For a loyalty program to work, it has to be promoted. But building a buzz about it is no easy feat. Loyalty program promotion requires time to develop and implement a well thought plan of action. The investment is worth it according to a very large study produced by The Loyalty Report:
81% of customers are more likely to purchase from businesses with a loyalty program.
Active program members feel ten times more satisfied because of a loyalty program.
73% of customers are more likely to recommend businesses with good loyalty programs.
There are lots of other great reasons to have a loyalty program, but these are very convincing.
Create a Marketing Plan
The key to loyalty program promotion is getting organized and staying on top of all the activities. After settling on a design of the program—the Who Gets What? part of it—there has to be a marketing plan in place to support it, or else membership will lag enough to affect the return on investment.
There’s nothing unique or expensive that’s needed for a loyalty program to gain the right traction with its audience. Anything that can be automated should be done ahead of time. And, the plan should have some flexibility to try new things if others just aren’t working.
5 Ways to Promote a Loyalty Program
Below are five proven ways to effectively promote your loyalty program. Getting them all in place will ensure the success of your program.
1. Offers and Incentives
First impressions count, which is why 48% of first time buyers need to see the benefits right away. One of the best ways for customers to feel engaged is to entice them early and be very clear about the offers available. Over half of the members will abandon a program if they feel that the incentives are out of reach.
2. Points beyond Purchases
Becoming a member should be rewarded along with any personal information that is captured during the sign up process. Customers should also be rewarded for following on social media, giving reviews, and during their birthdays and holidays. This type of engagement has a cumulative effect because it continually give customers incentives for repeat interactions with the retailer.
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Email continues to be the most effective tool to reach loyalty members. This is closely followed by social media. Both are low cost and effective ways to get the news out about the program. These need to be frequent and targeted to the audience, but it’s also a balancing act. Use alternating forms of communication so customers don’t feel like they are being spammed.
Direct mail and print advertising are not as cost effective, but remain effective tools to target customers with special offers. A brief mention of the program can increase awareness and show a better value over the competition.
4. In-Store Displays and Online
Having displays in various places throughout a store will capture attention and get customers thinking about the program. There has to be at least one at the checkout. Retailers’ websites should also have a page describing the program and how to sign up.
When promoting a loyalty program, treat it just like a comprehensive marketing campaign and give it a theme. These can be seasonal or run an entire year, but remember that themes have a shelf life and repeat customers tend to get bored of seeing the same thing. It’s important to align the offers and rewards with theme to make it feel authentic.
Get Everyone Involved
Employees are the single most important promoters of a program. It’s important to train them on the nuances of the program and how to engage with customers to get them to sign up. Their enthusiasm for the program can grow the membership and drive more repeat business.
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