Points Are Not Enough
Loyalty programs are an effective tool in encouraging repeat business and retaining customers, but they are not a comprehensive marketing strategy on their own. If you’re in the market for a loyalty program for you business – whether you are just getting started or thinking it’s time to make a change to your current program, there are a few things you should know before you dive in.
A loyalty program alone is not enough to move your business’s profit needle. It seems every business from the airlines to your local coffee shop have a loyalty program… but how often are they even used? It’s an app on the phone that is forgotten about, or a card in your wallet (or maybe it’s been moved to junk drawer) that never sees the light of day. Points aren’t an incentive enough to make us take action and take the card out of your wallet. You need to find ways to differentiate your business and make it stand out.
A loyalty program is only a lure, to “trade” your customers contact information for earning rewards when they spend money in your business. Once they have provided that information, your task it to build a relationship and establish connection. You now have direct access to people who have spent money with you in the past and are most likely to spend again with you in the future – provided they have the right incentives.
To Build Loyalty, You Need To Create A Connection
People do business with people they know, like and trust. When you take the time to get to know your customers and give them something special, they will be more likely to spend money, return more frequently and recommend your business to others. The result is more transactions, more spending per transaction and more revenue. Suddenly, logic is no longer the deciding factor in a purchases, emotion is.
Connect with your customers on an emotional level, communicate more, offer stronger incentives and provide memorable experiences. It makes a big difference to go beyond giving customers points (and that’s it!), to instead focusing on cultivating lasting relationships and building strong connections through personalized marketing.
And since a loyalty program is such a great way to collect people’s contact data, you will soon know who your biggest spenders, less frequent visitors and lost customers are. Now you can communicate regularly with your customers through multiple forms of media.
Sending direct mail or email campaigns, posting engaging content on social media and even direct texting can keep a line of open dialogue between you and your customers. Don’t make all your messages direct sales pitches either. Creating strong relationships requires engaging with those customers by understanding their needs and providing them with helpful or entertaining content that isn’t always trying to sell something. Taking this approach will increase customer retention, which is an essential part of leveraging a successful loyalty program.
Make sure customers feel connected to your business. That’s how real customer retention is done.
Customers Buy From Businesses That Make Them Feel Special
People buy because of how your business makes them feel, not just because of the product or service you provide. Creating positive, memorable customer experiences with your customers means they are more likely to return to your business.
To give yourself a competitive advantage you need to differentiate yourself from the crowd by going to the extra effort of offering the human touch during every transaction your customers have with your business. As an independent operator, this is your superpower. You can cater to individual needs and experiences, by using the information from your loyalty program database.
In addition to creating profit-driven promotions, create marketing that allows people to have fun interacting with you – this type of engagement will foster longer-term relationships and make users more loyal. In order to be successful, you need to focus on creating a memorable customer experience – not just offering discounts and rewards – that makes customers feel like they know you and keeps them engaged over the long-term.
You Need More Than Just a Loyalty Program
A loyalty program is only one piece of the customer retention puzzle. Offers and promotions are a great way to cut through the noise and get your message in front of potential customers. If you want to really grow your sales and profits, you need a comprehensive marketing plan that is automated, data driven, and based on proven principles. Do get more specifics about how to market more effectively as a small business click here.
Our program was founded on these solid marketing principles – with a loyalty program at its foundation. Royalty Rewards® has email, direct mail, texting, and social media campaigns that all track back to your database, making sure all your marketing is measurable. In addition, we help you get more positive online reviews moving you up the review site rankings so that new customers will find you. All you have to do is select the promotions that you want to run – we do the rest.
Click the button below to find out more about our program and quality for a 90 Day Free Trial. This is a no-obligation call, so that we can answer any questions you might have.