5 Tips for Launching your Customer Loyalty Program

by Grace Miller |

There are an estimated 4.38 billion internet users worldwide, that’s more than half the global population. A recent study by Forrester Data Consumer Technographics found that of those internet users, 72 percent belong to at least one customer loyalty program. With that many loyalty members out there, it is essential to have a strong loyalty program to promote your brand. Let’s take a look at some ways  for launching your loyalty program so that your business stands out.

Get Personal

There are several ways to develop a more personal relationship with your loyalty base such as Segmentation, Experiential rewards, and Personalized Content. Segmentation is an especially important tool for loyalty program personalization. It is key to realize that purchase alone does not necessarily equal loyalty. This branch of loyalty uses data and analytics to track your customers’ behavior.

Loyalty can come in many forms, such as reading your brand newsletter, opening e-mails, sharing news about your products with others, and clicking on special links. These are all loyalty behaviors even though they might not be monetarily accountable.

Experiential Rewards

Experiential Rewards are great way to ditch the standard transactional reward approach and create a rewards experience that is more relevant and gratifying to your customer base. Offer chances to earn experiences such as celebrity meet and greets, vacations, and concert tickets as an alternative to points.

Make it a fun competition, customers get entered in a drawing for “x” amount they spend or purchases made. It is important that the recipients of these experiences have their experiences well documented and promoted across social media platforms and bran sites to entice future customers to keep shopping so that they too can have an experience of similar measure.

Dale Carnegie famously wrote, “a person’s name is the sweetest sound.” Use your customers names in e-mails and allow for personalized dashboards on apps. Offer special discounts or bonuses on your customers’ birthdays with a personalized birthday greeting. Send your customers a curated selection of items they might be in interested in buying based on their previous purchases.

According to a 2017 study conducted by Segment, forty-nine percent of customers purchased items that they did not intend to purchase, simply because of a personal recommendation from the brand.

Team up

Create a loyalty program that extends beyond your store or products and works in tandem with other brands. Supermarket giant Kroger has a created a loyalty program that not only earns shoppers exclusive discounts in store on thousands of items but also saves money on gas. Shoppers earn a fuel point for each $1 they spend. After collecting 100 fuel points shoppers get 10 cents off each gallon, up to 35 gallons. Shoppers simply use their store card or associated phone number at any Kroger or Shell gas station to access this incredible loyalty bonus.

This helps drives sales at Shell gas and brings in customers that might have not used Shell otherwise. These programs are mutually beneficial, see what kinds of brands, products, or experiences might work well with yours to reward and benefit your customers.

Reach out

Has it been a while since a loyal customers last purchased from you? Simply reach out and let them know that you are still there and ready to reward. Send a personalized email with an exclusive offer to entice them to purchase products again.

Express clothing is an example of a company that sends personalized e-mails with lines like “ We miss you” and “It’s been too long”. The emails include links to products based on previous purchases as well as an exclusive discount. Reaching out is a great way to stand out to customers that belong to multiple loyalty programs. Doing so also touches upon the previously discussed tool of personalization. It helps your customers feel unique and included.

Try a Tiered Approach

customer loyalty program
MacKenzie-Childs’ well-designed tiered loyalty program.

Take your simple points based program and incentivize your customers by adding a tiered aspect. Uber recently launched it’s Uber Rewards program which is a tiered system. The more rides you take the more points and discounts you earn which changes your status. The higher your status the more perks. There are a few simple tools that can be utilized to ensure an effective tiered program. Use a status bar to show customers their progress in achieving status, this visualization entices them to keep spending to get to the next level.

Show your customers how many members are in each tiered group, this helps demonstrate the exclusivity of the upper levels and motivate customers to become a part of the elite tiers. Most importantly reward those in the upper tiers the most, offer the best deals, experiences, and early access to products. Tiered programs are also a great way to reward customers’ social behavior such as referring friends, posting to social media, or frequent logins.

Uber has a strong referral program that offers free rides for each friend that signs up using your unique account. Referrals are a strong tool for spreading loyalty and require minimal effort from the brand.

Stand out

Customers often belong to more than one loyalty program, according to the previously mentioned Forrester Study, the average number of loyalty programs people belong to is nine. That is why it is extremely important to stay visible to your customers by using omnichannel marketing strategies. It is crucial to reach your customers on multiple platforms including social media, e-mails, and push notification for apps. Just reaching customers on these platforms may not be enough, it is important to engage as well.

Try asking questions on social media or take a poll. Get your customers interacting and tagging your brand. Starbucks sends e-mails as well as push notifications to remind rewards members of upcoming opportunities and offers. Influencers on social media are another great way to build a loyal base, people want to know and trust their favorite celebrity’s recommendations.

Are you ready to launch your customer loyalty program? Do you have questions about best practices? Let the Annex Cloud Team help by implementing well researched and practiced strategies. Take your loyalty program to new heights. Connect today!

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