Loyalty programs are a great way to thank your customers and give them a good reason to keep coming back for more. Although the most commonly known programs are run by large companies, any business with direct consumer sales can now incorporate a loyalty program into their overall marketing strategy.
The best thing about a loyalty program is that it benefits both the business and the consumer. How can a loyalty program benefit your business?
Give Them Incentives
The purpose of a loyalty program is to create an additional incentive for consumers to buy from your business. Aside from providing a great product or service, you are able to reward them for their loyalty by using a points system that adds up as they continue to purchase from you. The points can then be converted into value added bonuses such as free shipping, additional discounts, coupons or free products. These incentives set you apart from the competition and build a long term relationship between you and your customer.
Cultivate A Relationship
By allowing your customers to subscribe to a customer loyalty program with your business, you have far more opportunities to reach out to them via email or direct mail. Many people don’t mind receiving regular email updates from a business that they purchase from, especially if the emails contain valuable promotions or discount coupons. This enables you to reach out to them so they are reminded of your business on a regular basis. Offer your customers an incentive to join, and gain their trust by reassuring them that their information will not be sold or shared with other businesses.
Create A Buzz Around Your Campaigns
Offering additional value to your customers also gives them a reason to talk about your business and share their incentives with friends and family. By treating your loyal customers well, they will feel inclined to spread the word about your business. It is a great idea to encourage your customers to share incentives via social media. You can also use the information collected to send out birthday greetings, or offer them additional incentives for referring new business.
Understanding The Customer
Loyalty programs allow you to understand the buying habits of your customers. By tracking customer purchases, you can collect important information about the buying patterns of the people that frequent your company’s location or website. This will help you to monitor how much they are spending, which items they are purchasing together, and how often they are buying products. This is particularly helpful with a web-based business, because it allows you to understand where your customers are, and gives you the opportunity to diversify into region-specific niches that you otherwise wouldn’t have considered.
Incorporating a loyalty program into your marketing strategy is essential for retaining your customers and giving them a reason to come back again and again. Customers love to have a sense of exclusivity, and you can create a program that gives your best customers the VIP treatment. It is less expensive than acquiring new business, and your loyalty program will give you the advantage that you need over your competition.
Jack Bishop is a customer service whiz. He enjoys integrating traditional marketing strategies with the modern customer experience.