It's common for a retailer to select a loyalty platform to use, structure their program's rewards, designate a few points incentives, and then call it a day. The assumption these retailers make is that their enrolled loyalty members will automatically engage with the program.
If only it were that easy!
Customer loyalty rewards programs definitely encourage spending, increase revenue, and build brand awareness; and a healthy percentage of loyalty members will make it their business to familiarize themselves with the rewards program they've joined so that they can reap the greatest rewards possible. But if you, as a retailer, want to strive for the highest ROI imaginable, you can't assume that by virtue of the fact your loyalty program exists, your members will act on every promotion you're currently offering.
Retailers often forget the email marketing potential of their customer loyalty rewards programs.
When you send out email campaigns from your loyalty program platform, you can alert your loyalty members to upcoming promotions and special deals that might interest them, and that's not all. Loyalty program email marketing campaigns can increase engagement within the program as well as build brand awareness online and in-person.
Knowing which kinds of email marketing campaigns to send to your loyalty members can be tricky, however. You don't want to irritate them with too many emails or else your future efforts will just end up in their Trash folder, and you don't want to send them emails containing promotions that they'll consider personally irrelevant.
Personalization is the key when it comes to getting email recipients to not only open your emails but also click on the emails' CTAs. With that in mind, here are 4 email marketing ideas for your loyalty program.
NEW SWAG SHOP ITEMS EMAIL
The term "swag" refers to branded merchandise. Hats and tote bags that are branded with a company's name and logo are examples of swag. Many different retailers sell swag in their stores. Starbucks is an excellent example. You can buy a Starbucks-branded coffee thermos at the counter along with your espresso. Swag shops can also be exclusively online. Digital swag shop items include apparel, accessories, and tech gadgets, among other items.
Not all customer loyalty rewards programs come with a digital swag shop, but a lot of them do. In the case of loyalty program swag shops, swag items aren't available to the general public for direct purchase, but rather are exclusive to the program's loyalty members. Instead of buying swag items with cash, loyalty members can use their earned rewards points to redeem the swag items they're eligible for. By offering swag shop items to reward loyalty members for their engagement, you will help ensure that rewards points continue to circulate in your store. At the same time, when your loyalty members wear or use your brand's swag, the result is that they passively advertise your store. If your current rewards program includes a digital swag shop, sending out an email marketing campaign about new swag shop items can help you stimulate program engagement.
In order to personalize your emails, we recommend that you segment your loyalty members into small groups based on their interests, shopping history, and the past swag shop items they redeemed. For example, one group could contain men ages 21 - 49 who bought camping equipment from your sporting goods store and redeemed branded thermoses, branded lighters, and branded knapsacks from your swag shop. This particular group would be most interested in the new branded rain poncho that's now available in your swag shop. By sending this group a targeted email about the new branded rain poncho swag shop item, you can get them excited about visiting your store to rack up rewards points that will help them earn the item.
WIN THIS GAME FOR ADDITIONAL REWARDS POINTS EMAIL
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. This includes applying game-playing attributes such as point scoring, competition, and rules for winning and losing onto regular activities in order to enhance the fun of that activity.
Gamification has made its way into customer loyalty rewards programs, but not all loyalty programs offer a gamified slant on their points-earning and points-burning systems. Before you send an email marketing campaign to your loyalty members inviting them to experience a gamified aspect of your program, you'll first need to make sure your program has gamification capabilities. Gamifying an aspect of your customer loyalty rewards program could be as easy as adding a leaderboard to each of your rewards tiers (if you have a tiered rewards structure). You could also gamify the chances of receiving swag shop items by offering a gamified "prize machine" as part of your loyalty mobile app. You get the idea. The possibilities will depend on the loyalty platform you use.
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. Some of your members might not even know that your loyalty program has a game or gamified elements, so sending them an email will make them aware. Last, but not least, you can trigger instant engagement when you offer members bonus points to use right then-and-there to play the game for their chance to win additional rewards points. Just be sure the "click to play" CTA is crystal clear in your email campaign.
REWARD REDEMPTION EMAIL
A reward redemption email campaign is designed to motivate loyalty members to redeem their rewards points. For retailers, when loyalty members haven't redeemed their points, those pending points are actually a business liability. Ideally, your loyalty members should constantly earn and burn rewards points so that points are seamlessly 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.
Shoppers love helpful reminders, and there's nothing more helpful than an email that alerts loyalty members to the fact that they'll need to redeem their rewards points soon. Retailers who fail to send out these important emails end up harming their reputation among loyalty members. Loyalty members can easily become disgruntled when they realize they forgot to redeem their rewards points, and the retailer didn't bother to remind them either. In fact, this scenario is a contributing factor to members becoming inactive in the first place.
This is where the reward redemption email comes in handy. Be sure to include the member's current points balance as well as personalized 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. Reward redemption emails are one of the most effective ways to motivate inactive loyalty members to participate in your program again. Best of all, loyalty members will greatly appreciate the opportunity to re-engage with your program. The trick to getting loyalty members to click the CTAs within your reward redemption email campaign is—you guessed it!—personalizing each email!
PLEASE REVIEW YOUR RECENT REWARD EMAIL
Online customer reviews can greatly impact your business because they influence consumer buying decisions. Nowadays, people consult the internet before they invest in a product. A straightforward Google search can render thousands of results once a store brand or specific product is plugged in. What matters most to consumers at that moment are the customer reviews. 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.
You want to make the process of leaving a product review as easy as possible for your loyalty members. Be sure to include a high-res image of the product they received, provide the link or links to the platforms where you'd like them to leave their reviews, and offer them a bonus points reward incentive for completing the review process. You can even get creative and supply your loyalty members with "prompts" that will help them draft the content of their customer reviews. These prompts, or review topics, can list the product's benefits and even include a few pre-written sentences that they can copy and paste.
EMAIL MARKETING BONUS IDEAS
How could we possibly stick to only four email marketing ideas? We couldn't! Here are even more ideas to experiment with in the future:
● New Member Engagement Email
● Thank You Email
● Top Tier Perks Email
● Surprise & Delight Email
● Milestone Email
● Monthly Rewards Statement Email
● Feedback Survey Email
● Personalized Rewards Opportunity Email
● Brand Updates Email
● New Product Release Email
● New Service Available Email
In general, email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses that want to connect with customers, drive website traffic, and ultimately increase revenue. When email campaigns are executed correctly—and ethically—subscribed recipients develop real brand affinity towards the business and customer loyalty tends to follow. Even better than generalized email marketing campaigns to your regular customers are personalized email campaigns to your loyalty members.
Turning your customers into members of your loyalty rewards program is key.
Chances are, not all of your regular customers are enrolled in your customer loyalty rewards program. But they could be, if you launch this final email marketing idea—Join Our Loyalty Rewards Program & Save!
Join Our Loyalty Rewards Program & Save!
There are two major audiences you can target with this email marketing idea. The first audience is composed of all the customers whose contact information is stored within your Point-of-Sale system's CRM software. These are customers that have provided their first names, email addresses, and possibly even their cell phone numbers in order to receive your store's traditional discounts. They might have permitted you to create customer accounts for them in your POS in order to save time at the checkout register, but they never joined your loyalty program. Create an email campaign to this audience that explains the benefits of your loyalty rewards program, and be sure to also offer them a personalized reward if they join within a certain time frame.
The second major audience is a bit trickier to define. This audience includes everyone who shops at your store but has never provided you with their contact information. These shoppers tend to be hesitant to turn over their personal information, but there are ways you can encourage them to join your customer loyalty rewards program.
Here are the top three strategies to enroll this particular audience:
● Offer a Sizable Discount at the Checkout Register on their Current Order If They Join
● Offer Swag Merchandise as a Sign Up Incentive
● Offer Free Shipping / Delivery for a Fixed Duration of Time If They Join
When you launch email marketing campaigns to your loyalty program members, the resulting ROI will be measurably higher than the result of any standard email marketing endeavor. The reason for this is because loyalty programs offer two massive benefits, as opposed to only one. With standard email marketing campaigns, the one benefit offered is savings-upon-purchase. By contrast, loyalty rewards email marketing campaigns come with two benefits, which are, savings-upon-purchase now plus rewards points that the customer can redeem later. When every purchase comes with accruing rewards points, the savings has the potential to double.
The bottom line is that when you use email marketing strategies as part of your customer loyalty rewards program, you will build brand affinity, boost program engagement, and increase revenue.
Choosing the right rewards program will make all the difference in the world. Some loyalty programs don't provide the best email marketing tools, which can lead to headaches. Other programs include so many bells and whistles that it's impossible to master all of the campaign elements, which leaves your emails looking overly simplistic.
The best customer loyalty rewards programs will come with a comprehensive set-up assistant, a user-friendly dashboard, easy CRM functions, straightforward customer data import capabilities, a marketing portal that makes sense, and most importantly, email marketing features that ensure every campaign is fast and fun to create, successful upon execution, and able to deliver a high ROI you can measure.
Loyal~n~Save checks every box. Contact us to speak with a loyalty strategist who specializes in your industry, and learn about how our program's built-in email marketing features can benefit your business.
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.