Did you know that 75% of shoppers in the US belonged to at least one loyalty program in 2003? Seven years later, can you even count how many programs you belong to?
According to entrepreneur.com in a study done in March of 2010, Americans hold 1.8 million loyalty club memberships, or over 14 memberships per household. That’s nothing you should shake a stick at! However, only less than half of those programs are actively utilized.
Loyalty programs have become a common part of most small business marketing plans; but how successful have they been? Do most loyalty programs become a knock-off of the competitor down the street because owners just think they have to have a program? That sort of craziness will flush profitable clients down the drain.
So, the coaches at linkup came up with five key tips on evaluating your loyalty program and turning it back into a program that will nurture clients into loyal lovers of your brand!
Tip #1 – Stereotype me
Create profiles of consumers and then develop programs that cater to the habits of those that make you the most money. Don’t just do blanket programs and name them after metals in your jewelry box. Focus on spending habits and consumer profiles when creating the program and it’s incentives.
Tip #2 – Don’t get sensitive
If you’re offering future discounts and price-related bonuses, you may be inadvertently training your loyal clients to be price-sensitive. Not an attractive quality. Try to minimize price promotions and shy away from discounting services to existing clients. Try bringing in other products, services and companies to reward your clients and offer them things that are a complement to what you do.
Tip #3 – Go exclusive
Being part of a club means you get to be in on the secrets; preferably the juicy ones! Make sure you offer things that make being part of your club doubly worth it. These are outside of the standard rewards scheme you’ve put in place and are intended to exceed the expectations of your client. Things like a spontaneous promotion only for club members or an appreciation party where the all-access pass is their club card. These sorts of things will boost your program above the rest and make them appreciate their membership.
Tip #4 – Don’t give away the bank
You’re happy that they’re happy. But that doesn’t mean you have to bend backwards to keep them happy. The program you create should increase your business relationship, not decrease your revenue. When you give discounts or promotional packages, you should always ensure that you get something from the trade-off. Make sure you are aware of what you are giving up and what they are giving up and ensure it is a two-way benefit.
Tip #5 – Remember the purpose
A loyalty program should develop a deeper emotional connection between the customer and the company. Everything you do to develop your loyalty program should nurture this emotional connection and deepen the commitment to your brand. Personalize the program, it’s communications and create real personality in the program to help your loyal clients connect.
Take these five tips and have a look at your current program and see where you can improve your club. Focus on making them special and keeping your clients engaged so you don’t get lost on that keychain of loyalty cards!