500FRIENDS BLOG
Loyalty trends & best practices

3 Musts for Retailers This Back to School Season

by Julia Leyrer
July 10, 2015
3 Musts for Retailers This Back to School Season

Back to school season is upon us and retailers are getting ready for what is expected to be a stronger consumer spending year. As you prepare for the season, carefully think about how to best use your loyalty program to keep your customers choosing your brand while shopping. Consider these 3 ways to reach your goals this season: 1. Use customer data for personalization. Give your loyalty members a reason to feel special and offer them unique advantages for being a part of your program, instead of having the same offers across the board for all existing and new customers. They are already seeing offers from various retailers, so your program should make them feel like they are valued members who are receiving additional exclusive offers that are special to them. Leverage your repository of customer data—from what products your customers have looked at and saved/added to a wish list, to products th... Read more

[Webinar Series] Differentiate and Personalize Your Loyalty Program to Drive Engagement

by Julia Leyrer
May 14, 2015
[Webinar Series] Differentiate and Personalize Your Loyalty Program to Drive Engagement

We are excited to keep the momentum going with our latest webinar series "Going Beyond Just Points: How your Loyalty Program Can Drive Actionable Insights" where we will discuss how to leverage loyalty data in customer identification, engagement, and acquisition. The 2nd webinar in this 3-part series, "Differentiate And Personalize Your Loyalty Program To Drive Engagement", will be presented by Justin Yoshimura, Co-Founder/CEO, 500friends, a Merkle Company and Samanth Ngo, Researcher, Customer Insights, Forrester Research on Thursday May 28 at 10:00 PDT / 1:00 EDT. Many customers are treated as if they're one and the same although there is so much customer information available to us. This approach of not engaging with customers on a more personal level can be detrimental to your customer relationships, which are vital to your success and competitive.... Read more

[Webinar Series] Increase Matchback Rates Through Customer Identification

by Julia Leyrer
May 14, 2015
[Webinar Series] Increase Matchback Rates Through Customer Identification

We are excited to present our latest webinar series "Going Beyond Just Points: How your Loyalty Program Can Drive Actionable Insights" where we will explore how to leverage loyalty data in customer identification, engagement, and acquisition. The 1st webinar in this 3-part series, "Increase Matchback Rates Through Customer Identification", will be presented by Arif Damji, Senior Director of Strategy and Development, 500friends, a Merkle Company on Thursday May 21 at 10:00 PDT / 1:00 EDT. Large numbers of customer identities are currently unknown and brands struggle with linking together customer purchases, LTVs, and preference trends. Without the knowledge and understanding of who your customers are, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to drive customer satisfaction, enhance relevancy of messaging and offers, and increase order frequency and value. Loyalty data is th... Read more

Keeping Up With Todays Loyalty Demands

by Julia Leyrer
March 05, 2015
Keeping Up With Todays Loyalty Demands

Originally posted on IBM's Smarter Commerce blog: Loyalty marketing is more and more prominent in today’s retail landscape. It is becoming common knowledge that customer acquisition costs are increasingly rising, and data-driven customer retention is a key area filled with untapped growth potential. But loyalty marketing is evolving and is more intricate than just offering discounts to existing customers. As many marketers realize, there are three common problems that they run into when trying to implement an effective loyalty program: 1. They often feel stuck offering dollars-off discounts and are losing their margins without sustainably changing their customer behavior. 2. Personalization is not going further than using much more than a first and last name, and is not connecting to the customer and building customer relationships. 3. Their loyalty members are not actively participating and being engaged, and… Read more

Moving Away From a Dollars-Off Program

by Julia Leyrer
January 30, 2015
Moving Away From a Dollars-Off Program

Many CMOs face the problem of trying to entice customers by providing discounts, and want to use a large enough funding rate to make a significant impact on their customers’ spending, but they also do not want to lose their margins. Offering discounts is an important aspect of marketing and helps with customer acquisition, but often delivers diminishing returns and does not sustain customer engagement in the long term. What’s more is you’re losing money over providing discounts to customers who are making purchases that they would have made anyway. You’re left with losing money over not consistently changing customer behavior. You do not need to rely solely on discounts and high funding rates to motivate customer spending. You can keep your margins and increase customer retention through a different approach, and this approach is engagement-based rewards. Why non-monetary rewards work: Customers want specia... Read more

Importance of an Effective Trigger-Based Communication Strategy

by Julia Leyrer
January 15, 2015
Importance of an Effective Trigger-Based Communication Strategy

Once you implement a loyalty program, you are not yet finished with your loyalty strategy. In fact, there is a good chance that a loyalty program is set to be ineffective if it does not have an ongoing and robust communication element in place. Successful loyalty programs initiate a behavior out of your customers that they would not otherwise have done, and whatever the initiatives may be, they need to be communicated properly and clearly to be effective and drive results.This is apparent for many of our consulting engagements, that companies are not making the most out of their current programs because they are lacking simple communications--and many do not even realize they are doing it. They are letting members become inactive because they are assuming the customer has all of the information they need about the program. This may be due to the fact that it is easy for the customer... Read more

When Should You Start Thinking About Loyalty?

by Lauren Chan
November 11, 2014
When Should You Start Thinking About Loyalty?

How do you know when it’s time to start thinking about loyalty? Investing in loyalty is a big decision but has great rewards if deployed correctly and efficiently. Loyalty is a solution for companies who want to drive incremental lift and better understand their customers. If you are contemplating whether or not loyalty is the right solution for your company, ask yourself these three questions: 1. Is your cost of customer acquisition high (and your customer retention rate low)? Most retailers, if not all, will answer yes to this question. With methods like search engine marketing and paid search advertising, the cost of acquiring a customer is skyrocketing and hurting profitability. Today, brands must focus more on retention rather than acquisition. In the long-run, shifting your efforts towards retention will be more profitable as you will encourage repurchase rather than a one-time purchase... Read more

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