Loyalty programs have become a key marketing tool in today’s socioeconomic climate. The most effective loyalty programs of today combine social media, content marketing, and other aspects of consumer referrals and interaction. Here is how some of the most effective loyalty programs make their mark:
The promotion and marketing of the loyalty program is key to generating willing participants. A study in 2016 found that loyalty members generate 12-18% more revenue than non-loyalty customers. Meanwhile, recent research data also shows that consumers are actively seeking loyalty programs and that some may choose companies that offer loyalty rewards over companies that do not offer incentives. Thus, companies that make loyalty a priority can grow not only their customer base but also their revenue.
Referrals and promotions by your customer should be rewarded to encourage your customer to market your company and to also make them feel like they are getting something in return. Let us say, for instance, that you developed a cutting-edge accounting software that could be used by students and companies alike. If Joe the busy medical student purchases your software and finds it helpful, he may share it with his friends. However, if Joe can get discounts on next year’s subscription or a free update for referring a friend or posting about your company on social media, Joe is much more likely to make the effort. Meanwhile, Joe’s friends, some of whom are also busy medical students, may decide to try your software simply because Joe, who is a trusted friend and colleague, made a Facebook post about your product.
There exists a variety of ways to create rewards that are appealing to customers. Some of the most popular perks include gifts, free shipping or even gift certificates from popular brands. For instance, economic variability combined with ever-changing gas prices has made fuel rewards particularly desirable to the modern public.
Many consumers will not take too much time to search for a potential loyalty program. If your loyalty program is not easy to find, it will likely be neglected. The best loyalty programs allow consumers to immediately be aware of loyalty rewards and may even offer perks for signing up. It is important to make sure all sales associates are aware of loyalty benefits and that these benefits are offered to consumers on a consistent basis.
Effective loyalty programs are promoted through a variety of means. In addition to website visibility and emails, some loyalty programs are also promoted through social media. Incentives for joining the program may remain consistent or may vary depending on the season. For instance, some loyalty rewards programs offer additional incentives for signing up close to the holidays as this is a time when many individuals are looking to shop. A consumer that signs up during the holidays is more likely to spend more and will more likely promote your company to their friends if given the appropriate incentives.
The best rewards programs offer a multi-faceted point system that combines points for marketing and points for social media actions or promotions. Allowing customers to earn points by commenting on blogs, leaving reviews or even sharing posts on social media will help encourage them to market your company. Other popular aspects of rewards systems include contests that allow winners to earn large amounts of points or even prizes. Having a dynamic point system will keep your consumer engaged and also give them a variety of ways to promote your company.
Contests and tier point programs are a great way to encourage friendly competition and make it fun for customers to earn points. The point tiers or levels can be themed or simple depending on your company’s target demographic and market niche. For instance, if your company is focused on gaming, you can divide your tiers into “novice”, “trainee” and “master”. Many sites also use their social media outlets to encourage the formation of communities. Having a group of consumers that like your product interact with each other in a positive way will not only help encourage them to become marketers for your brand, but will also prompt them to invite their friends to participate in interesting discussions.
Modern consumers are increasingly concerned with the story and reputation of the brands that they purchase. By interlinking consumer marketing and brand development, loyalty marketing programs have allowed their story to be shared on a wider level. And while some consumers are skeptical of brand advertising, they are much more likely to trust consumer reviews and stories.
Finally, the most effective loyalty programs are diligent about tracking their progress. Not all loyalty marketing strategies will work for every brand. Analyzing what strategies work and when helps loyalty programs stay successful and effective.