A customer loyalty programme is a tried and tested way to keep your customers and reward their commitment to your brand.
Once you have people signed up, your slick personalized marketing can start to work its magic. But first, you need to attract and win subscribers to your customer loyalty programme. You also need a simple, yet robust sign-up process to make sure new members aren’t deterred from taking part.
This needn’t be a challenge. There are plenty of techniques and tools that will help your loyalty programme get noticed and begin delivering value.
Starbucks arguably has the most successful customer loyalty programme on the planet. Its slick sign-up procedure means that as of October 2021 it boasted nearly 25 million members and represents 53% of customers’ in-store spending.
10 Ways to Encourage Customers to Join Your Loyalty Programme
- Start with brilliant branding
- Promote your customer loyalty programme online and offline
- Harness social media to extend your reach
- Present a seamless customer experience
- Motivate with up-front incentives
- Be playful and creative
- Use QR codes with care
- Make your rewards appealing
- Incentivize with a bonus point event
- Improve with customer feedback
1. Start with Brilliant Branding
Brand your customer loyalty programme with consistency, confidence and flair. Make sure the design elements are a natural extension of the rest of your brand.
If customers love the branding style and ethos of your business, the loyalty programme must match that brand personality.
Make sure the loyalty section on your website, landing page or loyalty app, reflects the essence of the brand.
Marketing leaflets, loyalty points cards, and emails must carry the same branding, and messaging tone and style too.
To be on-brand, choose colours, images, and icons that speak directly to the over-arching brand experience.
2. Promote Your Customer Loyalty Programme Online and Offline
How will your customers hear about the fantastic loyalty programme you offer? Promotion is extremely important if you want to enjoy more loyalty programme sign-ups.
Businesses with a physical presence, for example, a store, restaurant or beauty salon chain, can make use of point-of-sale materials. On-site employees can interact with customers and encourage sign-up.
But there are also creative ways to promote a contactless loyalty programme, via the corporate website and email. Contactless sign-up online can be quick and easy.
Offering a customer loyalty programme across several sales channels can pose problems. However, for those that succeed, the benefits go way beyond simply enabling the customer to use points or vouchers across every channel.
A channel-agnostic loyalty scheme helps retailers and brands pursue a data-driven marketing strategy. They can collect and use the information to make better marketing decisions and personalize experiences. Ultimately this will deliver greater revenue across all channels.
3. Present a Seamless Customer Experience
Technology is taking customer loyalty programmes to higher levels today. Apps allow points to be updated automatically for example, and rewards alerts can be sent straight to members’ smartphones or email inboxes.
But before users can see these benefits, the sign-up process needs to be easy and streamlined.
A complicated or long-winded sign-up process will drive away customers in a flash. Create a simple-to-use and engaging loyalty programme that will keep them returning to you.
The best way to do this is through regular prompts to sign up, and simplified formats such as autofill for setting up personal details and preferences.
4. Harness Social Media to Extend Your Reach
The Covid-19 pandemic forced a major shift towards digital, and many businesses are re-evaluating how to use social media to grow customer loyalty.
Today social channels are an important touchpoint that brands can use to engage with customers and create an omnichannel experience that drives loyalty.
Promoting a digital loyalty app via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok or YouTube has proved successful for many brands targeting Gen Z and Millennials.
Marketers are learning that inviting people to create and share on social channels is an effective way to build engagement and spread news of loyalty programme perks and opportunities.
5. Motivate with Up-Front Incentives
A great way to kick-start your rewards programme is by offering customers welcome points or an immediate discount at the point of signing up. A loyalty programme launch is very likely to succeed with an upfront incentive that’s simply too tempting for customers to say no to.
For example, it could be 250 loyalty points for joining a menswear loyalty programme, a half-price pizza deal in an Italian restaurant, or free shipping for an online lingerie order with a loyalty sign-up.
Rewarding customers for completing a simple task like signing up is an ideal way to provide them with an instant value that boosts the overall appeal of the programme.
Offering welcome loyalty points helps customers towards earning their first reward. When customers see themselves earning rewards after just one purchase, they’re far more likely to sign up for the programme.
6. Be Playful and Creative with Your Customer Loyalty Programme
Bland or generic customer loyalty programmes aren’t likely to generate excitement and interest. The most eye-catching examples tend to be those designed to be playful, clever, and memorable.
Customers are more likely to sign up if they are inspired by the originality and creativity of the points and rewards scheme. With the right tools, you can customize a programme so that every interactive element is on-brand and looks incredible.
There are ample opportunities for marketers to dream up loyalty programme ideas that reflect the products or services in question. Designs for points. Points names might be hearts, stars, or flowers, depending on the nature of the company.
Even the smallest details can make a huge difference in making your rewards programme an enticing and inviting community worth joining.
7. Use QR Codes with Care
While QR codes provide a valuable bridge between physical and digital environments, they do need to be used carefully.
They are widely deployed in stores, restaurants and on printed receipts to be scanned with a smartphone for easy access to a customer loyalty programme. QR codes are popular with marketers as they’re relatively easy and cost-effective to implement.
Consumers are increasingly comfortable scanning QR codes to enhance their experience of a brand. However, experts warn there can be issues with some customers not fully understanding how they work, or QR codes failing to deliver what is promised.
To remedy this, brands should first consider their target audience’s comfort with scanning QR codes. They should also clearly instruct consumers on how to scan the codes and communicate the value of scanning.
Designers, the marketing team, sales, and merchandisers must work collaboratively to ensure the QR code works in the desired way.
8. Make Your Customer Loyalty Rewards Appealing
This might sound obvious but understanding what your customers want and expect from your programme is a vital element of building the rewards experience and achieving high sign-up rates.
Research and data analysis will reveal what kind of rewards and incentives are most likely to attract loyalty programme members and keep them active on the scheme.
Some brands find that their customers are simply interested in discounts on future purchases, while others are hoping for experiential benefits, such as invitations to events or access to exclusive merchandise.
The important thing is understanding what your customers are looking for.
9. Incentivise with a Bonus-Point Event
In so many cases, loyalty programmes are loved by customers because they offer real value. Few of us want to miss out on a great deal, so running bonus-point events can be a smart marketing move.
One option might be to offer ‘happy hour’ shopping events where you award double the points to loyalty programme members. ‘FOMO’ – fear of missing out on a good deal – will encourage new members to join.
Bonus points give customers the necessary motivation to complete purchases they might have been considering and join your loyalty programme to reap the rewards.
And bonus points events also reward current members for their ongoing brand loyalty.
10. Improve Your Customer Loyalty Programme with Feedback
What if your loyalty programme sign-up process has flaws? It might take too long to register, or there could be technical glitches with saving loyalty points, which customers will find disappointing. It’s important to spot these issues early, and remedy problems before valued customers get frustrated and abandon sign-up or quit the programme.
Gathering feedback will help you nip problems in the bud. You can provide channels for feedback using social media, via a loyalty app, or with an email communication.
Opinions and reviews can be helpful in different ways. Some opinions can be potential reasons for customers leaving in the future, or they could be feedback from experienced users on how to improve the customer loyalty programme.
Brands such as Nike and Levi’s respond quickly via Twitter, for example, as soon as customer feedback is received.
Ready to Start Your Customer Loyalty Programme?
Successful customer loyalty programmes are a win-win for brands and consumers. They stimulate recurring revenue while delighting customers with perks and rewards.
According to data from Forrest Research, it costs five times as much to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones. If you get loyalty programme sign-up right, your bottom line, as well as your biggest fans, are sure to benefit.
Now that you have a better understanding of what goes into getting customers to sign up for a Loyalty Programme, what should you do next?
Check out our comprehensive "Loyalty Programme Guide" by clicking the link below. With this comprehensive guide, you'll learn everything you need to know to start, grow, and measure your customer loyalty scheme.
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