500FRIENDS BLOG
Loyalty trends & best practices

How to Increase Member Engagement by Striking the Right Balance with Loyalty Design

by Socheata Sam
March 22, 2017
How to Increase Member Engagement by Striking the Right Balance with Loyalty Design

With the proliferation of loyalty programs in the marketplace, wallets are becoming increasingly saturated with membership cards, mobile phones with retail program apps, and key chains with key fobs. In fact, the average American household is enrolled in 29 loyalty programs--the problem, however, is that they only actively engage with 12 programs on average. So, why are so many programs failing to engage members post-enrollment? For starters, loyalty program design can be challenging. One of the more foundational challenges--and perhaps one of the more obvious challenges--is balancing the interests of the customer with the priorities of the business. Striking the right balance here requires a deep understanding of what matters to your customers (deeper than what might be obvious), alongside clear and concise alignment across the entire business around loyalty objectives. The one... Read more

Webinar: Retention and Loyalty. The End Is Only the Beginning.

by Julia Leyrer
March 20, 2017
Webinar: Retention and Loyalty. The End Is Only the Beginning.

Join Merkle to understand how to better leverage digital tactics through addressable marketing and owned media experiences for cross-sell, upsell and retention. We will help you identify your target audience for retention messaging and how can you drill into channels and influencers. Retention is much more than loyalty programs, learn how you can upsell your offerings. Learn the importance of retention and understand how you can... Read more

5 Technology Trends Driving Engagement-Based Loyalty

by Geoffrey Smalling
February 23, 2017
5 Technology Trends Driving Engagement-Based Loyalty

Loyalty programs continue to proliferate, while customers’ expectations continue to evolve. Program innovations are more important than ever, facilitating new ways for brands to focus on delivering seamless experiences when and where their best customers want them. In 500friends’s recent webinar, Geoffrey Smalling, CTO of 500friends, a Merkle Company, spoke about innovative ways, outlined below, that technology can facilitate collecting loyalty data to create experiential moments, keeping your loyalty members engaged and driving deep consumer value... Read more

Webinar: From Identification to Loyalty: How to Ensure a Successful Customer Journey

by Julia Leyrer
January 11, 2017
Webinar: From Identification to Loyalty: How to Ensure a Successful Customer Journey

Are you challenged with identifying a truly comprehensive view of your customers in order to recognize the types of incentives, interactions, and products needed to deepen the relationship between your brand and your customer? Ideally, loyalty programs are a solution to collect and connect more member data (beyond transactions) to help you better understand your members. However, loyalty program engagement may be limited by a cumbersome enrollment process. Even post-enrollment, a program faces an innate difficulty to create incentives suitable for very different member segments. Through the partnership of Gigya (awarded the highest score in Identity and Access Management for B2C by Gartner, Inc.) and 500friends, a Merkle Company (awarded the highest score in Customer Loyalty Solutions by Forrester Research), the resulting... Read more

Loyalty Programs and Leisure Travelers: How Can Loyalty Close the Engagement Gap in Leisure Travelers?

by Socheata Sam
December 15, 2016
Loyalty Programs and Leisure Travelers: How Can Loyalty Close the Engagement Gap in Leisure Travelers?

Spend-based travel programs are inherently, and effectively, focused on high-value business travel customers who tend to be less price-sensitive than their leisure counterpart. However, a significant portion of guests/passengers in the travel and hospitality industry fall outside of the business segment—with 3 out of 4 domestic trips taken for leisure purposes. Because of the sheer size of this untapped segment, your loyalty program could contribute more to the bottom-line by effectively engaging these overlooked customers. LOYALTY’S FOCUS TODAY: THE BUSINESS TRAVELER. The U.S. travel industry was worth a whopping $947 billion in 2015 (according to the U.S. Travel Organization), with high-frequency and high-spend business travelers... Read more

The Growing Role of Loyalty in Sports Franchises

by Arif Damji
November 02, 2016
The Growing Role of Loyalty in Sports Franchises

Two months ago marked the start of the 97th NFL season and it promises to be an eventful season. As many teams have witnessed, success this season is a function of team performance and fan growth, which all lead to greater levels of engagement in the stadium and beyond. Loyalty initiatives are certainly not new in the sports industry, but there are a number of reasons why sports brands will decide to invest further in connecting with fans. For example, each season, fan preferences provide an ever richer source of information on how to connect with them, and recent technological advancements allow expanded fan access both inside and outside of the stadium. This facilitates teams keeping fans excited about their team, even when their performance is not ideal and a fan is thousands of miles away from the team. In this post, we’ll dig into the drivers of loyalty in the sports industry and provide you with some... Read more

Loyalty Marketing 2.0: The Search for Effective, Relevant, and Engaging Loyalty

by Zach Woith
May 19, 2016
Loyalty Marketing 2.0: The Search for Effective, Relevant, and Engaging Loyalty

Originally posted on The Huffington Post: To keep customers coming back, many companies have implemented customer loyalty programs based on transactions with promotions and discounts, and others have instituted programs based only on gamification and engagement. Although both structures have seen success in the past, they have been predicated and built on a brand-led choice, rather than from the customer perspective. Loyalty design was assumed to be a brand’s choice, and success was independent of that design. Today, a number of new programs have appeared with a clear idea of a customer-centric loyalty approach; one that combines customer excitement with a use of relevant transactional opportunities. This discovery of the right program structure has over time become based upon an understanding of relevancy to the customers and financial sense to the brand. In this article, I cover the... Read more

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