May 20, 2009, 12:00 AM

Alternative web marketing brews up new customers for Keurig

Keurig, a coffee brewer manufacturer and part of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, is using alternative marketing to reach out to serious coffee drinkers. The result: one million new members signing up for its online loyalty club program.

To build longer-lasting relationships with web shoppers, Keurig Inc., a coffee brewer manufacturer and a subsidiary of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc., is using alternative marketing to reach out to serious coffee drinkers.

Each morning an associate in the Keurig marketing department goes online to monitor the leading coffee drinking and coffee equipment blogs ranked on the Google and Yahoo search engines. When it comes across a blog posting about a Keurig or Green Mountain product, the Keurig manager will contact the blogger and offer them a membership in Coffee Club, Keurig’s online customer loyalty program, free gourmet coffee samples and or an in-home trial of a Keurig brewing system. Keurig, which sells direct to the public online and through retail chains such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., also placed more coupons good for discounts or free merchandise on multiple pages of its user’s manual and even on the warranty registration card.

By using alternative marketing to recruit new members and offer them better perks, Keurig has added nearly one million new members to its loyalty club program in the past year, bringing the total membership to 1.1 million. As a result of stronger customer loyalty, the number of repeat buyers on Keurig.com in the past 12 months has increased from 15% to 30%. “We took the opportunity to rethink our entire approach to customer loyalty and now the web is the fastest-growing part of our business,” says David Manly, Keurig vice president, away-from-home and consumer direct marketing. “We learned that our best customers will stay with us even in bad times if we offer them better value and newer and better ways to keep shopping with us online.”

Green Mountain is No. 120 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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