Free food for a year? Who wouldn’t sign up for that? That’s exactly what companies like Denny’s (win a “Grand Slam for a Year”) around the U.S. are banking on to get customers in their door and spending money during the recession. Subway is giving 71 customers free sandwiches for a year to promote its “Five Dollar Footlong” sandwich. The marketing strategy is cost effective (the promotion adds up to about $260 per year, per customer) and successful. It’s estimated that 30% to 40% of free food coupons are redeemed as compared to just 1.5% to 2% of coupons offering discounts. And speaking of coupons, coupon redemption is up a whopping 27% from 2008. That amounts to the largest year-over –year increase in twenty years since they started keeping records. So, what have we learned? Free food and coupons work in a tough economy (duh)! Let’s find out how companies are adapting and how consumers are responding to recession marketing.
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