You want to start a loyalty program for your regular customers. But you’re not sure where or how to start.
Starting a rewards program for your customers isn’t as difficult as you think. But first, you need to answer a few questions.
Do you want to try and do it by yourself, or would you rather have tools to automate the process?
Are you going to have a one-size-fits-all program or do you want to customise and personalise your messages?
How long does it take to set up a loyalty program?
Once you’ve decided that, you can start mapping out a loyalty program that works for you and your customers.
Here are a few ways you can kick-off a super easy loyalty program for any kind of business:
The most basic and widely practised way of instilling loyalty to customers. It’s super easy to set up.
Physical membership cards are often handed to customers upon purchase. For every subsequent purchase that the customer makes, they will receive a stamp or virtual points. After raking in enough stamps or points, the customer stands to receive a free gift or service.
Having a physical card can remind customers of your brand whenever they check their wallets. It serves as a reminder that they can go back to you to rake in more points and increase their chances of redeeming a free coffee or a hotel stay.
While people may claim that digital cards are set to annihilate physical cards, it’s not entirely true.
Brands like Marriot, Starbucks, Tesco, and Tealive are still using physical membership cards that are working well for them.
People take pride in showing off their cards because it makes them feel like they’re part of a select, exclusive group.
The only downside to this is that customers may lose their membership card – along with all the points and stamps that came with it. Unless you have that information integrated into a system – which we recommend you do!
It cannot be denied that digital membership cards are super convenient. Customers don’t ever have to worry about losing their card and having to start over. That saves retailers a lot of trouble too.
They also don’t have to make space for another card in their wallet – on top of their credit cards, ID and whatsoever.
A digital membership card is usually issued to customers by registering their name, phone number and email. On their subsequent visits, customers only have to recite their phone number to access their membership – instead of having to rummage through their bags for a card.
Digital membership cards also work better for retailers. All the information is stored in a dashboard in your system. This information can also help you to better understand your customers based on their purchase patterns.
People love gifts and surprises on their birthday, and this is not just limited to gifts from friends and family. They love receiving gifts from their favourite stores and brands too.
A study by Vibes shows that 77% of mobile consumers admitted that receiving “surprise points, exclusive messages and birthday/anniversary content” would have an impact on their brand loyalty.
A simple gesture can go a long way. Most restaurants give customers a free slice of cake on their birthday. Bars give customers free shots of drinks when there’s a birthday in the house.
Hotels give customers a free upgrade on their room, or they throw in a bottle of champagne. Hair salons may give customers a free haircut or hair treatment.
No matter what business you’re running, find a way to make your customer feel special on their birthday. It can even be something as simple as gathering your staff to sing a ‘Happy birthday’ song!
This is another easy way to reach out to your loyal customers.
Reaching out to customers directly through SMS is an effective way to inform members on your latest events and promotions – and encourage them to come back and shop with you.
SMS Global found that test messages have an open rate of 98%, with 90% of those messages being read within the first three minutes. That’s great news!
Text messages also work great because they require no internet connection to work. They can also be automated so you don’t have to sit down with your phone and type messages all day long.
A friend of mine recently received a text message to redeem a bottle of wine at La Bodega. Not only did we go and get our free bottle of wine, we also ordered a ton of food and had a great Friday night. And now I’m telling you about it – which is free marketing for them.
Every now and then, I’d receive a text message from PUMA. They’d award me with extra points to go shop at their store. And you bet I do. I love PUMA, and more than that, I love getting special discounts that are meant for me.
Emails are a fantastic way to keep in touch with your customers and foster a bond with them.
Personalised emails with their first name and suggestions based on their shopping habits can help show customers that you know them and care about them.
This study found that 68% of millennials say that promotional emails have influenced their purchase decisions.
With email, you can also be more creative in getting your messages across.
Be it an announcement, reminder, or simply saying hello to your customers, emails are super effective to deliver the messages as creatively as possible. If you have a large customer base, you can easily automate the process too.
Forbes claim that people check their emails at least 15 times a day. Your competitors are probably sending your customers emails too, so make sure you don’t get left behind.
You’re now ready to kickstart your own loyalty program!
If you already have a basic loyalty program and want to take it to the next level, head over to Eber for a free live demo and see how easily it can be done.