Every business wants to keep existing customers and attract new clients. In the past, loyalty programs seemed to be a great way of doing that, But nowadays it is not as effective as it used to be. So should you have one?
First of all, let’s define what a loyalty program is. It is a way of “recognizing customers for their purchases and encouraging future activity.“
Having a loyalty program is not always the most effective thing you can do to keep existing clients and attract new ones. That is because it requires a lot of time and effort from your staff in order to manage these type of programs. However, it makes sense if you have an ecommerce business where you can integrate software that ensures there is no “manual” work. Otherwise, think twice if it is worth your time and money to have one.
If you decide to go forward and create a loyalty program, here’s what you should know:
1) Start small and simple: Customers don’t like complicated things, so keep it as simple as possible. That is easy since you probably don’t have a lot of existing customers for now. In any case, if you already have a loyal clientele, start small and simple with them and then expand once you feel ready to take on more work.
2) Make the offer attractive: If your reward program is not attractive enough, people will not be motivated to stay loyal to your brand. Some examples of rewards are discounts, free shipping, grocery store vouchers at GThankYou.com, or even products that customers can choose.
3) Keep track of your customers: You need to be able to know who they are if you want your loyalty program to work. For that, every time they purchase something online, ask them for their email address and name. Then put it in a list saved on Excel or some other software, so when the moment comes when you create the loyalty program, you have all the data with you.
4) Keep track of how often they buy things online: Even if your customers are not loyal, it doesn’t mean that they don’t purchase from time to time. You need to know when and how much so you can put together a good offer for them when it’s time to create the loyalty program.
5) Promote it: You might be afraid that you’ll attract new clients with your loyalty program, and all the existing ones will leave. That is actually far from reality. Promotion is the key here. For example, think about having a loyalty program on your website and offering your existing clients a 10% discount if they decide to sign up.
6) Measure results: Once you created it, it would be silly not to measure results. Depending on what your business is, different things are important. For example, if you are selling clothes, you might want to know how many people signed up for your loyalty program, which channel brought the most loyal customers to the website, and so on.
Don’t forget that what works well for one business doesn’t always work well for another one! Think about things like “time to create” or “money required.” In addition, consider the “politics” in your company. If you are the owner, why not try to create a loyalty program?
However, if it’s not something on your priority list right now, consider creating one later once you know more about how the business works. Nowadays, there are a lot of companies that provide software to help create your own loyalty programs. So if none of your clients are asking for it, maybe you don’t need one.