Free Isn’t Dead. Not Yet.

So I’m writing and doing some research today when I see this headline:

“Free breakfast at Denny’s? I’m there!”

That got my attention. Not because I like Denny’s — I don’t. But the idea of a free meal is compelling.

So here’s the scoop:

Denny’s ran a commercial during the Superbowl. That commercial offered a free “Grand Slam” breakfast to anybody who came in today, Tuesday, February 4.

According to this article, Denny’s was on track to serve 2 MILLION free breakfasts in a single day.

Oh. And their web site? On an average day, it will get 350,000 visits. Since running the commercial, they’ve had 40 million “hits” in about two days (not sure if they’re confusing hits/visits… big difference).

Now, if Denny’s was smart, they would have had some kind of way to get all those customers to come back again this week. A $2-off coupon. Or a “buy one, get one free” coupon. Something.

Otherwise, all those free meals may go to waste.

No matter what happens, I think this example proves free isn’t dead. Not by a long shot.

-Ryan M. Healy

P.S. Have you ever studied Nutrasystem ads? They’ve built an entire company on two things: Amazing before-and-after testimonials… AND… by giving away a free week’s worth of food to new customers.

Obviously, they’re making their money on weeks #2, 3, 4, etc.

If Denny’s knows what they’re doing, and they’ve put something in place to get customers to come back, they may have just created a marketing “Grand Slam.” ;-)

—-> Read my follow up post here: Freaks People Out, He Says

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Ryan Healy

Ryan Healy is a freelance copywriter, list manager, and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like,, and

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