Year in Review Campaigns: What They Are and How to Use Them for Loyalty Building

Team Braze By Team Braze Nov 15, 2023

It’s that time of year again when organizations are reflecting on how business has been over the last 12 months. This type of analysis used to be common for in-house learnings and industry reports, but in recent years, it has become a way for brands to create content that helps to set them apart from competitors, build loyalty, and remind the world what they do best.

The “Year in Review” campaign is now a popular way to celebrate milestones, achievements, and events, in a way that engages the customer and places them at the center of the story and of a brand’s success.

While there are many formats a Year in Review can take, the most popular and notable ones are those that are personalized and create a connection between the brand and the audience.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what a Year in Review campaign is, why they’re important and how you can create one too.

What is a Year in Review Campaign?

A Year in Review campaign is a way of messaging audiences with an overview of the year, as it draws to a close. These campaigns typically use behavioral data points, achievements, and events that have taken place over the course of the year to celebrate the brand and the audience. They communicate long-term value to customers in fun and memorable ways; the formats can include infographics, email letters, videos, reports, or a combination of all those things.

The most successful ones use multimedia approaches and customer data to tailor the experience so that customers feel a part of the brand’s story and there is a shared sense of accomplishment. They also contain deep links to help drive people back to activities they’ve previously enjoyed.

When it comes to the best channels for activating Year in Review-style campaigns, there is a broad range of options available to marketers which include email, in-app messaging (IAM) and in-browser messaging (IBM) as well as mobile push.

Why are Year in Review Campaigns Important?

Year in Review campaigns, if done right, can be incredibly beneficial to both the brand and the customer.

They communicate long-term connections with customers. By using retrospective data, brands can show that they are listening and valuing their customers. In displaying that they remember a customer’s preferences and behaviors, they prove their loyalty and commitment to making their experience more tailored and relevant.

They drive engagement. Through highlighting the achievements of their customers and using deep links, brands can send their audience wherever they want them to be. This means rather than the default of sending people to a website, they can guide them towards activities or actions that they know have previously been taken and enjoyed. This can make a customer feel known and understood.

They spur social sharing. The more creative Year in Reviews give customers something to share and talk about. When customers do this, they become your advocates and are able to influence how their followers see your brand. When they do it en masse, they maximize the opportunities your content creates.

They increase revenue, customer satisfaction, and brand awareness. Those opportunities triggered by social sharing include an increase in revenue as new customers choose to buy and old customers re-engage. It includes an increase in customer satisfaction as the emotional connection between the brand and the buyer grows. The use of personalization brings a sense of feeling known, valued, and part of a wider community. Brand awareness increases too as the number of people talking about your product or service extends beyond your direct customers.

They spark excitement for the year ahead. If you’re able to highlight new products and upcoming features or highlight some positive elements, then you can start to whip up excitement for the year ahead. In the same way that New Year holds space for both reflection and anticipation, so too does a Year in Review campaign.

5 Tips for Creating a Winning Year in Review Campaign

1. Metrics and Measurement

    Consider the success metrics you want to track to determine return on investment (ROI). This could be click-through rates (CTR), social shares, or perhaps new sign-ups or visitors to a specific page. These will shape your campaign objectives and any testing or optimization strategy. You should also think about when you’ll measure—at the beginning, middle, and end of a campaign—to see patterns and opportunities for optimization.

    2. Make it Meaningful

      Remember that this type of campaign is not about giving yourself a pat on the back, but about celebrating your customers. Review your data points and pick a handful of meaningful milestones that will matter most to them. This will help to create an authentic and purposeful connection.

      3. Create a Story

        Cut through the noise with a clear story. Figure out the message you want to convey alongside your data points that will light your customers up and ideally spark a reaction. That reaction could be emotional or commercial, (probably both) and instill the desire to take action, whether that is social sharing, forwarding an email, re-engaging, re-subscribing, or something else.

        4. Visualize for Impact

          Everyone takes in information in different ways and for those who are more visually stimulated, adding graphics, videos or other visual elements can create a higher impact. Many of us skim-read online, too. Condensing a year’s worth of information and your narrative into a graphic that is easy to skim and share, is the smart way to prioritize and clarify your message. The Braze AI Image Generator can help you get started.

          5. Ride the Wave

            There will be a natural wave of engagement, so having a plan for amplifying it is wise. Think about how you can magnify social shares on your owned channels to maximize brand awareness opportunities and promote cross-channel too.

            4 Examples of Year in Review Campaigns in Action

            1. Peacock’s Year in Review campaign drove a 20% reduction in churn

              Peacock is NBC Universal’s premium streaming service, offering one of the most complete streaming products on the market. Customer engagement is at the heart of their marketing efforts.

              As 2022 came to an end, Peacock wanted to bolster their acquisition and retention efforts by celebrating and showcasing the depth of their content library.

              To do that, they built a campaign that showcased each consumer’s content consumption, reminded them of their favorite shows and movies and showed each recipient that they were valued and understood.

              Peacock reviewed their high-level business goals and dug into consumer analytics to ensure their campaign was relevant, fun, creative and easy to digest by their entire user base.

              Their program was built with Braze, with the entire campaign in one place. They also leveraged mParticle and Movable Ink to help manage data, personalization, and interactivity.

              The results were a 20% decrease in churn rate over 30 days, a 6% higher upgrade rate from free to paid subscriptions, and a 2-point lift in return rate to view content on Peacock.

              Review the full Peacock case study and learn more about the impact.

              2. AA Smartfuel broke its in-app sessions record and drove 115% growth in new app users

                AA Smartfuel is a rewards program that allows you to earn discounts for fuel when you shop at participating retailers. They were looking to engage customers on a more emotional level, to showcase the value of the loyalty program and to motivate them to advocate for the brand.

                They created a hyper-personalized Year in Review campaign utilizing Braze Alloys solutions partner Catch Design and Braze Audience Sync. Using in-app messages, push notifications, Braze Content Cards and email, they were able to put the customer first, deliver cross-channel strategies and break down channel silos.

                Amongst the many successes, the campaign led to 115% growth in new app users, 16% growth in monthly active users (MAU) during the campaign period, 70% efficiency in cost-per-click, and a 45% open rate across year-in-review emails. Read the full case study.

                3. Grubhub created buzz and engaged diners with personalized emails

                  Leading online and mobile food ordering and delivery marketplace, Grubhub, wanted to create an engaging and personalized email campaign to build brand awareness and drive usage. The email contained a yearly summary of ordering activity for diners, offering the opportunity for customers to reconnect with local restaurants that they’d ordered from over the previous year.

                  Using Braze Content Blocks and personalization with Liquid to automate the process of integrating personalized content, dynamic emails were designed. Liquid allowed Grubhub’s team to easily view and test different message iterations.

                  The Year in Review email has been one of Grubhub’s most successful campaigns, inspiring shares and creating buzz. The company saw 100% more social media chatter year-on-year and an 18% lift in word-of-mouth referrals. Devour the full case study.

                  4. How Cabify built their Year-End campaign

                    Cabify is a multimobility app connecting individuals and businesses with the means of transportation that best suits their needs. They were looking for a compelling way to drive users to update their version of the app to ensure they had the best possible experience.

                    Cabify maps the end-to-end journey of their audience and so with a wealth of data available to them, they partnered with Braze and used in-app messaging to mark their customers’ milestones and get users to update the app.

                    The Cabify Wrapped campaign was a big hit. Within two weeks of launch, over 87% of user journeys were completed on the latest app update. 70% of users engaged with the campaign and some watched their personalized campaign over 15 times. Read the full Cabify journey in their case study.

                    Final Thoughts

                    A Year in Review campaign is truly a celebration of your customers and while there may be specific goals you want to hit, it should be driven by the desire to connect with them on a more emotional level. These end of year campaigns bring with them the opportunity to create something fun and energetic, where you can delight your customers and thank them for the value they bring to your business.

                    For more inspirational campaign ideas to attract, monetize, and retain customers, download the Braze Inspiration Guide, a collection of 50 inspirational use cases inspired by real campaigns carried out by Braze customers.


                    What should be included in a Year in Review campaign?

                    What your campaign includes depends on the results you want and how you want to connect with your customers, but if you keep your customers at the heart of your ideas, then you’re likely on the right track. Milestones you can leverage include (but are not limited to) things like purchases, downloads, visits, and journeys.

                    What steps should I take to create a Year in Review campaign?

                    Planning, researching, creating assets and customizing are all essential steps to take when creating an end of year review.

                    What is the purpose of a Year in Review campaign?

                    Year in Review campaigns can be used to generate buzz, highlight milestones and build brand loyalty. There are many other gains to be had from a Year in Review campaign, including engagement, brand awareness, downloads or updates of an app and more.

                    Team Braze

                    Team Braze

                    Related Content

                    How to Speak the Love Language of Loyalty

                    Read More

                    Building an Authentic Connection: How Sustainability Strategies Influence Customer Loyalty

                    Read More


                    Maximize Your Customer Re-Engagement and Loyalty with Personalized Push Notifications

                    Read More

                    Reduce Churn

                    How to Fight Churn Effectively With Customer Loyalty

                    Read More