Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mark Your Calendars: March 1st & 2nd

The Spring sponsor meeting will be held at General Mills' world headquarters March 1st and 2nd. Please confirm the number of attendees and hotel rooms required by February 10th.


Monday, January 30, 2006

Take a lesson from the airlines

During a recent flight to St. Louis for Bunge's account review, Northwest turned the plane around en route owing to a mechanical problem. A week after the delayed flight I received a letter from their Director of Customer Care apologizing and depositing 2,500 bonus miles into my Silver WorldPerks account. Here's the clever thing: John Neupauer, who was flying with me but has no elite status received the same letter - and only 1,000 points.

Two important lessons here:

1) Communicate with your best customers when behavior changes - they stop entering codes, for instance
2) Communicate differently based on customer value - number of codes entered or number of different products purchased

Soon we'll begin focusing on customer behavioral triggers and how to use them to grow your business more profitably. Stay tuned.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

We need your recipies for upcoming newsletters

Sponsors, please send us your recipes to be featured in the Valentine's and St. Patrick's Day issues of the newsletter. Also, free brochures available for use as rebate check envelope stuffers, case inserts, trade show handouts, etc.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Free scanners at 1,000th code?

"You don’t track invoices with Foodservice Rewards®," says Chef Michial Neal of Lynchburg College, "so it’s easier to earn rewards than with other redemption offers."

Operators enter Reward Codes individually or in groups of ten. They also mail them in - we've made it easy, allowing members to print a personalized mailing label with one click. Bar code scanners are also becoming an increasingly popular method of code entry.

We're considering providing scanners automatically to operators who've entered their thousandth code. Comments?

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E-mail open rates according to SYSCO

A recent SYSCO holiday e-mail message had a 36% open rate according to this article illustrating how more marketers are moving to the web to communicate with their B2B customers.

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Recognition Whitepaper

Testing a new approach to engaging operators: a free employee recognition whitepaper advertised in NRA's Smartbrief newsletter.

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Travel & Leisure segment remains untapped

1,483 Motel/Hotel/Resort/Lodging segment operators have enrolled, representing 6% of the 23,520 operators according to Technomic's latest figures.

From: Amanda Kavars []
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 1:30 PM
To: Lucas, Michael
Subject: Thank you!

Hi Mike,

I touched base with my chef after you left about the rewards program and actually, we are already members! He and our purchasing manager login all our products and apparently are half way to getting enough points for a big screen TV!?!! As I mentioned, we are a union hotel and part of our contract is that we provide at no cost 2 meals a day in our employee cafeteria, called Nic's Underground, and apparently the TV will go in there when they've earned it.


Amanda Kavars
Account Manager
Millennium Hotel Minneapolis
Direct Phone: 612-359-2231
Direct Fax: 612-359-2164

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Nestle UK advertising

Looking for clever advertising copy ideas? See Nestle UK's July and September trade ads and accompanying direct mail campaign letter, enrollment card and envelope.

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Monday, January 16, 2006

As of Friday, the first 100 DSR's have enrolled

Over 60 70 80 distributorships have enrolled in the DSR incentive (including PFG, Ben E. Keith, our 1st SYSCO house, and many smaller distributorships.) With more signing up each week thanks to Sponsor's efforts and ads like the ones at ID Report, we're entering phase II, enrolling DSR's.

The Distributor Program newsletter enjoyed a 65% open rate and 10% click throughs.

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Step up to the plate?

Pity poor ConAgra whose earnings fell 32% and has now made a bad investement in a proprietary loyalty program for K-12 Schools.

While I'm not pleased by the direct shot they take at Foodservice Rewards (see image) I am pleased with the program's flaws:
  1. Their data collection method is distributor velocity reports - but as Evan Carlson of Schwan's Foodservice points out "how many distributors are happy to supply velocity reports by individual customer every month just for this program and just for those participating?"
  2. And as they themselves point out,"it’s understandable that some distributors just don’t have the capability to duplicate velocity/purchasing reports. So, in that case, all you need to do is copy your monthly records verifying your purchases and forward them to Step Up to the Plate".
  3. Furthermore, how many schools are purchasing from just one distributor? So how many reports does one need to gather? As Theresa Harrell of the Conroe ISD points out "I like the peel-off reward codes and being able to enter them at my leisure. Unlike invoice copies, they don't get lost while we wait to send them in."
  4. Unlike Foodservice Rewards, whose points never expire, their points expire each school year. Nice for ConAgra, bad for the participant.
  5. Only 14 merchandise awards? vs. over 2,000 awards + an awards auction?
  6. "You will receive awards between 6-8 weeks from the date you’ve redeemed points" vs. 96% which ship within 48 hours from FSR.
  7. By pulling out of Cool School Cafe as that program's largest sponsor, they weaken a good program and create a third competitor in the K-12 school segment.
  8. Misleadingly, they try to make SUTTP look like a multi-manufacturer program, when the 6 brands participating are ConAgra's (vs. 65+ and thousands of products for FSR.) But "there are more sponsors and brands coming every day." We'll see.

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Direct mail to support your sweepstakes

P&G's Stop the Grease, Start your Engines Sweepstakes is an excellent example. Letters are being mailed to 20,000 high value exisitng customers and prospects who profile similarly. (Of course, if you don't know who your best customers are, how they perform by segment, what their quarterly case purchases are, and don't have access to similar non-buying customers... Well you're just buying a list and hoping for results, aren't you?)

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Friday, January 13, 2006

Want to reduce customer churn?

Engage them beyond their initial program activity. In this example, operators who enter their 10th code receive a copy of the popular book, Mind Your Own Business by Jim Sullivan.


Friday, January 06, 2006

Want to drive more operators to your website?

Create a link to your website like this example from Hormel. Foodservice Rewards' 58,000 members visit an average of 1.5 times per week delivering an unprecedented opportunity to register them directly at your site.

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