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blackie 2This weekend I was watching one of my recorded sessions of Chopped (yes, I am a food junkie) and an ad for Hill’s Science Diet came on. Most of the time I fast forward through the ads. However, this one caught my eye. Why?

Blackie, my 60 pound Lab/Weimaraner eats a lot of dog food and I feed him Science Diet. So I was interested and watched. Within a few seconds the ad said, text #### to NAME to get a 50% off coupon on any size dog food.
Blackie eats about $45 per month in dog food. Get $22.50 off? Of course! I went to my phone and texted the message.

Got the coupon instantly! I had only 7 days to use it.

I had to make sure that it was real so I went to Pet Smart with the coupon and bought a 33 pound bag of dog food…only $23.50 including tax…the coupon was real!

Hills can tell that I downloaded the coupon – and at a time that this segment of Chopped didn’t air for the first time. They can track how many people actually downloaded the coupon, when they downloaded the coupon, and when they used it. They can compare the cost of the advertising against revenue. Smart.

Another great thing they did – limiting the time to use the coupon to one week. Made me get the dog food now!

So how do you apply this to your business?

First, decide what you are going to give away. In the HVAC world you might use something like: Text NUMBER to NAME to get your free, 21 Critical Questions to Ask Your HVAC Contractor (Go to wwwHVACTrustBooks.com for more information about the book – one of the coolest sales tools I’ve ever seen). You’ll know instantly how many people are interested.

Then, let the world know about it. You can put this message in a radio ad, a TV ad, a newspaper ad, direct mail, or even on a billboard. Millennials prefer texting. Even baby boomers like me are getting used to it. It’s fast and easy. No paper necessary.

Finally, track whether your ads work. You can use a combination of texting and telephone calls. You can attract them using an incentive like Hills did.

You know whether the dollars you invest produce revenues – and how quickly they produce revenues. TV advertising can be instantaneous. Direct mail takes longer.

Try it and let me know how it works.

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