Guthrie’s Chicken

The Challenge:

Guthrie’s is known for being America’s Original Chicken Finger Restaurant since 1978. From how the chicken is breaded to the unique Guthrie’s signature sauce, this chicken restaurant has made a big name for themselves with 30+ different locations spanning across 7 states. As they were gearing up to open their next location in Auburn, Alabama, Guthrie’s wanted to notify the surrounding community and extend a cordial grand opening offer to entice visitors. Guthrie’s Chicken is a brand known by many but they wanted a campaign that would result in loyal, repeat customers and increased brand awareness within residential Auburn and Opelika.

The Solution:

The list: Walker360 identified the best target audience within a 2.5-mile radius of the new location, which included approximately 2,500 individuals for the mailing list. While 2.5 miles might sound small, this is a college town and Auburn University is roughly 3-4 miles away from the new Guthrie’s location. This radius was the perfect size to capture local residents and a mixture of students who attend Auburn University, as well as prevent overlap with the other Auburn Guthrie’s location 5 miles away.

The content: the postcard included a header of “let us feed your family” and delicious pictures of Guthrie’s chicken, fries, toast, coleslaw, sauces and sweet tea. Two coupons for a free box and a free box with purchase of a box were included so recipients would have the option of dining by themselves or bringing their family or friends. The postcard also included the new address on both sides, the phone number and hours so recipients would know that Guthrie’s is open seven days a week.

The presentation: overall, the content on the postcard would be short and sweet, so the design followed a similar structure. Rather than including long description about the brand, Guthrie’s wanted recipients to focus on the offer the piece had so they can come in to experience it for themselves. The postcard only had the relevant information and images the recipient needed to know so the message would be clear: come get some free chicken.

The Results:

Guthrie’s Chicken is proud of the response this campaign had for their new franchise location. Of the 2,500 pieces that were mailed, 460 recipients redeemed their offers at the new location. This direct mail piece reached the ideal audience at the perfect time and generated an 18.5% conversion rate. At the time, this was 8x more than the average! It was just the start Guthrie’s Chicken needed to solidify their franchise once again with the Auburn community.

Conversion Rate

“The campaign was an overwhelming success. The goal was to win over new customers, get lots of brand exposure, and to increase market share. We’ve seen lots of new faces/customers, and most have become repeat customers. The response rate was 18.5%, which was phenomenal and the best we can ever remember. Direct mail allows customers to touch, feel and engage with our advertising. The key to the success of this campaign was that it was targeted and had an extremely strong and compelling offer.”

-Matthew Myers Director of Operations, Guthrie’s Franchising Inc.