Is it safe to assume that you’ve have been to a Starbucks, and are familiar with the ubiquitous white cup with the round green logo on it? Somewhere on starbadvisor that cup is their web address. How many of you have been to The response is almost always “none.” The scarce few that have are checking the balance on their Starbucks Card. Most have never even noticed the web address on the cup (this is Starbucks’ first mistake). It would be a safe bet that less than .01% of their loyal customers have ever been to their website. 1000’s of worldwide stores and close to a million white cup holders every day. If I am right, it’s a pitiful reality.
How many white cups are brought back to starb advisor work, to be left just inches from a keyboard, and the website ignored?

You should be thinking to yourself, “Why would I ever want to go to Starbuck’s website?”

Obviously Starbucks themselves have not put much thought into this question, so I am going to do it for them. (Send royalty checks to…)

Starbucks needs to consider what incentive will drive their audience to their website. Not for a grande mochaccino with a shot of caramel, that’s for sure…or is it?
Typical customer (read: addict): couple of trips a week, at least $5 per visit. That’s $500+/year. Not cheap. Some will quadruple this figure.

Starbucks will drive their customer base to their website if their ‘call to action’ is alleviating the cost of the daily visit. We love free stuff, and if you are going to give us a break on our addiction… sign us up.

If Starbucks could make the customer feel like they were getting something that saved them money, but in fact were putting themselves in a position to actually spend more money, more often… now we’re talking smart marketing.

Here’s the solution:
Offer a conspicuous promotion on the cups. None of this fine print crap at the bottom of the cup. Send us to to sign up for coupons for our favorite beverages. Learn which products wemlike most, how often we visit, what our zip code is, and most important of all: our name and email address – all in exchange for a couple of coupons every month.

By knowing what products we like, Starbucks can now provide us with coupons for our favorite beverages.
Our frequency will signal how often to send coupons.
Our zip code will provide data on the success rate of the promotions and allow Starbucks to announce new locations.
Our name and email will help personalize the coupon and ensure that we can be contacted with our precious (soul selling) coupons.

There’s a catch.
We feel lucky to be saving money on our addiction, and waiting anxiously for our bi-monthly coupon, Starbucks gets to hammer us with:

1. More opportunities to drive us into their stores – have coupon, will travel.
2. An almost free way to communicate with segmented groups of loyal customers as often as they like.
3. Perpetual branding.
4. New product announcements
5. New location announcements
6. Gift ideas for every occasion (for the Grad, for Mother’s Day, Secretary’s Day, Client Appreciation and on and on).
7. And if we’re getting the coffee for free, you know we can’t resist buying the muffin as a reward. It’s a win-win. Actually, it’s a Starbucks win. You buy more, much more often.