Less Can Be More – A Simple Marketing Reminder

A few weeks back I got off my duff and scheduled a date night with my wife Becky (for some reading this alone might be a valuable reminder).  I arranged for our kids to spend some time with their grandparents and made a reservation at a local restaurant we had been wanting to try.

Amani’s is a locally-owned restaurant that specializes in “farm to table” dinners situated in a small suburb of Philadelphia.  We’re talking a two-traffic light type of town an hour west of Philly and yet the restaurant was jam-packed on a Friday night.

The packed dining room was a testimony to the carefully prepared ingredients and meals, but it was a small little thing our waitress did at the end of our meal that really impressed me.  Not because of what she did (we’re talking marketing 101 here), but it was how she did it that made me sit up and take notice.

As she handed me our bill, she also handed me this three-inch piece of paper, with the simple instructions that if we enjoyed our meal, we should give her our name and email address and she would make sure we received news and offers from the restaurant.

No fancy graphics, die-cut brochure or high-tech electronics here.  Instead, el cheapo photo-copy paper and probably printed 30 sign-up forms to a single sheet of paper.  Yet it got my attention (and my name and email).

Amani’s approach was about as plain and simple as you can make an email sign-up form and therein lies the genius. Sure, they could have spent more time, effort and money in coming up with something prettier or more high-tech, but instead they just got down to business and collect lead after lead as they build their customer database.

I was recently talking to a friend who owns a retail store.  For years, I’ve been trying to get him to capture his customer’s information at the time of sale and for years he’s resisted. Thousands of customers have come and gone and he’s missed a huge opportunity to enhance the relationship.  His excuse was time, lack of a formalized email follow-up system, marketing on the Internet is going to be hard, yada, yada, yada.

My friend is no different than a lot of business owners, who fret over making sure everything in their marketing looks just right or everything is perfectly in place, all while never getting around to the important job at hand – marketing.  In full disclosure I’ve succumbed to this before  and am using this article as a reminder to myself.

As Amani’s process so clearly illustrates, they placed a much higher importance on capturing their customers’ information and enhancing the relationship instead of having some complicated lead capture system in place and it works for them (I got my first email from them within about a week of our visit).

I applaud their minimalistic, yet effective strategy and encourage you to look at your marketing efforts and see if you can take a similar approach.  Remember, sometimes less can be more when it comes to marketing – especially if it gets you off your duff (and don’t forget to book that date night with your significant other!).


UPDATE: I got a lot of positive feedback from this article, including a note from Graham McGregor who used mentioned this article in the New Zealand Herald, which you can see here:




About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at BiteSizedBooks.com.


  1. Edwin Soler on March 26, 2013 at 11:45 am

    First things first. My in laws are returning this Wednesday. Good reminder to take my wife out while they watch our little guy. Second, I’m not sure if I mentioned I was hired by a successful restaurant owner and one of his very first projects he gave me was this very thing. Capturing leads this exact way. Your article has clarified a lot about how to go about this. Thanks Mike.

  2. Andrew Mazer on March 26, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Great point, Mike. When I was a kid, my folks discovered a Thai restaurant in China Town i downtown Philly. (This was before email {and still is as far as my parents are concerned}. The manager there almost always presented his business card at the end of our dinner and on the back was an ink-stamp with the words: “Bring this for 10% off your next visit.” With a 30-day expiration from date of visit, this “bounce-back” strategy can be super effective.

  3. Graham McGregor on April 1, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Hi Mike

    I enjoyed this article and mentioned it in a weekly marketing column I write for The New Zealand Herald newspaper. You can read the column at this link…


    Thanks for sharing such useful ideas.

    Graham McGregor

    • Mike Capuzzi on April 2, 2013 at 8:17 am

      Thanks Graham! I appreciate the the fact you appreciated the article!

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