Archive Observations: Keeping Customers Loyal
In these shaky economic times, what are retailers doing to keep people buying? Mailing more incentives to their loyal customers, for one. In April, an offer from Macy’s to one of its “best customers” featured four savings cards spot-glued to one of the inside panels of its 5-1/2˝ x 8-1/2˝ self-mailer (Archive code #910-171661-0804G). Ace Hardware chose another approach—flattery—with its mailing to a rewards program member. First, the customer is congratulated for past patronage of a local Ace Hardware store. Second, the customer is given a “jump start,” which is enough of an increase in rewards points to equal a $5 savings card. The card is personalized and attached to a panel of the 5-1/2˝ x 8-1/2˝ self-mailer. Bullet point reminders of exclusive program benefits and another $5 discount coupon on a specific weed killer product round out the mailing (Archive code #910-685181-0804).
Kay Jewelers took advantage of a Mother’s Day to promote its Customer Appreciation Event. Mailed in a plain-looking 5-1/2˝ x 7-1/2˝ envelope, the promotion shows a choice of items available for $39.99 each. A personalized savings card is attached to the mailing offering discounts of up to 25 percent on regular store and catalog prices (Archive code #910-670258-0804). Finally, Old Navy’s mailing highlights “beach-ready looks for spring”. A customer gets a 20 percent discount for using her Gap or Banana Republic card when shopping with an enclosed plastic bag tucked into a pocket of the 6˝ x 9-1/2˝ self-mailer. As the bag measures 18˝ x 15-3/4˝ when unfolded, that could mean quite a few shorts, shirts, bikinis and shoes (Archive code #910-399510-0804).
Energy utilities aren’t exactly the type of business one would immediately associate with conservation, aside from Green Mountain, and a few others that popped up following marketplace deregulation in recent years. But three mailings we received in April show that there are more traditional energy companies changing that image by offering incentives to consumers to conserve energy. Con Edison promoted ENERGYNY, a set of programs to invest in new infrastructure and help businesses and consumers go green. With the teaser “Be a part of tomorrow, today”, the 8-1/2˝ x 8-1/2˝ self-mailer lays out the plan’s goals including purchasing products that use less electricity. The customer is directed to detach and return the BRC to get a free energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulb (Archive code #807-178095-0804).