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For those of you not familiar with the delicacy that is the Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich, I can personally attest this is fast food Nirvana. Having grown up with the chain all of my southern life, it is an unwritten rule that any visit home to Nashville includes a stop to feast on the delicious chicken and pickles sandwich and cross-cut fries. So, is it coincidence that I’m posting this around lunch time. I think not. Too bad we don’t have a Chick-Fil-A in Grand Rapids or I would have gladly participated in this recent promotion.

In a post at the Bronto blog, Julie Waite says you may know Chick-Fil-A recently introduced a Spicy Chicken Sandwich. “What you may not have heard,” she notes, “was that they ran a special invite-only event promotion to taste the new sandwich (for free!) well in advance of its launch date.”

For those who signed up for the promotion, here’s how the email campaign worked:

The first message confirmed the reservation. “We have you down for Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at my restaurant (Northgate Mall (NC)) between 11AM-2PM,” read Waite’s personalized note, which included the name and headshot of Garrett Reed, the store’s owner-operator.

It included a link to a printable invitation. A lengthier message described Chick-Fil-A’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich—the first new sandwich on its menu since 1989—and included all of the reservation’s details.

A second message—a friendly reminder—arrived the day before the event. “Again,” she says, “clear and simple instructions for redemption, a link to print my invite in case I lost it, and directions to the store. Perfect timing.”

Once at the restaurant, Waite discovered the “secret” event was, indeed, secret. “[T]here was no signage or anything that denoted the day’s special events,” she says, “which actually made us feel as if we were getting something special that others weren’t.” A few tabletop signs marked “Reserved for Spicy VIP” were the only indication of the sandwich-tasting promotion—and had little meaning for non-participants. “[A] clever way,” she concludes, “to add to the mystique and give a wink to those in the know.”

The Po!nt: Tastefully targeted emails really do work. Chick-Fil-A’s campaign drew Waite in with a solid email campaign and the promise of a tasty sandwich—and, importantly, it followed through on its promise of exclusivity.

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