Studies show that customers who have an emotional connection to a brand tend to have a lifetime value that’s four times higher than the average customer. These customers spend more with a business, and therefore, should be rewarded for it.
Cue a customer incentives program, which is essential for building brand loyalty. Research affirms that 52% of loyal shoppers will join a loyalty program if a brand offers one to them. But how can customers learn about your program?
Here are four ways you can properly promote your customer incentives program, especially if you have a strict marketing budget:
Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing campaigns are essential for any business (especially those on a budget) looking to increase customer engagement. When done successfully, email marketing can help brands connect with new and returning customers.
If you’ve been in business for a while, you most likely already have a customer contact list. Reaching out to your contacts via email is one of the best ways to alert them of your rewards program and invite them to participate. Keep in mind that the average office worker receives 121 emails per day. If you offer an incentive upon signup, you are more likely to break through the noise in their inbox and see high levels of engagement.
Once you have customers in your loyalty program, you can also use email to nurture them throughout the year. Consider sending account information, point balance updates, bonus campaigns, and redemption reminders. Your customers will appreciate the notifications, as 42% of loyalty program members favor program updates via email. (CodeBroker)
Informing customers about your loyalty program isn’t the only way to use email. You can also request a specific action from them, like filling out a survey regarding their experience with your company. Of course, getting respondents to engage with your survey thoughtfully and honestly takes some effort, which we’ve outlined in detail. But offering a flexible incentive like a digital Visa or MasterCard can encourage their participation and give you insightful data.
Social media marketing is perhaps one of the most productive ways for a company to connect with its audience on a personal level. Not only are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter inherently part of customers’ day-to-day routines, but they are also where customers connect with brands. Sixty percent of users discover products on Instagram, and 75% of users take action like visiting a website after looking at a brand’s post.
Meeting consumers where they already are is a great way to increase your loyalty program’s visibility without blowing a large portion of your marketing budget.
Try making it easy for users to climb the loyalty program ranks. A quick retweet or a follow back can provide more brand exposure for you while resulting in more points for your customers.
While today’s consumers are making some of their purchases online, they’re spending more money per visit in-store. This is where you can begin to build an omnichannel strategy for your customer loyalty program. If they respond with “No,” clarifying questions and conversations can strengthen their interest.
Here is where you can also expand on your points of contact with customers. Ask them for the best email to stay in touch, and for an address to send promotional materials and exclusive offers.
Direct mail remains relevant in our digital world, too. A recent study found that it produces the best response rates when compared to other channels, including email, online display, paid search, and social media.
In-person doesn’t only relate to a physical store. It can also refer to brands tabling at a trade shows and conferences, creating pop-up shops, or interacting through immersive experiences.
The most successful brands understand that creating an emotional connection with customers is the key to driving loyalty. But what’s the best way to form these bonds? Ninety-five percent of marketers agree that live events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form in-person connections in an increasingly digital world.
Brand experiences can help your brand meet new customers and establish your commitment to creating healthy relationships. Most businesses host events for customer acquisition and retention, not to make and close deals. Here is another great place to incentivize existing customers to complete a survey or renew their existing contract.
We see this quite often in the energy industry. Brands will often offer rewards at time of contract renewals to show they value their customers, which in turn encourages them to continue being serviced by the brand.
Expanding your reach across channels will only enhance your connection to customers, and it will increase loyalty program engagement.
If you have a limited marketing budget, partnering with other brands can help you cut costs without restricting your exposure. These strategic partnerships, which are also known as coalition programs, can help you retain customers and grow your business.
The partnership needs to make sense in relation to your customers’ purchasing process. If you’re a dog food company, for example, you might partner with a veterinary office. If you sell luggage, you might collaborate with an airline.
When you offer customers flexible incentives that they can use in various scenarios, you are showing them that you care about their needs — and that increases brand loyalty.
We’re always here to help you create the best customer reward options for your brand. Talk to a rewards expert today to learn more about our incentives opportunities.