|By Jim Bruene on December 1, 2010 5:46 PM | Comments|
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)
Interstitial displayed at login (27 Nov 2010, 1 Dec 2010)
PayPal Advantage landing page (link)
PayPal Advantage benefits page (link)
Widget on main page shows progress towards Advantage status
Details page showing specific progress
Summary box close up
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