Loyalty programs and E-clubs can be a great way to grow both customer retention and repeat business. Take a moment and think about how many loyalty programs you’re currently a part of: gas stations, grocery stores, coffee shops, clothing stores – the list goes on and on, right? But what does it take to make a loyalty program successful? Is it simply finding the right offer? Well, of course your customers want discounts, exclusive offers and free stuff, but there’s more to it than that. Let’s dig in.
Beyond the flashy initial incentive, one way to build a strong loyalty club following is to get customers to keep coming back by creating a tiered incentive approach. This could involve spending a certain amount to unlock a new level of reward (similar to My Starbucks rewards). By unlocking new tiers, they not only receive the reward, but also bragging rights (“I’m a Starbucks Gold member!”). Repeat customers not only add to your bottom line but often end up becoming brand advocates spreading the word about your business.
Another way to keep customers engaged is to provide value beyond the loyalty club offers. There are many ways to do this, including giving them advance notice or exclusive access to upcoming sales or hosting member-only events. By making them feel like VIPs, you’re providing tangible value beyond coupons or offers and keeping them engaged with your business.
How often should you contact your loyalty club members? There is no simple answer to this question. But one easy way to think about it is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. You may feel that it’s a good idea to blast your email list 2X a week, but would you want two emails a week from your favorite apparel brand? Or would that feel excessive? By thinking like a customer and striving to provide value with each contact, you should be able to find a rhythm that works for your business and your customers, too.
Lastly, keep it simple. Your customers should have a very clear idea of the value proposition your loyalty program presents. They want to know if it’s worth it before they provide you with their information. This can be accomplished by having a dedicated portion of your website that clearly outlines the incentives, tiers and stipulations of your program using easy-to-understand copy and eye-catching graphics.
If the value is clear, you won’t have a problem getting customers to sign up and, most importantly, keep coming back.