Building loyalty for less than $5 a year?   1 comment

Two of my favorite childhood memories revolve around one of my favorite things – food. The ice cream kind of food.

One memory is of the Good Humor truck making its way slowly through the neighborhood with that every present “come hither” music that got us kids dashing out the door.

The other is of the coupon I received each September from Baskin Robbins in honor of my birthday. It wasn’t that my parents couldn’t afford the free cone they offered. That sweet memory is more about the anticipation I felt as September rolled around and the delight I took in planning and picking which of those 31 flavors would be mine. I truly savored the experience.

Fast forward lots of years to 2010 and another September birthday.   The ice cream cone is now a free drink at Starbucks (I picked a grande-skinny-decaf-vanilla latte, if you must know) and a 20% discount at my favorite kitchen store…both in honor of my birthday.

I’m amazed at the little thrill I still get over these little perks. I truly LOVE ‘em because they make me feel special and indulged. As a marketer, I am struck by how we can so simply create connection, loyalty and even lifelong memories by merely remembering someone on their birthday.

Take for example Eagle Marketing’s online loyalty club at Tampa’s cable news outlet, Bay News 9. Members receive an email with a video birthday wish from their favorite news anchor. So simple, right? In one year, the Bay News 9 Club has grown to over 16,000 viewers who want to engage, give feedback, enter contests and get rewarded. Email open rates are typically around 20%, an outstanding response in any industry (Check out the full case study).

Something here clearly resonates. I think the common thread lies in the “we care” approach. As in: We hear and we listen, we respond, we remember. The “we care” that is at the core of any meaningful, authentic relationship. All so simple and yet so easily overlooked.

So think about the emails you receive, the businesses you frequent, the member cards you carry in your wallet. What is it about them that makes you feel special, connected and rewarded? Reply and let us know what is the loyalty experience YOU most savor.

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Posted October 4, 2010 by Amy Blum in Loyalty Programs

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One response to “Building loyalty for less than $5 a year?

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  1. For me, the ToysRUs bday club is a great one. They give my daughter a $5 gift certificate for her b’day. She is SO excited to get it in the mail. When we go to the store they give her a crown and balloon and announce her b’day over the speaker. It is a treat and we always spend more than the gift card. There are other toy stores closer to me, but this always gets me in the store and makes her feel special.

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