FedEx loyalty strategy takes off thanks to brand awareness
FedEx Express Asia Pacific has been a leading provider of express services in the region for more than three decades. Engaging B2B customers through a global rewards program is rare in the industry, and adoption of its loyalty program has been slower than FedEx’s strong revenue growth in the region. With room for growth, FedEx reached out to the Epsilon Asia Pacific team to strategize and execute a redesign of its My FedEx Rewards program.
Through their combined efforts, FedEx Express and Epsilon won bronze for Best Loyalty Program – Launch / Relaunch at INTERACTIVE-MARKETING‘s Loyalty & Engagement Awards 2021. It was also ranked among the finalists for Best Regional Loyalty & Engagement Campaign and Best Engagement Strategy – B2B. Here is the secret sauce behind its success.
FedEx Express had four main goals to achieve:
1. Acquisition – enroll new eligible customers in the My FedEx Rewards program;
2. Recognition – generate a positive return on investment through the econometrics of the program;
3. Adoption – drive engagement with existing My FedEx Rewards members and earn / burn; and
4. Expansion – implement the My FedEx Rewards footprint in more markets in the AMEA region.
The target audience for this challenge were eligible SME customers who had not yet accepted an invitation to the My FedEx Rewards program. The loyalty program was reorganized in 2015 towards a centralized approach after recognizing the inconsistencies of a localized approach and efficiency across the region.
This is an invitation-only program, where some of the thresholds and criteria were relatively high for the targeted SME clients. Some processes were also manual which impacted the customer experience resulting in a lower engagement rate.
In August 2020, the redesign of the rewards program had two parts. First, power up the back end. The deployment of Epsilon PeopleCloud Loyalty gave detailed visibility into customer models. Epsilon PeopleCloud Loyalty has been integrated with FedEx’s proprietary internal systems and vendor platforms for marketing campaigns, marketing communications and execution.
The Epsilon PeopleCloud Loyalty solution serves as the engine of a comprehensive, data-driven toolkit for exploring and responding to customer information. This infrastructure has enabled FedEx to steer its membership acquisition strategy.
FedEx worked with historical data on the performance, enrollment, connections and redemption of members within the loyalty program to assess the program threshold and criteria. The Epsilon PeopleCloud Loyalty solution platform then enabled customization to fit the revamped mechanics of the program.
Second, the analysis and improvement of the customer journey from âsenderâ to âactive member of My FedEx Rewardsâ. A single sign-on experience for the order portal and the rewards portal has been implemented. Epsilon has also taken over the management of the rewards catalog from the previous vendor for efficient management of the rewards lifecycle, from earning to consumption.
As customers move towards a first digital experience across the world, there was an urgent need to modernize the My FedEx Rewards customer experience. The US-based global rewards program set a benchmark for Asia-Pacific, and the best practices tested were ready for adoption in the form of the Epsilon PeopleCloud Loyalty solution.
In further consideration of the nuances of the market in the region, the platform allows for customization to fit the revamped program mechanics, and localization of data attributes was necessary to allow future analysis of the data. The platform also enabled seamless integration of single sign-on so that FedEx customers could easily register as members and engage in the program without having to use another login ID.
The core principle of the My FedEx Rewards redesign is customer-centric. Over the past five years, FedEx has launched various initiatives to help small and medium-sized businesses go global with FedEx as a partner. The three principles supporting this principle were: Easier to Use, Faster to Adhere to, and More to Offer.
By understanding the earning and consuming behavior of more than 72,000 current members (as of June 2021), current shipping habits, and target customer segments, the team has redesigned program eligibility criteria, rates gain and consumption, as well as market tactics.
The program redesign also required massive investments from local and global teams, involving technical resources from internal teams at FedEx in the United States, Epsilon in the United States and Asia-Pacific, as well as program managers in Asia. -Peaceful.
With its scope spanning 11 APAC markets, the coordination between build and test was handled uniquely by the APAC team to ensure clarity of deliverables, an eye on deadlines and a single source of truth for all project dependencies.
Post-launch, the team continued to use data-driven insights to develop a two-phase, multi-market acquisition strategy – via a brand-led awareness campaign building on FedEx’s global campaigns to through APAC; and via a thematic rewards campaign in five markets.
The launch of the program was communicated through a series of targeted communication and demand generation activities before, during and after the launch. It was also the first time that rewards communications used a multi-channel approach, including using personalization through Adobe Targeting and Adobe Audience Management.
To execute a quick and effective launch plan, communications were required with both customers and internal audiences, including awareness of the new My FedEx Rewards mechanism among members; Interest in participating / engaging with My FedEx Rewards by shipping more to earn reward points, logging in and using the catalog.
Each target audience group had a specific approach before, during and after the launch, including catchphrase and launch emails, exchange campaigns, ‘double welcome points’ acquisition campaigns and a paid media campaign to increase awareness and sustained traffic after launch. Marketing / sales materials including a digital brochure and registration guides have also been developed for customer contact teams.
Learning from past activation campaigns for small and medium customers, the program team was able to identify key contacts within customer accounts to increase contact capacity and improve targeting personalization.
Adobe Targeting and Adobe Audience Manager also supported the team’s efforts in applying audience information to acquisition campaigns; and finally, the use of staggered emails to build awareness and engagement throughout the program launch ensured a fast paced communication approach and not overly saturated customer touchpoints during the launch period. .
The integration of FedEx CRM and marketing communications systems with the Epsilon PeopleCloud loyalty platform made it possible to locate eligible members based on different criteria of income and behavior.
With the power-on of the back-end, FedEx and Epsilon continued to redesign the program by streamlining the front-end customer experience. The single sign-on and point accumulation structure has been made more aggressive and the rewards catalog more directly managed, in line with the FedEx membership acquisition strategy.
FedEx used the integrated data systems to identify more customers eligible for My FedEx Rewards and to coordinate and track invitations. Within months, FedEx managed to turn a slowdown into a recovery. New members have joined My FedEx Rewards at an unprecedented rate for many years.
Following the successful program redesign, FedEx and Epsilon are now embarking on a new deployment of the power of the Epsilon PeopleCloud Loyalty solution to segment based on value, attrition and potential. Building on deeper levels of visibility into customer types and models, Epsilon’s VAP exercise will underpin the overhaul of the member acquisition and retention playbook for even more dramatic results in 2021 and beyond.