500FRIENDS BLOG
Loyalty trends & best practices

Why Facebook Messenger Could be the Preferred Communication Channel for Retention Marketing by 2018

by Matt Gilbert
February 01, 2016
Why Facebook Messenger Could be the Preferred Communication Channel for Retention Marketing by 2018

In a recent blog post, Facebook’s VP of Messaging Products, David Marcus, announced that Facebook Messenger has crossed the 800 million monthly average user threshold. According to Nielsen, Messenger was the third most popular app in 2015, delivering 31 percent year on year growth. While Mr. Marcus downplays the milestone with an “early days” designation, businesses should be paying very close attention to the emergence of Messenger as a communications hub as they plan their retention marketing communication strategies for 2016 and beyond... Read more

Why I Like Facebooks Ban on Rewarding Likes: Better Data

by Justin Yoshimura
August 15, 2014
Why I Like Facebooks Ban on Rewarding Likes: Better Data

You might think that, as CEO of a company that powers loyalty programs for over 50 retailers, I would be upset about Facebook’s recent announcement that the company will prohibit rewarding "likes" with incentives, monetary or otherwise. In fact, I'm a big fan of Facebook's move. For one thing, Facebook has restricted incentivizing social actions for years, so the new policy language only clarifies that stance. Also, I've long advised marketers against directly rewarding likes—500friends loyalty software actually disallows it—not only because it lives in a Facebook policy gray area, but also because it just feels wrong, and not in keeping with most brands' values. But the biggest reason I like Facebook’s like-rewarding ban? It has to do with the real value that Facebook offers for retailers. Some would say that's attention or traffic, but I disagree. It’s data. All-encompassing, personalizat... Read more

Successfully Driving Loyalty at U.S. Auto Parts (IR 100 Retailer)

by Zach Woith
February 03, 2014
Successfully Driving Loyalty at U.S. Auto Parts (IR 100 Retailer)

Leaders in Loyalty shares the insights and experiences of executives who run loyalty programs. In this edition, U.S. Auto Parts VP of Marketing Houman Akhavan discusses selling loyalty to colleagues and structuring rewards. How did you rally support at U.S. Auto Parts for your loyalty program? Akhavan: Acquiring new customers is expensive. I positioned loyalty as a way to increase repeat purchase, and that made a lot of sense to our team. In an industry as competitive as ours, where only around 20% of customers make a repeat purchase within 12 months, loyalty incentives give people a reason to bring us their next purchase. Another benefit is channel diversification. With Google becoming such a dominant source of shoppers, investing in our customers as a new way to grow the business was appealing. How has your loyalty program paid off for the business? Akhavan: One way is that it lets ... Read more

5 Social Media Trends for Online Retailers in 2013

by Tiffany Go
November 29, 2012

Tiffany GoBusiness2Community surveyed 50 thought leaders for their 2013 social media predictions, and as planning for the New Year ramps up, we thought it would be h... Read more

Why Referral Programs Dont Work For Everyone

by Tiffany Go
November 02, 2012

Let’s take a step back and look at the factors that drive referrals:... Read more

Are Your Facebook Fans the Best, or the Worst?

by Matt Ellinwood
October 31, 2012

How well do you really know your Facebook fans? Sure, Facebook Insights gives you basic demographics, but it leaves most questions unanswered. Do you know whether your fans are good customers? Could they be bad customers?... Read more

Put Data about Social Engagement in the Right Context

by Matt Ellinwood
October 10, 2012

Last week, Internet Retailer published an article called Consumers Seek Discounts that summarizes the data in a report on consumer purchasing habits and social media put out by Hybris, an eCommerce technology provider.... Read more

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