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] Leverage 1st Party Loyalty Data for Smarter Acquisition

by Julia Leyrer
June 08, 2015
[Webinar Series] Leverage 1st Party Loyalty Data for Smarter Acquisition

Our final webinar of our “Going Beyond Just Points: How your Loyalty Program Can Drive Actionable Insights” series will be Thursday, June 11 at 10:00 PDT / 1:00 EDT. Register now for "Leverage 1st Party Loyalty Data for Smarter Acquisition" to learn from Matthew Gilbert, SVP Loyalty Services, and Nicholas Illobre, Director of Performance Media, at Merkle about loyalty data’s influence on customer acquisition and programmatic buying. Programmatic buying without leveraging loyalty-related 1st party data misses an opportunity in acquiring higher lifetime value customers. Loyalty programs can provide a more in-depth understanding of your customers with data sourced from loyalty profiles, social accounts, and content creation. The resulting central repository of 1st party demographic, preference, and behavioral data allows for enhanced segmentation and lookalike models that resu... 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

Many Loyalty Programs Arent Realizing Their Potential

by Julia Leyrer
March 20, 2015
Many Loyalty Programs Arent Realizing Their Potential

Originally posted on Merkle's Retail blog: While there are now more than 3.3 billion loyalty program memberships in the U.S., only half of enrolled consumers are active. Why is that? Since the purpose of a loyalty program is to influence consumer behavior, companies need to plan and execute their programs very strategically and wisely to achieve the goals they want. Among the growing selective member base, this is where many leading organizations may fall behind. Make sure to think about providing a “fair exchange of value” – I’ll give you my personal contact information if you deliver additional value – as the consumer strategy upon which all loyalty programs are developed. Creating an ecosystem of engaging content, enticing brand experiences, and preferential valuable services that go beyond the core product or service is where loyalty programs can have a huge impact. Points are a tactic, app… 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

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