How to Lift Spend and Visits Without Increasing Discounts

by Michelle Tempesta4 Min Read

After last quarter, just about every marketer on the planet is looking for a solution to lift same store sales. Those with a CRM, loyalty program or POS-integrated email club are at a distinct advantage – they have some individualized purchase data to leverage. 

Typical marketing playbooks include "Birthday" campaigns and "We Miss You" campaigns that are based on intel the marketer has learned about the customer – in its simplest form – the marketer leverages a simple, static piece of information, such as the customer’s birthday to deliver a highly relevant message during the month of their birthday. Then there is a slightly more complex form, leveraging the last purchase date to deliver a "We Miss You" message. In the more sophisticated campaign kit bag, marketers use lift calculations, predicted behavior, and messages designed for relevance within the customers' brand journey to lift sales and spend.  

“Lift” is the percentage the target customers' behavior changed after the campaign versus their pre-campaign behavior. For example, when referring to the “lift” the campaign generated, one could say,  “Our We Miss You Campaign caused a 10% lift in spend.”  It clearly shows the difference a marketing campaign makes in customer behavior. Not only do sophisticated systems enable the marketer to measure the “lift” attributed to a campaign, they also enable the marketer to hold out a control group in order to determine the true efficacy of the campaign. With a control and target group, the marketer can see quantifiable evidence that answers the question, "would these customers have come in anyway?"

Predicting Future Behavior

Targeting and segmenting an audience is key to controlling the discount line. It enables the marketer to avoid giving discounts to those who would have visited anyway. Contemporary customer relationship systems include predictive analytics, giving the marketer access to past customer behavior while providing a reliable and actionable prediction of their future behavior.  Armed with this level of insight, the marketer can cull those who would visit anyway from any targeted discounting campaign to boost not only the profitability of the campaign, but keep full-priced sales rolling in.

Matching the Message to the Journey

Every customer is on a journey in their relationship with the brand. They could be trying the brand for the first time or they could be a highly-sought after brand ambassador. Tailoring messages to the customer based on their position in that journey not only delivers relevant content to the recipient, but also enables the brand to invest its discounts to motivate very specific, relationship-building behaviors. In some instances, brand journey messages are simple reminders that state exactly what the brand would like the customer to do next.

Here are proven messages that enhance both visit and spending behavior along the customer's journey with the brand. The best part about these messages is that they are delivered in real time, based on the customers’ interaction with the brand, and they are automated – meaning they are deployed automatically by the customer relationship system.

Welcome to the Brand: Once a customer has opted in, welcome them to the program. This is an exceptional opportunity to reinforce the benefits of being a member. The use of an offer with this message has proven successful in moving the recipient to the next visit at a higher velocity. Use a tight expiration date to compel a visit in the near future.

Remind Them to visit: Some customers may join and then take their time returning for another visit. Reminding them about their welcome offer speeds up the time between the previous and next visits. 

Your “Welcome Offer” is About to Expire: Reminding customers that they are about to lose something of value is effective in compelling them to visit.  Plus, it does not require another offer – it’s simply a reminder to use their current offer before it expires.

Reward or Offer Notification: For customers who have earned rewards, or have been targeted to receive a special offer, this message should motivate them to claim what is rightfully theirs. Notifications keep your brand top of mind. Strategically sending these offers is important. Restaurants in particular have had success sending these offers via geofencing just before the lunch hour. In fact, brands have experienced a 30% visit rate among those who received the geofenced reminder.

You’re Almost There: When customers feel they are close to earning a reward, they will work harder to attain it. Data has shown that visit cadence kicks into high gear when customers are close to receiving a reward. In fact, an “almost there” campaign can generate a 6% lift in member visits.

Reward Expiration Reminder: This is a great way to get people into your restaurant or store.  Just let them know that they have a reward or offer that will soon be gone.

Bounce Back: The greatest opportunity for immediate behavioral changes lives in the lapsed customer segment. As soon as the customer signals lapsing, sophisticated customer relationship systems can automatically deploy a message with a customized offer. This is a simple, yet highly effective way to bring wayward customers back to your brand and, better yet, away from your competitors’ brand. In one case, a bounce back campaign delivered to the chain a 10.9 times return on the investment for every $10,000 spent on rewarding the targeted customers. This single data point made franchisees stand up and take notice of the marketing team’s impact.

Today, more than ever, marketers take advantage of customer relationship solutions that are designed to bolster campaign success. With the right solution, marketers can attribute a specific marketing activity to a bump in sales and visits. Attributing customer activity and measuring lift answers the age old question "how did my campaign and my marketing investment perform?" Without these two pillars of success – attribution and lift – reporting campaign success can be difficult and in many instances misleading.

Michelle Tempesta

@paytronix | Website

Michelle Tempesta is marketing director at Paytronix Systems, Inc., a provider of reward program solutions to restaurants and retailers. The guest engagement platform helps more than 300 restaurant and retail chains manage and grow more than $18 billion in guest spend.

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