It’s no secret that customers love deals and discounts, especially around the holiday season. We’ve learned that planning a holiday loyalty campaign is all about restructuring your rewards, goods, and services to best retain your customers.
Let’s take a second to pause…if you’re a bit lost on how to restructure your loyalty program, you can learn more in our last article, How To Plan A Holiday Loyalty Campaign. If you’ve already mastered this, stay with us as we guide you into the next three months of your holiday loyalty campaign.
THREE MONTHS OUT
This period, which we call three-months-out, could start on September 1st, or later in the month, and your efforts during this time should be all about re-engaging your inactive loyalty members. This isn't to say that you won't also begin regularly contacting your active members, too, but the emphasis needs to be on stimulating interest in that untapped goldmine within your rewards program.
Active loyalty customers who redeem points from a loyalty program spend 2 ½ times more than non-members. But bear in mind that non-active loyalty customers only spend 1 ½ times more than a non-member, so you'll need to continue to make efforts to interest you non-active members back into the points-earning and points-redeeming lifestyle.
Remember in last week’s blog when we stated that the four cornerstones of your holiday loyalty campaign must be gamification, personalization, exclusivity, and strong branding? Now is the time to build your promotional campaign from the ground up, using these sturdy cornerstones.
Bearing that in mind, you can proceed with direct outreach and indirect marketing. What do we mean? Your direct outreach efforts are the promotional emails you send directly to your loyal customers. If your loyalty rewards program includes a mobile app, like the Loyal~n~Save program, then you will also be able to contact your loyal customers via push notifications, which is even better. Indirect marketing efforts is a fancy way of saying dust off the old social media accounts and commit yourself to frequent posting! You'll want to get active online, post regularly about your loyalty program as well as your upcoming holiday season sale, and get in the habit of engaging with your followers.
Now before you go utterly crazy, definitely do not put up Christmas decorations throughout your retail store before Halloween... and in the same vein, your social media posts along with your direct marketing emails do not need to be red, green, and nuts! Not yet, anyway. Instead, strike a sane balance between getting your customers excited about what's to come and alerting them to the deals, discounts, and incentives you have in place in the meantime. Keep your content concise and clear. If you've restructured your program with new, attainable points thresholds, let your customers know! Tailor your emails so that they're as personal as possible! Can you include a few images of products or services they've bought in the past along with a snapshot of their earned points so far and how many more points they need before they can redeem? Do it! Any opportunity to personalize and also gamify the content of your outreach, the better!
TWO MONTHS OUT
A full two months before the kickoff of your big holiday season sale we recommend that you shift your focus away from re-engaging your inactive members--trust that your efforts have garnered their interest and you've won them back--and instead apply your attention to your most active loyalty members.
A customer qualifies as an active member if they shop at your retail store regularly and have an established history of earning and redeeming points. These shoppers are already loyal. Their spending habits are evidence that they like and appreciate your rewards program. They genuinely find it rewarding! But are they raving about it to their friends?
Are these loyal customers full-out ambassadors of your brand? Are they actively engaged on social media and advocating for your retails store?
They could be...
Accordingly to Ogilvy, 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencing factor in their purchasing decisions.
Take a moment now to identify your most loyal customers. Can you group them into segments according to their purchase history or class them in some other fashion that will help you contact them by customer type? When you do, reach out to them and offer exclusive opportunities to earn points by promoting your store and brand on social media. There are many creative ways to structure the points that will trigger your customers into stepping up on your behalf, and if you devise that all points earned now can be redeemed during your holiday season, then you'll really drive traffic when the time comes.
ONE MONTH OUT
Congratulations! You've put in two months of focused marketing work so far! You've courted your inactive members into excited re-activity and you've enticed your most active members into becoming online brand ambassadors for your retail store! Go you!
Now it's time to do a little assessment inventory. How frequently have you reached out to your loyal customers? Were you contacting them once a week or once a day? Too much or too little? Looking at the data, you should see an uptick in sales, but the main point is to make adjustments. As your holiday season grows near, you'll want to contact your customers more frequently, so be careful not to overdo it too soon. Pacing is everything.
According to LoyaltyLion data, loyalty program emails drive greater engagement and achieve a click-through rate as high as 35%. If you use SMS text messages to reach your loyal customers, the chances of them acting on the deals that you bring to their attention will be even higher. Try to bear this in mind as you move forward.
You can improve engagement with your loyal customers by sending them emails that include their points-earned statements, available rewards that are currently eligible to redeem, and reminders of the specialty items they can buy now for bonus points which can be applied later during your holiday sale.
Customers who join your loyalty program now will be 47% more likely to purchase during the holiday sale, which will directly impact your retail revenue once your holiday promotion is in full swing.
Be sure to set up an auto-generator within the dashboard of your loyalty program that will send out post-purchase emails to your loyal customers. These should include an easy-to-view snapshot of the points they've earned and how many more points they need to earn before they can redeem their points. Including attention-grabbing photos, images, and graphics of attractive goods or services that your customers might want to work towards redeeming can be an effective motivator that helps your loyal customers to strive towards claiming the items they want most.
Tune in next Tuesday for our next article about launching your holiday sale, maintaining throughout, and retaining newly acquired customers after your sale ends.
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.