Loyalty trends and best practices

Revving Up Loyalty at Cruiser Customizing

by Ashley Bienvenu
March 14, 2014
Revving Up Loyalty at Cruiser Customizing

Leaders in Loyalty shares the insights and experiences of executives who run loyalty programs. In this edition, Brian Moreno, Marketing Specialist at motorcycle parts and accessories retailer Cruiser Customizing, explains how loyalty-fueled email marketing boosts the mileage of his customer retention investments.

Why did you launch Cruiser Customizing Rider Rewards?

Moreno:  Motorcycle parts and accessories is a competitive industry, and we were looking for ways to stand out. We're not willing to kill margins just to attract customers, so we can't always play the price game. A loyalty program was a great way give our customers an extra bonus. Since we’ve launched, most of our competitors have followed suit and set up their own rewards programs.

What benefits are you seeing from Rider Rewards?

Moreno:  I can't share all the numbers because we consider our loyalty program a strategic asset, but I can tell you that the per-visit value of our members is much higher than that of our average visitor, so the program is helping us understand our best customers. Also, we have been using our loyalty program to power many of our promotions, and we're seeing huge uplift on those versus our standard promotions.

Can you talk about how the loyalty-powered promotions pay off?

Moreno:  Our loyalty email campaigns have a much higher conversion rate than our standard emails. We typically send three to four loyalty-powered emails each week, and it’s low maintenance for us, since these automatic emails not only alert members when they earn a gift card, but also send the actual card. (Our members love our gift cards, which they get by redeeming Riders Rewards points.) That motivates shoppers to come back and buy more, so it really is a win-win.

What advice would you give to others looking to launch or optimize a loyalty program?

Moreno: Leverage your program everywhere — on your website, in your promotions, and on the phone with customers. We mention Rider Rewards in our all of our email campaigns and in any content that we publish. One of our challenges has been to educate members about actions outside of purchase that can earn Rider Rewards points, such as leaving a review or connecting to their social networks. Our demographic is around 45 to 65 years old — not necessarily the most Internet-savvy folks — so we're always thinking about ways to communicate this information.

How do you see Rider Rewards evolving in the future?

Moreno:  Now that we've celebrated the program's one-year anniversary, we're focusing on analytics. We finally have enough data to start getting a better idea of the true value of Riders Rewards members and how we can make the most of the program. We’re also doing more on the personalization front to better target our member segments. We did some testing with this when our member base contained around 15,000 customers, and we found that the inactive members who received a more aggressive style of promotional email tended to interact at higher rates — and make more purchases — than similarly active members who received gentler messages. Now that we have nearly 3x as many members, there is much more we'll be doing around personalizing our loyalty promotions.

How has 500friends helped?

Moreno: 500friends’ solution has allowed us to easily implement our loyalty program and all of the analytics. Without it, we wouldn’t have had the manpower to do it so quickly. Communication with the 500friends team has been really open and easy, and once the initial set-up was done, the program could really run by itself. It’s bringing in hundreds of thousands of additional dollars with very little additional investment from our end, and that's ideal.

Ashley Bienvenu is a Customer Retention and Loyalty Analyst at 500friends. Know someone you'd like to see featured in Leaders in Loyalty? Contact Ashley at  


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