Programs offer a way to increase sales and profits while at the
same time finding new clients - but the real difference is the
intense loyalty of your customers in a Loyalty Program. How this
airline grew their market share from 33% to 51% in seven years,
and won world awards for marketing.
Programs will increase sales and create a loyal following of customers.
Loyalty with your Customers is the #1 way to sell more and keep your
customers from being stolen
Canadian Airlines International was an
international Airline, serving Canada and the US, as well as
Australia and South America. They were a quality airline, respected for
their service and high levels of equipment maintenance, with sales of $1,000,000,000.
How we invented their Frequent Flyer
10 years ago, Canadian Airlines asked us
to create a customer rewards program, to
their frequent travelers. They
especially wanted to capture more
of the business market, as business
travelers travel more frequently and at
a higher fare. A higher fare transfers
completely into more bottom-line profit
for the Airline. We expected that
travelers would prefer Canadian Airlines
over their excellent competitor, Air
Canada, in spite of the near-identical
service and schedules. It worked!
Programs were a revolutionary concept at that time
We created a program that would give points
for each mile traveled. This might seem elementary now, but at the
time this was a revolutionary concept. We developed Direct Mail Programs to
encourage frequent travelers, especially business travelers, to join their
program. Canadian Airlines' reported that their market share rose from 33% to 51%,
against their strong competitor, Air Canada. Air Canada had matched with their
own frequent flyer program, but with far poorer results. We built the Canadian
Airlines program to 1,500,000 members while Air Canada had merely 500,000
members. Air Canada outspent Canadian yet still couldn't match our
program was credited with increasing
Canadian Airlines sales by an amazing $2.25
How we created "gold" for the
We started with the idea that if we treated
their membership points as "gold", so would the frequent flyers. We also created hundreds of individual promotional campaigns to encourage the
flyers to tell us more about their habits, destinations and preferences.
Ultimately, we learned so much about the travelers that we could use the
information to better
market the airline. When a new route was opened to, say, Beijing China, we
knew in advance who would be flying there for business, because we'd
asked earlier about what destinations they flew to. When a new deluxe
class was featured, we knew the specific travelers who would willingly pay more to experience
an upgraded service. We knew who the top users were, and we knew details,
so we could invite these select travelers to special events matching their
interests - such as the launch of a new destination. With the increased
popularity of Frequent User Programs, they've now become known as
"involved" were the users?
That's a question that needs to be asked.
If your regular mailings are relevant and valuable, then the response to
promotions and mailings should be good. We averaged a response rate
of 25% with our programs - over a 10-year period - so we knew the loyalty
members liked what we were doing. A typical response rate is 2 to 4% for
Direct Mail. Over the same 10 year period, we increased their sales by an
estimated 2.25 Billion dollars.
How can you use a
Loyalty Program in
Now, it's true that you're probably not an
airline, but you can still do a program that will significantly increase your
sales. Surprisingly, it's not the size of the company that matters. Each program is tailored to the individual needs of the clients.
And importantly, to the individual needs of the customers who buy from you. This
is important - your business will best be able to serve the customers by
understanding their needs. We'll help you understand your customers better, even if
you've spent 20 years selling to them, and you think you know their
We all want to be appreciated
We have worked, slept, breathed Loyalty
Programs, for so long that we understand the dynamic that's taking place.
Customers, and all of us, want to know they are loved. And without being
gushy, you'll be able to tell your customers how much you appreciate them. These
inexpensive ideas are perceived as caring and thoughtful by the customer.
How to keep your Competition from stealing your
We all have competition. Once you've got
a loyalty campaign underway, you will be cementing your good relationship with
your customers. You're also effectively barring entry by your competition, because you and
your customer have a relationship. Imagine how expensive it will be
for a competitor to dislodge your customers. Your customers will tend to
stay with you even when your price is higher -because they care about you. Customers love being catered
to - they appreciate that your company cares about
them. The amazing thing is, Loyalty Programs work, and they work
A word of caution
You cannot simply announce a bogus points
program, and do monthly mailers, and expect it to work. It takes more - a genuine
caring attitude, and a way to reflect that in the promotions and mailers.
For Canadian Airlines, we wrote every word, selected every photo, concocted
every offer with a single purpose in mind. And when the client headed in the
wrong direction, we gently pulled them back into reality. They couldn't allow
themselves to poison their own promotions with even one promotion that is grossly
self-serving. It's always best to have a win-win situation. Now, this does not mean you don't
sell strongly. You do promote aggressively, within the context of your
Loyalty Program. Every time we chose to "play" with our Canadian
Plus members, 25% would participate by responding to us by mail.
It is not expensive. It
Very targeted. So each mailer
goes specifically to an interested user, who will read everything you tell them,
if it's done right. We frequently achieved response rates of beyond 30%, figures
that are far above the "normal response rates" of 2% to 4%. Others in the Direct Mail industry will declare that's impossible, but it's true. These figures are from
publicly-released data, such as Canadian Airlines contest entry at the Echo
York, which had an actual response rate of 32.6%.
How can you benefit from a Loyalty
If you'd like the benefits of a loyalty
program for your company, contact us. We'll show you just how amazing a
campaign can be. Almost any company with a regular customer base will benefit
from a loyalty program. And we'll be honest with you - if we don't think
it will work for you, we'll tell you.
See some samples of
actual Canadian Airlines Campaigns
Perhaps you'd like to see some samples of what
we've actually done for Canadian Airlines. These are tested campaigns, tested so they
work, tested so they are economical, and they all have some unique
"twist" to make them memorable. Most of the ideas would apply equally
well for non-airline users. To see Case Studies of actual Direct
Marketing campaigns that we did for Canadian Airlines, click here:
Perhaps you have a struggling
Program in place already?
Maybe we can turn it around for you, or
least tell you what needs changing, replacing or retiring. Very seldom do we
recommend shutting down an existing program. To quote Billy Bob Thornton:
is Everything." We can probably put a
team into place for you, if yours needs refreshing.
We have experts in the Database and
Call Center areas too.
How we won a big award for Canadian
Canadian Airlines was acknowledged with the
"Marketer of the Year Award" by Sales & Marketing Executives of
BC. This award was rarely awarded, so Canadian's marketing expertise was
certainly recognized. We, along with their excellent Ad Agency, McKim
Advertising, were both acknowledged for the significant role we each played in
marketing this airline. Of course, it took a great client, with a desire
for significant growth, to accomplish this.
Why Frequent User Programs work so
Firstly, the knowledge gained from the travelers enabled us to
send the travelers very specific mailings, so they got LESS mail, but it was more
relevant to the travelers. The Airline saved money. Secondly, the
traveler got sent mailings that were specific to their habits and needs,
so they were happier. And the third, more subtle reason, is that Canadian
Airlines was able to tell their best travelers how much they appreciated their
business. Canadian Airlines did it in a tangible way, by rewarding the
behavior that they wanted most. The Airline did well. The travelers
were happier. A win-win situation is always the best strategy.
Now that's exciting!