The key to any loyalty program’s success is its customers. And customer love loyalty programs – a 2017 national survey showed US consumers are holding over 3.8 BILLION customer loyalty memberships. Clearly, customers are open to joining loyalty programs. In order to attract and retain these customers, loyalty program providers need to be active and energetic about promoting their programs.
If you’re finding your promotion methods are running a little dry in the desert, here are some ideas for actively promoting your loyalty program. Small confession: they don’t include having your program’s name spelled out in the night sky by fireworks. But they can be just as fun. Even better: they work!
1. Kickstart Customer Accounts With Free Loyalty Points
No one likes to start from zero. When customers sign up for your program, reward them with a little boost of points or rewards to get the ball rolling. You can help build customer earning momentum and create an instant benefit to signing up all at the same time.
2. Promote On Your Main Website
Take a moment and review your main website. Can you immediately spot where your loyalty platform is represented?
If not then you need to start the process of getting the word out on your main website. You want people who frequently visit your site to join your loyalty program, correct? One of the easiest ways to let them know is by putting the information where it’s clearly visible. It doesn’t have to be obnoxious (in fact, promoting your loyalty program should match your brand in every way, including look and feel).
You can add a loyalty program tab to your main menu, make a notification appear when they add a product to their cart, or create a little banner for product pages announcing customers know you have a loyalty program they will enjoy.
3. Reward Customers For Their Actions
Have you seen the photos of teachers who put funny bonus questions or invite their students to write a funny joke at the end of their tests to receive some extra points? It’s fun for the students and puts a light-hearted spin on something designed to be difficult.
You can follow the same principle when promoting your loyalty program. In addition to the regular work your customers put in to earn and redeem, give them small fun ways to get extra loyalty points. Did your website just roll out a new revamp? Or has your brand recently launched their Instagram account? Celebrate with your current loyalty members by offering them free rewards points for participating in your new venture. Invite them to share the link to your newly-made over website on their social pages so they can earn 100 bonus points. Or post a 25% coupon code only visible to your new Instagram followers.
If you’ve recently launched a mobile app you can give your customers the extra incentive for their first sign-in to the app. There are always little events to use for promoting your loyalty program. Plus your customers will enjoy these fun moments of loyalty.
4. Offer Referral Incentives
Referrals are hands-down one of the best ways to earn new customers. When a current customer is referring you to a person they know and trust, it’s a signal they in turn know and trust your brand. LinkedIn even revealed that 84% of B2B buying decisions began with a referral. Who wouldn’t want to reward this kind of loyalty from their customers? Offer referral incentives for customers who invite their family and friends to join your loyalty program.
TIP: This isn’t always the best choice for customers who have just signed up — it’s possible your brand hasn’t made a big enough impression yet. Wait until your customer has a few redemptions under their belt first. Then ask for referrals.
5. Train Your Staff
Employees are often the best advocates for your brand. They’re the front-line to your customers and they can be very powerful ambassadors.
Build programs to train brand staff on your loyalty program. At minimum, your staff should know the program features, benefits of joining, and the join-up process. If your employees will play an active part in signing up a new customer then try to ensure the sign-up process is simple. They should be able to easily enroll new customers without it turning into a tedious affair.
Also keep communication channels open with your employees. If they find success promoting your program in a certain way you'll want to hear about it. You can then empower them to share their methods with your other employees as well!
6. Host A Landing Page
One of the easiest methods of promoting your loyalty platform is to dedicate a landing page to it on your main website. Having a dedicated landing page gives you prime space to provide more in-depth information about your loyalty program and how it works. You can use this page to feature a handful of common FAQs and highlight all the program benefits.
This is also a great method for displaying key information to potential customers who aren’t committed yet. Laying out the requirements for signing up, how to earn points, etc. can help them with their decision process. This is also a great place to place a customer testimony or two!
7. Highlight Your Best Customers
Speaking of customer testimonies, you should also take the opportunity to feature any positive customer interactions. Next to employees, customer testimonies are a powerful way to gain new recognition and promote your brand.
One of the best ways you can do this is to celebrate when new customers reach a high-level tier. Not only does this reinforce the idea that your loyalty platform is working, it also shows other people that reaching a VIP status is possible! Acknowledging their support in public, like on your social media channels, is also a great idea.
There are several different methods for promoting your loyalty platform and you should experiment to figure out which methods work best for you. 74% of consumers said they select their retailers based on a strong loyalty platform. All you need to do is get the word out!
This article was originally posted in 2018. It was updated on April 10th 2019.