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The Power of the Recognition

By Jim Bruene on December 20, 2010 7:10 PM | Comments

Everyone likes to be recognized for being a loyal customer. It cuts across all demographics and income levels.

Banks and card issuers, which have some of the most loyal customers in any industry, generally do little to reach out and thank long-time customers.

In my wallet, American Express, Discover, Wells Fargo, Chase and Bank of America imprint "member since" on their plastic credit cards. But that's about the extent of the recognition for holding a long-time account with card issuers, sometimes as long as 20 years. 

In the pre-Internet days, it was expensive to create custom marketing programs for specific segments. But today, with the cost of communicating to online customers essentially zero, you should be sending messages to your customers at least once each year, thanking them for their continued business.

And on the bigger milestones, 5 years, 10 years, and so on, send something a little extra. It doesn't have to be expensive. Find a special perk and offer an "upgrade" on their anniversary. It could be as simple as a 2-for-1 night at the movies, or as exotic as the recently launched PayPal Advantage program (previous post).

Even though the QPB message (below) I received last week was more of last-minute holiday shopping come-on than a loyalty reward, the subject of the email was irresistible and would work well for banking customers:

You've Been Upgraded!

Customer email from Quality Paperback Book Club (17 Dec. 2010)

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