The following is a guest contributed post to MMW from Joe Brannon, CEO of textLIVING.
Loyalty programs can be a great way to drive sales and build closer customer relationships. But it’s important to design your reward program carefully so that you can get customers on board quickly and then keep them engaged for the long-term. When searching for the perfect digital rewards platform, it’s important to make sure it is simple for both you and your customers to use – and that it keeps customers happy after they’ve signed up and generates valuable data for you. Here are five tips to build a reward program you and your customers will love.
1. Don’t ask for too much information at sign-up. Some companies ask you to fill out your birthday, anniversary, address, email address and age – and then ask you to go online, register and answer more profiling questions. Remember, for every data point you require, your adoption rates will drop. Make it easy to sign up in the beginning, and then obtain permission to engage the customer. Remember, you can always ask for more information later.
2. Provide an incentive for sign-up. When you’re asking a customer to sign up for a loyalty program, it’s a great idea to offer an immediate incentive. The prospect of instant gratification will improve your loyalty program adoption rate dramatically. The reward doesn’t have to be expensive – a free beverage, a few dollars off a purchase is all that’s required. And with an effective reward program, the investment can pay off many times over.
3. Make it easy to engage customers. As important as it is to get customers to sign up, what happens next is even more important. You need to be able to engage customers after the initial sign-up to generate additional revenue. Find a digital loyalty platform that automates the re-engagement process by making it easy to contact customers with a message. It can be as simple as a “We miss you!” message after 30 days without a customer check-in.
4. Don’t over-communicate. While it’s critical to engage customers to keep your business top-of-mind, you don’t want to bombard them with messages. When customers entrust you with their contact data, make sure you respect that and only communicate when you have something of value to offer or have been out of touch for a while. Constant communication can be perceived as overly aggressive and may cause customers to unsubscribe.
5. Carefully craft your offers. In keeping with the principle that you should make loyalty program participation as easy as possible for customers, don’t ask them to do the math by offering a percentage off a purchase – make it simple by naming a specific dollar amount. Also make sure you create a sense of urgency with time-limited offers. A promotion that is good for one to three days helps keep your offer fresh in their minds.
Digital loyalty plans are a great way to drive revenue higher and get to know your customers better. In addition to generating sales, a good digital reward program also provides incredibly valuable data you can use to continuously improve your operation. But all loyalty programs are not created equally. By following these five tips, you can improve sales and create stronger customer relationships with a well-designed digital reward program.