Raffles a Great Approach to Retaining and Encouraging Customer Loyalty and Retention by Molly McBride

Raffles a Great Approach to Retaining and Encouraging Customer Loyalty and Retention by Molly McBride

 

Amongst for-profit retail businesses, the use of raffles is a great approach to retaining and encouraging customer loyalty and retention.   Raffles keep customers engaged and intrigued about prizes, incentives, and the use of the funds raised during a raffle event.  I work for the nation’s largest grocer and think that offering a means to get individuals involved and excited about contributing a small amount for big gains, can makeover the landscape of our marketing scheme and business. 

Internally, raffles are used in our company across satellite locations: with various leaders and upper management getting involved and standing behind the promotion of sales.  “Split the pot” is a favorite way to guarantee that each contributor may have a “piece of the pie” if they were to win in the final drawing.  In “split the pot”, each participant pays for any number of raffle tickets, which essentially are added to a large bucket and then that total sum is divided in half.  Fifty percent goes to the winner and the other fifty percent is retained for use in internal associate counsels and organizations, so they have the funds to use towards events and programs.  Also, due to the fact that our separate business buildings span across not only the Greater Cincinnati area but also across divisions nationwide, well-captured digital pictures and accompanying descriptions are sent out to the masses so even more people wind up donating to the “big pot”.  These raffles have also proven to be a success in our company.

Raffles which are delivered at the store level and are customer-facing are also a highly engaging tool for marketing and promotions in the business arena.  Customers would likely be thrilled to not just turn to your store for purchasing necessities but also to be in the running for winning items they may buy already such as groceries, beauty care items, gift cards, tools, laundry care products, over-the-counter medications, etc.  Additionally, because oftentimes customers are not on a first-name basis nor build a true rapport with associates within a retailer in which they may shop frequently, a raffle may be a nice opportunity to interact more closely with staff.  Businesses would be wise to feature select or new and upcoming product door prizes which customers would feel particularly special to win before other shoppers see them on the shelf. 

Additional ideas for raffle prizes may include donation on behalf of the customer to a charity they support or whom the business at large is in partnership.  Loyalty programs, which may include fuel rewards and a point system, could offer participants, and on a larger scale, the winner(s) to have a certain allotment of these rewards/points added to their customer account to use towards future purchases.  Grocery and pharmacy retailers may also offer prizes which align to community offerings like flu shots, other vaccines and immunizations, as well as biometric health screenings and pharmacy coaching, which keep customers in the store and using services, but is advantageous to the customer.  Furthermore, if registered dietitians are employed at the retailer, free weekly meal planning, nutrition education, and grocery shopping tours can be awarded.

Other fun features of raffles are their similarity to “gambling”.  The game of chance keeps people on the edge of their seat!  Furthermore, once a customer wins, they may even feel that raffle ticket number is their next lucky number and may want to purchase lottery tickets at the retailer’s check-out counter. Participants whom win may encourage others to participate and they themselves may even try their hand again at raffling in the near future.  Particularly, if the customer finds they have a good experience with the products which they won or are offered at the given retailer, they may tell their friends and thereby support further raffle sales.

In closing, raffle tickets and the incentives and prizes associated with them, can drive sales and engagement for business, for both internal and external customers.   Many times the business structure and environment of corporate America isn’t conducive to forming relationships, however customers want to feel important and walk away with an experience, not a transaction.  Raffles can be a part of the ultimate solution in motivating, exciting, engaging, retaining, and creating loyalty.

 

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Contributed by Molly McBride

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