How to Avoid Customers Getting Bored with Your Loyalty Program
The heart of all loyalty programs is engagement. Specifically, long-term, moving, entertaining engagement between you and your customer.
Engagement is essential, because customers’ trust is getting harder to earn. They won’t be impressed with impersonal, company-focused marketing campaigns anymore. As McCarthy Group’s survey revealed, 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertisements.
Magic happens when you can bring positive experiences into every stage of your relationship with your audience, engaging them all the way through.
Let me show you how a loyalty program can enchant your customers to spend more time with you, and how you can make the best of these tactics by targeting different customer segments.
1. Keep the loyalty program fresh
Our world is in perpetual motion in all senses of the term. Accordingly, customers need newer and newer impulses to hold their attention. Like everything else in marketing, your loyalty program needs to cater to this demand as well.
The solution is simple. Consistently offer your customers new possibilities to earn points, so that they never get bored and leave your program. If you introduce new activities from time to time, they will always have a reason to come back to your store and engage.
This tactic is especially successful when you have a lot of content in your store. Incentivizing your customers to consume your latest content (both articles and videos) with points creates just the engagement you’re looking for.
You can maximize the entertainment factor of content consumption by adding a content quiz to your posts and videos. Every time you publish new content, you can incentivize your customers to read it. With the content quiz tool, you can make sure that they really read it, and didn’t just click on it.
Use case: Wake up sleepers
Sleepers are customers who haven’t been active on your site for months. This is the so-called “at risk” group that you need to reclaim before they increase your churn rate. There may be several reasons why they haven’t revisited you:
- They completed all the activities they wanted
- They redeemed all the rewards they were interested in
- It seems almost impossible to reach a reward, they can’t earn as many points as they need.
- They simply forgot about you, your loyalty program and its benefits
- They just didn’t like your loyalty program offers
All of these segments can be reactivated again by introducing new elements into your loyalty program and making sure they are notified about them.
Lancome invited its customers to complete a survey for 100 Elite Rewards bonus points. If we were them, we wouldn’t send out this email to all the subscriber lists, rather just to the Elite Rewards members segment.
Send an email with your latest loyalty offers (new possibilities to earn points, new rewards to redeem etc.) to customers who haven’t been active in your loyalty program for 6 months. Antavo provides this segment by default, but you can create your sleeper segment with attributes of your own with our segment editor.
There’s a high chance that any of your loyalty novelties will pique their interest and pull them back into your loyalty program again.
Don’t forget to mention repeatable activities that can be completed again, like purchases, shares and referrals.
2. Set goals to achieve
The absolute truth is that most of your customers participate in your loyalty program to get rewards and discounts. There’s a fundamental sense of justice in your shoppers that tells them if they work hard, in the end they should achieve their goals.
But this doesn’t mean that their way to their reward lacks engagement.
Activities can create real engagement through gamification, which is the main factor behind customer loyalty. According to Rare, for 64% of generation K, 60% of millennials, 55% of generation X and 44% of Baby Boomers fun is an important loyalty driver.
This is why it’s essential to provide goals for your customers to shoot for.
What kind of goals can you offer?
Rewards: Rewards are motivation number one for participating in your loyalty program. Make sure that you offer a high range of rewards so that you can satisfy all customers from beginners to high spenders.
Levels: In general, everyone wants to get higher and higher on the hierarchy. This is a gamifying tactic that makes customers earn more to be respected accordingly. Customers love to be called golden or VIP members.
Different levels, different benefits. Bind rewards and special offers to levels so that customers feel the urge to level up, as Yogurtland does. If you want to know what benefits you should offer for different levels, read our blogpost about tier based programs here.
Use case: Make your come and go customers stick with you
You’ll always have customers whose purchase frequency falls off the average. These are mostly shoppers who make their choices on where to buy based on their immediate needs, and pick the retailer who offers:
- The fastest shipping
- The best price
- The largest product range
This is the segment you need to retain. Did you know that – according to Ciceron – engaged customers buy 90% more frequently? Your task here is to emphasize that any occasional preference they have, you are always the best solution.
Send them a notification about the next level they can achieve or the rewards they can redeem by staying with you. Let them set their own goals in your loyalty program. In addition, tell them about the activities they can complete in order to reach their goal.
3. Run promotions
I personally feel much better for having won something, rather than buying it. It’s not really about money, but the experience of being the lucky one who was drawn as the winner is something incomparable. I believe that this emotional value is why promotions are so popular.
Promotions are periodic campaigns, this way customers can be engaged in them from time to time. Whenever a campaign ends, you can let your customers know that another has just started so that they can redeem a new chance to win fabulous rewards again.
In Antavo’s ‘Contests module’ you can let your customers redeem a higher chance to win, by entering your promotion as many times as they want. In addition to higher engagement, this mechanism can drive point burning as well (here we collected more tactics on how you can rev up redeeming points).
The best is that all customer segments can participate as the entry threshold is low and there’s no limit for the amount of times customers can enter. It all depends on you and what kind of winner selection you choose. You can draw a winner from all of the entries or you can set your contest to draw a winner randomly from the customers with the most entries.
Don’t let those customers who didn’t win feel disappointed. MyCokeRewards members could enter the back to school sweepstakes knowing that CocaCola will donate money to the K-10 school of their choice even if they aren’t selected as winners.
Use case: Excite high spenders
You may find it unnecessary to invest in the engagement of your best customers. On the contrary! You take a high risk if you don’t care for them in the way they deserve. This is especially true, because the top 10% of customers spends 3x more and the top 1% spends 5x more than the rest of your customer base (Source: RJ Metrics).
You need to bring exclusivity to the highest levels in the rewards you offer them as well. Promotions come in handy here, as the number of winners is limited, and so is the number of items given away. What could be more exclusive than a limited edition item that only a few people have in the world?
You can set your promotion to be accessible to a specific segment of your customers. This will raise the feeling of belonging to a special community that receives the highest level treatment. Create a segment of your top 10% from the customer base who spends the most, and invite them to this special occasion with a kind notification email.
4. Run extra point events
Double or triple point events are special treats that your customer can be moved with. Their structure is very similar to that of promotions. These are temporal campaigns in which customers can earn extra benefits if they act in time. The difference here is that while the psychology behind promotions is usually based on luck, in the case of these events it’s the doubtless benefit that drives customers.
With Antavo’s rule editor you can define precisely what purchases you want to reward with extra points. Let me list the most popular ones:
- Purchases with more than a specific number of items
- Purchases with more than a specific amount of total cart value
- Purchases with a specific type of product
- Purchases from a specific country
- + the combination of any of the above factors
What kind of campaigns you can benefit the most from depends on your offering and your customers. Do your research and test what mechanisms and point modifiers make your unique target audience take action.
Use case: Draw in hesitants
Every webstore has subscribers who put items into their shopping cart but never complete the checkout process. This is the group you couldn’t convince the first time around for some reason. Maybe they are still searching for the best offer or just didn’t feel the urge to buy right away.
In fact, 68% of 20-34-year-olds say they’d rather choose the company that offers them more rewards.
When you start a campaign, send a notification to your subscribers with abandoned carts that you want to treat them with an unmissable offer. The promised benefit will persuade them that you are the perfect choice and the temporal nature of your campaign will make them act straightaway.
Next time when a need for another product comes up, they won’t hesitate to choose you as they can use the points they collected to reduce the total price of their checkout.
Time your extra points events for major holidays, like ALLKPOP shop did for Valentine’s day. After a couple of events, your customers will count on your recurring campaigns when any holiday is approaching.
5. Let your customers review you
Review writing is a perfect activity to make sure that your customers don’t forget about coming back to you after their purchase. Not to mention, that by encouraging reviews you can assure them that you value their feedback so much that you are ready to reward it with loyalty points.
A survey by BrightLocal revealed that 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so why would you miss introducing some kind of review writing option in your store?
My advice is to go beyond the simple 5-star rating mechanism and let your customers write down what they feel. At Antavo we found this important when searching for a review engine to integrate with, and this is why we partnered with YotPo, the smartest tool to collect more ratings and reviews.
Learning to listen to your customers is key to succeeding in engagement. You need to break down the traditional wall between yourself and your customers. The time of marketers using only one-way communication at long range, as if they were talking into a tube, has come to an end. Asking for reviews is the perfect way to get involved in an engaging two-way conversation with your customers. In addition, their opinion will serve as social proof that will convince newcomers to choose you.
Don’t be afraid of negative reviews, just make sure you handle them the right way.
25% of consumers are likely to spend more if they are greeted by name and made to feel like a valued customer. Read all the reviews and feature the best of them on your front page like American Blanket Company does. Your customers will be enthralled.
Use case: Ask your brand advocates to leave reviews on your site
The customer segment that will most probably write reviews for you are your brand advocates. They became advocates by sharing their positive opinion with their friends, which means that they don’t have to do anything else, just write their feelings down in your review engine for some extra points. If you were still afraid of negative comments, you can be sure that these customers won’t write anything offensive. The only thing you need to do is to send them a reminder email about your reviewable products and services.
As you can see, introducing tactics to maximize customer engagement is not rocket science. You just need to find the right incentives to make your customers act on your marketing goals.
There’s one important factor that can make or break your strategy: communication. I mentioned it above several times, but I find it very important to emphasize again. Don’t miss using your marketing automation system to notify your customers about your loyalty offers.
If you’d like to introduce such engaging loyalty tactics into your marketing strategy feel free to sign up for a VIP demo to see how our software can help.