US: Books-A-Million reward program lavishes members with soft benefits

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By: RickFerguson |

Posted on May 4, 2016

We don't often clutter your busy in-boxes with simple loyalty programme promotional activity. A recent week-long promotion for US book retailer Books-A-Million reward programme members, however, exhibits a number of best practices on the soft benefit side of the equation that warrant us giving them some props. It takes effort to make your best customers feel special, but the dividends earned in relationship value make that effort well worth it.
The Books-A-Million Millionaire's Club Card (MCC) programme provides members with in-store and online benefits including free shipping on all eligible items at, complimentary Wi-Fi in all store locations, advance notice of in-store sales and savings of up to 40% on thousands of books and other items nationwide. Annual membership is $25; new members automatically earn a $5 reward card in the mail and $100 in bonus coupon savings via email.

The promotion, dubbed MCC Week, took place last week and saw the programme lavish members with seven days of in-store savings, online giveaways, and additional grand prizes. Daily promotions included deep discounts on hardcover books, CDs, and vinyl records; Buy-one-get-one promotions, online sweepstakes entries to win entire hardcover author libraries; and free coffee shop items.

In addition, MCC Week offered three online grand prize giveaways including the complete set of 50 Books to Read Before You're 5 (valued at $587.14), an autographed collection of 20 high-profile authors (valued at over $600) and an autographed copy of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (valued at $1,500). Money quote from Misty Fontenot, Senior Vice President of Operations for Books-A-Million:

Customer loyalty is vital for any business, and our Millionaire's Club programme rewards frequent shoppers with special benefits, added discounts, giveaways and more, said MCC Week is an opportunity for us to say thank you to our devoted members and to celebrate with exclusive offerings just for them.

The Bullet Point: Retail of any stripe is a tough way to make a living. Operating a specialty book retailer in the age of Amazon is even tougher - which make Books-A-Million's investment in its best customers via the MCC programme a smart play. The programme is multi-channel, which allows customers to interact with the brand both in-store and online; the annual fee ensures that only members with a strong attachment to the brand will join with a built-in incentive to earn value in the programme (and help offset programme costs); via the MCC Week promotion it lavishes members with special pricing and additional ways to earn rewards; and it adds excitement through the programme sweepstakes promotions. Those retailers currently operating, or thinking about launching, a multi-channel loyalty programme would do well to emulate a few of the best practices on display here.