Boost Customer Acquisition by Having the Best Referral Program in Place

by Bistriti Poddar |

Boost Customer Acquisition by Having the Best Referral Program in Place

referrals

More often than not, businesses focus their efforts on acquiring new customers instead of investing in a referral program to drive repeat business and a steady stream of referrals. Word of mouth is a determining factor for 20-50% of purchasing decisions. B2B companies with referrals have a 70% higher conversion rate, and record 69% faster … Read more

How to Connect with Customers During an Economic Downturn

Connect with Customers during an economic downturn

Since the double dip recession of 2008/2012, many companies are finding themselves in troubled waters yet again. No two economic downturns are alike and hence it is important to understand the changing consumption patterns of your customers and fine-tune your engagement strategies accordingly. Against this crisis backdrop, most  brands, retailers and manufacturers are rigorously searching … Read more

5 Leading Refer-a-Friend Programs Today

refer-a-friend

Which sales channels have you found to drive sales for your brand? While of course we love the use of social media for conversions, refer-a-friend is still such a reliable and useful channel to optimize among your marketing strategy. Referral marketing is the best way to expand your marketing team without having to go through … Read more

10 Key Customer Acquisition Tips for 2019

customer acquisition

It’s no secret that customer acquisition is very expensive. The cost of acquiring a customer has increased almost 50% over the past five years (HubSpot) and now sits at about five times the cost of keeping a customer. So when you invest your time and money into customer acquisition channels, you should do it right. … Read more

6 Easy Ways to Promote Your Referral Marketing Program

referral marketing program

According to The Word of Mouth Marketing Association, there are approximately 2.4 billion brand-related conversations each day in the United States, a breeding ground for referral marketing. Not to mention the fact that 83% of consumers say they trust recommendations from people they know (Nielsen). In layman’s terms, recommendations are the highest source of trust, … Read more

Have You Planned Your 2019 Customer Loyalty Strategy Yet?

customer loyalty 2019

They say the sales results you see in Q4 come from the work you do in Q1. With the new year right around the corner, retailers everywhere are finalizing their strategy. Perhaps you’re considering a customer loyalty program or you have one but want to see more growth. Have you and your team implemented a … Read more

Let’s Talk Referral Marketing with Al Lalani

Referral Marketing

  In this episode of Let’s Talk, our Chief Strategist Al Lalani speaks with us about best practices in referral marketing. Did you know that 7 out of 10 Americans seek opinions from their peers prior to making a purchase? Or that 49% of people say friends and family are their top source for brand … Read more

7 Steps to Referral Marketing Success

referral marketing

In this age of information overload, 82% of customers are making purchase decisions based on recommendations from their friends and family. While brands and retailers have many different ways of earning these recommendations, many are finding the benefits of referral marketing by tapping into their customers’ networks. By offering customers incentives for referring your brand … Read more

White Paper: How to Surprise & Delight Your Customers with Loyalty

surprise & delight customer loyalty

Every retail and ecommerce brand has asked themselves the same question at one point: How do we surprise and delight our customers? The answer isn’t a simple one, as consumers are becoming savvier about which marketing tactics are being used to pique their interest. In fact, economic trends show that overall consumer trust is declining among institutions … Read more

Ask an Expert: MacKenzie-Childs’ CMO Speaks Customer Loyalty

mackenzie-childs marketing

Welcome to our new segment, Ask an Expert! With this series, Annex Cloud interviews some prominent figures in ecommerce and retail to gain insight on industry trends. This week, we interviewed Larry Shaw, Chief Marketing Officer of MacKenzie-Childs. Since 1983, MacKenzie-Childs has designed home decor and artisan furnishings in their quaint farmhouse in Aurora, NY. Every teapot is hand-painted and each clay cookie jar is carefully molded. We worked with Larry on building their trulyMC customer loyalty program, and this is what he had to say:

What is the single greatest inspiration behind the trulyMC loyalty program?

Every year we have a live barn sale where over 25,000 of our most devoted customers visit our farm in Aurora. These people have so much passion for what we do so we wanted to take that experience and apply it on a grander scale. By implementing trulyMC, we were able to begin building and shaping that community.

Larry has over 25 years of retail experience and has implemented many creative initiatives since joining the MacKenzie-Childs team as CMO in 2016. Their branding is built on the quality and craftsmanship of the pieces they sell. They built a powerful marketing strategy behind their products with three retail stores, an ecommerce site, and a strong social media presence. However, adding a tiered customer loyalty program has been a total game changer for them.

What effect has loyalty had on your customer retention efforts?

After only eight months of implementing our omni-channel loyalty program with referral marketing, we’re already seeing a 9-10% increase in our customer retention rate. To see those numbers so quickly has been remarkable for us.

In addition to the increase in retention rate, they also saw major increases in average order value, new content subscribers, and purchase frequency. So much so that we decided to co-author the MacKenzie-Childs Loyalty Case Study with them, which dives into how we built the program and why we saw so much success.

mackenzie-childs trulymc loyalty programHow do you think Annex Cloud has helped you reach your goals?

Annex Cloud has been willing to customize their platform and processes to accommodate our specific program needs. It being a tiered customer loyalty program, we knew it would require some customized features. But instead of seeing it as a negative, Annex Cloud saw it as good challenge.

To dive more into how we helped MacKenzie-Childs build more loyalty with their customers, check out our case study! Annex Cloud’s unified platform with customer loyalty, user-generated content, and referral marketing functionality allows brands to customize their programs to their unique specifications. To learn how Annex Cloud can help you with your customer loyalty needs, contact us for a free consultation!

 

Top 5 Add-On Features for Your Customer Loyalty Program

customer-loyalty-program

You have a customer loyalty program, so you’re off to the right start! But now it’s been implemented and you’re seeing the value in its performance, you’re probably thinking, “Now what?” We get it, you want to see your customer loyalty program perform to the best of its ability. And now that your business is scaling, you want more tools to boost conversion, engagement, and retention.

As much as it’s very important to promote customer rewards, more and more companies are implementing other loyalty marketing features to help complement those efforts. Though not every tool will be right for your business, it’s important to review your options. That being said, here are the top five features to help you boost retention and really make your loyalty program gain value.

User Generated Content

We now live in an age of distraction where customer attention is at an all-time low. Consumers aren’t trusting traditional advertising as much and believe peer reviews are the most trusted source. That means user-generated content is a pivotal tool for conversion. So by opening up the discussion with Q&A, visual commerce, and product ratings, you’re organically building out your community and fostering a group of brand advocates. Not only does it help your awareness grow, but you’ll see an increase in ROI, an increase average order value, and a decrease in customer turnover.

Omni channel loyalty
According to Google, omni-channel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those using only one channel.

Omni-Channel Loyalty

It’s so very important to spread your brand’s message across as many channels as possible. Whether it be products on your website, in-store signage, or through email marketing efforts, building consistent branding with a strong omni-channel presence has proven to be a more effective strategy. Annex Cloud has a unique approach to omni-channel, some tactics include integrating your POS system for in-store purchases, creating a custom loyalty app, and even retrieving customer insight with the its data receipt aggregator. According to Nielsen, Americans spend an average of 11 hours per day engaging with various media, including television, internet, radio, and other advertising. With that much media consumption, brands must diversify and find balance among their marketing channels.

Visual Commerce

Though this ties back into your user-generated content strategy, visual commerce allows you to create brilliant product galleries featuring your own customers. Consumers often feel that staged and advertised photos aren’t as relevant to their lives. They like seeing similar people with similar interests using similar products. Visual Commerce channels with targeted tags bring all of these products together into one aesthetically pleasing gallery. You can also tie this in with your loyalty program by rewarding points for users who add images with those products. This influences your consumers to share more content, which creates more brand trust within your community. You can then use those catered product galleries for your website, email, and social media campaigns.

Referral Marketing

We said it before and we’ll say it again, consumers trust peer recognition over traditional sources of advertising. And for that reason, it’s very important to use your most loyal customers as brand ambassadors to their friends. By building a program that gives personalized incentives to your customers and their friends, you’re opening up an entirely new market for your products. Referral marketing helps you expand your customer base at a minimum cost to you. According to Huff Post, those referred customers will have on average a 25% higher lifetime value compared to non-referred customers. Make the most out of your network by implementing referrals into your loyalty program.

Data Integrations

How your brand embraces tech can be the difference between success and failure in retail. It’s so important to offer data integrations to give your potential customers the best user experience possible. If they have difficulty purchasing from you, they can find a similar product with a better UX somewhere else. Tools like social login are huge because not only are you helping the customer buy, but you’re now gaining significant insight into their social behavior. Other features like single sign-on and registration as a service help eliminate data gaps and keep your customer data safe. All of these add-ons create stickiness between you and the customer, which turns into brand loyalty over time.

Optimizing the performance of your customer loyalty program is crucial, and adding features that complement those efforts can be the major differentiator. Annex Cloud builds custom solutions for user-generated content, referral marketing, and omni-channel loyalty. Regardless of if you already have customer loyalty with us, we can help you lower cost of acquisition, cost of retention, and build a community around your brand. If you have any questions about UGC or referral marketing, contact us for a complimentary consultation!

14 Benefits of Referral Marketing to Inspire Your Strategy

Benefits of referral marketing

Referral marketing allows your customers to become your company’s advocates by recommending your brand to their friends and family. While referral marketing does require promotional efforts and the incentive of rewards to get customers to cooperate, there are many benefits of referral software, and you should certainly be using this strategy to expand your consumer … Read more

Getting Your Customers to Actually Refer Their Friends

Refer Their Friends

Every one of your existing customers has the potential to share your brand with their friends and family and refer an endless number of new customers to your business. But even though these new potential customers are just one social network away, getting people to actually refer their friends can be a real challenge. You … Read more

The First Step to Brand Advocacy: Referral Marketing

When brands approach us to increase their social reach and brand advocacy, the first social tool we suggest is a referral program. Refer a Friend is one of the easiest ways to get your shoppers to share your products with their friends, increasing your social reach, driving new traffic, and helping your current traffic convert. … Read more

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