Points, discounts, rebates, club memberships and privilege previews are commonly offered by customer loyalty programs with the fond hope of a whopping leap in sales and buyer retention. However, if the mechanics of loyalty marketing are not understood and implemented, these programs may not have the required influence on furthering brand affinity and checking customer churn.
- Launch Mobile Friendly Loyalty Programs
Tech-savvy customers rely on the principle of least effort in any sphere of commercial activity and this applies to points redemption as well. If an app is not available, build one that specifically focuses on loyalty marketing. Whether it is cashback on resale or claiming a loyalty reward, people prefer to accomplish additional tasks like these easily. Make your loyalty program easily accessible from multiple sources such as PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
- Gamify Your Customer Loyalty Programs
To gamify is to enliven your loyalty program and increase brand association. A series of data-driven techniques founded on customer engagement can help you build those trendy game mechanics into your loyalty program. All relevant elements of game playing, including points scoring, sidelining competition and adhering to the rules of play are embedded in the program. The program uses the concept of gamification to build engaging experiences for the customer. They provide opportunities for the customer to interact, to unlock more and to engage more by incorporating fun, curiosity, mystery and challenges.
- Focus on Re-Engagement and Not on Giveaways
Giveaways may be cost-effective, simple to plan and easy to manage. They also promise the advantage of retentive value, but the discerning customer engages with your brand only when your loyalty programs offer experiences. These experiences can be built only when you make your customer re-engage. For example, when you offer a discount on their next purchase with an expiration date, the opportunity for reengagement is secured. Make the re-engagement offer experiential by providing a discount or by offering a new product or service from your brand.
- Tiered Loyalty Programs
Segmenting your loyal customers and classifying them to different tiers for loyalty rewards are a popular way of triggering a repurchase. This practice is commonly followed by airlines and hospitality industries. Customers are accorded privileged treatment based on the frequency and volume of their engagement,. Many benefits like differential prices, access to new products or diversified services are benefits that these VIP tiers are entitled to.
- Allowing for Automatic Redemption
Instead of waiting for customers to redeem points and take action, which may not always happen, it is worthwhile for businesses to take action themselves and allow for points to get redeemed automatically. Besides saving the efforts of your customers, these gestures will improve your credibility to your customers and leverage the performance and potential of customer loyalty programs. Busy customers are always delighted to receive reward points and freebies that entail the redemption.
- Not Every Loyalty Program Needs to be Free
To strengthen and polish redemption programs, it is not uncommon to open programs with the payment of a nominal fee. In view of the lucrative rewards, the preferential treatment and the long-term relationship with the brand, customers will not mind paying a fee to enrol in the program. Paid loyalty programs have greater resources at their disposal and can be marketed more effectively, thereby leading to enhanced customer redemption. The premium range of rewards offered by the program like exclusive club membership or sophisticated travel packages justify the cost.
- Underline Community Content and not Advertising Content
A loyalty program that focuses on retaining customers and not sales is the most successful. The program must not lose sight of its mission, namely that of rewarding the returning customer for their loyalty. Loyalty programs are not advertising strategies, but branding strategies that focus more on creating online communities that associate positively with the brand. It is not PR material or sales literature. The thrust must be placed on effective interactions with buyer’s re-purchase intentions and not with profit margins.
- Use User-Generated Content for your Loyalty Marketing
Making loyalty programs freely transferable and shareable on social media will ensure that a lot of user-generated content is spontaneously created online. Instead of self-promoting loyalty programs, it is always user generated content that builds trust in the minds of people searching for a brand that rewards its loyal customers. Using social media for loyalty marketing will improve the online presence of a business, leading to a leap in the buying power of loyalty drives.
- Be Mindful of Post-Redemption Churn
Unless you audit the performance of your loyalty programs, customers will not bother to associate with your brand after they redeem your rewards. To sum up, revisit the core of your loyalty programs, post them effectively on social media and personalize them to go in for the kill.
- Choose Meaningful Partners for Your Customer Loyalty Programs
The costs associated with manning customer loyalty programs are shared effectively by adding various partners to your loyalty program. Besides ending in a win-win situation for the company and the partner, a customer is motivated by the increased amount of rewards offered. It is also possible to offer diverse choices by teaming up with other businesses. Furthermore, geo targeting customers makes it easier for multinationals to partner with local service providers, localizing customer loyalty programs.
Happy customers increase the buying power of loyalty programs. A decent ROI on your loyalty marketing initiatives can be achieved only when the programs reach out to the right audience. What might attract a retailer might not attract an end-user, though both are your customers. Tailoring your loyalty retention strategies should be the mission of all retention marketing endeavours.