Starbucks says “Thank you Seattle”

Apr 7, 2010, 5:19 PM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

When high end retailers and service providers want to offer discounts to their customers, they come up with rewards programs. Coupons are just too common.

During the peak of the recession last year, Gene Juarez – the Seattle-based hair salon and spa company – sent out special offers for the first time. Nordstrom has a long history of rewarding shoppers who spend a certain amount of money with Nordstrom Notes, $20 certificates to spend in their stores or online.

Starbucks 001Starbucks is the latest to offer customer rewards. Last month they tested a rewards program through FourSquare. You’d have to be very into social media to care about FourSquare, but I’ll spare you the explanation (you’re welcome) because Starbucks now has a low-tech rewards program.

A mailing from the company says “Thank you Seattle. You’ve been good to us from the start, so we’d like to show you some love.” I wonder if Oklahoma City residents got these mailings too?

With the card inside, Starbucks customers get $1 off four different espresso drinks for the next four weeks. After you’ve tried all four, Starbucks will give you a free tall drink of your choice.

Starbucks 006Starbucks is using a paper card for their program. I’ll lose that for sure. I prefer the little plastic grocery store tags I have dangling on my key chain. (Who invented those? Great idea.)

A retail research group says more of us are getting involved with shopper rewards programs. There’s been a 29 percent increase in customers enrolling for rewards since the recession started. It’s estimated 5 million people in the U.S. signed up for some kind of shopping incentive program last year. Now more than 1.8 billion of us are being rewarded for shopping.

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Starbucks says “Thank you Seattle”