Turning One-Times into Repeats

Yesterday I did something I haven't done for at least three years:  I flew American Airlines.  The only reason they got my business yesterday was because of offering a flight at a specific time when I needed it.

It was fine.  Nothing particularly great; nothing particularly bad.  Just OK.  Which is about how I remember it from three years ago and probably why it will be about that long before I feel the need to fly them again.   I used to fly them more regularly, even having their lowest level of elite status, Gold, for two years.

Businesses and associations need to better track and intervene with what fundraisers call LYBUNTS, donors who gave Last Year But Not This Year.  In addition, they need to have an intentional strategy and system in place to take a one-time action and convert it into another commitment or purchase, deepening the connecting between the individual and the organization.

A stellar or unique product wins loyalty.  More human and personal member and customer interactions win loyalty.  But if those two options aren't on your side (and really that's where your attention should be focused), a little marketing incentive certainly can't hurt.  Imagine if this morning I would have received this type of email from American:
Hey stranger. Welcome back.  We wondered what had happened to you, and we're excited to see you back on an American flight again.  Three years is a long time.  Too long.  Let's not let that happen again, OK?  To make sure it doesn't, here's a $25 travel coupon good for any flight over $250 that you purchase within the next 7 days.  Things will seem a lot better if we know you're flying our skies again.
Sure, you can play wait and see, hoping a one-time program registration, flight, or product purchase turns into a steady stream of comparable actions.  But why would you when you have the opportunity to influence the future in a direction you find more desirable?