Rick Boccard

C’mon Starbucks

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

So I heard through the grapevine that Starbucks offers a loyalty program.  If it weren’t for the grapevine, I would have no idea the program exists.  There are no in store advertisements, no ‘would you like to join our loyalty program’ question at checkout, no mention of it on my receipt – nothing.  This may just be my local Starbucks, but anywho – the main point of my post is their totally lame ‘Welcome’ message.

I went through their fairly straight forward sign up process and within minutes I received the following email.

automated email

C’mon Starbucks?!  What a missed opportunity.  Welcome message campaigns are huge.  If you read any of the dozens maybe hundreds of blog posts out there on email welcome series, you would know that when done properly – they are significant revenue generators.

Lets see how Starbucks’ welcome message performed based on a 4 criteria from a great Bronto blog post, “Optimize Your Sign-Up Part 3: Landing Page & Welcome Message Musts.”

1) Thank the person for signing up.  FAIL – They were nice enough to welcome me, but no thank you.

2) Reiterate expectations. Remind them what you’ll be sending them, how often and maybe even lead to email examples or recent sends. If you are including a coupon or special prize in your welcome message, let them know they can find it in their first email from you. FAIL – No clear expectations, no call to action, no branding, no graphics…If it weren’t for the from name and address, I would question if this email was from Starbucks.

3) Offer whitelisting instructions. (i.e. “Please add xyz@xyz.com to your address book to make sure you receive our exclusive subscriber-only offers.”)  FAIL – no opportunity or reminder to add Starbucks to my safe sender list.

4) Engage new sign-ups by introducing and linking to social media pages, product lines, blog, etc. At a minimum, encourage them to “Start shopping.” FAIL – This is the biggest fail.  I was actually pretty pumped about my new ‘membership’ in  the Starbucks’ loyalty program, because at my Starbucks – its not very well publicized, so I felt like I was in the know  (I know I’m not) and I would be happy to publicize it on my FB.  But, nope – there is no quick easy way for me to learn more and spread the good word about this program.  There isn’t even a link back to their site.

In closing, I was quite disappointed with my ‘initiation’ into Starbucks’ Loyalty club.   Beacon regularly helps clients of all shapes and sizes devise unified marketing campaigns, including email.  Admittedly, none of our clients are quite the size of Starbucks but obviously – size doesn’t directly correlate to sophistication.