500FRIENDS BLOG
Loyalty trends & best practices

500friends, a Merkle Company Named a Leader among Loyalty Solution Providers

by Julia Leyrer
January 04, 2016

Today, 500friends, a Merkle Company was recognized by Forrester Research as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Customer Loyalty Solutions for Midsize Organizations, Q1 2016. The Forrester report assessed the state of the loyalty solutions market and how seven vendors stack up against each other across 40 criteria. The evaluation focused on current offering, strategy, and market presence. 500friends received the highest overall score within the evaluation, supporting its strong, complete offering and vision for continued innovation. The highest individual scores 500friends received were in pricing structure, company performance, and loyalty management. According to the report, 500friends’ “clients praise both the platform and the people. Specifically, they like LoyaltyPlus’s flexibility and ease of use, and indicate that implementations are typically on-time and on-budget.” LoyaltyPlus is our loyalty technology platform. Forrester recognized the major growth 500friends has seen in recent years and cited it for…

Direct Marketing News: Two Views of Customer Loyalty

by Julia Leyrer
December 30, 2015
Direct Marketing News: Two Views of Customer Loyalty

Direct Marketing News’ loyalty ebook, One Tough Question: Two Views of Customer Loyalty, featured the thoughts of Justin Yoshimura, CEO of 500friends, on two differing definitions of customer loyalty, and what marketers should do. You can download the full ebook here. The question from Direct Marketing News: One of the biggest challenges with customer loyalty is the often-conflicting definitions that marketers and customers have regarding loyalty. In grocery, for instance, customers who purchase bulk items monthly may consider themselves loyal; however, the grocer they buy from might not because—despite the regularity of their purchases—those customers aren’t buying their staples from that grocer. And buying staple items weekly is how that grocer defines loyalty. So, the question for marketers, then, is this: How should an organization best reward or recognize customers who see themselves as loya… Read more

The Plenti Program: What does it mean for the competition?

by Arif Damji
December 12, 2015
The Plenti Program: What does it mean for the competition?

It’s official—the U.S. finally has its newest attempt at a coalition loyalty program. Though it’s not the first to try and break into the tough U.S. market, Plenti has clearly become the latest coalition program in North America to gain traction. That being said, many observers and competitors are baffled about what a coalition program is and why it is compelling, whether Plenti has and will be successful, as well as what it means for the competition. What is a coalition program and why is it compelling? A coalition program is built off the premise of loyalty being a network effect whose appeal grows with further ways to engage and be rewarded by the program. Imagine the situation where you frequent a particular restaurant twice-a-year and they create a loyalty program. The program will probably not be very appealing to you as (a) you don’t visit the restaurant enough to really engage and ea… Read more

Upcoming Webinar: 10 Ways To Personalize The Holidays

by Jessica Chien
September 16, 2014
Upcoming Webinar: 10 Ways To Personalize The Holidays

What sets retailers apart from their competitors? It is the relationship that they have with customers. During this holiday season, it's not just price that will separate winners from losers. Instead, retailers who can deliver relevant and personalized conversations with their customers —at scale— will realize the true advantage. During this joint Merkle and 500friends webinar, we will explore consumer expectations for personalization and steps you can take now to improve your customer experience during the Holidays. Learn how to use the holiday season to drive long term loyalty throughout the year... Read more

Why I Like Facebooks Ban on Rewarding Likes: Better Data

by Justin Yoshimura
August 15, 2014
Why I Like Facebooks Ban on Rewarding Likes: Better Data

You might think that, as CEO of a company that powers loyalty programs for over 50 retailers, I would be upset about Facebook’s recent announcement that the company will prohibit rewarding "likes" with incentives, monetary or otherwise. In fact, I'm a big fan of Facebook's move. For one thing, Facebook has restricted incentivizing social actions for years, so the new policy language only clarifies that stance. Also, I've long advised marketers against directly rewarding likes—500friends loyalty software actually disallows it—not only because it lives in a Facebook policy gray area, but also because it just feels wrong, and not in keeping with most brands' values. But the biggest reason I like Facebook’s like-rewarding ban? It has to do with the real value that Facebook offers for retailers. Some would say that's attention or traffic, but I disagree. It’s data. All-encompassing, personalizat... Read more

How to Craft an Award-Winning Loyalty Campaign (Case Study)

by Zach Woith
April 15, 2014
How to Craft an Award-Winning Loyalty Campaign (Case Study)

Looking to leverage your loyalty program to drive more sales, boost margins, and enhance your brand? Then you'll definitely want to take a look at the award-winning loyalty campaign from Spa Week, the health and wellness brand whose loyalty program, MyWellness Rewards, recently won the Loyalty360 Award for Best Creative Campaign in Loyalty Marketing. With its goal of engaging shoppers throughout the year across multiple channels, Spa Week rolled out a yearlong campaign with seasonally themed installments. Starting with January's "Resolve to Relax" and ending with December's "Shop to Unlock," Spa Week used these campaigns to increase brand engagement while luring in shoppers with real added value. For example, the Thanksgiving campaign, titled "Thanks-Giveaway," featured a 1,000 Wellness Point giveaway, with entries granted as a reward for social referrals via Twitter, Facebook and email. ... Read more

How Big Is Amazon?

by Matt Ellinwood
December 17, 2012

Just how big is Amazon's business? We've all seen the numbers, or at least some of the numbers, but we thought it would be fun to put them in perspective.... Read more

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