Ingredients in a CRM campaign – A Starbucks Case Study
I am a Gold Card carrying Starbucks customer and I consume a significant amount of Starbuck’s coffee. As a marketer, I have a lot of respect for Starbucks marketing acumen, as I hope you will see in this case study.
Starbucks knows my birthdate, because they asked me for it. They also know my mailing address; more on that in a moment.
An Integrated Starbucks Marketing Campaign
Since Starbucks knows when I have a birthday, they can now do something by gleaning some insight from that data. People like to celebrate their birthdays, at least most people do. Celebrating usually involves some form of acknowledgement or affirmation, and typically a gift is given to commemorate the event.
First, Starbucks sends a marketing email that announces a post card will be coming soon. The post is redeemable for a free drink of my choice. I always look forward to this. The email tells me I can brag about my birthday when I redeem my postcard. They also offer some suggestions for sharing this event with my social network.
Even though Starbucks has my information, they take advantage of this opportunity to update my record. They ask me to confirm my address so they can send me my redeemable postcard. Since personal data changes, updating records annually is a smart way to keep a marketing database efficient.
Seven Ingredients in an Effective CRM Email
Here is the email I received.
True to email best practices, there is a killer subject line that grabs my attention; it contains two powerful elements. First, there is an upcoming birthday acknowledgment. Second, an offer for a free drink.
Here are 7 Ingredients Starbucks Used to Create an Effective CRM Email:
- The Basics. It’s all about fundamentals and relevance. I am a Gold Card member; most who are use the card frequently, so utility is high on our list. The first thing you see at the top of the email is account information.
- The Event appropriately overshadows the basics. It is front and center. The event answers the “Why?” question. I know I am receiving this communication because of my birthday.
- Multi-Channel. The email is providing a pre-announcement letting me know I’m going to receive a redeemable postcard.
- Multi-purpose. I am being asked to confirm my email address in exchange for a free drink. This is a fair trade in my book. Using this opportunity to update personal information is an intelligent way for Starbucks to keep their marketing database current.
- Encourage sharing by focusing on the customer. They are cleverly integrating the Starbucks experience with my event. So I am promoting Starbucks and my birthday at the same time.
- Starbucks uses this opportunity to link to their My Starbucks Idea sight. Crowd sourcing innovative ideas is not a new concept for Starbucks they have been doing this for years.
- Social Media connections are included to allow further sharing on Twitter and Facebook.
A Redeemable Postcard
Soon after the email, I receive this postcard in the mail.
It looks just like the preview image in the email. The messaging is appropriately similar, clearly communicating the two most important facts: number one it’s my birthday, and number two they are offering me a free drink.
The postcard includes important details that will be useful for me and for the barista; details such as an expiration date, as well as a code that the barista will need to enter when I redeem the offer.
Other Platforms—Starbucks Mobile Application
In addition to email and postcards, Starbucks has been a pioneer in developing a mobile application. As a result, I no longer have to carry my Gold Card; now the barista can scan a code on my phone. I suspect that one day soon I won’t need the printed postcard; I’ll be able to redeem the free offer from my phone.
Although I have to admit, there is something satisfying about taking the postcard to a store to get my free drink.
What makes an Integrated CRM campaign successful?
I have been receiving free birthday drinks from Starbucks for years. Over time, the level of integration has grown with the advent of new platforms like Instagram, for example. While elements have been added, the fundamentals are the same.
Some CRM Campaign Fundamentals:
- Only collect information you intend to use.
- Mine your data for insights.
- Use the data you collect in a manner consistent with your brand and relevant to your customer.
- Make it easy for the customer to engage and share without being a shill for your product or service.
- Find ways to keep your data current and clean.
- Where possible, combine channels and platforms during a campaign.
Can you think of other elements? Other examples?