Rewarding regulars

Pike Nurseries Play in the Dirt Club builds brand loyalty for the company.

June 22, 2011
Kristen Hampshire

Pike Nurseries wants people to come “play in the dirt” at their retail stores throughout Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., and so the company offers special rewards for customers who become regulars. The program is called Play in the Dirt Club Rewards, and it’s an effective tool for thanking loyal clients and capturing information to use for direct marketing.

About 90,000 people are Play in the Dirt members, and Pike Nurseries built this highly populated program up in less than three years, mainly by training sales associates to suggest joining when customers check out. They provide basic information – name, email, address – and begin earning points for their purchases. “They can turn those points into purchases,” says Mike Kunce, CEO, Pike Nurseries. About 4 percent of purchases made during the year are translated into points that can be used as cash to purchase anything the retailer offers. Sometimes, the nursery mails out gift cards.

The “gift” for Pike is a contact list for marketing services such as landscape design/build and weekly promotions – the Pike’s Pick.

These rewards customers also receive a subscription to Pike Nursery’s magazine, Inspirations, which includes informative articles on plant introductions, gardening tips and store promotions.

Ultimately, a program like this builds brand loyalty and creates a fan club for the company – and having members’ contact information on hand helps Pike target its marketing efforts and reach out directly to preferred customers to advertise special events, such as wine tastings. “People like to shop locally,” says Kunce, adding that programs like this reward them for doing so.

This story is one of three that appeared in Lawn & Landscape’s Business Builder e-newsletter. To continue reading about Pike Nurseries:

Planting good ideas: Creative marketing at Pike Nurseries keeps customers engaged and encourages them to try the company’s landscape services.

Marketing the extras: How to sell your company’s less popular services.
 

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