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Case Studies & Examples

4 Examples of Surprise & Delight in Loyalty Programs

Written by 
Brad Davis
July 30, 2020

Let’s talk about Surprise & Delight in relation to loyalty programs. Many businesses learn the hard way that just because people are signing up to your loyalty program, doesn’t mean they are engaging it in the long term.

According to Bond Brand Loyalty, the average consumer belongs to approximately 15 loyalty programs, but only participates in 6-7 of them.

However, if you find that engagement is low despite a high rate of registrations, Surprise & Delight can help you reclaim these lapsed customers’ loyalty.

Perhaps your loyalty program requires customers to sign up with their email address. Just with this single piece of information alone, you can now entice every single loyalty program member with a Surprise & Delight reward via email.

Here are some examples of Surprise & Delight communications:

  • “Enjoy a free slice of cake next time you swing by the cafe!”
  • “Free shipping on all purchases until the end of the month.”
  • “Congratulations, you’ve been a valued loyalty program member for six months today! Pop in for a free X before Friday!”

Similarly, if your loyalty program comes in the form of a digital loyalty app, you can leverage location services to surprise and delight customers when they come within close proximity of one of your stores, for example.

sephora beauty geo location push notification

Here are some examples of Surprise & Delight from brands that are doing a great job of it, either in conjunction with their loyalty programs or as a standalone campaign to retain more customers and foster brand loyalty.

1. McDonald’s

Since the 1950s, every decision that McDonald’s makes is ultimately motivated by two primary goals:

  • Increase frequency of visit (FOV)
  • Increase average transaction value (ATV)

Of course, the fast food chain has gotten progressively good at it throughout the decades.

While Surprise & Delight has always played a part in McDonald’s loyalty marketing, the mymaccas digital loyalty app has made it a whole lot easier for the restaurant to pull off.

mymaccas mcdonalds app push notification

Learn more about this in our McDonald’s Digital Engagement Case Study.

2. Pret a Manger

pret a manger meal

Image Source: Pret a Manger

In our other article on What is Surprise & Delight and Why is it so Effective, I discussed a local independent cafe that gave away spontaneous free coffees at random as a New Year's Day treat.

What this cafe did on New Year’s Day, UK-based coffee chain Pret a Manger does on a much larger scale. With 450 shops in nine countries, Pret a Manger encourages its staff to give away the occasional free drink or snack to their favourite customers.

Of course, word spread quickly and this gesture has given Pret an edge over its many, many, (many!) competitors.

In the space of 12 months, the coffee chain gives away over a million free coffees. Having kept this strategy up for several years now, you can only assume that the boosted customer retention rates must bring in far more revenue than what is lost from these free coffees.

3. MasterCard’s Priceless Surprises

mastercard priceless surprises

Image Source: MasterCard

MasterCard adopted a more digital approach to its Surprise & Delight strategies, engaging cardholders via social media. The “Priceless Surprises” campaign offers Master Card customers random rewards (anything from free cupcakes to concert tickets and VIP meet ‘n greets) just for being customers.

With around 100,000 giveaways to date, the campaign has produced a remarkable amount of user-generated content for the brand, which uses that content to promote itself on social media and via its websites and app.

4. Kleenex

kleenex feel good surprise delight campaign

Image Source: Trend Hunter

For brands that don’t sell their products directly to the end-consumer, there is no end to the innovative ways in which you can utilise social media and other digital means to surprise and delight your customers. In fact, you can even surprise and delight people who aren’t necessarily customers… yet!

Kleenex proved this when it scoured Facebook for users who were currently complaining about battling against a cold or flu. The well-known tissue brand reached out to the user’s friends and family for help coordinating an impromptu treat.

Within just a few hours of posting about runny noses, unsuspecting people were receiving “Kleenex Kits” straight to their doorstep, fully equipped with tissues and other “get well” items.

Obviously, this little stunt created a huge amount of online buzz around Kleenex, and did wonders for brand engagement.

Surprise & Delight your customers on a regular and automated basis, with Stamp Me.

Not only is our highly sophisticated loyalty platform the ideal solution to your customer retention and brand loyalty needs, but it makes Surprise & Delight a breeze.

Our award-winning platform allows you to send random rewards to your customers through our Broadcasting feature. You can also create an automated campaign that sends your customers a reward if they haven’t collected a stamp in a while, to entice them back.

Our Scratch & Win card enables you to engage customers with spontaneous instant prizes, where you choose the win/lose ratios. Scratch & Win is an effective technique for engaging customers with gamified mechanics. Learn more about how to engage customers with a Scratch & Win campaign.

You can also configure your loyalty program to automatically allocate a certain number of stamps to the customer’s loyalty card when they join your program. This gives them a head start and makes them feel good about having instantly received value from joining.

Speak to a friendly member of our team about how to add Surprise & Delight components to your existing Stamp Me Program today.

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