The Ultimate Subject Line Guide. Part 3 – Subject Line Writing Tips.

Did you know 47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line whereas  69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. Emails with no subject all together have an open rate of 8% more than those with a subject line, whereas e-mails with personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.

Last time we discussed Specifics vs. Teasers, Workflow and Broadcast Messages. This time we will review Subject Line Writing Tips.


Everyone has seen dull “your order has shipped” messages. Use email to go beyond logistics and include your product name and some personality! Use what you know about the customer for your next confirmation message to catch their eye and reinforce your relationship.



What’s the first thing you think when you see a subject line with all caps? SPAM! AND SHOUTING! But our research says that savvy use of capitals can improve open rate if you use them to emphasize the customer. For example, notice the difference between “SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING WORKSHOP — YOU’RE INVITED!” and “Social Media Marketing Workshop — YOU’RE Invited!” One sounds like spam, the other emphasizes the invitation’s exclusivity. So evoke EXCITEMENT! “Shouting” in caps is okay when you’re CELEBRATING!



It’s not just Millennials who like to feel special! Everyone wants to be unique, not just be a number in a spreadsheet. Use this to your advantage when writing subject lines, such as offering them a treat on their birthday!



Similar to capital letters, using exclamation points can either make a terrific impact or land you in the junk folder. Between 2016 and 2017, we found that 46% of our most opened and clicked subject lines used one exclamation point. Warning: Using several exclamation points is likely to make you appear as spam by Inbox Service Providers.



Ellipses are a great way to make your customers anticipate what’s in your email. Something such as “You Won’t Believe What We Found…” captures people’s curiosity and makes them feel like they’re missing out if they don’t take a peek. If using all caps is considered “SHOUTING,” then the ellipse is a whisper and a wink. Those little dots convey an air of mystery… perhaps a secret deal only meant for your special group…



We all love money! Making it, saving it, giving it, investing it — putting a dollar sign in your subject line captures attention. Notice the difference between: “Check Out Our Latest Discounts on Furniture” and “Furniture Discounts – $200 Off Select Styles.” Choose a number that sounds bigger. For example, “$2 off” is pretty insignificant on its own, but if it’s out of $10, then why not use “20% off” instead?



Listen up event/vacation companies! We’ve seen subject lines such as “Trip Itinerary” or “Upcoming Event Details.” Why not spice it up some? If you’re delivering information about a customer’s cool event, make sure your subject line is as enthusiastic as they are and specifically states their destination! For example, “Your Upcoming Aruba Dream Vacation.” Also consider a solid call-to-action (CTA) to encourage website traffic, such as the one below that reminds the recipient to check out their Vegas line-up.



Everyone hates the fear of missing out on the latest trend or news. If you are an author or thought leader, you probably have insights that no one else has. Use that credibility to deliver advice to your audience that they couldn’t get anywhere else. Moreover, if you carry exclusive products or have a big brand name you’re allowed to drop, make sure customers know that.



If your shopping cart data is telling you that a customer has browsed your current sale selection but did not yet make a purchase — retarget them with a cart recovery message when you add new items. Mention the update in your subject line; this gives them a reason to take a second look. This tactic also gives you better insight on your buyer’s preferences and helps with segmentation strategy.


Next time we will discuss Holiday Promotions Subject Line Tips.

The MaCorr Team;

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The Ultimate Subject Line Guide. Part 2 – Specifics, Workflow and Broadcast Messages.

Did you know 47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line whereas  69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. Emails with no subject all together have an open rate of 8% more than those with a subject line, whereas e-mails with personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.

Last time we discussed Welcome Messages. This time we will review best and worst subject lines for Specifics vs. Teasers, Workflow and Broadcast Messages.


Do we need to spell it out? Yes. When faced with the choice between being clever or being direct with your subject line, always state your purpose clearly to increase your results, as these email marketers discovered with these top openers:


If the subscriber feels you’ve burned them before, the chances of them falling for another attempt to get their attention with an enticing subject line again is slim and you may find yourself in the Promotions or Junk folder next time!

WORKFLOW MESSAGES. Nurture leads the way YOU’D want to be nurtured.

Workflow messages anticipate the behavior of your leads and customers with pre-set email messages. If they do action A , this behavior will trigger messages B, C, and so forth, to move them through a sales funnel. Quite simply, you create emails now to work for the benefit of your business in the future.

The most successful workflow messages are often those already anticipated by the recipient, such as “thank you for downloading,” part two in a two-part video series, or some other confirmation email. Analysts also found workflow messages that drove subscribers to complete one overall event action — as long as the messages were related — had high open rates (e.g., “Have you signed up for the jobs fair yet?” and “How to get the most from the jobs fair.”)

When email marketers use demographic data and other informational tidbits they know about a subscriber — such as that they’re a mother or about to retire or perhaps he/she is an animal lover — to assign them to a specific segmented path via a nurture workflow, great open rates are practically assured. In fact, emails with personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.

In general, all unsuccessful subject lines have one thing in common — they all lack relevancy and specificity. At one time or another, every email marketer has been guilty for using at least one of these no-nos in their workflow messages.

Don’t simply rely on the sender name in the “from” field to inform your subscriber to what the message is about; the reason why subject lines can make or break your marketing ROI is that people scroll through them to decide which emails they want to open and in what order. Most people do not scan their inbox from left to right — their eyes stay focused in the center on the bolded, unread subject lines — so include your company’s name and any other details to ensure yours stands out.

After the initial opening of your message, a subscriber may hang on to your email in their inbox or archive to search for it later, and a clear subject line makes your message easier to index and find when they’re ready to use the coupon you sent.

workflow workflow1

BROADCAST MESSAGES. Say it don’t spray it.

Subject lines having to do with new jobs, schools, money, payments, awards, prizes, purchases, shipped packages — you don’t even have to try. For example, our analysts saw a sent message literally titled “eblast” or with terrible typos, but everyone opens them anyway if they’re about monetary-impacting topics. But perhaps don’t take human nature for granted and still provide information when possible.

If you’re accustomed to sending broadcast messages with no hyperlinks enclosed within the body text, you may want to rethink that. Much of what makes email marketing the most effective marketing channel is its ability to elicit two-way customer engagement, so go ahead and include call-to-action links that allow you to track your customer’s journey. Many lead generation professionals would warn email marketers not to include too many link choices; it’s best to stick with just one. Otherwise, your customer will not know what you want them to do!

For our worst examples, clearly the senders knew nothing specific about their intended recipients, as these vague email subject lines show. Random, impersonal questions or requests written for a broadcast message, such as a newsletter or promotion, do not yield high open rates.

best-broadcast worst-broadcast

Next time we will review Subject Line Writing Tips

The MaCorr Team;

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The Ultimate Subject Line Guide. Part 1 – Welcome Messages.

Did you know 47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line whereas  69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. Emails with no subject all together have an open rate of 8% more than those with a subject line, whereas e-mails with personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.


If  you’re like a lot of email marketers, figuring out the perfect subject line can feel like a daily guessing game. After drafting an email, pairing it with the perfect pre-header, and choosing images, it’s no wonder people often settle for using drab subject lines just to hit the “send” button.

So, while subject lines may seem inconsequential, they embody your message’s first impression on a subscriber (and on the ISP, or Inbox Service Provider, that’s actively scanning for engagement cues to determine if you’re spamming or not).

If that’s not a good enough reason to nail your subject line, consider this — your click-through rate is entirely dependent on people opening your email — therefore, to increase sales and donations, you need more people to open your messages.

There are tons of email message types to consider. In this guide, we’ll share tips for crafting subject lines for broadcast messages (e.g., newsletters, invitations, announcements), welcome messages, workflow messages, industry-specific messages, holiday-themed messages, opt-in messages and autoresponders.

WELCOME MESSAGES: Hello, it’s me. I was wondering…

Even the worst welcome email in terms of subject line performance is better (at 2.9%) than the worst workflow subject line, at a low 0.2% open rate. This is likely due to the immediacy of welcome messages. Most email marketing service providers (ESPs) trigger these in response to a new sign-up in less than an hour. For example, a new subscriber offers up their contact information to score a discount on a future purchase, and BAM — they get your welcome message in their inbox. A workflow message or an autoresponder might take up to 1 – 2 days to trigger depending on how your automation logic is set.

Best practice is to time message triggers to coincide with actions; subscribers will get annoyed if your sign-up form states you’re going to email them something of value (e.g., coupon, recipe, whitepaper, video) and nothing pops up in their inbox a few minutes after they submit. Consumers are already skeptical about offering brands their primary email address; it’s best not to appear to be breaking your very first promise to them with a delayed or irrelevant message. best-welcome-subject-line



The MaCorr Team

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10 Interesting Facts from the 2018 Best Countries Report

There are billions of data points behind the Best Countries rankings. Here are 10 interesting findings from a survey of more than 21,000 people from around the world that illustrate perceptions of the state of the world today.country_flags

1. The general outlook is pretty grim. Fifty-seven percent of global respondents said that the world has gotten worse in the past year. Only a third agree that the world is safe, and nearly 70 percent of people believe the global economy is in decline, despite governmental reports to the contrary.

2. Where government leaders fall short, however, innovative technology can help. More than 60 percent of those surveyed trust private companies more than the government to take care of their needs, and nearly three-quarters of global respondents said that the internet has made them act more like a global citizen. This sentiment is especially strong in the Middle East and Africa.

3. Switzerland is the No. 1 country for the second year in a row. The country balances the economic costs of capitalism and the value of human rights, scoring its best in both the Open for Business and Citizenship sub-rankings.

4. Addressing human rights issues is important in today’s world, where people expect national leaders to be both innovative and compassionate. Transparency and trustworthiness are 81 percent correlated to being “a leader,” and gender equality is about 75 percent linked to economic stability and happiness.

5. More than 90 percent of the world believes that women should be entitled to the same rights as men. However, more than 70 percent still believe that gender roles are important to a functioning society. Just 62 percent of those surveyed believe women have the same opportunities as men, and this dips below half in many countries.

6. The U.S. fell to No. 8 this year, but is considered the most powerful country for the third year in a row, edging out Russia by less than one point on a 100-point scale. The two superpowers continue to push farther away from competitors in this subranking, scoring nearly 10 points better than No. 3 China and 15 points better than No. 4 Germany and No. 5 U.K.

7. But global citizens don’t necessarily endorse this type of power. Fifty-eight percent of global citizens disapprove of U.S. President Donald Trump, the highest disapproval of the 12 prominent global leaders assessed. Forty-four percent disapprove of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Germany’s Angela Merkel and Canada’s Justin Trudeau receive the highest approval ratings.

8. The U.K. fell one spot to No. 4 this year, though opinions on the post-Brexit country vary among different groups. Business decision leaders favor the country, ranking it No. 2 overall, while those less than 35 years-old put the U.K. at No. 5.

9. The world is less open to immigration than it was last year. Just 54 percent of global respondents said they agree with the statement, “my country should be more open to immigration,” compared to 65 percent last year. Citizens in Sweden were most likely to “disagree strongly.”

10. However, global citizens do not agree that immigration is the most important issue today. More than a third identified terrorism as the No. 1 issue for leaders to solve, followed by income inequality (25 percent) and climate change (16 percent).

The MaCorr Team

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10 Simple and Effective Survey Tips

Creating a survey sounds easy: Just ask the question or questions you need answers to, find some willing warm bodies to take the survey, launch it and watch the insights roll in. But wait a minute! Let’s slow things down. There’s a lot of ways in which you can sabotage yourself if you’re not careful. Survey questions must be written and organized with care to assure you obtain accurate rather than misleading or incorrect data.helpful-tips1

Here are ten basic “dos” and “don’ts” principles and guidelines that can put you on the fast track to success.

  • Do Keep it short

We have repeatedly tested preference and performance, and consistently find that after about 8 minutes (≈20 questions) people’s attention and, therefore, the quality of the data diminishes. Even more concerning is that people drop the survey or start answering questions differently because they discover that giving a positive answer risks expanding the survey even further. For best results, be a ruthless self-editor. Ask only essential questions. Do Keep it short.

  • Do use simple language

Tortured, complicated language or industry-specific jargon almost always confuses and intimidates your audience. Why run that risk with a survey when it’s easy to avoid? Your aim should always be to use clear and precise language to communicate, period. To make sure your language is simple enough, test your questionnaire with someone—preferably an ordinary person with no stake in the game. Ask what they think you mean in your questions – you might be surprised to find they’re not as clear as you’d hoped. The inherent danger in possibly confusing your respondent is that you’ll still get answers, but you can’t really trust the data and you may not know that the respondent gave you false or incomplete data. Mark Twain famously said, “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.” He knew what he was talking about. Keep it simple. Do use simple language.

  • Do use simple math and numbers

Remember that kid in school who just couldn’t get percentages? Well, nothing’s changed —he still can’t, except now he’s participating in your survey! Many people find percentages and math confusing. Keep math uncomplicated and straightforward. Use simple number games to replace percentage allocation questions—and let the computer take care of making sure it adds up to 100! It’s also important to use simple proportions that everyone can understand and relate to: 1 in 10 is 10%, 1 in 5 is 20% etc. etc.

  • Do keep it neutral

How hard is it to keep your personal opinions out of the survey process? It’s extremely hard. Still, you must do so, no matter how strongly you feel about the subject. It can be all too easy to lead the participant towards your ideal answer. After all, a respondent is trying to please you and give you what he or she thinks you want. Don’t sabotage your research by letting them know what that is! Add to this challenging situation the human biases we all share. People tend to want to agree, so you must be vigilant and aware that respondents are more likely to answer Yes/No questions with a “Yes”. On top of all this, the desire to look good, even if just to ourselves, can actually influence responses. This very human desire for acceptance can create a situation where we might not be 100% honest about our views. We say what is acceptable – that’s social desirability bias. Make sure you make it explicitly clear that giving any of the answer options provided is acceptable.

  • Do add instructions

Don’t make assumptions about what your respondent understands. Just because you already know how you want your questions answered, or you think understanding should be clear or obvious based on the way you worded the questions or answer options, that may not be the case. If you’re allowing multiple answers, say so. If only one answer should be given then say that too—but remember to clearly state on what basis the single choice should be made if more than one answer is possible. Make it standard practice to add appropriate instructions. Clear instructions yield better data.

  • Don’t ask “double barreled” questions

When your question contains two (or worse, more than two) items, it can quickly become impossible to know how best to answer. Here are a few problematic questions to illustrate this concept. Should cars be faster and safer? Was the service quick and friendly? How satisfied are you with your pay and job conditions? Each of these questions could legitimately have multiple answers. That’s simply unacceptable. Every question you write must be clear and specific—and about only one thing. Check your questions and answers for the words “and” and “or”. If they do, it’s a tipoff that you may have a problem—you’ll need to re-word where necessary.

  • Don’t ask for shades of grey when the answer is black and white

A lot of experiences in daily life can be described in straightforward black and white terms. Was the train on time? Do you like this dress? Did you get the hotel room you booked? If you want to ask a more nuanced question you’ll need to find the right words. How late was the train? How much do you like this dress? How well did the hotel room you booked match your expectations? Make the statements extreme. Would you agree or disagree that… the train was extremely late?… the dress suits me perfectly? …the hotel room met your expectations precisely? Read your own questions and don’t look at the written answers – what answer comes into your mind?

  • Don’t expect everyone to know everything

For every question you ask, expect that there will be someone who comes back with an answer you haven’t already thought about, someone who can’t remember their answer or someone who has no answer because the question doesn’t really apply to them. You should prepare for each of these possibilities, otherwise the participant might feel forced to tell a little lie or, even worse, to drop out. It’s a simple check: make sure every question has—where appropriate—the options for ‘other’, ‘don’t know’, ‘can’t remember’, ‘none of the above’ or ‘not applicable’. One easy exercise to tighten things up might be to try running through your questionnaire as if you cannot answer the questions—and see how far you get.

  • Don’t forget to be nice!

Survey respondents give up their valuable time to provide you with actionable insights. They don’t get paid very much and it can sometimes be a bit of a slog. To that end, a proper “thank you” goes a really long way, especially if you must cut some people loose and screen them out of the survey. Remember, it’s not their fault they don’t qualify! It’s also good form to be a bit of a cheerleader: use motivational language that emphasizes the value of their input, their competence in providing it, that they’re teammates in the overall process, that you understand they’re participating on a volunteer basis and you respect their time. You can’t go wrong in throwing a little flattery their way. People appreciate being recognized for their work. It’s a win-win—both for your data and for the participant, who will feel he or she is making a useful and appreciated contribution to the research at hand.

In summary

If time allows, and especially if you are collecting data from a large sample, run a quick “test survey.” This will allow you to collect and collate a bit of live data and correct any errors or confusion on the part of respondents.

Ask for feedback from those taking the survey—and act on it. The vast majority of survey participants tries their best to do a good job answering questions and can be extremely helpful.

Using these basic tips while keeping your research goals top of mind and remaining cognizant of how you’ll ultimately use the data will increase your chances of getting reliable, relevant data to answer your business questions.



The MaCorr Team

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Why Response Rate is Crucial to Customer Surveys – and How to Keep it High

15 years ago, when we conducted our first online survey, the biggest question facing the research community was: ‘Will online surveys work?’


Fast forward to 2017, online research has certainly proven its worth to many clients through quality of research and ability of brands to conduct fast and flexible surveys that doesn’t break the bank. But at MaCorr Research our ethos is to test more and faster in order to employ the best and most agile methods.

As Response Rates to customers surveys are at record low, we, at MaCorr, constantly challenge ourselves to optimize our online research to improve Response Rate, as one of the best quality indicator of an online survey.

 Why should we care about Response Rate?

We live in an era of enabling. Creating and hosting a survey has become easier than ever before thanks to new technology platforms and tools. Yet, access to tools doesn’t necessarily translate to good results. A beautifully designed survey is not enough to get good data; you also need a good response rate.

 A good response rate provides four major benefits:

  • Higher data quality and accuracy: The easier it is to respond to a survey, the greater the chance respondents will answer truthfully. Badly designed surveys will see people dropping out or clicking through senselessly.
  • More representative sample: Having fewer people drop out mid-survey means your results will deviate less from your targeting goals.
  • Reduce the need for high incentives: If your survey is short, relevant and engaging, doing the survey will, in itself, feel like a rewarding experience. That means you will receive good survey data while avoiding offering the kinds of incentives that can induce cheating.
  • Customer engagement: The last survey experience leaves a strong lasting impression on a respondent, so it’s important to ensure respondents aren’t frightened away by a long and boring survey. This is the first step to a good customer development process.

At MaCorr, we play the dual role of both the user and the manager of our online community. On one hand, we want to extract as much information for our clients as possible and on the other; we are also take the responsibility of taking care of our rapidly growing online community very seriously. That’s why we not only make every effort to keep our surveys short, relevant and engaging, but we also come up with a model to predict how well our surveys will perform.

The Result

In order to understand what happened to survey response rates as survey length increases, we analyzed responses and drop-offs in aggregate across all of the recent surveys we scripted and hosted. We defined response rate as the likelihood that a survey starter completes the survey.

We looked into survey attributes such as sampling patterns, intro page configurations, different question types compositions, skip logic complexity, the use of media (images and videos), and the survey topics.

The most important finding was that survey length has a major impact on response rate. As expected, the longer the survey, the less likely respondents finish it. A simple bivariate analysis between survey length in minutes and completion rate can show a lot.


Survey length accounts for more than a 54% of the variability in the likelihood of a respondent completing our surveys. Suppose we have a 1-minute long survey, only 85 out of 100 respondents will complete it. And for every extra minute added to the survey length, we lose an extra 3 respondents. A 20-minute survey will likely see only 30-40 people finishing it.

The MaCorr Team

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Customer Loyalty Programs in the US: Stats and Facts

The average U.S. household has enrolled in more than 18 customer loyalty programs, but is only active in 8.4. (Colloquy Loyalty Census). Just because someone signs up for your loyalty program, it doesn’t mean they will ever do business with you again, at least in the somewhat near future.

Of the roughly $48 billion in reward points and miles issued annually, at least one third goes unredeemed by consumers. (Colloquy Loyalty Census).  loyalty-cards-us

85% of loyalty program members haven’t heard a single word since the day they signed up. It is likely that most companies do reach out to their customers, however their emails or letters look like spam or junk mail.

88% of respondents indicated that quality is a key factor in their decision to remain loyal to a brand; 72% identified customer service as a top priority. These stats make a pretty strong case that loyalty comes from the combination of a high quality product and excellent customer experience.

48% of respondents said that the most critical time for a company to gain their loyalty was when they make their first purchase or begin service. First impressions count. It can be the first time you meet or work with a customer, or the 500th time. Set the tone for the first impression of that particular interaction, which sets the tone for what’s to follow.

54% of respondents would consider increasing the amount of business they do with a company for a loyalty reward, and 46 % said they already have. However, the majority of consumers (62%) don’t believe that the brands they’re most loyal to are doing enough to reward them. Customers want to be loyal. They would like some type of loyalty program, but do it right. Follow through after the customer signs up or commits to your program.

Don’t let your loyalty program be gimmick, just to get customers to sign up. You can have a million card carrying members in your program, but don’t be fooled into thinking you have a million loyal customers. Unless you engage with these customers, follow through with them and make them feel special, you will only retain a percentage of these customers. And it starts with a great product that is combined with a great customer service experience.

Loyalty Marketing Statistics

  • 53% of Americans participate in a loyalty program because of ease of use
  • U.S. consumers hold 3.8 billion memberships in customer loyalty programs
  • Loyalty membership growth continues, but has slowed to 15% compared to the 26% growth rate achieved in 2015
  • Loyalty Program enrollment has grown by 31% over the last four years while active engagement rates have remained flat
  • Loyalty program member satisfaction remains steady year over year at about 46%
  • 39% of U.S. consumers participate in a loyalty program because they give great discounts
  • 37% of U.S. consumers participate in a loyalty program because they are easy to understand
  • 57% of U.S. consumers will abandon a loyalty program if it took too long to earn points or miles
  • 26% of North American consumers will stop using a loyalty program if it doesn’t have a smartphone app
  • 56% of brands automatically enroll customers into their loyalty program at account signup
  • 51% of Americans trust loyalty programs with their personal information
  • 70% of shoppers said they belonged to between one and five non-grocery loyalty programs
  • 16% of shoppers don’t belong to a loyalty program of any kind
  • 24% of shoppers use the rewards they earn
  • 43% of shoppers say rewards expire before they can be redeemed
  • 38% of shoppers say they never knew if they had rewards available
  • Redeemers are twice as satisfied with loyalty programs as non-redeemers
  • 71% of shoppers say they would be more likely to use their loyalty cards if they could access these cards and rewards from their mobile phone
  • 81% of consumers agree that loyalty programs make them more likely to continue doing business with a brand
  • 86% of consumers who like a loyalty program will shop more, and of those, 58% will shop 15% or more with their retailer/brand of choice
  • 73% of members are more likely to recommend and say good things about brands with good loyalty programs

The MaCorr Team

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Customer Loyalty Programs in Canada: Stats and Facts

Canadians love their rewards credit cards and loyalty programs and it’s becoming increasingly clear just how much we are, and aren’t, using them. A new study by Bond Brand Loyalty shows the average Canadian participates in 12.2 loyalty programs, up a whopping 25 per cent in just four years. However, many of us are not spending our points. Right now, there are $16 billion worth of points left unredeemed by members in Canada.loyalty-cards-ca

“The fact that Canadians have collected and not redeemed such a high level of points suggests Programs could be doing a much more effective job of engaging members and driving redemption behaviour,” said the report.

What’s more, many of us choose what we buy and where we shop because of these loyalty programs. The study found 66 per cent of Canadians change when or where they shop to get more points and 58 per cent said they adjust how much they spend to maximize loyalty benefits.

Still, one quarter of Canadian loyalty program members have not redeemed any of their points, ever, and the report says those members are more likely to walk away dissatisfied with the program. More than four in 10 of us (41 per cent) don’t even know the value of the points we’re sitting on.

The most successful programs are those where you redeem often

Loyalty programs where rewards come frequently, or easily, have the highest levels of satisfaction in Canada. This includes debit and credit cards, as well as in-store rebate cards like coffee cards and gas points cards.

Programs that partner with brands, like Air Miles and Aeroplan, scored the lowest in terms satisfaction, reports CBC.

There may be other factors in why those programs are turning off some members. Last year, Air Miles’ parent company, LoyaltyOne, instituted a rule that unused points for many of its members would be expiring. It later revoked that rule, but Bond Brand Loyalty suggests it hurt satisfaction levels with the program. In a more recent development, Air Canada announced it would be dropping Aeroplan and would be starting its own loyalty program, throwing more uncertainty into the mix for long-time points collectors.

“A breach of trust is the number one anti-driver of loyalty,” Sean Claessen, Bond’s executive vice-president of strategy and innovation, told CBC.

What we want from our cards

Rewards are great, but they’re not the biggest driving factor in whether or not Canadians are satisfied with the loyalty programs they’re using. Members’ experiences using the cards, corresponding apps, and programs outweigh the monetary rewards they receive, according the report. Almost six in 10 (59 per cent) said program experience, brand alignment, digital experiences, and “human touch” were the biggest factors in their satisfaction. The remaining 41 per cent said they cared most about rewards, redemptions, and how much they earn.

In terms of what Canadians would like to see more of, it’s programs that meet their needs, are fun to use, and have the right level of effort needed to get the reward. These were the top three responses, while monetary aspects like “amount accumulated per $1 spent” ranked much lower on the list.

It looks like Canadians’ appetite for loyalty cards is continuing to grow fast. However, if we want to truly reap the rewards from them (we are, after all, exchanging some of our privacy and personal details to be part of these programs), it’s time to stop hoarding them and start cashing in because $16 billion worth of points is a lot of rewards to be banking.

The MaCorr Team

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Market Research Before Entering a Business

You may have a golden business idea and feel you can immediately start your new business without any problems. After all, the idea is so good that nothing can stop you from being successful, right? However, the reality is quite different.

Market Research Before Entering a Business

Without the right market research, even the best business idea is bound to fail. Market research gives you in-depth insights into your target demographics and helps you check out your competition so that you can create and promote your unique selling point (USP). 

Before you begin market research, be sure your business idea is commercially viable. While there are some great ideas out there, they may fall flat when they are scaled to a commercial level.

HuffPost publication summarizes what you need to consider to ensure your business’s viability: 

Market saturation. Does your geographical location have a similar business? If so, does this area need another business that is similar to the existing one? Check whether there is space for your business to thrive and flourish. Also, visit the local Chamber of Commerce to find out how much money your industry spends each year in your geographical region. This will allow you to judge whether there is potential for another similar business to break ground there. 

Market demand. When a business starts, there should be a demand for it. There is no point in starting something that won’t have any takers. For example, does this area need another Italian restaurant or another burger joint? 

Local competition. If there are similar businesses operating in your area, find out how well they are performing and what is unique about them that attracts customers. You should be able to offer customers something unique and valuable in order for them to leave an established business to frequent yours.  

Target audience. You should have a way to reach out to your target audience. In the case you are starting a brick-and-mortar establishment, it is necessary that you open your store in an area that your target audience can easily access. On the other hand, if you are starting a digital business, how do you intend to reach your prospective customers? This is something you need to spend time on. You need to have a plan — a written one — to help you out.   

Conducting the Market Research

Now that you have the answers and know that your business idea has the potential to succeed, it’s time for the next step. After deep research, use the information and data you’ve found to develop a one-of-a-kind business proposition. By doing so, you enjoy a competitive edge.

How you get information will depend on the kind of business you want to open, and your target audience. However, you can tap into the following resources to extract relevant data: 

Trade information. If there is a trade association related to your business in your area, get in touch with them for all possible trade information. Alternatively, you can scour through online and print trade magazines to get the details that you are seeking. You can even visit trade shows if you have the time, money and inclination. 

Demographics and economic data. You can acquire a number of business-related data from other sources, whether it be geographical area, age range, total sales for businesses in your niche or income of your target audience. You can use online and offline resources. If you don’t know where to begin, get in touch with a reference librarian to help you find the right databases. You can also use American FactFinder, CensusScope and Datamonitor to pinpoint the information you are looking for. 

Local universities. Approach your local universities and business schools to see whether professors would be interested in giving their graduate students an assignment to do a market feasibility study. If so, you can get the students to do the grunt work for you, but make sure you are very clear on what information and data you are looking for. 

Business groups, associations and forums. The best place to find data and in-depth information related to your niche is the local Chamber of Commerce. You can also get in touch with associations that help small businesses and entrepreneurs. Online forums are another place to get details from like-minded professionals and individuals.  

Prospective customers. Put an ad on Craigslist and you will be able to find willing test subjects to create a focus group. You can conduct surveys among this group so that you receive an honest and unbiased opinion about your services and/or products. Just make sure your test subjects are from the same demographic group you want to target. 

Local competition. Visit your local competitors’ shop or store to find out more about their products and services. You can also check out their website. Also, get in touch with business owners who want to sell their business and find out about their sales and revenue. Be sure to find out why the owners are selling their business.

Launching a business is a decision you should think through thoroughly. Market research is an invaluable tool that will ensure you start your business in the correct manner. It will tell you whether your idea is a sparkling one and whether your experience and skills are sufficient enough to make the business a triumph.

The MaCorr Team

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“Cost of Love”

How much does it cost to find your happily ever after? Your now and forever? Your one true love?

Some say, love doesn’t cost a thing, but according to the 2017 Cost of Love study the cost of a budding relationship through to full bloom is $66,444, up seven per cent from last year.

The cost of togetherness has increased in part because of our love affair with dining out. According to the Consumer Price Index, the cost of eating out increased 2.3 per cent in 2016, causing all those fancy dinner dates to pack quite a punch.

After a year’s worth of dates ($11,537), a year-long engagement ($12,506), and a wedding that comes in at about $42,401 and couples might be looking for ways to say, “I do” to savings.


The MaCorr Team

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