By: Chris Barr
It’s a question that pizza operators ask all of the time, “What size menu should I mail to get the best results and keep my costs down?:
The answer is simple:
An 11×17 menu is the ideal size and format for direct mail.
Why Not 8.5×11?
When tri-folded, an 8.5×11 menu has a small 3.5″ x 8.5″ folded size …which is easy to miss. In most cases, households receive numerous letters, offers, and magazines on a daily basis that will dwarf the size of a folded 8.5×11 menu. This reduces your visibility, appeal, and ultimately, your conversion rates. While this is not the ideal-sized menu for direct mail, it still may generate a profitable ROI.
Why the 11×17 Format Dominates…
With an 11×17, the tri-folded size is at least 5″ x 11″ (for a tri-fold w/ coupon strip). This size is larger than a standard envelope, and basically “forces” the individual to handle your piece and decide “Do I want this or not?” The cover of your menu is critical here. Always include a benefit on the cover of your menu such as “Lower prices, Amazing Coupons – Look Inside!”
Even better, the new Every Door Direct Mail format requires an 11×17 menu to be a half-fold (flat) or half-fold with a coupon strip. This format increase the folded size to either 8.5×11 or 7.4×11, which is even more visible and more effective. The larger size also enables you to include beautiful food images, larger coupons, and easier-to-read font sizes. Your 11×17 menu will also stand out more when it is in the kitchen cabinet with a dozen other restaurant menus (for additional future sales).
With a turnkey design+print+mail program like the one we offer at Taradel, a few extra pennies per piece will enable you to use the 11×17 format over the 8.5×11 format, greatly enhancing your visibility, branding, and sales.
I’ve worked with hundreds of pizzerias and the average response rate (for a properly designed 11×17 menu) falls between 3% and 12.5% via direct mail. Your reputation, competition, food quality, service, offers, and even the weather can (and will) influence your ROI at the end of the day.