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How to Delight with Customer Loyalty Programs

October 14, 2014 | Lara Stewart

The best loyalty programs are powerful tools that can help retain customers and increase engagement. According to the Aberdeen Group, retailers can increase their revenue by as much as 25 percent with a loyalty program. Are you making the most of yours? The following are a few tips for creating the best loyalty program possible:

Reward Behavior Soon and Often

Shoppers will lose interest if they have to complete too many actions to get a reward. Offer a sign-up bonus of some sort to get them excited about your program right away. Initial rewards can take the form of discounts, coupons for free products or promotional items. After that, a good rule of thumb is the attainment of a reward about once every 10 to 12 transactions. This sets up a pattern of behavior and keeps customers coming back to your business.

Balance Between Keeping in Touch and Keeping in Touch Too Much

Your company’s customer loyalty program gives you opportunities to keep your business at the front of customers’ minds. But, it’s important not to get carried away with actions that trigger a contact from your business. If you have an email newsletter, a mobile app with alerts, text message updates and segmented topic-oriented email lists, customers can wind up being bombarded.

You can use your CRM to manage communications and ensure that no one is getting more messages than desired. It’s also good to occasionally send out messages reminding subscribers of the lists they are subscribed too. That way, those who truly want all of those messages can get them while those who prefer a lighter level of contact can easily opt out without leaving your program.

Keep Banner Advertising Light to Loyalty Customers

It can be tempting to use your customer loyalty program to constantly advertise new products and offers to customers on the website. But, these ads can be intrusive and can wind up turning customers off to your service. One small banner per page is enough to communicate deals without crowding out content that customers want.

Make It Simple and Straightforward

The best loyalty programs are those that reward customers with discounts or other perks without taking too much thought or effort. If the days of the week customers can earn points are limited or if they can only redeem rewards within, for instance, a 72 hour period, they are less likely to participate.

Make It Easy to Participate

Most people don’t want another card or keychain tag. Paper coupons on register receipts get lost. But, when you make it easy for customers to earn and redeem rewards you can encourage participation. Allow customers to scan QR codes with their phones or to use an app to redeem coupons and rewards. The less that a customer has to remember, the more likely he or she is to participate in your loyalty program and become a more loyal customer of your store.

About the Author

Lara Stewart began copywriting in 1998. She’s a passionate participant in the changing, increasingly customer-oriented style of marketing that has come to dominate in the digital age. She has created valuable, informative content for a number of Fortune 500 companies and has written extensively about CRM technology and applications.

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