A promotion that was very successful for me was the “hot dog of the month club” card. Where the card holder would get a free hot dog, every month for three months. Each card was laminated and had a serial number so we could track them in our daily ledger. (we also punched a hole in the card)
I distributed some flyers to local business to advertise the business and the “hot dog of the month club card” which would be given to the first 100 customers. (no purchase necessary)
Needless to say, I got well over 100 customers that day and gave out all 100 cards. They all bought dogs and drinks too. The first month the card was valid was the following month. (I gave them out in July and the cards were good for Aug, sept, and Oct.) So I knew these people would be back for their free dog. And when we started punching tickets and giving out free hot dogs, we found that many folks would buy a second one along with a drink.
Now, of course, the first 100 to get their club cards needed to fill out a form with their email address. I don’t spam them very much, but I did send an email to them letting them know what our twitter account is so they can follow us if they want because I tweet if we won’t be there for lunch because of bad weather, etc. I also tweet if I am doing a fund raiser for a local youth sports program I donate to. And I’ll tweet if I am hired by a local car dealer to give out dogs at a promotion. I bet I helped sell a few cars for them!
I still give out cards occassionally to law enforcement officers and customers who place lots of large orders for office parties, etc.
The idea was based on a very old Radio Shack promotion called “the battery of the month club” – where they would give you one free battery (any size from AAA to 9V) each month to get you in the store. Radio Shack stopped doing it many years ago, but I remember it being a big draw when worked there as a teen.