Even Free Coffee Can’t Beat THIS

Do you create and sell your own online courses? If so, you should be able to relate to the story I’m about to share…

As a marketer, I am always on the lookout for creative lead generation angles and sales funnels that other organizations are using.

No organization is off limits from my spying……not even fast food joints.

And spying isn’t the end….it’s just the beginning.

I then break down the marketing angle I find and compare it to the marketing angles I use in my business (in this case, live webinars, which you’ll see below).

Enter Chick-Fil-A…

The other day I heard that Chick-fil-A is offering free coffee for the entire month of February. Being a coffee lover and always appreciative of freebies, I went there this morning.

Now part of me just wanted some coffee, but the other part of me was really curious to see how Chick-fil-A used their free coffee giveaway to drive sales to their business.

I ended up ordering breakfast.

Of course I did — it just makes sense. The food smelled good, and I was hungry.

Chick-fil-A obviously knows what it’s doing. The intent of the free coffee promotion isn’t to be nice (well, that’s a secondary benefit at most); it’s to get people in the door so that they’ll buy food, just as I did.

The free cup of coffee is Chick-fil-A’s version of a lead magnet.

If you are in the online marketing world and run an online business, you know that a lead magnet is crucial to bringing new customers in the door.

Sure, some people will go to Chick-fil-A, get their free cup of coffee and leave. However, many others will decide to go to Chick-fil-A (many of whom might not have done so otherwise), get a free cup of coffee and order food.

Ironically, many people will order combo meals that come with a drink anyway. These customers are essentially paying for the “free” coffee that enticed them in the door.

I went back at lunch to get a free iced coffee. Yes, Chick-fil-A is also offering free iced coffee this month. They have both the breakfast and lunch crowd covered — brilliant!

And no, I’m not that obsessed with getting free coffee or noshing on fast food. What I am obsessed with is marketing.

Once I recognized the free coffee as Chick-fil-A’s version of a lead magnet, I wanted to see just how far they were going to take it.

For example, in the digital marketing world, a lead magnet is a freebie designed to lead you down a sales funnel. The intention is to get the prospect to take the freebie and then later order a product or service. When I ordered food with my free coffee, I went down the path that Chick-fil-A wanted me to take.

At the same time, I wondered what would happen if I didn’t go down that path…

Thus, I ordered my free iced coffee and nothing else. The cashier let me know that the coffee was free before asking if I’d like a chicken sandwich to go along with it. There it was: the sales path. The classic “do you want fries with that?” I said no, and he again made sure there was nothing I wanted to eat alongside my coffee.

I stood my ground, although I felt guilty for not buying anything.

While Chick-fil-A definitely has the process in place with its free coffee lead magnet, they have no way to bring back customers who didn’t buy the first time.

Because the free coffee is strictly an offline lead magnet, the promotion isn’t able to get the full benefit of a digital lead magnet.  

In the online world, if a prospect doesn’t go down the funnel and buy right away, you can nurture him or her toward a buying decision by using email, sending informative content, retargeting, making special offers, and providing value until a purchase is made — and thereafter.

For example, I do this very same process when I sell an online course via webinars.

For the most part, the live webinar is the lead magnet. It’s a free event that entices people to show up and learn about the topic you are teaching.

At the end of the webinar, you pitch your product and people either buy or they leave.

At Chick-fil-A, when people leave, that’s the end of the sales funnel. But the way I do it, I’m able to hit people at every stage of the funnel.

If they don’t show up to the webinar, they’ll see one ad.

If they showed up but didn’t buy, they’ll see another ad.

If they showed up, went to the sales page, but didn’t buy, they’ll see another ad.

Check out this screenshot from a post-webinar promotion I recently did. This was targeting people who watched the webinar, went to the sales page, but didn’t buy:

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 4.03.52 PM

This was only run for a small period of time, and was for a $697 training course I was selling.

As you can see above, $108.80 was spent on this audience segment, resulting in 7 sales, at a cost of $15.54 sale.

Do you understand the power of that?

Each sale was worth $697 in revenue, and cost me $15.54 a piece. That’s almost $5000 in revenue for about $100 in ad spend…

Think it’s just a fluke?

How about this one:

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 4.10.04 PM

Your eyes are not deceiving you.

In this screenshot, I retargeted people who attended a webinar for a course I was selling for $497.

$26.35 was spent and that brought me 22 sales of a $497 course. That’s nearly $11,000 in revenue for less than $30 in ad spend.

Every $1.20 I spent led to a $497 sale. Just crazy!

Now Chick-fil-A makes a helluva lot more money than I do, and the company will profit handsomely from the crowd that comes in for free coffee and buys food to go with it.

But when you have an online business, you have the power to do things that I showed above, because you can setup proper sequences and funnels to catch people at the right place and the right time.