$7 Per Facebook Fan? Seamless Is Cool With That

Dangles pricey promotion during cold weather to build user base

Seamless is offering Facebook users, Google searchers, general Web viewers and radio listeners $7 discount codes, attempting to drum up new customers during the brutally cold days of January when people might be tempted by its food delivery service. To get the codes, online consumers have to either "like" the brand on Facebook or submit their email addresses.

If all of the new Facebook fans use the code, at $7 per, Seamless will be paying far above what many marketers consider to be the going fan-acquisition rate on the social site. Numerous studies put the cost at between $1 and $4 per fan. The email addresses would also be very expensive per most industry players.

Nevertheless, New York-based Seamless has crunched the numbers and believes the plan will prove out economically because the company has a healthy repeat-customer rate. And with sub-freezing temperatures permeating the country, it's an unusually good opportunity to get consumers hooked on the digital service, said Steven Young, marketing director.

"Since it's 10 degrees outside and people are cocooning, we thought it'd be a great time to do this," he said. "During this time of year, we have order sizes that are larger than average. People are ordering in not just for themselves but also their spouses, kids and friends. So $7 is a sweet spot for us. It's not giving away the farm, but it will attract people to try our service for the first time."

Facebook fans and free food have gone hand in hand for a while. Taco Bell and Burger King are among the chains that have lured "likes" with gratis grub, though never for menu items that cost anywhere near $7.

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