With so many brands to choose from, the odds of someone picking and staying with your brand are slim. You’re not likely to get someone to be loyal to you—unless you give them a strong reason to.
You’re in luck. There’s a solution that works. You only need a customer loyalty program.
Here we’ll answer what’s customer loyalty, its importance and how to set up one for your business using live real examples.
Once you’ve read this post, (plus the examples) you’ll know exactly what you need to get going with a referral marketing program.
What is customer loyalty?
Simply put, if someone is willing to purchase from your brand time and again, that’s customer loyalty. It stems out from great customer experience.
Why is customer loyalty important?
As such every brand should aspire to build loyalty.
A company should be able to attract and retain customers. Happy customers are key to higher revenue.
Loyal customers convert at a better rate and spend more on their favorite brands.
They tell others about the brand which drives free referrals.
Loyal customers tell their family and friends about the experiences they had with a brand.
Word-of-mouth marketing is arguably the most effective strategy to get more customers who in turn attract more people.
Existing customers spend as much as three times more than new customers. Loyalty programs are here to stay. It’s up to you to make use of them
As mentioned before there are hundreds of brands offering quite a few options for each product you can think of. All these products are offered on competitive price points. If someone is coming back that bears testament to the value provided by the brand. It’s indicative of trust, of love and the fact that shopping from you outweighs all the advantages listed by every other alternative.
The concept of making happy customers and turning them into loyal brand evangelists who double up as salespeople posting reviews, tweets and acting as offline billboards for your brand is exciting. Not only is it possible to turn them into your engine of growth, but this is also something a lot of brands—both big and small do on a regular basis.
Through customer loyalty programs.
What’s a customer loyalty program?
Loyalty programs offered to regular customers may offer free stuff, coupons, or other products.
It could be a points-based system where points accrue automatically for each dollar spent.
Points which can then be used to purchase whatever they like.
Sometimes a good loyalty program isn’t about how good the benefits are. Sometimes it’s about if people are able to wrap their heads around it.
Here’s how to convey value and make the programs exciting enough.
1. Use a simple points system.
With a rewards system simplicity often means using a system that’s familiar to people. Most loyalty programs are built around points. Customers purchase things. In turn, they’re awarded points that translate to something tangible.
That something tangible often isn’t easy to get to and need a certain number of points. This propels frequent purchases to build up points that can help in redeeming the reward.
DSW rewards program always existed. But it wasn’t seeing the success it could see.
To boost conversions, members were sent an email telling them how many points they needed to be eligible to make $10 towards the reward certificate.
Using data from each member the mail contained info on how much each member saved, number of points earned and the total period for which they were members of the program.
The results speak for themselves. Over 64% improvement in open rates and 13 % lift in CTR.
58.82 percent of customers who opened the email read it for more than 15 seconds.
That’s not to say that’s the only alternative. But if you choose a point make the conversions simple. If it flies past them odds are no one would bother.
2. Integrate with other brands to offer cohesive rewards
Starbucks Rewards is considered the creme de la creme of loyalty programs.
One of the chief reasons for the stupendous success is their mobile app that makes it child’s play to see the number of points you have. With it, you can make payments in an outlet and even search for Starbucks locations nearby.
What makes it so popular is that the loyalty program extends beyond Starbucks. Considering the popularity of Starbucks they were able to rope in many grocery stores to partner. This includes introducing points for purchases outside of their retail locations.
3. Offer a tiered benefits reward
Virgin Atlantic doesn’t use a simple points system but resorts to something else that’s all too familiar with people in the airlines’ industry. They have miles and their Flying club that allows you to bump up levels based on points earned. As the number of points goes up members get upgraded to Silver or Gold tier.
- Club Red members (that’s the lowest tier) earn miles on flights. They get discounts on airport parking, hotel stays and other rentals.
- Club Silver members earn 50% more points on flights compared to Club Red members. Coupled with this comes expedited check-in and priority seating.
- Club Gold members get double miles, priority boarding, and access to exclusive clubhouses where they can grab a drink or get a massage before their flight.
With the benefits table, it’s easy for anyone to understand what they stand to gain from their membership. And above that, the specific gains of moving up the ladder are immediately transparent with the comparison table.
This encourages existing customers to keep spending with Virgin Atlantic.
Customers can easily understand the extra benefits they’ll Virgin’s program works because the benefits in the first stage itself are lucrative making people believe that the tiers that come next are lucrative enough to warrant attention.
Feeling a little inspired?
All these loyalty programs offer primers into how you can set up a program for your business. These are great examples to learn and emulate from.