Pointless points

Loyalty programs can be a great way to keep customers engaged. I know that I’m a part of several, and they really do give me incentive to stick to a specific brand when I otherwise wouldn’t. Most of the loyalty programs I use are food related (what can I say? I go to the same 3 places for lunch most of the time. If I can get free meals out of it, great!).  But there are a few brands that do it really well – Sephora and Gap Credit card come to mind. I shop at Sephora and Gap fairly frequently, and I love getting little extras (whether product or discounts) as a reward for doing so.

But what about the brands that I DON’T shop at? Or at least, brands that I’ve subscribed to for Email Snarketing that don’t know I actually shop there since I’m not purchasing through this email address.

1. Shop Your Way (Remember them? It’s actually Sears, using the worst From name ever)

I meant to write about this sooner (at least, closer to the Tax Days post), since it came on April 17. Compared to the other tax day emails, it wasn’t so bad. If I had any idea of what their points program was, and if I actively used it, I would have liked the subject line a lot. But I have no context for what their points system is. It appears that these points are added temporarily or something. I don’t know if it works like any other points system, where people can earn them from shopping, and I honestly wasn’t interested enough to care. (Where it says “ES,” it would normally be a first name. I just put “ES” as my first name in the preference center).

Subject Line: Free points for you ✎ No 1040 to fill out!

sears1 sears2


I think by “Points” they just mean “A few dollars off.” I got this other email a few weeks later.

Subject line: Surprise points inside! Use ’em by 5/6

sears3 sears4

Yawn. I’m bored with this.

2. Sephora

Now, I know I just complimented Sephora on its rewards program just a few minutes ago. I like it. I’ve gotten a lot of free samples with my purchases because of its rewards program. But as a new subscriber, I don’t know about this program yet. So this email is pretty meaningless to me. I would have liked to see a welcome series (or at least an email) explaining the Beauty Insider program. They touched on it a bit in their welcome email, but it was at the bottom and didn’t really explain the points thing at all.

This email was beautiful (which is exactly what I’d expect from Sephora. I love their emails), but I’m only going to show the first part that’s about the points.  If your subject line is about the points, and your main CTA s about the points, maybe somewhere in the email you should explain why I should care about points.

Subject line: Triple points. Yes, triple.

sephora points

If you’re going to have a points program, great. Just tell me why I want to have points, and how I can earn them. Both of these emails make me think of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” (where everything is made up, and the points don’t matter.) Make them matter!