Lucrative Customer Acquisition Channels in 2021-22

by Natasha Ambavle |

Lucrative Customer Acquisition Channels in 2021-22

Almost every brand in the world had a humble beginning, be it Amazon, Chanel, Microsoft or McDonald’s. The first step for all businesses, globally, always remains the same – customer acquisition. It is your customers that define your success and make Amazon or McDonald’s what it is today. Customer acquisition is an integral business aspect … Read more

Customer Acquisition Strategies and Winning Examples

Customer Acquisition Programs

Everything a brand and its marketing machine does, ultimately, is to entice and impress the customer. Understandably, customer acquisition is the prime focus of many companies and brands globally. Only when you have acquired customers can you invest in customer retention strategies that help you to foster brand advocates in the long run. Increasing your … Read more

Boost Customer Acquisition by Having the Best Referral Program in Place


More often than not, businesses focus their efforts on acquiring new customers instead of investing in a referral program to drive repeat business and a steady stream of referrals. Word of mouth is a determining factor for 20-50% of purchasing decisions. B2B companies with referrals have a 70% higher conversion rate, and record 69% faster … Read more

CLV Marketing: Using Customer Behavior Analytics & Retention Rate to Improve Profitability

customer lifetime value

Your customer data should be telling you more than numbers. Customer Lifetime Value models take data such as repeat purchase rate or average time to repurchase and turn them into incredible insights for how to find the right customers, increase purchase frequency, and maximize your eCommerce success. How do you visualize your business model? What … Read more

Understanding customer value and how you can create it

So, Larry goes out to the market to buy a washing machine. Seller A offers Larry “The best washing machine in town,” with good horsepower and a sleek new design. Seller B offers Larry a smartly designed, German-engineered washing machine, with 5 HP, 14 lbs. capacity, and one year warranty. Which machine do you think … Read more

Need to make changes to your loyalty program? Take a lesson from Nordstrom

Customer Loyalty Predictions

When we create our loyalty programs, we run models. We run the models again. And again. We try to factor in all of the potential outcomes.  We desire a program that drives new behaviors and also gains approval from our CFO. A program that drives revenue and enhances our bottom line. As diligent as we … Read more

Restaurant Loyalty: Turn Guests into Fans


When you think of restaurant loyalty, what comes to mind?

The card you’d carry in your wallet. You’d pull it out each time you bought a sub, waiting for the card to fill up, for the reward of a free lunch.

Probably not. Today some of the best loyalty programs are being run by restaurants.

When asked about “your” favorite loyalty program, the two that repeatedly make the top 5 are Starbucks and Chick-fil-A. Guests of these QSRs are huge fans of these brands.

What is it about these programs that make them stand out over all other programs in the market today? They practice the (new) KISSS –

Keep it,  Simple. Seamless. Satisfying.


Keeping it simple is far more difficult than it sounds. As marketers, we work to please a lot of people: our boss, the CFO, the CIO, CEO, our team members, and our guests. A few years back I was involved in an RFP for a QSR that had a remarkably complex loyalty program vision. The program had multiple steps to earning and burning, multiple values to the rewards, and a requirement to use the app only. The program spec was documented in over 100 pages. Thankfully, for the guests and the marketers, the program was never launched.

Simplicity is key to the success of a restaurant loyalty program. We’d like to think that our guests think about our brand all the time. The reality is that they will not take the time to read rules nor learn the ins and outs of program earnings. It’s just not going to happen. Especially when the potential value of that time spent is a brownie (even though they are delicious!).


Over the last week, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with analysts focused on customer experience. Each discussion narrowed to friction as one of the biggest challenges of delivering positive customer experiences. (Not to confuse friction with effort, as some effort is good – it creates a commitment between the brand and the customer.)  Making a guests’ loyalty experience with you seamless delights the guest. Not only do they come back more frequently, but they also become advocates for your restaurant.

Starbucks loyals love the seamless experience the Starbuck app awards them from ordering to payment to rewards and reward redemption. All are just a few clicks away.


Another area that becomes complex or challenging for marketers is creating a program that has a value that’s exciting to members. When actually, guests will be happy with the opportunity to get a better experience and a few perks along the way. If you actually look at the value of the Starbucks program (sorry Starbucks) the value isn’t really that great or valuable. It’s the fact that as a Starbucks guest, I’m recognized for my patronage. They recognize me and make me feel appreciated. Plus, as a bonus, I get a free coffee or meal along the way.  Satisfying!

To deliver on a KISSS strategy, you’ll want to incorporate the following:

  • Simple program structure. Create a structure that is easy for people to understand how to earn and redeem.  Also, ensure it’s easy for a guest to understand what they get if they increase their frequency and spend.
  • Seamless omnichannel experience. This is delivered by ensuring your loyalty technology is embedded as the heart of your tech stack. You’ll integrate with all data sources including but not limited to CRM, ecomm, mobile well as POS, and order systems. This will ensure that guest data is used the same way across all channels, including in restaurants.
  • Satisfying. Your program will have a core value proposition. You’ll be able to augment that with relevant messaging (based on the data collected). Plus you’ll be able to add in promotions or loyalty gamification to recognize and engage guests that will increase satisfaction.

Following a KISSS approach will ensure you build a program that will engage your guests and keep them coming back. Contact the experts at Annex Cloud for guidance as you build out your KISSS loyalty strategy.

Why the one thing you need in 2022 is loyalty

loyalty strategy

The one thing you can’t live without in 2021 is customer retention & loyalty strategy.

There are a lot of uncertainties in the world today but the one thing we all know is that keeping existing customers is vital to the growth and sustainability of your business.

Unlike this time last year, where we were citing all the reasons retention is important – the Bain stat that says increase retention 5% and you’ll increase profits by 75%, this year poses 3 significant, different reasons to connect at a new level with your customers. Emphasizing that you really can’t pass on your loyalty strategy in 2021.

  1. Economic uncertainty and recessionary times
  2. Consumers demands (and needs) for real connectivity and empathy
  3. Saying goodbye to cookies and other 3rd party data approaches

Economic Uncertainty = Need to Focus on Customer Retention

When times get tough, money is tight, people spend less and make more critical decisions to where they do spend. In 2008, many organizations made conscience decisions to shift there, then, limited marketing dollars to retention efforts. Those that did fare far better through and post the recession than those who kept spending consistent or slowed spend all together.

With limited resources, consumers will fear making a purchase mistake. They will be less likely to try new things. With limited cash in hand, consumers will make the familiar choice, the trusted choice.

To ensure your customers come back to you, you need to connect with them. Remind them of your value. Remind them of the positive experiences they’ve had and reinforce those experiences at each touchpoint.

Consumers Need Real Connectivity

Fast forward 10 years, 2018, 2019, consumers began to raise the bar on their expectations of the organizations where they do business. It was no longer okay to personalize with my name in an email. Or offer up product selections based on the gifts I purchased. Consumers know they are sharing their data. They’re expecting organizations to be good stewards of their data and use the data to deliver a more relevant customer experience.

Additionally, people today are more focused on what they feel is important – doing good, giving back, sustainability, etc.  They expect organizations they patronize to represent the same responsibility, they are taking.  A few years ago consumers were asking brands to “know me, understand me, inspire me”. Today consumer’s expectations go further to “walk with me, walk in my shoes”.

Add on top of all of this a year in lockdown.  People are focused more than ever on what’s important to them.  They’re making more and more conscience choices based on that their values.

The right loyalty strategies and programs allow organizations to create a clear, unique, personal, even empathic value exchange with customers.

Bye Bye Cookies

As marketers, we’ve grown accustomed to building out our marketing strategies based on 3rd party data and technology tricks like cookies to identify customers and prospects and deliver somewhat personalized experiences based on these inferences.  We’ve built our tech stacks and our analytics around look-alike models and personas.  We’ve invested in CDPs that can get us to 70-75% accuracy in matching data.  These activities have been working fairly well for organizations.

Now, all of this is changing. The stringent privacy laws to protect consumers and their data are finally coming to fruition. They are finally here. Organizations are now being forced to play by new rules. These new rules are affecting the technologies we’ve grown accustomed to using.  A great example of these changes – cookies are going away.

With the dawning GDPR, CCPA – now morphing to a much more stringent CPRA, mean organizations will need to move from reliance on 3rd party data, to going directly to the source – your customer – for information.  Organizations will be forced to work directly with customers to collect their information and gain permission to use their data in marketing efforts.

For many organizations, this means a whole new way of marketing and potentially a number of new technologies.  The good news – loyalty technology is built on the foundation of permissible value exchange.

These 3 major environmental changes point to loyalty as the solution and strategy you must have to be successful in 2021 and beyond.

To ensure you are successful in your loyalty strategy, the Annex Cloud Loyalty Experience Manager solution is the perfect answer.  With roots in the social space, Annex Cloud is the only solution that can track, understand and communicate with your customer with a personalized, empathic message at every touchpoint.  Plus with our extensive integration and partner network, the launch process is swift ensuring you can make an impact in 2021.

Customer Acquisition Gets the Headlines But Retention Pays the Bills


Multiple research studies have shown that existing customers are your most critical asset for your business especially in difficult economic times when leads are hard to come by. However, it is also important to recognize that customer acquisition plays a significant role in growing your business. They are both important but how do you know … Read more

10 Key Customer Acquisition Tips for 2019

customer acquisition

It’s no secret that customer acquisition is very expensive. The cost of acquiring a customer has increased almost 50% over the past five years (HubSpot) and now sits at about five times the cost of keeping a customer. So when you invest your time and money into customer acquisition channels, you should do it right. … Read more

Let’s Talk Loyalty: Chief Strategist Al Lalani Discusses Customer Acquisition

Customer Acquisition

We are excited to present to you a new video series called “Let’s Talk” where industry experts speak on current trends in retail and ecommerce. Topics range from customer acquisition to ROI of loyalty programs. The idea behind this series is to educate the industry on best practices for serving its customers.

Our first episode is called “Let’s Talk Loyalty,” where Annex Cloud’s Chief Strategist Al Lalani answers the questions that a lot of us in retail are asking. Why is consumer acquisition so expensive? How can we reduce that acquisition cost? How do we segment our audience and what does that do for us?

“We are constantly fighting that battle of acquiring the same customer over and over again,” said Lalani. “It would be great to not have to battle and instead build a true relationship with the customer through retention.”

Here at Annex Cloud, we are constantly bombarded with questions from retailers on how to bridge the gap between the customer and the brand. We want to use this as a platform for retailers all over to get those important questions answered. Ever wonder how to better serve your customers? Contact us or set up a consultation and we’ll be sure to help you!

Referral Marketing Best Practices: Tips for Retention, Acquisition and Conversions

Referral Marketing

One primary goal of any eCommerce business is customer acquisition, but not everyone is utilizing all three channels available for new acquisition. Most companies utilize only two channels to drive traffic onsite, SEO and SEM, which only capture organic demand. The third, less utilized channel, is referral programs. Referral marketing does what SEO and SEM … Read more

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