Spring is the season of new beginnings. The air is fresh, flowers are blooming, and birds are chirping. New beginnings give us the chance to rectify mistakes, confirm strengths, and to identify new opportunities. With the hecticness of the first quarter nearing an end, now is the time to really dig in and make good on all the important changes that were announced in 2012.
Go back and review how your loyalty program did in 2012. What were the successes? The failures? What areas can you definitely improve in? This is the time to change the direction of your loyalty program for the year. You worked hard to implement your loyalty program in the past, now its time to make it more effective so that you can build the fiercely loyal customers that every business is looking for.
Here are 5 ways that you can freshen up and rejuvenate your customer loyalty program this spring.
1. Add a Social Initiative to your Loyalty Program
One great way for you to revamp your loyalty program is to introduce a social initiative to it. Customers want to buy from organizations and brands that go above and beyond the regular call of duty. Your customers want to feel good about the places that they shop, and that by purchasing from certain brands they are helping to make a difference. Cone Communications, a PR and marketing agency, stated in its 2010 Cause Evolution Study that “even as cause marketing continues to grow, consumers are eager for more. In fact, 83 percent of Americans want MORE of the products, services and retailers they use to support causes.” Give your customers the option to donate their reward points to a charity or fund of your choosing. Pick a charity that fits alongside your industry so that it makes sense in the customers eyes. For example, if you are a clothing retailer, perhaps your customers could donate to Salvation Army or another similar charity.
2. Clean up your Loyalty Explainer Page
A loyalty program explainer page is the page that includes all of the pertinent, need-to-know information regarding your loyalty program. Since this is the first place that your customers will interact with your loyalty program, a good first impression is a must.
Here is an example of a loyalty program explainer page from Sweet Tooth Merchant LYLIF:
If your explainer page is one big block of text, chances are those that visit the page spend little time there. Additionally, those that do take the time to read all the information will have a tough time remembering what they had read. According to unbounce, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text. This is why your explainer page needs to be as visual as possible. If you can create an infographic style of explainer page, viewers will stay on this page longer and retain more information as a result. A new look for your loyalty program explainer page could definitely help to re-engage those customers who hadn’t considered it in the past.
3. Change your Program to a Tiered System
By introducing tiers or levels to your loyalty program, you can definitely increase its usage. A tiered system signals to customers that the intended relationship with them is long term. You are not just offering them a short-term perk so that they make a one time purchase, you want them to be in for the long haul. When customers reach a higher tier of your program they will feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement. If customers are at the initial stage of your loyalty program, hook them in with interesting offers to get them to come back. Once they come back, show them the path they will take to reach the highest stage of your loyalty program. A huge mistake is making the tiers very difficult to achieve. If a customer believes that the highest level is simply unattainable, they won’t attempt to reach it and probably won’t use the loyalty program at all. On your ultra visual rewards explainer page explain exactly how each level can be reached and the benefits that each level provides. Introducing a tiered system can also help to make your marketing initiatives wholly more effective. You will have your customers segmented into different groups based on how loyal they are. This will allow you to send different offers to customers groups based on their most likely actions.
4. Use Historical Data to Award Differently for Certain Events
Now that you have compiled all the necessary loyalty program statistics from the previous year, its time to put them to use. On which holidays were the most points used? The least?
After researching, maybe you found that on Christmas day loyalty points were used by 75% of your customers. This is quite a large number of your customers shopping on this day, so you want to get the most out of it. If you reward your customers points on Christmas day as a gift to them, there is a much greater chance that they will use these points and increase the overall size of their purchase.
On the flipside, lets say that a dismal 5% of your customers used loyalty points in their purchases on Valentine’s Day. Do away with rewarding customers points on this holiday, as these points aren’t being used and essentially going to waste.
5. Redefine your Loyalty Program Goals
Your company has changed alot over the past year, you have added new employees, improved your market share in your industry, and decided on the direction for a new product. If your company has had such major changes, it would make sense that your loyalty program adjusts to fit these changes, right?
Take a look at what your overarching organizational goals are for 2013, and adapt your loyalty program so that it can help to achieve these goals. Maybe 2013 is a year where your company is looking to aggressively expand and add a variety of new customers to your existing customer base. This could call for your loyalty program to provide more enticing offerings to first-time buyers or new loyalty program members.
Have you been doing any spring cleaning for your loyalty program? What was that biggest change that you made? Comment below and let me know!