Rite Aid adds email updates to loyalty program

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Pharmacy chain Rite Aid began sending monthly email updates to members of its Wellness Plus loyalty program on June 8 to help them keep track of their accrued rewards points and savings. The company is working with email service provider Experian CheetahMail to deliver the messages to loyalty club members.

Wellness Plus members will receive an email during the second week of each month detailing the number of rewards points they've accrued and the dollar amount they saved during the previous month, said John Learish, SVP of marketing at Rite Aid.

Program members can also view their progress in reaching the program's “silver” and “gold” levels. Silver and gold members receive 10% and 20% discounts, respectively, on all non-prescription regularly priced Rite Aid purchases.

“We also benchmark customers against other customers that are in the same tier of spending” in the monthly statement email, said Learish. “So [a chart will] tell them what people who are spending like them are saving. It not only tells people the points that they have, but it tells them the total savings that they've realized through our register receipt offers and through our ad discounts.”

Previously, loyalty members were only able to view their accrued rewards points on purchase receipts or via an online dashboard. Learish said Rite Aid favors email and store register receipts over direct mail as a communications channel because of direct mail's cost.

“What we wanted to do is have a 360-degree approach of…communication about the benefit of where they stand in their points accrual,” he said. “And [we want to] really encourage them to spend more at our stores.”

Rite Aid also sends weekly promotional emails and a monthly newsletter to program members, in addition to the monthly rewards statements.

The company launched its Wellness Plus program nationwide last April. Learish said the program is “approaching 40 million cards that we've issued at this point.”

“Our analysis of clients who integrate their loyalty statements into their email campaigns report 0.67% transaction rates, compared to non-loyalty promotions sent by the same companies, which average 0.07%,” said Sara Ezrin, senior director of strategic services at Experian CheetahMail. “It's important to optimize the content within those messages to be as valuable and personalized to the customer by leveraging their profile and their recent behaviors with a company.”

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