Were you too busy running your business to read our articles this month? Throughout August, Loyal~n~Save posted informative marketing content to help retailers like you make the most of your customer loyalty rewards programs. The topics of our August articles included:
- 4 Email Marketing Ideas for Your Loyalty Program
- 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Building Your Rewards Program
- Strategies for Recovering Lost Sales
- 4 Creative Ways to Say Thanks for Customer Purchases
Here are helpful summaries of the articles you missed this month.
Customer loyalty rewards programs definitely encourage spending, increase revenue, and build brand awareness. A healthy percentage of your loyalty members will make it their business to familiarize themselves with your rewards program once they've joined so that they can reap the greatest rewards possible. But not all of your enrolled loyalty members will be so proactive.
In order to maximize the highest ROI imaginable, you can't assume that by virtue of the fact that your loyalty program exists, your members will act on every promotion you're currently offering.
This is where email marketing becomes a powerful tool to promote the specific loyalty program incentives you're currently running.
In our first August article, we laid out 4 email marketing ideas for you to implement. Here is a summary of each email marketing idea you can use to encourage rewards program engagement:
New Swag Shop Items
The term "swag" refers to branded merchandise. Swag shops have become popular additions to modern customer loyalty rewards programs. By offering branded merchandise that is only available to loyalty members, swag shops have been proven to encourage program engagement. Members use their rewards points to redeem these exclusive swag items, such as branded tote bags, branded hats, and branded tee-shirts, which also serve as mini advertisements for the retailer's brand.
If your current rewards program includes a swag shop, sending out an email marketing campaign about new swag shop items can help you stimulate program engagement. Just be sure that you segment your email recipients into specific groups and use as much personalization as possible in each segmented email marketing campaign.
Win This Game for Additional Rewards Points
Across the board, gamification is massively popular right now. We've written on this topic before, but for those of you who are unfamiliar, "gamification" is defined as transforming a non-game activity into a game. Gamification has made its way into customer loyalty rewards programs, which means that if your particular loyalty platform offers games, like Loyal~n~Save does, then you can market new games and new gamification rewards opportunities to your members as these games come out.
Featuring a loyalty game in your email marketing campaign will provide a number of benefits to both you and your loyalty members. The top benefit is that you can use the email to explain how to play and win the loyalty game, which might not be obvious to members who have navigated your loyalty app. Just be sure to include a "click to play" CTA in your email campaign.
Reminder to Redeem Your Rewards Points
A reward redemption email campaign is designed to motivate loyalty members to redeem their rewards points. Ideally, your loyalty members should constantly earn and burn rewards points so that points are constantly circulating through your store, but this isn't going to happen all by itself. Sending out a reward redemption email campaign can greatly boost your program's redemption rate and get those points back in your pocket.
Within each personalized email, be sure to include the member's current points balance as well as customized product recommendations with glossy images of items that they can buy to earn points. When loyalty members see they are close to having enough points to redeem items they care about, they will be far more likely to quickly spend money in order to earn more points.
Leave an Online Review of the Rewards Item You Received
Online customer reviews can greatly impact your business because they influence consumer buying decisions. Every retailer's goal should be to accumulate as many positive, five-star customer reviews as possible… and your customer loyalty rewards program can help.
Your loyalty members probably feel the happiest about engaging with your brand right after they've used their earned points to redeem an item they really wanted. This is the perfect moment to email them and ask if they would write an online customer review for the product they've just received.
Interested in learning more about how you can use email marketing to encourage immediate loyalty program engagement? Be sure to read the full article, which also includes a handful of bonus ideas to help you launch successful email marketing campaigns.
Right now, retailers of all industries have an opportunity to win customer loyalty, despite ongoing developments associated with COVID-19. That being said, there are five major mistakes to watch out for, which was the topic of our second August article.
So long as you avoid the following mistakes, your customer loyalty rewards program, as well as your business, should see engagement, growth, and ROI increases during the remainder of 2021.
The following is a summary of the five mistakes we covered. To learn the full details about how to fix these mistakes, be sure to read the original article on our blog.
Launching Haphazard, Disorganized Campaigns
No retailer would ever consciously launch a loyalty rewards campaign that's haphazard and disorganized. That being said, this mistake is known to happen mainly because retailers can't necessarily tell the difference between a well-organized, consistent rewards campaign and one that members find confusing.
If you've accidentally launched a haphazard, disorganized rewards program or campaign, you can fix it by redesigning your rewards system with clarity and consistency in mind.
Forgetting to Market Your Loyalty Program
Customer loyalty rewards programs have the power to actively and effectively market your brand to engage customers, boost revenue, and build your brand. Now more than ever before, loyalty rewards programs are considered digital marketing tools. Don't forget to market your loyalty program!
If you've accidentally neglected to market your rewards program and the specific promotional campaigns you're running, then it's time to create and launch two personalized campaigns right now. Those two campaigns are a personalized product recommendation email campaign and a rewards points balance SMS text campaign.
Offering Worthless Rewards Schemes
No one does it on purpose, but it happens. In a retailer's zeal to boost profits, they inadvertently design rewards schemes that simply aren't worth it as far as members are concerned. This could be due to the fact that the number of points needed to redeem a particular reward item cause the item to be astonishingly expensive, or due to the fact that members are not eligible to redeem any rewards items until they have a ton of points.
If your current rewards scheme is essentially worthless to members, meaning that your members aren't cashing in their points, it's safe to assume that the rewards structure itself is flawed. Do this to fix your program. First, implement the following rewards redemption calculation: for every dollar a member spends, they earn 1 point; but the redemption exchange should be that 20 points equal $1. Second, offer members bonus points for completing specific non-transaction actions, such as writing a customer review, following your social media accounts, and successfully referring their friends and family to your program.
Failing to Recognize & Reward the Loyalty of Current Members
Loyalty programs are designed to improve customer retention. That being said, these programs also have the power to attract brand-new customers. A common mistake retailers make is creating enrollment incentives that are way better than engagement incentives. If your enrollment rewards are better than the rewards that your long-term members receive, then sooner or later, members are going to call you out on it.
Have you accidentally snubbed your current loyalty members in your effort to wow and woo new enrollees? You can make it up to your loyalty members right now by creating and launching a special loyalty promotion for long-term members. You can also restructure your rewards tiers so that your top spenders receive the greatest rewards.
Overlooking Fraudulent Activity
In general, consumers love customer loyalty rewards programs for the countless benefits these programs offer—valuable points, discounts, exclusive deals, bonuses, freebies, fun swag, measurable savings, and the list goes on. But unfortunately, loyalty programs are vulnerable to hackers and fraudsters who are looking to either game the rewards system or outright syphon cash from it.
If you haven't been paying attention to the unused points in your rewards program, it's time to start monitoring them. Otherwise, they could become a prime target for fraudsters to steal for their own use. The fix is to take these two precautions—educate your loyalty members about fraud and implement a secure identity verification process.
At one point or another, every company has lost sales, if not customers. When customers are unhappy, they take their business elsewhere. It's that simple. It's also a manageable part of life unless a substantial portion of interested buyers become turned off before they complete the purchasing process.
Recovering lost sales and retaining customers before you lose them was the focus of our third article this August.
Remember, if you want to learn detailed steps you can take to recover lost sales and greatly reduce your customer churn rate, be sure to read the full article. In the meantime, the following is a summary to help you prevent lost sales and ensure that your loyalty members continue to feel satisfied using your rewards program.
Offer Discount Codes For Loyalty Enrollment
Start off on the right foot and make a positive first impression by offering new loyalty members a thoughtful reward just for signing up for your program. Offering your newly enrolled members a discount code for their next purchase is an effective strategy to increase excitement about your rewards program.
Simplify The Online Checkout Process
ECommerce store visitors have many reasons for abandoning their online shopping carts. One of the reasons is that the online checkout process is too complicated or time-consuming. To prevent shopping cart abandonment, make sure the checkout process is as fast and simple as possible.
Create Pop-Ups & Email Drip Campaigns For Abandoned Shopping Carts
Even if you simplify the online checkout process of your eCommerce store, shoppers could still abandon their shopping carts prior to completing the payment process. There are a few measures you can take to help recover sales before they're lost for good. First, add a responsive website pop-up that will open as soon as a web visitor tries to navigate away from the checkout page. Second, create an automated email drip campaign for abandoned shopping carts to encourage website visitors to return at a later time to complete the purchasing process.
Devise Personalized Retargeting Campaigns For Inactive Members
Your loyalty program data will show you the members who have become inactive. An inactive member isn't an unenrolled one, and that's the silver lining. By targeting your inactive members with a re-engagement campaign that offers personalized incentives for shopping with you, you have a shot at reviving a portion of them.
Optimize Your Loyalty App
The most effective loyalty programs are ones that provide members with personalized discounts and deals for their favorite items. But if these personalized offers are delivered to members poorly, then the chances of loyalty members acting on those discounts are sabotaged. This is where loyalty program mobile app optimization can turn your lost sales into real revenue. Contact your loyalty members via mobile app push notifications to present them with rewards incentives that they'll be more likely to act on immediately.
Thanking your loyalty members for engaging with your program, for shopping with you, and for being all around awesome is the fastest, easiest, and most affordable form of customer appreciation there is.
Our final August article focused on how you can show customer appreciation. We outlined 4 creative ways to say thank you to your rewards program members. Here are the summaries:
Provide Free Gifts or Samples
One creative way to say thanks for customer purchases is by providing the customer with a free gift or free sample. In addition to the fun, surprise factor of giving a free gift or sample, these kinds of freebies allow retailers to expose their customers to relevant products of interest that their customers haven't tried yet. When loyalty members receive a free item from you, they'll feel appreciated which can quickly turn into appreciation for your brand. Meaning, they might feel inclined to actually buy the sample product next time.
Offer Post-Purchase Discounts
How is it possible to offer your loyal customers a post-purchase discount as a thank you without attaching "strings," otherwise known as CTAs? That's a good question. Ordinarily, post-purchase discounts come with built-in CTAs. The very implication that the customer has to apply the discount to a future purchase causes a string to be attached to the offer, which isn't ideal. However, you can offer post-purchase discounts as thank you's that don't come across as phony "give to get" tricks by simply highlighting that there is no expiration on the discount.
Celebrate Customer Milestones
In the midst of a retailer's day-to-day hustle, it can be easy to accidentally overlook your most loyal customers' milestones. But noticing customer milestones shouldn't be an afterthought that only occurs when you're reviewing your loyalty program profit reports every quarter. It's important to recognize and acknowledge when a customer has reached a new milestone with your brand. Milestones can include earning enough loyalty points to start redeeming rewards, ascending to a higher loyalty tier, and even consistently playing a new loyalty program game that you launched regardless of whether they've been winning or losing.
Thank Customers on Social Media
It's fun. It's free. And it comes packed with added brand-building benefits. We're talking about thanking your customers for their loyalty on social media. As with the other creative ideas we've summarized, this strategy won't take up too much of your time. Simply figure out what specifically you want to thank your customers for. Are you going to thank them for completing a certain action on social media? Are you going to thank them because they successfully referred your loyalty program to a friend? Or are you going to surprise-and-delight them by thanking them just for being awesome? Whatever the specific reason, be sure to include as much personalization as possible in your thank you post on social media.
That wraps up our August Loyalty Updates! As we mentioned, the original articles are packed with valuable information about how to implement all of the strategies we summarized today, so we strongly encourage you to take the time to read them when you have a chance.
This article was written by Loyal-n-Save, an omni-channel customer loyalty solution for retailers looking to increase customer retention and new customer acquisition.