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💥Use this booming pizza biz’s strategies

Hunt Brothers Pizza

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No time to waste or even recycle, honestly. We gotta get to the following sections after we kick off with today’s Feature on gas-station pizza tactics you can mimic to grow your business with no-brainer offers.

  • The Knowledge Base 
  • Self Help 
  • Facts & Stats (beer cost insights)
  • Get Hacking (thinking cap required)

Now, today’s Feature Story.

Booming Pizza Business that Shouldn’t Be

I’ve never eaten a Hunt Brothers Pizza, but I’ve seen hundreds of other folks walking out gas station doors with one in their hand. Everywhere I drive, I see Hunt Brothers signs too. Every….where!

This “little” brand’s concept and marketing is pretty genius. They’re not little. They have about 9700 locations compared to Domino’s roughly 7000 locations (same for Pizza Hut).

Here are more facts on this impressive brand, then we’ll list ways that any type of business can mimic some of their strategies. 

  • They’re now in 32 states
  • They target a specific niche (rural towns, often without a major pizza chain)
  • Their franchise opportunity is a no-brainer offer compared to other franchises
  • High profits with easy operation (no hype, it truly is — we’ll cover below)
  • Their “hardworking family roots” works well for businesses they target (convenience store owners work long, tedious hours)

The only “smart marketing” tactic that gets highlighted about Hunt Brothers Pizza that I’d disagree with is offering like 1000 topping combinations. I’d keep it simpler and let customers fall in line with fewer options so convenience store employees could think less, do less, and be less annoyed so they don’t quit!

Now for those example businesses that could easily mimic Hunt Brothers’ tactics.

SaaS and Affiliate Marketers Examples

Niches: Hunt Brothers Pizza has no locations on the West Coast. They sponsor a NASCAR team. They’ve clearly defined the areas they want to sell to. 

A SaaS platform could identify an untapped niche like a particular industry or business segment. Slight tweaks in their software solution might be all it takes to attract that niche. The pizza bros. know convenience stores have no space to add stuff – so they promote tiny pizza “kitchens” that take up as little as 42 square feet.

An affiliate marketer could investigate market segments that lack something (like the c-stores lack space), then specialize in a specific product category that fills a need and overcomes whatever that “lack” is.

Strategic Partnerships and Expansion: Hunt Brothers Pizza expanded into specific states and built territories with convenience store partners, making sure franchisees didn’t cannibalize each other. A SaaS platform could form partnerships with complementary businesses and industry associations to reach new markets. 

Affiliate marketers could collaborate with influencers and other affiliates to cross-promote and tap into new audiences.

This gas station pizza is being placed where hungry, on-the-go people already are. Hunt Brothers benefits from that “audience.” The convenience store owners get extra customers coming in because they see the familiar Hunt Brothers Pizza sign, and their average sale total rises, obviously. 

This pizza has a 50% profit margin too. And any idiot can heat up a pizza (I do it all the time).

How a Marketing Agency Could Copy Hunt Brothers

Trust me, convenience store owners are a tough sell. They are busy and inundated with people trying to sell them something 24/7 (especially payment processing services). 

The reason owners bite on this pizza franchise is because it’s a no-brainer offer. More profits, no extra staff needed, takes up little space, can get started for less than a used Honda ($10,000) – and no franchise fees, no contract!

Using the marketing agency example…

Agencies also have a hard time selling people on their services. There are plenty of businesses they can partner with, though:

  • Web designers 
  • Accounting firms
  • App developers
  • Graphic designers
  • Business consultants
  • E-commerce experts

The key is to have a no-brainer offer to get your foot in the door or your kitchen in the door – in the Hunt Bros. case.

For web designers, the offer might be to give them SEO keywords to target, or offer to tweak their content headlines to optimize engagement. If you move the needle on their website, it’s obvious they should recommend you to their clients (formalize an agreement, though). You could also help them create bundled web services that include your marketing.

A no-brainer offer to accounting firms could be to liven up their marketing (just enough to grab attention. Accountants should be mostly boring since you don’t need a “wildcard” doing your taxes). Another offer would be to help them with ideas to amp up their business outside of tax time. The idea is to become the go-to marketing agency for all the accounting firm’s clients (accountants’ email lists would be pure gold).

One more. Marketing agencies could do a free audit of an e-commerce expert’s email marketing set-up and strategy or a 12-month social media content calendar – whichever they “lack.” Then, partner up.

Just remember to keep the target partner in mind when crafting these offers — like Hunt Brothers Pizza does. If your brand is glitzy, you probably can’t sell services to rural business owners and vice versa.

The Knowledge Base 

📌ACE Hardware proves local brand loyalty is still a “thing”

Mapping out perfect store locations

🤖How to avoid fake influencers & followers

Improve SEO with SCAMPER framework

📧Email Deliverability Week gettin’ love

New Reddit Conversation Ad format shows promise

🔎Reporter replaced Google search with Reddit – how’d that go?

Apple drops BNPL like a bad habit

📺New c-suite insights from 3 CEOs (short video)

Big Techbacco warning labels coming to social media?

⚾More media fragmentation: Local sports streaming


Learn how to nurture your target audience into long term clients. This free newsletter covers topics like:

  • Emotional customer connections
  • Doing market research
  • Influencing buyer behavior

Subscribe here.


Self Help

self help

I used to clown those “Hallmark holidays.” Ok, still do.

But as busy as we are these days (and distracted), maybe we need made-up holidays to remind us to at least check in with Mom, Dad, Grandparents, and… even ex-wives/husbands on that joyous divorce anniversary. 

Facts and Stats

  • More than 13% of Buy Now, Pay Later transactions involved a disputed charge or return (Fox Business)
  • 31% of consumers say they “don’t mind” seeing ads in exchange for free content (Stacked Marketer)
  • 72.5% of local tax revenue comes from property taxes. 12.8% from general sales taxes (The Tax Foundation)

Bonus: The single most expensive ingredient in beer is ________? Answer is taxes.


🥊Google vs. Your PPC Ads

The DOJ lawsuit versus Google shows them using the sketchiest tactics to increase costs for businesses.

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Build your Audiences faster via Smart Recognition’s “machine fingerprinting” technology. Keep these leads in your Audiences as long as you like. 

Demo Smart Recognition for free.

*Slideshow shows Google’s tricky tactics.

**Fortune 500 Companies use tools similar to Smart Recognition so it’s CAN-SPAM compliant. Need 15k in monthly US-only traffic.

demo smart recognition

Get Hacking

You’ll have to slap your thinking cap on for this one but there’s big upside if you get creative.

Local SEO is super easy, especially in small cities or counties. There’s nearly no competition and decent search volume on certain keywords. 

Example is my town — about 1,000 monthly searches for “Commerce, GA Food.” A national business with food-related products (or supplements) could take advantage of that. A business unrelated to food could too – but that’s where the thinking cap comes in.

My idea would be to do a newsletter for a town using The Onion or Babylon Bee as a framework for the local news (satire) there and sponsored by your brand. Use any popular keywords in that city – it won’t matter what you sell. 

If you know another awesome marketer, share Inbox Hacking with them. Thanks for reading.

Shane McLendon, Copy Kingpin – Inbox Hacking