As consumers become more fickle and have more brands to choose from, customer engagement and retention have become more challenging than ever. Guiding your customers’ behavior from start to finish – and minimizing the risk of losing them at each step of the journey – is complex yet crucial. After all, a mere 5% growth in retention can increase a brand’s profits by up to 95%.
Fortunately, marketers today have a wide array of tools and technologies to engage customers and guide their behavior. Customer loyalty has become increasingly sophisticated and has massive guiding potential – but only if done right. Less than half of customers who have joined loyalty programs are active members. What will your brand do to avoid this falloff? These tips will help you ensure your loyalty strategy is reaching its maximum potential, maintaining engagement, and guiding customers throughout their entire buying journey.
To create and optimize a successful loyalty program, you need a thorough understanding of your customer journey. Map out the various paths your prospects take from awareness to nurturing, conversion, retention, and advocacy. Recognize how your current marketing strategies lead them from one stage to the next, and consider how a loyalty platform can guide their behavior.
How do you define conversions, and which metrics matter to your brand? Do your defined conversions extend beyond purchases? “Buy our product, get points toward your next purchase” may be the most common and straightforward form of loyalty marketing, and of course there’s clear value in rewarding customers for purchases. However, a truly effective loyalty strategy acknowledges a series of micro-conversions and rewards members accordingly.
Begin by asking yourself these questions:
Once you’ve answered these, you’ll be able to design a loyalty plan that goes beyond incentivizing purchases and guides customers’ behavior all throughout their journey.
Read on below for tips on rethinking your points system and continuing engagement…
Your brand’s points system should be customized according to your goals, data, and audience demographics and behaviors. How are consumers discovering your brand, and how can your loyalty members amplify this? A few examples of actions for which you can reward customers are:
Each of these actions has massive potential to kill two birds with one stone: acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones. Think beyond purchases and use your program’s rewards system to move members along the customer journey while expanding your reach.
Fantastic rewards and opportunities to earn them are essential, but it’s easy for your program to get lost in the great sea of 3.8 million U.S. loyalty program memberships. Once customers have joined your program, you need to continue engaging them and encouraging them to return, take incentivized actions, and earn rewards.
Push notifications, emails, and targeted advertising are all effective ways to remind your members to return to your program time after time. Timing is everything, though. Think through your customer journey and identify when and how you should be re-engaging members, such as:
Long gone are the days of simple, punch card-style loyalty marketing. As your brand faces more competition than ever before, you must keep customers engaged at every touchpoint or face losing them forever. By understanding your consumers and using your loyalty program to guide customer behavior every step of the journey, though, your brand can stand out from the crowd and keep your customers coming back time and time again.
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