#266: "Sleep Number" Leverages Loyalty to Drive Advocacy

Today’s episode features an award-winning loyalty program for people who value an exceptional night’s sleep!

*Sleep Number* is a 35-year-old retail brand that achieved revenues in excess of $1.85 Billion in 2021. The company operates over 650 stores in 50 states in North America, and seems to be going from strength to strength!

In this episode, we discuss their Inner Circle Rewards program and its role in driving customer advocacy.

Our guest is Lisa Erickson, Sr. Director of CRM and Loyalty, who shares her vision of leveraging loyalty to create an army of advocates, using gamification, social sharing, and digital and traditional channels to connect with her members and help them live their best lives, by helping them enjoy a great night’s sleep.

Show Notes:

1) Sleep Number

2) Inner Circle Rewards

3) Lisa Erickson

Audio Transcript

Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas. And if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas from loyalty specialists around the world.


Hello and welcome to episode 266 of Let’s Talk Loyalty. Featuring an award-winning loyalty program for people who value an exceptional night’s sleep. Sleep Number is a 35-year-old retail brand that achieve revenues in excess of 1.85 billion dollars in 2021, the company operates over 650 stores in 50 states and absolutely seems to be going from strength to strength.


Joining me today to discuss their Inner Circle Rewards program is Lisa Erickson, the Senior Director of CRM and Loyalty for the firm. She shares her vision of leveraging loyalty to create an army of advocates, using gamification, social sharing, and digital and traditional channels to connect with her members and help them live their best lives by helping them enjoy a great night’s sleep.


Paula: So Lisa, welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty.


Lisa: Hi, thanks for having me excited to be here. 


Paula: I’m super happy to talk to Lisa. I have seen your brand and your name coming up on all of these incredible awards, whether it’s Loyalty 360, or I think it’s Retail Insider, and I think some International Loyalty Awards, so, clearly some incredible work you’re doing there, Lisa. Yes. Now I’m dying to explore all about both the brand and of course, the proposition that you have for your loyalty program there in the United States. But before we get into all of the work you’re doing, as you know, I always love to explore what is your favorite loyalty program for our listeners before we start.


Lisa: All right. Well, I’m gonna go with Delta Airlines. I think they have done just a really nice job making you feel very special. Okay. Um, you know, and really, uh, just holding true to their promise. Uh, as a, as, as somebody who flies with them, I’m not a real frequent flyer. Okay. But I still love that. They greet me with my status. Okay. When I get the plane. Yeah. Um, and that their emails, uh, are engaging, you know, their content is engaging for me when they send it. Okay. And, uh, just really pleased with the way I’ve been treated as a member of their program. Paula: Oh my goodness. Okay. So it sounds like your actual flying behavior, even as a non-frequent flyer, it still has, uh, given you a reason to choose to fly with Delta.


Lisa: It has. Wow. And I was especially happy when I learned that even at silver status, I didn’t have to adhere to the 50 pound bag limit. I never knew that. And you know, when they told me I had 70, I’m like, That just, you know, takes a weight off. You don’t have to worry about it.


Paula: Well, you’re talking to somebody who ships a lot of stuff internationally all of the time, Lisa, and it is one of those benefits that I didn’t know I wanted until I have it. Exactly. Yeah. That total piece of mind that I can take what. Ever it is. I want to, so that’s wonderful. Yeah. And I was just looking at my schedule as well, Lisa, because it’s interesting this week for me, that I have you obviously with Sleep Number dying, to hear all about that as you know, a really impressive retail program and tomorrow we have another leading us retail program and our guest also talked about Delta as well as his favorite loyalty program. So my note to self is to get Delta on the program. So we need to talk loyalty with them as well. Yeah. So. Clearly they’re doing exceptional work. So listen, Lisa, there’s a lot of our audiences, you know, who are in the United States. Uh, but having said that we have plenty in the UK, in Australia, here in the UAE where I live. So not everyone will be familiar with Sleep Number as a brand. So tell us a bit about the company first of all. And I’m also super curious to hear where the company name came from. 


Lisa: Alright. So Sleep Number started at in 1987, easy for me to remember 1987, cuz that’s the year my first son was born. Okay. Um, and we started as an adjustable bed company, and the reason it’s called Sleep Number is because you can adjust your bed on each side. The firmness. Um, the base of the, the bed is, you know, air is, is, is the proposition in there. So air and a lot of other things, but it allows you to adjust your firmness so that you and your partner, you know, can sleep well together because not everybody gets the same taste in how they wanna sleep on their bed. So Sleep Number setting mine happens to be a 40 that’s my Sleep Number setting. Okay. Um, you know, but it goes from zero to a hundred. And you can adjust it and you can adjust it at any time you want. Okay. So the beauty of the bed is, let’s say you have a backache. Yeah. You’re gonna wanna make it firmer. Yeah. At that time to help you. Okay. Yeah. So you can adjust it at any time you want. So that’s where we started. Yeah. But the company has now advanced into the health and wellness space and we have something called sleep… our beds are now called the 360 Smart Beds, because we have Sleep IQ, which is the power, the, the brains behind the bed. And all you have to really do is sleep on our bed to know how you’re sleeping, because it tracks your biometrics it tracks your circadian rhythm, it tracksyour, is it tracks your heart rate variability and many other factors and gives you tips on how to adjust to sleep better. Um, and that’s Sleep IQ. Okay. So we have not only the sleep, your Sleep Number, but we also have your Sleep IQ score. So it measures your Sleep IQ score each night to let you know how you’re sleeping. And I’m at my cabin right now. So I have my normal Sleep Number bed at home. I have my Sleep IQ bed. My average Sleep IQ score is about a 79. So, what it does is it looks at your resting heart rate. How many times you toss and turn at night. Okay. Um, you know, and things like that to give you a score. 


Paula: So, so was that a quality indicator, Lisa that’s 79. 


Lisa: It’s a quality indicator of your sleep? Absolutely. Wow. Okay. Wow. And we’ll continue to advance that platform, you know? 


Paula: Oh, I can tell. Yeah, of course. I mean, once you have that market positioning and smart beds, I mean, I mean, I’ve never heard of a smart bed before, so I dunno how advanced the industry is, but sounds like you guys are leading the way. 


Lisa: We are the only smart bed in the industry. 


Paula: Oh my goodness. And are you only in the United States at the moment? 


Lisa: So we are only in the United States right now. We have 659 stores and we are actually growing, you know? Okay. You don’t hear about a lot of retailers opening new stores. Yeah. We are opening stores because we have a, a, a really great store experience. Okay. You know, people go on the web to check our product out, but you really have to go in, in the store and meet with a sleep professional and go through the process. Yeah. To find out which bed is gonna work best for you. Yeah. Uh, and that’s when our sleep professional really takes the time to learn about the needs of our, of our, uh, potential insiders. Yeah. And help them, you know, make the best decision for them. 


Paula: Yeah, for sure. And, and I can see, you know, if I had access to the stores, which clearly I don’t at the moment, it’s definitely something that I could easily justify spending money on, like it’s a product I would aspire to own. Exactly. Having been traveling a lot recently, for example, Lisa, I was telling you before we came on air, so I’ve been staying in a lovely hotel. I’ve been staying in friends and families, properties, and homes. Yeah. So actually, you know, you really start to notice when you are sleeping well, and it isn’t necessarily the most expensive hotel bed. It might be that that’s completely wrong for what I need. So thankfully, I’m lucky at home. I did see an interesting statistic as well about the, the number of the, um, the beds that you guys have researched, where people do have different settings to their beds. It’s quite incredible. 


Lisa: So one of the reasons I wanted to join Sleep Number was because I had a Sleep Number bed, and it made a difference in the way I slept and I loved it and I loved the product. Yeah. So the beauty of our product besides, you know, helping you sleep your best is. We have evangelists for the brand because there’s other people like me that love the product and do wanna tell people about it.


Paula: Wow. So that leads us perfectly then into understanding your loyalty program. Lisa. So tell us about your journey first of all, because I think you joined Sleep Number about a decade ago. Am I right? 


Lisa: Yep. Yeah. So I have been with sleep up for, for 12 years. Okay. Prior to that, I was with Best Buy for 10 years. And prior to that, I was with Target Corporation. Cool. So those are, you know, two very big retailers that are located in Minnesota. Okay. And I’ve done a lot of different things throughout my career, you know, besides, you know, a pretty much a Jack of all trades. Okay. But I always had a. Passion for loyalty. And I was really excited when this CRM position came open at Sleep Number. Um, because I had never really been in marketing before. Okay. But I think I’d been in retail long enough to know, you know, how to run a business and how to drive, how to drive a business. Yeah. So I’m really thrilled to be in this position. And this Inner Circle Rewards program is something, um, We built, you know, uh, we ha I had a vision on what it should be. Yeah. How to find a vendor that could help me implement it. Okay. Because Sleep Number is not a place where you need to spend and get loyalty program. Right. That’s what many loyalty programs are. Yeah. You spend more, you get more. Yeah. You’re not gonna buy a mattress, a bed. You know every year, right? Yeah. No, but you do have a product and with our Sleep IQ app, we have a product that the brand can be in your hand every day. Right. Because you can look at how you’re sleeping and use the app. Okay. Uh, to learn more about yourself, where we have something that we can, we wanna keep our insights engaged with the brand. Okay. Because the more engaged they are with the brand, the more they’re gonna advocate for the brand. Okay. So word of mouth is so important to our business. 


Paula: Totally. Totally. And I’ve often said, Lisa, I am personally absolutely passionate about the power of word of mouth and I’ve often said if your product doesn’t have word-of-mouth marketing, you’re probably doomed because exactly marketing’s just too expensive to keep paying for it. Like you actually need to get the basics right. Get something that people feel has changed their life in a way that they value. Exactly. So, Sounds like, you know, the investment in the core product was there. And then I suppose you’ve layered in this loyalty strategy, as you said, to drive the advocacy, yeah? 


Lisa: Yes. Exactly. So what, what the program really does is it’s all about giving benefit back to our insiders, right? So when they first join, uh, when they first get their Sleep Number bed, or when they first purchase their bed, yeah. We take ’em through an on boarding program, right? What to expect when you deliver? How to find your proper sleep, you know, you write Sleep Number? Yeah. How do you use your Sleep IQ app? And we’re educating them and then we’re rewarding them, right, for learning about that. OK. That does a couple things. It makes them happier with their purchase. And it also alleviates calls to our call center. Right? Because we’re, we’re helping them along with questions they may have had. Right. Yeah. And call. So it’s all about educating them and we continually educate them. So we have tons and tons of content talking about, you know, um, the best foods to eat before bed, or, um, just educating them on health and wellness because it’s not sleep is a portion of your health and wellness. Right? It’s the triangle. Yeah. You’ve got what you put in your body.  you’ve got exercise and sleep really should be the center of it. Yeah. So we have tons and tons of content. uh, to help them with their overall health and wellbeing. Okay. Not just sleep. We’ve got a lot of engagement components within the program where we do surveys and quizzes and fun things, so we reward them for coming back and providing, it could be fun information to us, or it could be information about a new product we wanna launch and get their feelings. I’ve even used the, the platform to, to say, Hey, we’re thinking about advertising in this way, which way would resonate with you best. Nice. So they they’re really a part of Sleep Number, cuz they’re providing a lot of information back to us and we’re rewarding them for doing that. Yeah. So we we’ve just really made this really, um, strong engagement play. Yeah. And it’s, it’s really made a difference. 


Paula: And, and it makes a awful lot of sense, Lisa, and I think you mentioned that you launched the program, it’s called Inner Circle, it that correct? 


Lisa: It’s called the Inner Circle Rewards program. We launched it in 2017. Okay. Fantastic. And yeah, and right now we’ve got, and you have to be a Sleep Number, bed owner to be part of. Of course. And we’ve got, um, about 1.2 million, uh, insiders in the program now. 


Paula: Wow. So I’d love to understand then the content and the education strategy is extremely exciting and compelling and as you can imagine to me is a content creator, it really reassures me that what we do is valuable. It is. And, of course, that’s clearly the intention of what you are doing, Lisa, can I ask you, uh, so, so the onboarding education content let’s call it, I suppose, is very logical and, as you said, there’s, there’s benefits to the business and to the, to the consumer immediately and to avoid that customer service piece. So I can immediately see a justification for investing in that content, but was the, I suppose, the next layer of content in terms of, that wellness positioning, the, you know, what to eat before bed, and all of that educational content. Was that in place at the beginning? Or is that something? 


Lisa: Yes, no, that was in place at the beginning. Amazing. Okay. What we found though is we needed more and more and more of it because totally people are coming back each week. We’ve really upped the ante on how much content we get, and we have, we have a, a team that produces a lot of the content, which is great. Yeah. And, um, you know, they listen to the things that resonate. Yeah. Um, you know, with our insiders and produce more. It’s it’s really been great. We also have a partnership with the NFL, so the National Football League. Wow. Where the health and wellness, uh, provider for the NFL. Yeah. And there’s a lot of NFL-related content that we get as well. We have a group of insiders that is really wanna, wanna be part of that content, so. 


Paula: Wow. And I did have a look, actually I was super impressed. Lisa, on YouTube alone, I saw videos about meditation for example, I didn’t recognize the personality, but I’m guessing it’s an influencer yes. Or a celebrity that I probably should know. Yeah. But, um, the, the viewer numbers were absolutely incredible. Yes. I think there was 22,000 just on the first video I saw. Yeah. So, so it’s absolutely resonating, um, in terms of all of the channels then to give us just a sense again, globally, I think we’re also different, but, um, you do video, you do blog content and I’m guessing you do like email communications. 


Lisa: Oh, and I, the email communications are my team. Okay. As well. So I have, um, all direct mail, all email, all really customer-facing communications besides wonderful to go through my team. So yes, we have all of those things. 


Paula: So tell us about direct mail then Lisa, because I think sometimes there’s a bit of cynicinst around that in this day and age. 


Lisa: So, you know what direct mail is a big differentiator for our brand. Um, we have an in-house creative team. Okay. And I have a group of analysts as, and creative and creative marketing managers. Yeah. One that runs direct mail. One that runs email. Yeah. And we have a very strong, direct mail cadence. So not only to people that are part of our brand. But also to people that were looking to convert to be Sleep Number bed owners. Okay. So our direct mail is highly personalized. Okay. So if you are an insider right. If you are a Sleep Number, bed owner. Yeah. The direct mail will not only call out your name. But it’ll tell you it’ll thank you for being part of our inner circle rewards program. It’ll tell you what tier you’re in. Okay. Thank you for being your tier, If you have rewards to spend, Okay, it’ll say, Hey, you’ve got this much money to spend, you know, here’s some great sheets or pillow you might wanna buy it. Then also talks about if they’ve referred people to the brand. Thank you for referring, you know, to people, to our brand. Wow. Um, keep doing. We have a very strong referral program, uh, that we call out in all of our mailers and we actually use direct mail to, um, ask people, not ask people to, to encourage them, to refer their friends and family. And it’s done on an emotional level. Right? Sure. You’re sleeping the best. Don’t you have other people in your life that could sleep the best? And by the way, if you do, yeah, we’re gonna get the best for doing it. 


Paula: Yeah. And that sounds like a very core pillar, Lisa, from what I’ve heard you talking about on other shows, so as you’ve said, there’s, you know, a rationale for, for, you know, building and managing this program in order to educate and onboard and all of those are the things we’ve talked about, but it sounds like the real business benefit is around the advocacy piece. 


Lisa: It’s all about building an army of advocates, right? That love the brand. So the brand is not only, we don’t only just have a product right. That they love. Yeah. But we’re giving them back something by, you know, providing this content. Yeah. Right. And helping them with their everyday lives that also, you know, uh, helps them love the brand. One of the best quotes I got from an insider was, um, when we first launched the program and it’s one that stuck to me and it’s where some, one of cuz we asked for feedback, right? We asked for feedback on the program. What do you love about it? What do you do? Not like about it? And the quote was. I love that Sleep Number is giving something back to me. They’re not asking me, you know, to buy more, to get something back, they’re giving me something. Um, you know, and I just, that sticks with me. 


Paula: Totally. Totally. Yes, I’ve, I’ve, uh, I’ve mentioned a few times on the show lease as well, because you know, I have a particular, um, let’s say resistance to, um, let’s say birthday offers, for example, when I’m sent a, a discount code to go and buy something. Cuz I just feel like actually, it’s the one time that, you know, it’s my birthday. You should be giving me a little gift, you know? Yeah. Whatever. It’s, it’s not something that has to be expensive, but um, I believe in gifting as a strategy and it’s reminded me actually, you did something on this recently. I can see you’re nodding away there, but um, but you’re absolutely right. If we want to move beyond, you know, the transactional style of loyalty program, we need to move into a way of how can we be generous to our members and take care of them. 


Lisa: Yeah. And you know, one of the, the ways we run the program is we have a lot of sweepstakes. Okay. You know, that we do, and our insiders love the sweepstakes and that’s very efficient for me. Of course. Cause it’s sleep for product. Yeah. Uh, or NFL tickets, you know, things that I, but they love the sweepstakes and the gamification of it. 


Paula: Yeah. Yeah. So, and sorry, just I, when you were talking about your direct mail, how frequently is that going to an individual member? 


Lisa: Um, the direct mail for our insight is probably about every six weeks I have something going up. Wow. I have different programs based on where they are in their life cycle with Sleep Number. Right. Okay. So if they’re, if their bed is, you know, uh, if they’ve had their bed for a long time, okay. I’m gonna wanna tell them about our newest innovations, right? Gotcha. Get them to upgrade. OK. If they’re a new Sleep Number member, I’m gonna showcase all of our great betting product and things like that. Yeah. So it really depends on where they are in our life cycle with us. 


Paula: Gotcha. Okay. So quite sophisticated then in terms of.. 


Lisa: it’s quite sophisticated, got a great team that have really continued to advance, uh, the direct mail programs.


Paula: And how big is the team actually. So I’m always curious to know. 


Lisa: Well, so I have a marketing manager, right? That runs direct mail. She’s got a couple people on the analytics team on my team that help, um, pull the lists and figure out what kind of testing we can do. Sure. And how efficient the programs are. And then we have an in-house creative team. So there’s a number of people on the in-house creative team. Okay. And then we also have a paper buyer, you know, somebody who buys the paper. 


Paula: Okay. The paper for the direct mail. 


Lisa: Yeah. Yeah. 


Paula: Wow. Oh my goodness. Wow. You really do everything in a house, huh? 


Lisa: We do. Yes, we do.


Paula: Wow, incredible. Well, I guess when you’re doing it at the level and the volumes you are doing, so 1.2 million members, did you tell me? 


Lisa: Um, well, no, I have 1.2 million members in the program, but you have to remember Sleep Number started in 1987. OK. So my day to days is millions and millions of millions of people.


Paula: Oh my goodness. Wow. I think I’d be a bit overwhelmed if I stepped into the role.  brilliant. The other piece, I know that you’re very proud of Lisa is your social sharing missions that you’ve talked about. Oh. So tell our listeners about those. 


Lisa: We’ve always, we’ve been looking for ways to get, um, our members to share things socially and make it easy for them to share. Yeah. So, um, a few years ago I was contacted by this company called Crowdly and I kept thinking, boy, there’s something here, I just don’t know what it is. So, um, We, we, uh, figured out that these social sharing missions that they, they do, they integrate right into our program. So our insiders don’t think it’s anything different. They think it’s a normal activity they would do. Okay. And we’ll, we’ll put a mission out there, like, Hey, you know, tell us what your favorite feature is about Sleep IQ. Okay. And they’ll tell us, they’ll share that with us. And then we’ll say, Hey, and now share it with your friends and family via your social networks. And they can easily push it out, doing that. Um, and they’ve been really, really successful. Really? And, and this is where we want them to share with these are people we don’t know that they’re sharing with, right? Yeah. So it gets, this is. The advocacy component. It’s another way to advocate for the brand.


Paula: And with that strategy, Lisa, do you incentivize them with points for example, or? 


Lisa: Yeah, they get, they get points for doing it. Okay. And then if somebody, uh, purchases, you know, that was in their part of their network. They’ll get reward dollars to spend in our stores. Yep. 


Paula: Okay. Okay. So what I think I’m hearing then is your rewards portfolio is all of the, I guess, ancillaries and accessories that Sleep Number offers is, is that the case?


Lisa: So our rewards portfolio is we give them reward dollars to spend in our stores. Okay. We have sweepstakes okay. that they can, that they can, uh, participate in. And we have a lot of sweepstakes and that’s what I was saying they really love that gamification. Yeah. We at, when they get to the top tier the Diamond Number, they can use their reward points. Yeah. To buy more certificates. What we found is they don’t wanna buy, they, they wanna buy what they wanna buy from Sleep Number. Sure. So that way, giving them the option to buy more reward certificates, to make purchases, uh, benefits them better. And it, I don’t have to then have a catalog of merchandise I’m allowing them to pick and choose from. Yeah, it’s been the most efficient way for us to, to run things. We also allow them at that level, you know, there’s certain, um, NFL merchandise, they can purchase. Nice. We have footballs and things like that. And NFL tickets. Yeah. So it really, uh, worked out well. 


Paula: Yes, I can tell. And, uh, efficiency is one of my favorite words, Lisa. Um, so yeah, I’ve often had to simplify rewards propositions myself because, I think there is a real respect that you give to your member when you do give them the power of choice. Exactly. Foremost. And the simplification, I think, is something that really they value as well, because then they’re super clear either what they’re saving for, what they’re spending on. And if you’re keeping it internal as well, I think there’s a lot of just, you know, simplicity. Yeah. Closes the loop. Yeah, it does. So with all of that complexity, I guess my, my big question is, you know, the level of, you know, convincing perhaps, or not that you would’ve had to do with the senior leadership team for, you know, going into a role like this with a CRM brief and a vision that you clearly had. Was it something that they were expecting or how did that part go? 


Lisa: Um, no, they were really excited about it. Everybody knew that we needed to advance. To have a digital component. So Sleep Number always had a referral program. Right. Okay. Uh, we had that long before the Inner Circle Rewards program. Okay. And we also always had where we gave our insiders, you know, exclusive discounts. Okay. What we didn’t have was a digital component for them to engage with the brand on a daily, weekly basis. So it really wasn’t a hard sell. And what happened is, you know, the program took off pretty well at first. Yeah. Um, and we could measure the difference between those that are in the program and those weren’t. Okay. So was able to pretty quickly build a business case saying if we get more people in the program, this is what we can expect. Wow. And my ultimate goal was through the Sleep IQ. So we have. It gets a little com complicated, but we have sleepnumber.com right on web website. Yeah. But then we also have the Sleep IQ app, which you use through your phone, which powers your bed. Right. Okay. So it’s the app you use to not only adjust, uh, your bed, but it’s also the one that tells you about your H R V and gives you your Sleep IQ score. OK. The vision was always to have Inner Circle Rewards program integrated with that. And once I built the business case for it, they could see the power in it and I’m very happy to say that as of what was it, September 29th, we have made great steps to truly integrate the program into the app where they can go into their Inner Circle account, right from Sleep IQ now. Okay. So people understand the benefits, of course, winning a lot of these awards and stuff also excites the company. Um, and we’re doing something really different. There’s not a lot of, there’s not a lot of companies doing what we’re doing. 


Paula: Yeah. Yeah. Well, particularly in the comprehensive nature, Lisa, as I said already, I mean, you know, I’m passionate about education. Passionate about inspiring people to live their best life, which I know is exactly the terminology that you use in your marketing, in your advertising. So I think what that does is it elevates the whole brand. Um, so rather than just being a transactional program, as you already said, it’s not like we’re gonna, you know, buy a new bed every year. But I guess what you do wanna do is keep an engagement, but I guess what’s impressing me, Lisa, and clearly why you’re winning all of the awards is. Like, It’s easy to buy a bed, enjoy it every night and not engage with the brand. I kind of forget about it, you know? Yes. If it comes up in conversation, I might recommend it or I might not. But the fact that you wanna build that almost, it sounds like a lifelong relationship with those people. 


Lisa: And I didn’t even mention that. And that is a part of it. It’s all about the lifelong relationship. Got it. That is absolutely how we talk about our relationship with our insiders. Nice. It is a lifelong relationship. 


Paula: Wonderful, wonderful. And I do love the NFL piece as well, because I think that gives you yeah. Super, um, Credibility actually, because I did see some wonderful content from clearly some of their star players, as you said, some of the rewards, some of the experiences. So I think you’re in a very lucky position where, you know, Sleep can be, you know, connected to a lot of, again, living your best life. 


Lisa: Yeah, let me, um, just tie the knots on the lifelong relationship piece, because this is something very unique to Sleep Number and we’ve made such great advancements. So you’ll go in a Sleep Number store, right? Yeah. You’re gonna make that relationship with that sleep professional. Sure. And that right there is the first step of the lifelong relationship because that person that sleep professional, doesn’t just sell you the bed. They’re gonna call and follow up with you on how you’re doing. Are you enjoying bed? Right? Is there anything I can help you with and really build that relationship and it’s not about, you know, building it for the next sale. It’s about building that relationship to start the, you know, the whole advocacy process. If they’re happy, the insider’s happy. Yeah. And they’re getting this level of service from our company. Yeah. Right. Yeah. It’s gonna be great. But the next step to it is the home delivery person. Okay. Right. So, well, I’ll start with the, let me go back one second. So when they’re making those phone calls, they’re making sure they’re in the Inner Circle Rewards program. Okay. Right. They’re telling them if they’re not, they’re gonna help them get signed up for it. Cool. Typically people sign up in stores, but not everybody does that. Yeah. So part of it is getting them to engage. And telling them the great things they can do with the program to engage and how they’re gonna learn and things like. Then we have the home delivery person. So typically they, you know, the bed is delivered a, a few weeks after purchase. Okay. We’ve now got our home delivery people talking about the program as well. Wow. So much like Delta, like I said, thanked me for being a member. Sure. Our delivery person will know. If they’re a member of the program. If they are, they’re gonna at the end of the whole delivery process. Hey, and thank you for being a Blue Member of our Inner Circle Rewards program. You know, there’s so, and what we wanna do is keep them engaged in the program, not just sign up. Yeah. We need them engaged. That’s where the that’s where the magic happens. Sure. They’re gonna talk to them then about how they can engage with the program. And they’re actually gonna give them a code saying, Hey, You know, I talked to you about this. If you go back in the co-program and put this code in that I did this with you. I’m gonna give you some more points. So a way to get them to go back in the program that is launching nationally in a couple weeks. Wow. So really excited about that. Amazing. And then all of our, all of our communications, then we know if they’re in the program or not. So are gonna lead them to engaging with the program. We’re signing up with the program, but we have a very high sign up rate. Yeah. For people that are buying, you know, new to buying beds. Sure. Um, but the key is keeping them engaged. 


Paula: And you told me some wonderful statistics. Lisa, can you share some of your engagement rates?


Lisa: Yeah. So we’ve got our 30 day in grading rate is about 50, a little over 50%, which is really great. And that could be from going in and doing an activity or opening emails, but engaging with the brand. Absolutely what we wanna do is get them to do more and more activities. And luckily enough, I have a fabulous analytic team that is diving down into which activities drive the most engagement. Oh. Um, so we’re gonna be doing a lot more with, with that type of information. So the people that aren’t as engaged, we can start pushing out those activities that are really driving value. 


Paula: Yeah. Yeah. And I’ll be super excited, hopefully at some stage in the future to hear about that. Um, the particular one in terms of the delivery people, because. Think that’s, that’s, that’s really clever because it’s, you know, just about the time that they might disengage, you know, they might be like, exactly, the bed’s here. I’m done. I’m happy. I’m moving on with my life. So just to kind of drive that at a critical point, I think in the relationship, I think is a very, very clever move.


Lisa: Yes. Yeah, Yeah. The vision’s all coming together. This was all part of the vision five years ago. Wow. But it’s all, you know, it’s all stuff you have to prove out over time. So… 


Paula: For Sure. Yes. Exactly. Well, sounds like you’re very passionate about what you do, Lisa. Um, sounds like you’re extremely busy. Um, I love the fact that there’s so much analytics going in that there’s I be a belief, I guess, in the, uh, the power of direct mail. Um, The belief in the digital aspect as well, because at the end of the day, none of us is literally, you know, a single kind of channel and I only want mail or I just want my app. Right. You know, so I think keeping that engagement coming from all points. And when you were talking about your story associates as well, following up with the new customers, I often think that, you know, and again, I’m just kind of, you know, looking at the retail industry, there’s probably a lot of downtime when associates don’t have customers in store. Exactly. So what a perfect opportunity to say to them, here’s the, the people that you can reconnect, they obviously, as you said, then build that relationship. But I guess as human beings, then those retail sales people actually feel much more connected to their customers than just the world. 


Lisa: Yeah. And if they have that relationship, you know, they can then say to, to the person, do you know anybody else that wants to sleep better? You know? And they can encourage that advocacy. 


Paula: Of course, of course, absolutely my goodness with everything that’s going on. Um, I’m just my only other question then is I guess what’s next, you know, like there must be a huge amount of, um, excitement, you know, on an ongoing basis in terms of driving the program forward, but is there anything you can share with us? Or is it all tough? 


Lisa: Well, what I can share is what we’ve been exploring, which is the harder level to get to is truly that emotional loyalty. Okay. So I think we’ve done a good job to a certain point, but there’s more there. Yeah. And really exploring and figuring out and finding partners to help us advance emotional loyalty. You hear a lot of talk about it, but I don’t know that, That, that anybody has really defined it as much as it needs to be. 


Paula: Yes. And you did tell me last time we spoke Lisa about, for example, you are partnering with, I suppose, wellness leaders like Thrive, which is certainly a brand that, that I follow. So are they the kind of partners that you, you mean when you’re looking to explore? or… 


Lisa: Um, no, the kind of partners that, I mean are partners in the loyalty industry with, um, you know, that can help us advance things. People with, you know, that the content piece with Thrive I think is great and that will continue advance it. But I think there’s, um, I don’t, I don’t know what there is. I’ve been trying to put my hand on it for a while. Okay. So I keep exploring it and hopefully this next Loyalty 360 conference that I’m going to in a month. Uh I’ll I’ll, I’ll learn from some of my peers and there’s, you know, that always helps to advance things.


Paula: For sure. Well, clearly we’re big fans of education and inspiration as well. Lisa. So, if there’s ever any ideas that I, I come up with, then I’ll be sure to send them over to you. For sure. For sure. Yeah. Yeah. I always think there’s a lot of strategies that make sense, you know, very clearly in one industry that can transfer of course, to another vertical very easily. So, um, I love the fact that you’re that open minded. So listen, I think that’s absolutely everything I wanted to go through today from my side. Great. Is there anything else that you wanted to talk through before we wrap. 


Lisa: No, It was the pleasure. This was a lot of fun. Thank you for reaching out. 


Paula: Not at all, Lisa, listen, we will stay in touch, and hopefully, have you back on the show, uh, year after year, please God, as you grow and expand the program continually. So with all of that said, thank you for joining us today. Lisa Erickson, Senior Director of CRM and Loyalty at Sleep Number. Thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty.


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