The Best and Worst Location-Based Special Offers

To encourage consumers to check in and tweet about their brands, many companies have been promoting special offers such as free appetizers, discounts and even free meals via location-based services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Booyah, and others. Christopher Heine at ClickZ News recently offered his view on what’s working well and what’s not.

He’s most impressed by Paul Frank, which has been offering folks who check in at any of its six stores a 20 percent discount on their total purchase (except for a few product categories). This promotion lasts a full month.

Ann Taylor topped that with an offer to mayors at their eight New York City stores: 25 percent off their purchases of non-sale apparel and accessories. Lesser visitors still do pretty well, with 15 percent of their full-price purchases after checking in five times to the stores.

Other best in breed include Gap, Domino’s U.K. and Sports Authority.

How about the worst – or the least lucrative offers? Heine cites Olay, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Starbucks and Chili’s Grill & Bar. Pizza Hut, for example, offers its mayors only a single order of bread sticks! And that’s only if they first order a large pizza! So much for grand loyalty.