Rather than spending thousands of dollars on plastic cards that customers don't use, Mixt Greens focused on simplifying their customers' experience to increase revenue and reduce churn.
Many businesses opt for a plastic card solution to try to incentivize customers to return to their stores more frequently. The problem is, however, that plastic card programs result in high churn rates and fail to change customer behavior. In a new case study, Mixt Greens demonstrates how a better customer experience can positively impact the bottom line.
Case Study Overview
Mixt Greens was founded in San Francisco in 2005 by Andrew Swallow, his sister Leslie Silverglide, and her husband David Silverglide. The company's founders had two goals: (1) to make the best salads on earth and (2) to build a great business that sets the bar incorporating sustainability throughout its entire operation. Fast forward, the company successfully opened locations throughout California and had tons of hungry and health-conscious customers stopping by every single day. Having achieved success acquiring customers, the company launched a retention marketing program focused on increasing revenue from the existing customer base.
This first loyalty program used plastic cards to try to change customer behavior. Customers received 50+ salads per day totaling $100K in annual costs, but poor data quality prevented management from measuring results. In addition, management had to spend over $10K to print plastic loyalty cards, but 74% remained unregistered and 44% of registered cards remained unused.
According to Street Fight Magazine, the company replaced plastic cards with a new solution that integrated directly into existing systems and simplified customers' experience. Under the new program, 85% of customers created an account, and 70% remained active after six months – a dramatic improvement over their previous program.
3 Retention Marketing Best Practices Exhibited
With this demonstrated success, this case study exhibits three best practices other marketers can implement at their own businesses. In no particular order:
1) A Simplified Customer Experience Reduces Churn
As mentioned, the company started out with a plastic card solution that required customers to bring and display a plastic card in store every single time they made a purchase. Because customers are customers, they forgot their cards at home, forgot to display them at the cash register, forgot to register their cards entirely, and a myriad of other reasons that resulted in the cards going unused.
With a new solution that required no plastic cards, Mixt Greens dramatically simplified customers' experience. Customers could participate in the loyalty program without having to take action every time they made a purchase. As a result, participation rates skyrocketed.
2) Integrate Loyalty Into Existing Systems To Increase ROI
When implementing the new customer retention program, management effectively integrated loyalty alongside its email marketing efforts. Immediately upon launching the new program, existing customers received an email about how to sign up for the new loyalty program. In turn, new loyalty program subscribers received a prompt within the sign-up flow to subscribe to email updates. With this cross-channel promotion, more customers joined both the email and loyalty program with minimal additional spend, which greatly increased the ROI of both initiatives.
3) Use Retention Marketing to Create Desired Behavior
Mixt Greens uses loyalty to not just reward customers, but actually change behavior. For example, during the holidays the company runs special promotions that push customers in store during what's normally a slow season. For retention marketing programs to achieve success, customer incentives have to go beyond discounting. They need to provide an experience for customers that makes them feel valued and appreciated every single time they visit.
Click below to read the entire case study and learn more about how to create an effective retention marketing program. You can also learn more about the company by checking out the loyalty sign-up page or company homepage.
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