It’s no secret that loyalty programs are a great way to get customers to engage with your brand, and keep them coming back time after time. According to Forbes (and Pareto’s 80/20 rule), 20% of a brand’s existing customers make up a whopping 80% of total sales. This means nurturing customers is pretty important (say with a loyalty program like Loyalty Lion, hint hint). But, creating a successful loyalty program is the tricky part. So you might be wondering… ‘where do I start?’ and we’re glad you asked! As specialists in the niche of Customer Journey marketing, we know the value in a great loyalty program, and we’re happy to answer that question!
Step 1. Come Up With The Branding
A loyalty program is a great way to enhance your customer’s experience with your brand. So, creating a fun (or engaging) theme for your loyalty program is vital. Go beyond the basic ‘this is our loyalty program, you start in level 1 and work up to level 3’. Have fun with it! Paint a picture and create an experience that makes shopping and engaging with your brand a fun and rewarding process. Trust us on this one – coming up with a theme that fits within your branding will pay off. When it comes to writing copy, designing emails, and running campaigns, the ideas will flow much easier. You’ll thank us later on this one!
Step 2. Outline Your Rewards
The next (and very important) step is calculating your points-per-dollars-spent ratio. A question we often get asked is, “won’t I be giving away too many discounts?” and the answer here is not if you structure it correctly. Customers create their own discounts by shopping and interacting with your brand. After all, that’s the goal. The key here though is having the right value assigned to your points. Loyalty Lion recommends giving customers a maximum of 5% back. So, for example, using the 5% rule, for every $100 a customer spends, they’d get back a $5 voucher (or enough points to redeem $5 off). You can adjust this percentage as it suits your margins.
Next, you can outline how many VIP tiers you’ll have (Loyalty Lion allows a maximum of 4). Linking back to points-per-dollars-spent, you’ll need to decide whether all VIP tiers earn points at the same rate. Consider increasing the ratio as the tiers increase as a way of rewarding your high rollers (i.e your most loyal customers).
Loyalty isn’t just about how much money a customer spends with your store – loyalty can be built through interaction with your brand such as leaving a review, following your social accounts, and referring a friend. You can set up these earning actions in Loyalty Lion, and set the points that they’re worth.
Once you’ve set up your earning actions, it’s time to set up your spending actions. This means setting up the increments that customers can redeem their rewards in. For example, will customers only be able to redeem their rewards in $5 and $10 increments, rather than spending $1 as soon as they’ve earned it?
Loyalty Lion recommends not setting a minimum spend in order to redeem a reward. They’ve earned the points, so they should be able to easily use them!
Step 3. Launch Your Program
Now that you’ve put in the hard yards, it’s time to launch your loyalty program – and you don’t want it to go under the radar!
There’s a few things you should have in place before you set your program live, including an explainer page. This explainer page should have all of the information your customers need to know about the program. To make the page easily accessible (and noticeable), consider adding it to your header bar. Loyalty Lion also has a widget that will display at the bottom of a customer’s screen that sums ups the program.
To announce the new loyalty program to your customers, create an email campaign or even a series of email campaigns. If you decide to go with the latter, the first email could be a hype campaign, the second could launch the program, and the third could follow up with subscribers who are yet to sign up. Now, we won’t do a deep dive on email content ideas here but don’t forget, we’re only a phone call away!
Additionally, if your brand is active on social media (and we assume so – it is 2021 after all) be sure to post the announcement there too.
Step 4. Incorporate It Into Your Automations
Now that your loyalty program is up and running, it’s time to make the most out of your integration between Loyalty Lion and your ESP. Take this opportunity to evaluate your existing email automations, and consider where in their journey that customers would benefit from seeing the loyalty program.
For Klaviyo users, utilizing a conditional split that separates loyalty from non loyalty members is a great way to add in an email prompting customers to sign up. We recommend segmenting your audience this way as you don’t want to spam customers with emails that aren’t relevant to them.
In email automations, we also recommend including conditionally coded blocks that show loyalty members their points balance. For non loyalty members, instead add in a sign up prompt that is also conditionally coded to show to the correct audience.
We’ve created dedicated loyalty flows for clients in the past (and will continue to do so into the future) – and we’d recommend doing the same.
Step 5. Nurture Your Loyalty Members
The final (and very important) step is to continue to nurture your loyalty members. We know that retention is cheaper than acquisition – but did you know that an increase of just 5% in customer retention can increase total profits by up to 95%? That’s pretty huge. So don’t just ‘set and forget’, take the time to create a strategy that will keep your loyal customers engaged. From running double points weekends, to offering your VIPs early access to sales, there’s many ways to nurture your loyalty members.
Need a Hand Creating or Optimizing Your Loyalty Program?
If you’re interested in getting started with loyalty marketing or improving your current strategy, reach out to us to discuss your options!