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PayPal Launches Advantage Program for Frequent Buyers

By Jim Bruene on December 1, 2010 5:46 PM | Comments

image When it comes to online marketing, I'm a sucker for rewards programs, sweepstakes, and the rarest of the rare (at least at financial institutions), premium/VIP services. So I was pretty thrilled when I got an email from PayPal two weeks ago with this headline (see first screenshot):

Jim, welcome to PayPal Advantage

According to the email, I qualified by spending $5,000 in the past 12 months (no problem considering we use PayPal to pay several business suppliers). The email included a $10 gift certificate for use with any eBay purchase (through 20 Dec.).

Taking a page from airline companies, PayPal's main account page now contains a progress bar showing how much you need to spend to qualify for another year of Advantage membership (see last two screenshots).

The website lays out the PayPal Advantage benefits (link):

  • Cut to the front of the line when calling customer service
  • "Advantage hotline" phone number
  • Premium support via "most senior U.S.-based customer service specialists"
  • Faster dispute resolution
  • Exclusive events with executives meet-and-greets
  • Advantage member community/forum (coming soon)
  • Advantage member email newsletter (received one issue on 19 Nov.)
  • First to hear about the best shopping deals

Analysis: While none of the above is as exciting as the free travel rewards big-spending credit-card customers are accustomed to, these softer benefits are not as expensive either. And receiving recognition, combined with the red-carpet treatment from your financial provider, is an unexpected surprise and excellent customer-retention tool.

Welcome email with $10 certificate for any eBay purchase (17 Nov. 2010)

PayPal advantage Welcome email with $10 certificate for any eBay purchase

 Interstitial displayed at login (27 Nov 2010, 1 Dec 2010)

Interstitial displayed at PayPal login

PayPal Advantage landing page (link)

 PayPal Advantage landing page
PayPal Advantage benefits page (link)

PayPal Advantage complete benefits page

Widget on main page shows progress towards Advantage status

Widget on main page shows progress towards PayPal Advantage status

Details page showing specific progress

Details page showing specific progress towards PayPal advantage qualification

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