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Home » I spent $900 on coffee in 2022. Confessions of an addict.

I spent $900 on coffee in 2022. Confessions of an addict.

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Hi, my name is Chris and I’m a coffee addict.

It’s my only drug, so cut me some slack, ok?

I think my training in coffee-drinking started back in Italy when, at my old job one of my (many) ways to make time go by, was to take regular pit stops to the break room for a quick espresso.

Or 6…

Every. Day.

Now I can literally drink a double-shot black americano at 9 pm and fall asleep by 10 pm like a baby.

And it so happens that my life got way easier when it to comes to coffee lately.

Thanks to one genius idea…

Sometime in 2021, Pret a Manger, a cafe’ chain here in the UK, launched their coffee subscription model and I was hooked.

For $30 per month, you get 5 barista-made drinks a day. They just need to be spaced out every 30 minutes.

Max it out, and in a month you could literally get 150 coffees.

Yesterday, Pret sent me a very clever email:

CleanShot 2023-01-17 at 08.42.29

First, mad props for collecting that data. Even though it can be a bit spooky at first, it’s cute.

The great thing is that they used the data to remind me of how much value I got last year out of the subscription.

It’s a brilliant way to cement it in my mind and make an effort to retain me as a customer.

Sure, there’s no way I would have spent $900 on coffee haven’t I had the subscription…

But still, it puts things in perspective.

Plus you have to consider the side benefits for someone like myself.

I have been working from my local Pret almost every morning.

It’s a fantastic way to change environment and be around people, rather than working by myself at home.

So yes, I like that they framed it in savings – including my monthly savings of ~$70. That’s double my gym membership!

The last part doesn’t feel that valuable. Telling me my favorite drink and how many different drinks I tried just makes me feel like they’re stalking me.

So, good, but not great.

How would I make it better?

A couple of things:

  • Improve subject line: “Your 2022 Coffee Subscription Savings” doesn’t really make me excited. I only opened the email because I saw the word “Subscription” and thought it was about a renewal or something. Instead, I would have connected it to the absurd numbers you’ll inevitably see for most customers, or at least I would have made the “savings” more vivid in my mind (“You got 4 coffees at the price of 1, every day for a year”).
  • Use a different frame: I would definitely test using the perspective of what I can purchase with the money I saved. What if they told me and gave me vivid examples or recommendations?
  • Gamify it: What if they gave me a badge for the achievement? It could also have been a 3 and a 6-month one. What if they had tiers where I gain points based on how long I stay on the subscription?
  • Personalize the messaging based on data: Ok, this would be cool… what if based on how many drinks people get, they would personalize their email copy? So for big gulpers like me, they could even customize the way they nickname me (“coffee subscriber saving superstar”, really?).
  • Send me cool tips and recipes: Based on my favorite drink, maybe they could send me recipes or tips and tricks? Or just educational content…
  • Ask me to refer a friend: I’ve been on this subscription for a year, and I already referred a ton of people on my own… why don’t they take advantage of my loyalty and incentivize me to do more? That would make my commitment even stronger.

Anything you’d add?

This is a great example of how you can solidify your ties with your customers and turn them into loyal evangelists.

Collecting data doesn’t have to mean stalking people.

It can be used for their own benefit and as a little nudge, when you’re offer is valuable to them.

P.S. I’m thinking of building some kind of free community where we can all chat and where I can get “live” feedback while helping you figure out all copy/UX related things. Is that something you’d be interested in? Where would you want to hang out (FB, Linkedin etc.)? Just hit reply.

Quote and reflection of the day:

“Acknowledge that your mind is amazing. Then be aware of how often we switch from active thinking to speeding along on autopilot.”

– Lior Suchard, Mind Reader

We all think we’re in control our our own thoughts until we stop, check-in and realize how easy it is to get into habitual patterns. It’s impossible to prevent that but it’s possible to improve our autopilot through persistent and consistent learning.

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