If you’re a coffee addict like me, you’ve probably heard of the Starbucks Rewards program. What makes its loyalty program successful, and how does email play a role? 

Central to the program’s success is the Starbucks app, which also can send push notifications to your phone reminding you of upcoming happy-hour deals. The Starbucks app is the most widely used loyalty rewards app among restaurant rewards programs. Starbucks pairs its app and push notifications with email educating new Starbucks Rewards members on how the program works. 

Six hours after confirming your sign-up email, Starbucks sends its first welcome email introducing the rewards program. This email not only contains important details of the program like how to use rewards and the app but also includes some personalization by including the signup’s name in the header and preheader text:

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Other emails in the welcome series include happy hour-reminders (buy one, get one free), rewards features like ordering ahead and collecting stars for future discounts on purchases. In the first 30 days, 12 emails were sent including the account confirmation email.

On average, Starbucks sends ~4 emails a month (based on January 2020 data). When you think about it, that’s not a lot, especially compared to the holiday season where the brand sent close to 11 emails in November.

It’s also interesting that their typical send time for rewards emails is Monday at 1pm EST. I can’t think of a better time to send a coffee-related email than the beginning of the work week 😫.

Starbucks send time sending behavior screencap 300x162

How does all this apply to you? There are some great nuggets of wisdom to take away from Starbucks, even if you don’t sell coffee:

  • Create welcome drip emails. These are some of the highest-performing emails in terms of open rate. So, make them count with key details. We’ve curated a list of welcome emails if you’re looking for more inspiration outside of Starbucks.
  • Use personalization. It doesn’t take a bunch of personalization to make a difference in an email. Start by using small details like the subscriber’s first name. 
  • Test the best send time for your emails. Not every brand performs the best at 1pm on Monday. Start by testing the day of the week, and then test the time of day to find the optimal times for sending.

To see more Starbucks emails, sign up for a free MailCharts account where you can track up to three companies.