CompUSA Starts BTB Loyalty Program

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CompUSA Inc. announces a customer loyalty program today formed to reward small business and home office customers for their purchases by turning everything they buy into free rewards.


This marks CompUSA's first loyalty program. CompUSA Network for Business is targeted to the needs of the $70 billion small office/home office sector. It launches nationwide Sept. 25.


Alliance Data Systems Corp., Dallas, is providing loyalty marketing services for the program. CompUSA Inc., also of Dallas, operates 250 locations in more than 90 major metropolitan markets in the United States, including in Puerto Rico.


"Our research shows that more than half of small business owners say technology is business-critical, and 76 percent want service and support from the same retailer where they make their purchases," said Mark Anderson, director of loyalty marketing at CompUSA. "The CompUSA Network for Business program meets both of these needs with the richest earning rate of any technology retailer."


CompUSA is promoting the program many ways. At the end of the month, it will send a direct mail invitation to 300,000 inhouse CompUSA business customers -- with whom it has a name and address -- to join the program.


"Some will get a free invitation to join, others will get varying offers," Anderson said.


An e-mail blast also will go to the addresses of business customers in CompUSA's inhouse file in early October. The program will be featured in the Oct. 2 preprint Sunday circular received by nearly 30 million people nationwide. It also will be promoted in the October CompUSA Knows Business catalog, which targets 150,000 to 200,000 CompUSA business customers.


CompUSA is conducting a "Win the Ultimate Networking Event" sweepstakes, where business owners who enroll in the program can win a $50,000 networking event or events for their clients/customers, tickets on American Airlines and more. Business owners can sign up for this on CompUSA's Web site or at a CompUSA store.


CompUSA Network for Business requests basic information such as name, address, phone and e-mail at signup to establish a dialogue with each member. Prospective members can sign up at any CompUSA store, at www.compusa.com or by calling 877/977-7710.


"As membership continues, we'll gather more information such as purchases and survey data to assist members with their needs and interests," said Nicole Fleiner, associate director at Alliance Data Systems Loyalty and Marketing. "All information will be held in complete confidence and used only in ways [in which] members are comfortable."


Membership starts with enrollment and a one-time $29.99 fee, though $19.99 is the introductory price. Members immediately get benefits designed for small businesses, including a free annual computer tune-up ($49.99 value) and free online shipping.


A scaled-down consumer version of the loyalty program will be tested starting Sept. 25 in five Midwestern and Western CompUSA markets. CompUSA is looking at the two programs in tiers.


"The consumer program is tier one, the business program [is] tier two," Anderson said. "The business program is sold at a higher one-time fee, and members have a higher earning ratio -- they earn the points quicker, as well as the free annual computer cleaning."


CompUSA will test the consumer program for six months before deciding whether to launch it nationwide, he said, though consumers can join the business program if they want.


Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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