January 27, 2010, 12:00 AM

Segmented and social, e-mail helps FireKeepers fire up loyalty club members

Battling competition in a growing casino market, FireKeepers Casino has used e-mail segmented by recipients’ interest and distributed through social media to build a loyalty club membership triple the initially expected size.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Battling competition in a growing casino market, Battle Creek, MI-based FireKeepers Casino has used e-mail segmented by recipients’ interest and distributed through social media to build a loyalty club membership triple the initially expected size, says marketing manager Jeff LaFrance.

“Our goal was to get 70,000 registered club members before we opened, and we actually had 71,999,” he says. “We’ve since increased our database in excess of 275,000.” The casino, which includes several restaurants, opened last summer.

FireKeepers is using an e-mail marketing system from Delivra that personalizes promotional messages to segments of recipients based on their interests. It also supports viral marketing through social networks.

“The marketers can see who’s sharing promotional content with other members in their database, and what social networks they’re sharing information on so the marketers can tailor promotions to those networks,” says Carissa Newton, director of marketing at Delivra.

The Delivra system is designed so that marketers can display the content of an e-mail promotion on their own social network page and also enable recipients to click links within the e-mail to forward it to their social network friends.

In a campaign for one of its restaurants, which was underperforming at the time, FireKeepers e-mailed to its customer list a survey entitled “Give us your two cents, and we’ll give you $25” to gather information on personal interests. Recipients who submitted the survey were instantly e-mailed a coupon worth $25 at that restaurant, causing its business to double, LaFrance says.

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