Current eMessage > Creative Solutions > February 2017

Creative Solutions

Combine customer favorites to boost your bottom line

By Ryan Thompson, Creative Services Manager

Do you like gift cards and instant gratification? Who doesn’t? For this reason, special offers combining these two customer favorites can deliver outstanding results when done correctly. A MACC client in Michigan recently took this approach and ran a special using gift cards that provided a nice boost to their internet subscriptions.

In December, Michigan Broadband Services gave new Internet customers a $50 Visa gift card if they subscribed before the end of the year. To promote the special offer, the company used a full-color insert in its December bills.

The company’s Manager of Customer Services, Lori Van, said December is a tough month for new accounts as would-be customers are spending their money on Christmas gifts and other holiday expenses. With the time of year in mind, Lori had modest expectations for the promotion.

“Originally, I was hoping we would bring in five new customers,” she said. “We ended up with 19 installs. That’s unheard for the month of December as it is always a slow month.”

During the promotion’s planning and implementation, Michigan Broadband Services took several important steps to increase the odds of success.

  • It was a limited-time offer to prompt fast action. Lori said most of the calls came right away and 16 of the new subscriptions came before Christmas.
  • New customers had the joy of instant gratification as the gift cards were distributed as soon as they signed up for services.
  • The company used physical gift cards purchased through a local credit union. Customers love receiving something “real” they can put into their wallet and spend later.
  • Customers agreed to a 24-month service agreement to receive the cards.
  • To keep expenses down, the company used Customer Master’s ability to send inserts to only selected accounts. In this case, only 1,800 non-Internet customers received the insert.

“It was absolutely a good investment for the company,” she said.

The company also did some great things in terms of customer service. Two day installs were guaranteed, and in most cases, the installation was complete a day after the new customer subscribed. Once the work was complete, customer service representatives sent thank you cards to the new subscribers to show the company’s appreciation.

With the success of the first gift card promotion in mind, Lori said the company has a Refer-a-Friend special planned for February. In this case, both the new customer, and the friend who does the referring, will receive a $50 gift card.

“For us, February is usually when business picks up again with people getting their tax returns,” she said. “It’s a great time for a promotion.”

Would you like to see similar results?
If you’d like to implement a similar program at your company, please contact the Creative Services Team for more information. We can help with planning, implementing, and even measuring the results of your next special offer.

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