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Keeping Loyal Customers Loyal

April 18, 2012  

"The long-term goal for most marketers out there is to gain customers and successfully keep them coming back for more," writes Kristen Gregory at the Bronto blog.

So how do you encourage their ongoing patronage, and invite them to explore additional products or services?

That's where loyalty programs come into play—and for email marketers, they fall into two general categories:

Granting VIP status at a certain spending level. This type of program rewards loyal customers with exclusive perks, private sales, and special gifts. Sephora, for instance, bestows an array of discounts, gift cards, and pre-launch sneak-peeks to customers who spend at least $350 in a calendar year. "You can ... even target folks who are near or on their way toward that VIP amount," Gregory notes, "reminding them of the benefits via automated triggers."

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  • by Dave Gee Wed Apr 18, 2012 via web

    As a founder and CEO of a loyalty program software firm and adjunct professor or marketing I would like to comment. You have eluded to the real question which becomes "Are all customers created equal?" Although this will sound like heresy to many marketers the answer is an emphatic "no."

    Many firms can no longer afford to support all customers due to cost reductions in customer facing departments. It does not take significant analysis to determine which customers bring the most value. If you still don't agree you need look no farther than the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule).

    Identifying the customers that are the most valuable now AND will provide the most valuable in the future helps companies focus their resources where they will generate the maximum possible ROI.

    Communicating that to the customers is no easy proposition but it can also become an opportunity to cross-sell, up-sell or gain longer term contracts.

    Dave Gee
    Adjunct Marketing Professor - University of Wisconsin - Madison
    CEO - Bungee Loyalty Programs

  • by Joel Presman Tue May 8, 2012 via web

    I 100% agree with Dave :)
    However, I believe it depends on your marketing strategy. If your valuable customers are already generate high ROI, you probably want to find your less valuable customers and "tempt" them with some candy (special promotion coupon).
    Another great "loyalty program" that almost always works and not mentioned here is giving a discount based on your previous order. From my experience, customers love it. It is a great opportunity to communicate with your customer and keep the motivation for the next purchase.


    Joel Presman
    CEO - InteraMind Ltd.

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