PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. -- Fox's Pizza Den franchisee Scott Anthony's creative marketing efforts garnered him a third-place award at the Annual Franchise System Management & Information Technology Summit, held in Dallas in September. The Franchising At its Best awards are held each year at the Summit.

Searching for a cost-effective way to celebrate Fox's Pizza Den's 30th anniversary and build a customer e-mail address database for his Punxsutawney store, Anthony rolled back pizza prices to 1971 ($1.40 for a medium cheese) for one day in the spring of 2001.

According to Franchise Update, to get a coupon for the pizza deal, customers logged on to Anthony's Web site and submitted their names and e-mail addresses.

In only one day, Anthony netted more than 500 names and e-mail addresses and sold more than 900 pizzas. Anthony had to stop taking orders at 5 p.m. that Wednesday -- a normally slow day -- to avoid running out of product.

By sending press releases to local newspapers and radio stations, Anthony's effort generated press attention and free advertising for the event. His in-store promotion included a display copy of the 1971 menu.

Ken Crosby, Fox's Pizza Den's director of operations, said Anthony is one of the chain's top performers, and lauded him for recognizing the rapid returns from inexpensive e-mail promotion.

"He was able to build a magnificent customer database in one day as a result of this idea," said Crosby. "(H)e has come up with more great ideas that other store owners within our system have been able to implement as well."

Today Anthony has more than 750 names and e-mail addresses in his database in a town of only 7,500 citizens.

"We send out e-mail promotions once or twice a week and we have eliminated our direct mail costs by about $6,000 per year," he said.

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