Tag: rewards

3 Missed Opportunities in Customer Loyalty

by Michael Greenberg

Customer loyalty is an incredibly lucrative opportunity for brands, yet marketers still struggle to maximize their relationships with existing customers even though recent research from Forrester shows that 93% of companies have placed customer experience on their list of strategic priorities, with 28% claiming it as their top priority.

Clearly brands understand the value of each customer, yet there is a disconnect between knowing what customers need and want and the ability to actually deliver in a way that creates an experience that builds long-term loyalty. Recent advances such as runtime modeling, location-based services and the increased use of smartphones as shopping devices have greatly improved marketer’s capabilities to deliver exceptional customer experiences by anticipating customers’ needs in near real time.

Lasting loyalty is built on three basic strategies: acquisition, retention and engagement. Here are three commonly missed opportunities and how brands can best address the needs of an increasingly mobile and connected customer to foster loyal and lucrative relationships.

  1. Acquisition: Connecting on a customer-by-customer basis

    The classic CRM approach of defining segments, setting up automation based on those segments, then watching for certain things to occur and responding is still the right mindset. However, marketers’ models and understanding of non-transactional behavior and the whole context of the customer interaction needs to come into play. It’s no longer good enough to know that someone has bought a particular product in the past. Marketers need to move beyond basic segmentation and start looking at: How do I construct models that I can calculate on the fly? How do I estimate lifetime value or potential? Marketers need to be able to do these things in very short periods of time—in milliseconds as opposed to minutes.

    Marketers have a very short window to change the experience for customers, get the right products in front of them, and show what offers might be relevant to that product. Armed with that knowledge, marketers can change the experience on a customer-by-customer basis, adjusting the product, pricing and offer and content that’s relevant to the individual. For example, if you know enough to predict a high lifetime potential for a customer, you should be much more willing to spend more aggressively to acquire that customer—whether through discounts, human follow-up or differentiated service.

  2. Retention: Nurturing a higher-value relationship

    What are the pathways to higher value relationships? Marketers may be able to identify and correct misallocations of capital around email, direct mail, website, SEM or elsewhere. Yet when a customer is in front of you, engaged right now, how do you best take advantage of that slice of attention you are getting?

    In many cases it’s smarter to think in terms of the longer-term customer relationship, instead of focusing on maximizing the immediate transaction to do a better job meeting your customers’ immediate needs. For example, by waiving shipping charges (which reduces revenue but increases customer satisfaction), extending a reward certificate past the cancel date, or sending your tier two support to handle a Twitter complaint (instead of tier one) for an elite customer. Treating elite customers as average is a missed opportunity. Treat these customers differently to gain their loyalty with an eye on the long term relationship.”

    While operating in this mindset may mean less revenue in the short term, the revenue brought in over the life of the customer relationship can more than make up for it.

  3. Immediate engagement

    Marketers need to think about the same things they’ve been thinking about in marketing for a long time, but frame them in a different way. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about your customer at interaction points.

    We know that 50% to 70% of purchasing decisions are made on the spot, while the customer is standing in a store. So how best can marketers tell when they are there and influence a purchase decision at that very point in time? Mobile applications are getting much better at using geofences to know when a customer is near or inside a location. It’s only a matter of time before customers expect real-time suggestions, coupons, or other notifications during their shopping experience. And when a customer raises their hand and interacts with your mobile app directly, they’re primed to share more information that will let you serve them better, now and down the road.

 
So if you aren’t actively engaging at these kinds of moments, they become a lost opportunity for cross-selling, upselling, targeted offers, surprise and delights, or any of the other small opportunities that may add up to large changes down the road.

The world is changing to a much more mobile and social-centric view; the way customers interact with brands has changed and very few companies are actually keeping up. The shift to mobile has taken a lot of companies by surprise; mobile has gone through early adopters—early majority and late majority—so fast that everyone, including your grandmother and your five-year old nephew, is interacting via mobile.

Learning to steer customers through all of the various small touch points, to guide them from their current value to their potential value as a customer, is an opportunity marketers can’t afford to miss.

Original document from Chief Marketer.

Consumers Want Loyalty (Rewards)

What kind of rewards does your loyalty program offer? Consumers are enrolled in an average of 7.4 loyalty or rewards programs, but according to Maritz, they actively participate in just 4.7% of them. How are you engaging your customers to make your program part of that 4.7%?

Instant rewards, such as digital downloads of music, eBooks, software, etc., are on the rise in consumer popularity and increase redemption by offering low-level rewards. Learn more about how we can help your loyalty program engage customers with our fully customizable digital rewards platform here.

Article below originally from Direct Marketing News.

U.S. consumers have a desire for more loyalty cards in their wallets—even though they use only half of the programs they’re enrolled in now, according to the newly released study: “Maritz Loyalty Report™: U.S. Edition,” which examines brand loyalty across six different industries.More than seven in 10 of the 6,000 surveyed consumers said they had room for additional loyalty programs, even though the currently participate in an average of only 4.7 percent of the 7.4 programs in which they are enrolled, according to Bob Macdonald, president and CEO of Maritz Loyalty Marketing.

Only 35 percent of respondents were active in all of the programs in which they were enrolled, while 47 percent stopped participating in one or more programs in the past year. This high percentage of drop offs illustrates the importance of keeping customers engaged in loyalty programs, says Scott Robinson, Maritz Loyalty Marketing senior director of loyalty consulting. “Sixty-seven percent will modify where and when they buy and half will change brands depending on a loyalty program’s benefits.”

So, it’s essential that marketers recognize what will engage customers in a program and what will cause them to actively leave the program or to passively quit using it, Robinson notes. “Marketers can’t afford to outspend each other,” he says. “They can’t rely on enrollment discounts to maintain engagement. They need to focus on creating an experience.”

For example, loyalty programs should offer special experiences such as free upgrades, preferred seating, and similar benefits designed to meet customers’ desires and go beyond simple discounting, according to Macdonald.

The report’s best programs in this regard, based on customer satisfaction scores, were:

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards, (84 percent) financial services
  • Kroger Rewards (83 percent), grocery
  • Carmike Cinemas Rewards (79 percent), entertainment
  • Kohl’s Rewards (73 percent), retail
  • IHG Priority Club Rewards (67 percent), hospitality
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards (58 percent), airlines

Beyond an engaging program, other essential elements of a successful loyalty program focus on communications and balancing those communications with the customers’ desire for privacy, Robinson notes. Ninety-four percent of those surveyed said they want to receive communications from loyalty programs, but only 53 percent said that the communications that they receive are relevant. A program’s delivery of relevant communications is closely tied to participant satisfaction, according to Robinson, citing the marketing axiom of the right message needing to be delivered to the right customer at the right time. Using the right channel and the right context are equally important.

Loyalty program participants are open to more frequent communications as long as they’re relevant, Robinson adds, pointing to the study’s findings that only 12 percent of loyalty program participants say they get too many messages. But one member’s communication frequency and channel preferences may be far different from another’s, so marketers need to pay close attention to those differences and recognize that preferences change. Consequently, marketers need to stay abreast of individual customers’ communication preferences.

Similarly, to be effective, loyalty marketers need to determine the amount of personal information that a customer is comfortable with sharing and with the company using. Some customers like the idea of a company using previous purchases to make offers, while other consumers find this “creepy and weird,” Robinson says, adding that Maritz has developed a “cool to creepy” index for loyalty program communications.

What do you think? Share and comment below!

Capital One Survey Reveals Rewards Redemption on Rise; also offering Purchase Eraser

This “Black Friday,” the traditional prime holiday shopping day, nearly half of rewards card holders are not planning to hit stores or online retailers according to the latest Capital One Rewards Barometer, a quarterly survey among American consumers that focuses on how they accumulate and redeem credit card rewards. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean holiday shopping budgets are down as more than half of rewards card holders’ (58 percent) budgets remain the same as last year and 14 percent are planning to spend more this year. Credit card rewards can help supplement these holiday budgets, yet only 18 percent are taking advantage of redeeming rewards for gifts.

More than one-third of respondents said the economy has changed how they use rewards, especially women with 23 percent reporting that they now use rewards to offset essential expenses like gas and groceries. Further, this holiday season, more women plan on spending less than the prior year in comparison to men (24 percent vs. 18 percent). Thinking ahead to post-holiday shopping bills, men and women are on the same page with one-quarter planning to use their cash rewards earned from holiday shopping as a credit on their statement to offset holiday expenses.

The hustle and bustle of holiday travel is the ideal time to take advantage of rewards, but more than a quarter of those who tried to redeem rewards for travel were unable to do so with blackout dates to blame. With 24 percent of respondents still undecided as to whether they’ll plan to travel this holiday season, these blackout dates as well as rewards restrictions may prevent their last minute travel. In fact, more than half would consider traveling during peak holiday periods (e.g. within 1-2 days of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years), if guaranteed to be able to use rewards for their trip. Interestingly, nearly 80 percent of respondents haven’t even tried to redeem for holiday travel this year, with many saying that they thought it was too much of a hassle (28 percent) or they didn’t have enough time to plan (29 percent).

Additional trends stemming from the Rewards Barometer this quarter include:

  • Since 2011, the top three credit card rewards have been cash, gift cards and domestic airline tickets.
  • Since the spring of 2012, 40 percent of rewards card holders consistently reported they prefer a simple rewards card offering the same rate across all purchases.
  • Approximately one-third of consumers remain unaware if they are charged a fee or additional expenses when using rewards to book travel.
  • Over the last year, approximately half of rewards card holders remain unaware that they may be charged foreign transaction fees for purchases made while traveling abroad.
  • Capital One is also reminding cardholders that they can Book Now, Redeem Later. Customers can retroactively redeem rewards online and on your Smartphone within 90 days of your travel purchase with Purchase Eraser.

More about Purchase Eraser here:

Original document from The Wise Marketer.

IHG Adds Instant Rewards to Encourage “Light User” Loyalty

For the average consumer who travels a couple of times a year, at best, earning enough points as a hotel loyal member to redeem for a free night’s stay, car rental or another high-point reward can seem almost an impossible task. One hotel, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), has debuted a new redemption category that it hopes will encourage new members and light users to see value in its loyalty program and stay dedicated to the brand.

The category—digital, instant rewards—is a shift toward value during a time of economic uncertainty that has greatly affected hotel loyalty programs. With approximately $16 billion dollars in loyalty points that went unredeemed in 2011, hotels are focused on reaching low threshold members, with relevant rewards.

IHG is offering the rewards, developed by the first club™, a provider of digital rewards, to its 65 million Priority Club members. With as few as 300 points, members can download music; 800 points earns popular games themed in sports, action and adventure, magazines and puzzles, and once more than 1,200 points have been earned, software for the home office, foreign language education and multimedia tools are available.

“Our primary goal is to engage light users and new members who have not built up point balances and who don’t realize the value yet,” Don Berg, vice president, loyalty program, IHG, said. “Instead of waiting for three or four more stays, they can redeem quickly and be more engaged early on. They will realize this thing has value and continue to seek out our hotels. There’s a stickiness to the rewards program when you can get people to experience what the value proposition is, which is of course, redeeming points. If you can get your members to be engaged with what your product is they will naturally give you more business.”

IHG, which surveys its loyalty members on a regular basis, used surveys to determine what members liked or didn’t like about the program, what they wanted and how it could be improved. Instant rewards came out of that research and the concept was then tested with about 300 members.

“We wanted to have a full understanding of how it would perform before we put it out in the marketplace,” he said. “We know through the surveys that these programs are influential and impact member behavior.”

An extensive network of electronic communications delivers messaging about the new digital rewards category, including email, e-newsletters, bloggers and the Priority Club website.

IHG does in the range of $200 million in redemption value per year.

“That’s a lot of value being redeemed by our members and a lot of interest in the program,” Berg said. “It doesn’t take long for members to find out about these things, because there’s a pretty strong viral component to these announcements.”

He said IHG was the first hotel chain to offer a loyal program in 1983 and that it still has 50,000 original members actively earning points.

“Loyalty is exploding in the marketplace because customers are price conscious,” he said. “If you can build a relationship with a customer, especially one that is less price sensitive, you can avoid discounting and move yourself ahead of the competition.

Research by Colloquy has shown that 32% of respondents said the recession has influenced their participation in loyalty programs. IHG hopes instant rewards will encourage more frequent participation.

“The whole idea is to keep people engaged everyday,” Jill Goldworn, president and co-founder of the first club™, said.

Original Document from Chief Marketer.

the first club™ and IHG Partner to Offer Priority Club Digital Rewards Program

priority club rewards

First-in-kind program introduces instant point redemption for Internet and mobile downloads

LOS ANGELES and ATLANTA, May 30, 2012 – Starting this month, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), which manages the world’s largest hotel loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards, will offer its 65 million members worldwide yet another fast and flexible way to redeem Priority Club points. Digital Rewards™ from the first club™, a global provider of instant digital rewards, is designed to engage consumers with the latest in downloadable content including music, games, and software.

The first hotel loyalty program to offer comprehensive digital rewards, IHG illustrates the industry’s move toward relevant rewards that keep guests engaged, regardless of their point accumulation. According to a Mintel survey, members were motivated by loyalty programs that provided instant and easy to redeem opportunities.

“We are a hotel loyalty program with many firsts and the new Digital Rewards offering continues this tradition,” said Don Berg, vice president, loyalty programs and partnerships, IHG. “Our innovation and partnerships are driven by recognizing what our members value most, and making it available through Priority Club Rewards before other loyalty programs.”

The Digital Rewards program has been designed by the first club™ to be readily accessible and visible through priorityclub.com, particularly to members whose past point redemption preferences indicate a likely interest in the new offering.

“We’re very excited to have developed IHG’s digital rewards redemption offering. They have embraced digital rewards as a new phase in loyalty and customer engagement, and we’re ready to help expand their existing successful rewards program to a new level,” said Jill Goldworn, President and co-founder of the first club™.

Leisure travelers, particularly families, want value from their hotel loyalty programs. Digital Rewards is a flexible option to help those with low point accumulations find an alternative point redemption option. And, all members will benefit from the fact that the Digital Rewards offers have been easily integrated with Priority Club’s existing point redemption choices.  Through the first club™’s global licensing agreements, members will have access to the most current and largest library of digital content available on the reward program market.

Some examples of the new Digital Rewards point redemption offerings include:

  • Well known songs from popular artists across genres including pop, country, alternative rock, R&B, and oldies – starting at 300 points
  • Popular games such as sports, action/adventure and puzzles – available from 800 points
  • Software for your home office, foreign language education and multimedia tools are available – starting at just over 1,100 points

By providing millions of titles of branded digital content such as eBooks, games, music and software, the first club™ creates  relevant rewards by satisfying consumers’ desire to get a product when, where and how they want it. Furthermore, research by Colloquy¹ has shown that 32 percent of respondents said the recession has influenced their participation in rewards programs.

Visit IHG’s Digital Rewards Page to browse the full catalog of music, games and more. If you are not yet a Priority Club Rewards member, the program is always free to join by calling 1-888-211-9874 or downloading our mobile app.  Start experiencing great benefits like No Point Expiration and No Blackout Dates for booking Reward Night stays, when you earn through easy, unique ways such as the Priority Club® Select VISA card.

Is loyalty a missed marketing opportunity for mid-sized retailers?

By Mark Croxton, managing director, UK&I, Aldata

Organisations have been taking advantage of loyalty schemes ever since the Co-operative (or the ‘Rochdale Pioneers Society’ as it was known then) launched its dividends scheme in 1844. The most notable loyalty system today is probably the Tesco Clubcard, started in the mid 90’s by Grant Harrison and Dunnhumby. Schemes continue to evolve, with Debenhams recently announcing a loyalty system using an iPhone app, helping the brand to interact directly with customers via their phone handsets.

According to the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, it is recognised that when loyalty scheme members are happy with the benefits of a programme, they will be less fussy about in-store prices, and more likely to return to the store and provide repeat business .

However, these days consumers are targeted with a variety of cards, vouchers, offers, membership deals and subscription-only loyalty schemes. Many of these soon become ineffective as consumers sign up to gain the benefits, but simply receive mass-mailed marketing and general, non-specific promotions.

A problem of size?

Although many loyalty programmes do function well, there is a perception that these are only run by large companies; smaller organisations are limited to ‘cards to get stamped’ to get a free beverage, for example. Indeed, many mid-sized retailers have hesitated over getting into loyalty because of the perceived barriers to entry. Many retailers believe that loyalty systems, with their complex tracking and prediction algorithms, are both difficult and expensive to implement.

But let us take a step back for a moment. There are many mid-sized organisations which are better suited to loyalty schemes by virtue of their specialism or the nature of their services. Small hotel chains, for example, are in regular physical contact with their customers, presenting a strong opportunity for a bespoke scheme and tailored communications. They also gather a wealth of data via bookings systems, which they could potentially feed into loyalty systems, providing customers with offers which exactly suit their requirements – or offer them new opportunities, encouraging new visits and building up the store relationship with the customer.

Loyalty schemes can certainly help these mid-sized players compete with their larger rivals andengage with existing customers. A tailored experience and custom-fit offers can go a long way to make customers return to the store again and again. It also offers a way of testing new products and services with existing loyal customers, or cross- and up-selling. Tesco’s Clubcard, for example, makes no secret that although most of the discount vouchers sent out are for already-purchased items, two out of every six are for items related to existing purchases, expanding sales opportunities.

A new wave of accessible loyalty

As we have said, many small retailers and organisations believe loyalty systems to be inaccessible because of the cost barriers. However, this is far from the truth – with the latest wave of ‘Software as a Service’ offerings, companies can purchase ‘pay as you go’ access to loyalty solution, based on a rental, rather than purchase model, eliminating many of the costly outgoings.

Indeed, Finlandia (a chain of boutique independent hotels in Finland) is using a highly effective loyalty programme, and pays for its loyalty software based on the number of customer sign-ups to the scheme. Finlandia also charges customers €26 for its loyalty card for three years, so the procedure is quite painless from a budgetary point of view.

Once organisations do overcome the perceived barriers, loyalty schemes not only increase customer ‘stickiness’ but also enable organisations to engage with customers, improving brand experience both in-store and out. It can also act as a catalyst for business and a safety net in adverse times.

Today’s need for loyalty

To put this in context, customers included in Finlandia’s loyalty scheme currently account for 5-25% of turnover. During the downturn, overall sales dipped by 20%, but sales from customers in the loyalty scheme only dropped 10%, clearly showing the value of such a scheme properly executed.

Although retailers can hesitate over loyalty schemes, mid-sized retailers should not flinch from the opportunities which they can present. In fact, with many of the issues now a question of perception, rather than of fact, and with a loyal customer often making the difference between a lean year and a good year, now is certainly the time to get involved.

Original post from Ulta Marketing.

Retail Loyalty Programs: Pain Killer or Vitamin?

by Jon Wurfl, Retail Solution Principal, SAP

At a time when retailers struggle to retain and attract key segments of their shopping audiences, customer loyalty management, practiced as a strategic element of their business plans, can drive sustainability and differentiation into the enterprise. One mistake many retailers make: Viewing loyalty programs as a short-term source of brand buzz to jumpstart sales and lessen the pain of the tough economic climate.

Done right, retail loyalty programs can indeed “bring people back to the brand.” A successfully delivered loyalty program has immediate benefits to a retailer’s top line. In this economy we’ve witnessed  shoppers switch to every-day low prices in a dash to get economic benefits as soon as possible. But loyalty, if delivered successfully over a period of a time (at least four or five consecutive quarters), can go from painkiller to vitamin. If you put in the time and effort to develop a well-thought-out loyalty program that truly engages with customers on their terms, the program will pay dividends that go far beyond just a quick hit of interest.  Our studies show retailers have the opportunity to drive the top line of their revenue by 20 to 25% annually thanks to a well-executed loyalty program.

To keep receiving the benefits of this organizational “vitamin,” however, you have to keep at it, keep working on your loyalty program, constantly refining the benefits, engaging regularly with your shoppers  to understand their wants and needs. Many programs I have seen don’t offer rewards that are truly in line with what members want. It is especially important for you to have “wow” perks for your most valuable customers – tickets to a home basketball game, for example, when you know the member is a fan.  To feel understood is thrilling for anyone, especially customers.

You can also give special access as a benefit for program members. For example, a book retailer could provide the first chapter of a popular author’s new book to his devoted fans. This creates a sense of entitlement as an insider, which can be even more potent than the perk itself. In this example, it costs the book store practically nothing to provide access to a download of the chapter, while being granted that access means a lot to customers who are fans of that author.

The point here is that once you start “doing” loyalty you must keep innovating your loyalty program over time as opposed to going backwards. Your customers are ever changing, and your program has to evolve along with them. If you can maintain your focus on the customer –  and your loyalty program reflects that focus – you can help give your organization the health-giving vitamin it needs to sustain growth.

Original document from SAP Community Network.

How Red Letter Days strengthened its affiliate programme

Background

Gift experience retailer Red Letter Days has been running an affiliate programme for five years. The affiliate channel has been a major focus for the organisation over the past few years and significant effort has been invested in growing this channel. In 2008 the programme was expanded to a second network, thereby increasing the overall presence of the Red Letter Days brand across the affiliate industry as a whole.

For Red Letter Days one of the main aims was to focus on consolidating affiliate relationships, and to continue to motivate affiliates to promote the Red Letter Days programme by engaging with them on an individual basis. The overall objective was to increase affiliate sales turnover by 15% in 2010.

Strategy

In the last few years Red Letter Days has seen its affiliate programme go from strength to strength; from a channel that only contributed 12% of total online sales, it has grown to a programme that now accounts for 30% of all its online sales.

Red Letter Days felt it was important not to neglect the foundation their success had been built on, or the affiliates who helped them achieve this. So its strategy focused on forging closer than ever relationships with its affiliate partners – both by getting out to meet them in face-to-face meetings and by building on its already thriving its incentive scheme to encourage greater than ever affiliate activity.

Implementation

In 2010 Red Letter Days hosted its first official affiliate day. The day was designed to bring Red Letter Days closer to their affiliates and to give them a chance to get closer to the brand by trying out some of the experiences offered by Red Letter Days.

It also set out to meet as many affiliate partners throughout the year. These were not necessarily the top performers but affiliates that Red Letter Days had considered significant contributors to their success. Meeting their affiliates would give the retailer a better understanding the challenges they faced and find out what could be done to improve the performance of their programme.

Red Letter Days had already been running a quarterly incentive scheme since 2009, giving affiliates the opportunity to push themselves through sales tiers to receive their desired prize. As the quarterly incentive scheme had been running for a couple of years, Red Letter Days had to ensure that it had an even more attractive proposal for their main Q4 Christmas campaign.

For Q4 2010, Red Letter Days offered affiliates the chance to win a trip to South Africa. The holiday was determined by a prize draw, but with a twist. Affiliates earned tickets into the draw in return for fulfilling certain criteria e.g. uploading a particular type of creative, or selling a particular product, rather than the traditional model of rewarding revenue generation alone.

Red Letter Days announced new ways to earn extra tickets into the draw on a weekly basis from October to December, to keeping affiliates continually engaged with the Christmas campaign. The winner was announced on YouTube in the form of a video showing the final draw.

Meanwhile Red Letter Days also honed its voucher code offering. The use of voucher codes has always been an issue at the forefront of the affiliate industry. Red Letter Days tackled this by developing a solution that displayed or hid the basket promo code box based on the type of referring affiliate. This ensured that customers driven from non-voucher code sites would not see the box (and therefore not be prompted to search for a voucher code), whereas visitors from a voucher code site would see the box.

The next stage of this development incorporated the embedding of a “deal id” in the inbound URL, allowing Red Letter Days to create bespoke deals for individual affiliates. The “deal id” was associated with the affiliate id therefore making it impossible for another affiliate to replicate the offer. Deals can only be obtained by clicking through from the relevant affiliate site, therefore giving the affiliate’s customer a higher call to action and ensuring that the customer returns to the affiliate site to activate the deal; creating stickiness and loyalty.

Results

Through strong communication and close partnerships the Red Letter Days programme continues to grow; the number of active affiliates contributing to this success has increased by 300%.

Between 2009 and 2010 online sales through the affiliate channel grew by 20%. In 2010 the average affiliate basket size grew by 20%, from £90 to £108. URL based deals has driven an increase of 212% in traffic and 68% in revenue from content sites.

Original document from Ulta Marketing.

The Benefits and Advantages of eBooks

by Remez Sasson

An ebook is a book in electronic format. It is downloaded to a computer, PC, Mac, laptop, PDA, tablet, smartphone or any other kind of reading device, and is read on the screen. It can have numbered pages, table of contents, pictures and graphics, exactly like a printed book.

Ebooks present many benefits and advantages, and this article shows some of them.

It is very simple and easy to purchase and download ebooks through the Internet. It is exactly like purchasing any other product. The only difference is that after payment you will either be directed to a download page or receive the download link in an email. All you have to do is click on the link and the ebook will automatically download to your computer, to a folder of your own choice.

After download you don’t have to be connected to the Internet in order to read the ebook. You can stay offline. If you wish to have it printed, it is very easy. Just click on the print button in the ebook, to print it with your home printer.

What are the benefits and advantages of ebooks?

  1. Ebooks are delivered almost instantaneously. You can purchase, download and start reading them within minutes, without leaving your chair. You don’t have to go to a bookstore to buy them, neither wait for them for days, weeks and sometimes more to arrive in the mail.
  2. No trees are required to manufacture paper for the pages of ebooks.
  3. When you need certain information, you can get it immediately, by downloading an ebook.
  4. Many ebooks are sold nowadays with bonuses, which you usually do not get with a printed book. This adds value to your purchase.
  5. Ebooks take up less space. You practically don’t need any space to store them. You don’t need a library or a room for them. You can store hundreds and thousands of ebooks on your computer or reading device.
  6. Ebooks are portable. You can carry a whole library of hundreds of books with you, on CD, in a laptop, notebook or any ebook reader, without worrying about their weight.
  7. With today’s technology you can read ebooks everywhere, on the bus, train, airplane, and while standing in line.
  8. Ebooks are more safely stored and carried from one place to another, than ordinary books. They also withstand time more than books.
  9. Ebooks can show links, for easy access to more information and related websites.
  10. Ebooks are searchable. You can easily search for any information in an ebook, instead of turning page after page.
  11. Ebooks can be interactive and contain audio, video and animations, which can enhance the message that the author is trying to convey.
  12. Since ebooks are delivered through the Internet, there are no packing and shipping expenses.
  13. Ebooks can be printable, so that if you wish to read an ebook in the traditional way, you can very inexpensively print it with your home printer or at any printing shop.
  14. Fonts in ebooks can be resized, making it easier to read for people with disabilities. With an additional software it is possible to turn some of the ebooks into audio books.
  15. Ebooks are very easy to to sell and distribute.
  16. It is very simple and easy to purchase and download an ebook. People living in big modernized cities, in a remote village in a far away country or on a small island, can equally access an ebook. It takes them the same amount of time to purchase and download an ebook, provided they have an Internet connection.
  17. It is possible to purchase an ebook 24 hours a day, every day of the year, from the comfort of your own house or office. You can purchase and download an ebook, even if you are on a vacation. All you need is a laptop, tablet. smartphone, or a reading device, and wireless Internet connection.
  18. People are already spending a lot of time in front of their computers, so why not read and ebook, instead of doing something else?

 
Nowadays, one can find ebooks about every possible subject, fiction and nonfiction, free and not free.

Considering non-fiction ebooks, such ebooks disseminate knowledge not pages, which means that it is not correct to evaluate the price of an ebook according to the number of its pages. The price should be determined by the information offered, its usefulness and its relevance, and also by the amount of practical knowledge, inspiration, motivation, tips and advice, and by the uniqueness of the information.

Original document from Success Consciousness.

© Copyright Remez Sasson

Remez Sasson teaches and writes on self-improvement, positive thinking, motivation, peace of mind, spirituality and meditation. He is the author of several books, among which are “Peace of mind in Daily Life”, “Emotional Detachment For a Better Life”, “Will Power and Self Discipline”, “Visualize and Achieve” and “Affirmations – Words with Power”.

Visit his website and find articles and books filled with inspiration, motivation and practical advice and guidance.
Website: www.SuccessConsciousness.com
Books: www.successconsciousness.com/ebooks_and_books.htm

Customers Want More From Their Loyalty Programs

Before I left for Loyalty Expo in Orlando I ran across an article talking about the statistics from an ACI Worldwide study regarding loyalty programs.  By the time I returned from the show these statistics were popping up everywhere along with a number of articles and blog posts dissecting these numbers and discussing what they mean.  Below is a sampling of the statistics I have seen floating around the internet.

  • Three out of four Americans are members of at least one retail loyalty card program.
  • The majority of American consumers (62 percent) join retail loyalty programs so they can get discounts on the things they buy most, yet only about one third of Americans (36 percent) received a reward or promotion that made them come back to the store again, and 1 in 4 (27 percent) of consumers complain they have received a reward or promotion for something they would never buy.
  • A mere 27 percent of Americans have received a loyalty program reward or promotion that made them feel valued as a customer.
  • Eighty one percent of American loyalty program members are enrolled in a program that they don’t completely understand. They don’t even know the basics, such as “What benefits do I get and when do I get them?”
  • Like a disappointing date, many loyalty programs leave consumers feeling underappreciated; 85 percent of members report that they haven’t heard a single word from a loyalty program since the day they signed up.
  • Whether it was a reward they didn’t want (27 percent) or a reward that was too small to take seriously (22 percent), more than 2 in 5 (44 percent) consumers have had a negative experience from a loyalty program.

 
These statistics undermine the benefits customer loyalty can provide for your business; particularly the statistic regarding lack of communication from the loyalty program since enrollment.  If your loyal customers give you their information why would you not use it?  Maybe it is just because I work in the loyalty marketing industry, but I see a message of opportunity below this disappointment.  I see customers who are expecting communication when they join a loyalty program.  I see customers who want rewards and discounts that are relevant to them.  Most importantly I see customers who are asking for more from the businesses and loyalty programs they belong to.  I often write and talk to prospects and others in the loyalty industry about the importance of communication to customers along with the constant evolution of existing loyalty programs.  Communication needs to be as basic as explaining the loyalty program and as in depth as soliciting your members feedback.

As I was sifting through my Google Alerts this morning I read an article posted on CBS Money Watch discussing the statistics from a customer standpoint.  The article from CBS Money Watch is actually titled “Loyalty Programs: A Pain in the Neck?”  Any business that has a loyalty program knows that this is not the result you are anticipating when you start your customer loyalty program.  A quick Google search on the statistics will lead you to a number of articles and blogs highlighting similar sentiments.  The articles and blogs written in response to these statistics need to be read by businesses and marketers alike.  We need to listen to what consumers are saying and find a way to create value in our loyalty efforts instead of confusing or failing to deliver the communications and rewards they are expecting and deserve. These statistics should push businesses to evaluate not only their loyalty programs but how they are treating their loyal customers.

Original document from Loyalty Marketing Blog.