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For Mike Belcher, Vice President of Media and Consumer Engagement at T-Mobile, the concept of T-Mobile Tuesdays−which launched June 7−turns the idea of a loyalty program upside down.
“Most corporations say ‘thank you’ with rewards and loyalty schemes that are not much more than thinly veiled marketing attempts to manipulate customers into forking over more of their hard-earned cash,” Belcher told Loyalty360. “As the Un-carrier, we knew we wanted to say thanks to our customers – they are the reason we do what we do – and we knew we had to turn the existing broken model on its head. We wanted to genuinely say ‘thank you’ to customers – and that means asking nothing in return. This isn’t about customers showing loyalty to us. It’s about us showing our loyalty to them. So we turned the idea of the loyalty program upside down and created T-Mobile Tuesdays as part of the much bigger #GetThanked set of initiatives, dedicated exclusively to thanking T-Mobile customers. T-Mobile Tuesdays is our way of thanking customers every week with cool stuff from brands people love, for free, every Tuesday! Our customers don’t have to spend more or jump through hoops, we simply reward them with free stuff – like free movies, free food, and free rides - every single week.”
This month, T-Mobile announced a number of new top tier brands are joining T-Mobile Tuesdays, including SUBWAY, Lyft, VUDU, PetSmart, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Wendy’s.
Immediately after launching, the T-Mobile Tuesdays app shot to No.1 on Apple’s App Store – ahead of perennial favorites like Snapchat, Google Maps and even Instagram – and surged to No. 3 on Google Play. And, the app has consistently hit the Top 10 in the lifestyle category of both app stores since it launched, beating out even Tinder.
In addition to the fantastic weekly Tuesday gifts, over 2,000 lucky winners have hit the jackpot with some epic prizes each week including:
Two airline tickets to anywhere in the USA with Orbitz!
MLB season tickets to the team of their choice!
A $10,000 Gilt shopping spree with a personal stylist!
A new car and free Shell gas for a year!
“The goal of T-Mobile Tuesdays is to continually thank customers for their business and ensure they are appreciated and treated right,” Belcher explained. “Since that first T-Mobile Tuesday on June 7, the program has been a massive hit. Over 15 million gifts have already been given to more than 4 million Un-carrier customers. We couldn’t be more thrilled. We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response and the demand created by T-Mobile Tuesdays. T-Mobile Tuesday partners have seen unprecedented new demand for their gifts, goods, and services. Their apps generally skyrocket in the app stores. For example, T-Mobile customers drove HotelTonight to the No.1 trending spot on Google Play and helped BookShout jump to No.1 in its category in Apple’s App Store. And customers pushed Conde Nast’s Bon Appetit magazine subscriptions up a whopping 14% when they were part of T-Mobile Tuesdays. On average, partners see an increase of at least 100,000 new customer registrations every week they participate.”
Why are T-Mobile Tuesdays resonating so well with customers?
“Because customers feel appreciated and without any hidden agenda,” Belcher said. “We’re out there every week just saying THANK YOU with access to real gifts, from great brands that customers love, and without a bunch of strings attached--not just apps and other random digital fare. T-Mobile Tuesdays is a real commitment to our customers. We’ve got the entire organization from the frontline sales teams to customer care to marketing to operations all focused on making this a key part of the T-Mobile difference. We also made it incredibly easy for customers to get their free stuff. Just download the T-Mobile Tuesday app and punch in your phone number, and you’re good to go. The app will even remind you when you have free stuff waiting.”
From a purely business case perspective, T-Mobile officials want customers’ brand loyalty to continue to grow stronger because they feel appreciated and understand that they are the center of everything the company does.
“It’s a highly competitive market and we want to keep giving them reasons to stick with us and recommend us to friends and family,” Belcher said. “I think we’re demonstrating that you can thank your customers in a way that has real impact. Most corporations say ‘thank you’ with rewards and loyalty programs and make customers sign up to get rewards, spend more, stay longer, endure a barrage of marketing mail, and jump through flaming hoops to prove their ‘loyalty’—all to collect points that may eventually be worth something. Seven in 10 (72%) people say loyalty programs exist to squeeze more money out of them. That’s why 90% of comments about loyalty programs in social media are negative and why customers don’t bother to use well over half (58%) of the programs they’re on. With T-Mobile Tuesdays, you don’t have to spend more, stay longer, collect points, or qualify for special, elite tiers to be thanked for being a customer. #GetThanked is about T-Mobile showing its loyalty to you—not the other way around.”
What does the future hold for T-Mobile Tuesdays?
“It’s far exceeded our expectations at this early juncture and we only have plans to keep growing,” Belcher said. “We have a saying at T-Mobile: ‘We won’t stop.’ And that’s what we intend to do with T-Mobile Tuesdays. More partners, more gifts, more customers getting thanked every week.”
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