Today we caught up with Systems Administrator Paul Marrero of Uncle Julio’s, the person behind the award-winning campaign that Uncle Julio’s was recognized for today with a 2017 Loyaltees Award. Paul offered some additional insight on how he’s leveraging Paytronix and the Uncle Julio’s loyalty platform to make an impact.
Paytronix: Congratulations Paul, on Uncle Julio’s recognition as a 2017 Loyaltees Award winner. Thanks for taking the time to tell us a bit more about your loyalty platform today. As the System Administrator for Uncle Julio’s, you are the person responsible for designing the loyalty program, or the Uncle Julio’s Loyalty Czar as we’ve heard you called.
Paul: Thanks, the Uncle Julio’s team is honored by the recognition.
Paytronix: In talking with you about the Uncle Julio’s loyalty program, you mentioned having done away with your old email club in the process. How has the Paytronix platform replaced your previous email solution and how are you leveraging the integration of email and loyalty today?
Paul: We don’t maintain an extraneous email program anymore; we migrated our old email club into the loyalty program and manage all of our email marketing right within the Paytronix platform. That migration was one of our loyalty strategies, to bring the email club in once we’d launched, and the new program had proven to be working and solid. And now we don’t need other solutions, we do all of our guest communications through Paytronix. Every loyalty member we have, if they have opted in will receive email communication.
Compared to our old email club, we’ve gained so much with Paytronix. Most important is the data analytics. With the old e-club we could track how many emails we sent out, and how many of those offers came back in. But that solution didn’t have nearly as good statistics as far as open rates, how much was on their tab, and details that feed our data analysis. It’s a lot easier to analyze that data with Paytronix because it’s all linked to a digital transaction. There’s a lot more flexibility as well.
Paytronix: What do you mean by flexibility?
Paul: With the old e-club, it was just “everybody got it, or nobody got it.” Now we have all the filters in the Paytronix Campaign Center to work with, so it’s a blast – we can target a lot more narrow now, to work with any group or subgroup we like.
Flexibility is important because depending upon the message, we don’t always target the entire loyalty membership, but we can customize messages or work with a specific geographic region. For a recent communication, we chose not to hit Dallas, because we were already running an advertising campaign that we didn’t want to interfere with.
Paytronix: So as you’re presenting messages, what do the guests think of the Uncle Julio’s loyalty program?
Paul: With Paytronix our guests are just more engaged. There’s something exciting they can learn or earn, where with the e-club and our old approach to messages, it was just every once in a while you got a communication. With the new Paytronix loyalty program the guests come in to see us already talking and engaged. It’s more fun for the guests; they come in saying, “Oh, I’m so close to earning the next award level, I just need to order this!”
We talk to a lot of guests about our loyalty program. Most are ecstatic. For example, we get great feedback on our appetizer buffet. When you hit gold status, guests earn an app buffet, which guests redeem by bringing friends in with them to Uncle Julio’s for their own happy hour. It’s really great marketing because they can invite up to 15 friends, some of them may never have come to Uncle Julio’s, so we’ve exposed new people to the brand in a very positive way.
Paytronix: What about feedback from employees?
Paul: From a server standpoint, we’ve heard both sides. We have some pretty loyal employees who were on-board from the start. But as with anything, the loyalty program started out feeling like more work for the staff.
That’s one reason we focused on server contests. It brought our team on board and generated excitement.