Do you belong to a customer loyalty program? If so, think about what prompted you to join- was it the lure of special discounts? VIP status? Do you find yourself using the program regularly or is more a once in a blue moon thing?

Loyalty programs can be hugely beneficial to any business. By rewarding your customers, you are encouraging them to return on a regular basis and spread the word about your business to their networks. If you decide to create a program, here are some factors you will need to consider before implementation-

  • Caring about your customers- rewarding with discounts only may not be enough. You need to create an emotional connection between your brand and the customer. Why not offer a special gift or discount on a customer’s birthday? Be sure to include asking for birth date at registration of your loyalty program, to show you care about each individual who visits your site
  • Ways to save money- customers appreciate saving when making purchases. A points program is a simple yet effective way for customers to cash in their points to claim discounts or free items from your store
  • Customers want to feel special- a VIP program can group customers according to their loyalty and reward them accordingly. If you set up your program in a tier system with increasing benefits, customers are likely to spend more to strive to reach the top tier with the best rewards on offer (only to select few)
  • Make the sign up offer irresistible- shoppers want to see instant benefits to your rewards program, and if they are required to make multiple purchases after sign up to redeem, they are likely to discard the membership (and possibly shop elsewhere). To tempt customers, offer enough rewards points at sign up to make their first redemption, showing them value to the program and satisfying the feel of instant gratification

Now you’ve thought about setting up the program, you may be wondering where do I promote it and how? Below are five places you could consider advertising your loyalty program-

  1. Email marketing campaigns- a quick, easy and repeatable way of engaging new and pre-existing customers. Include your loyalty program in the regular communications sent out, through points balance emails, redemption reminders and so forth
  2. On the homepage- with the highest exposure of your entire site, having your program clearly visible at the first click may keep shoppers from visiting other sites, especially if you can offer an instant reward for visiting the page
  3. On every page- why not consider promoting the program on every page of the site? You can include a link in your navigation bar,  a popup when a customer first visits the site, and even an link to the program at the bottom of the screen (prompting customers to click and explore)
  4. Social media- for even greater reach, use your social media accounts to introduce new customers to your loyalty program. You can advertise your program’s launch date and offer special discounts accessible only through the social media platforms
  5. Dedicated explainer page- most customers will have questions about your program before signing up, so why not set up a page which explains more about the program and a handy FAQ list?

If you already have a loyalty program for your online business but not sure if it is actually bringing in any value, or whether your customers are connected and engaged, it might be time to use the program to gather feedback. You can offer rewards to customers for their time in sending you their thoughts on their user experience, or giving your most engaged customers the opportunity to be brand advocates, giving genuine opinions about the products they use and care about. By keeping track of your customers’ relationship to your brand, you can calculate retention, which products sell faster than others, how many new customers are coming on board to the program via new referrals and more.

If you would like Rival to help you establish a customer loyalty program for your online business, don’t hesitate in getting in touch with us ASAP!