Today, over 90% of companies have some sort of loyalty program — and rightfully so. Research shows that consumers who are loyal to a brand will refer that brand to friends and family (59%), join their loyalty program (59%), and spend more (36%).
While many companies now invest in loyalty programs, 54% of their customers' loyalty memberships are inactive. That is why you must focus on loyalty member engagement in addition to loyalty program promotion. However, ongoing customer loyalty and satisfaction is a marathon, not a sprint. You must continue to reach out to your loyal member, encouraging them to become repeat a customer.
As your loyalty member list grows, you need to invest in strategies that ensure the greatest ROI. A member list can be incredibly valuable for supporting your bottom line, but only if you actively engage with consumers. Whether you're developing your first loyalty program strategy or revamping your current plan, you want to keep members interested and engaged. Here's how.
Loyalty Programs Are Complex — Engagement Is a Large Piece of the Puzzle
Unfortunately, loyalty programs often fail because businesses do not engage with their members. This directly affects member retainment rates.
While consumers seek and appreciate loyalty programs, especially those affiliated with brands they love, they won't stay engaged if you don't follow an in-depth strategy. A 2019 data report found that 54% of consumers want a more rapid reward payoff. It's also essential to reward your customers for being loyal. In this same survey, 61% said the most crucial way a brand can interact with them is to surprise and reward them with a special offer just because they are a good customer.
While you must collect and analyze data, you must also get your data pipeline right. You need a plan that ensures the best possible ROI. While data reports are a key component of a successful strategy, these reports will probably disappoint if you do not make member engagement a priority from day one. As a business, engagement needs to begin as soon as the customer signs up. It must then continue frequently, with purpose!
You should also focus on an omnichannel approach, including email, in-app messaging, push notifications, and text messaging. Each offers unique advantages, and together, they can be a powerful force — but only when implemented strategically.
To keep your loyal members engaged, consider the following strategies.
The data you collect helps fuel your loyalty program. Without accurate data, you cannot communicate with members or leverage the power of consumer engagement. According to Verify Bee, 30% of emails provided are invalid. That is why you need an email and mobile number verification tool. In doing so, you avoid wasting money on emails or text messages that are unavailable.
If you do not communicate with newly enrolled members, you will lose members right away. It is recommended that you send a "welcome" message that includes a video or detailed guide. Highlight the benefits of joining your loyalty program and any upcoming news that would benefit the member. You can also offer a mobile coupon or points that apply to cash or card purchases.
Communicating with your members, especially in terms of how the program benefits them, has a tremendous impact on whether members interact with your loyalty program. Keep your consumers in the loop by updating them on points balance, points expiration, double or triple-point events, member status, and other relevant updates. Also, consider the power of personalization for loyalty member engagement.
A 2019 loyalty report found that when companies do personalization well, they create a 6.4 times boost in member satisfaction with the program itself. It's also worth knowing that 87% of consumers are open to brands monitoring their activity details if it leads to greater personalization in terms of the rewards they receive.
Member Discounts and Offers
Companies often send an offer during the onboarding process, but they're never limited to this one instance. Consumers initially join loyalty programs to earn points and feel like they are part of a special, inclusive group. Continue to offer special offers and discounts that only members receive. Then get creative. Data shows that 29% of customers want rewards to be more interesting.
New Product or Inventory Alerts
Loyal customers want to stay in the know for the latest products or inventory statuses. For example, if you are a clothing brand that only prints x-number of designs before releasing the next limited design, your members will want an alert. This helps increase interest, boost engagement, and support your ongoing growth.
Shipment Tracking Updates
A customer's experience plays a leading role in their loyalty. If you ship products to consumers, include the shipping updates as part of that experience. Notifications about their expected delivery date, delivery status, and delivery arrival can keep customers happy and loyal.
Member Special Occasions
An online survey from analytics and marketing technology provider Fulcrum found that 74% of consumers who receive birthday messages from a company they do business with viewed that company in a more positive light afterward.
Again, this is the perfect example of using customer data to enhance their experience. Special occasions are a great way to show your consumers you care. Another option is to send out anniversary emails. Reward members for taking part in your program after a year, two years, five years, etc.
Regardless of your industry or company's unique loyalty program, it's important to create a plan before launching. Outline your company's approach, focusing on the strategies discussed above. Each email, text, or notification you send to your members should be purposeful and valuable. Once you complete comprehensive planning and automate key processes and strategies, you can continue to focus on what matters most — growing your business.
In need of support? Contact us to develop and implement a winning consumer engagement strategy today!