you’re nuts:
Tell me why. I’m always up for a good debate.
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