As most marketers know the journey doesn't stop once a customer completes a purchase. On the contrary, in order to keep retaining customers, brands need to continue engaging with customers using a dedicated post-purchase strategy. This also is a vital opportunity to begin planting the seeds of customer loyalty, especially among new or first-time purchasers. Brands looking to grow customer retention and foster long-lasting loyalty among their customers can incorporate loyalty-building tactics into their post-purchase strategy, even if they don't currently have a full-fledged loyalty program. In fact, most of these ideas can help brands without loyalty programs get a viewpoint into how implementing customer loyalty drivers can lead to better business success.
Offering Rewards For Actions
Take the outdoor apparel brand Keep Nature Wild. When it launched its loyalty program, new enrollees the chance to earn their first rewards points right off the bat. New members earned enough points to already qualify for free shipping or a $5 off coupon just by signing up and following Keep Nature Wild social media accounts. They continue earning even more points in typical methods — making purchases, writing product reviews, and referring friends and family.
If you’re wanting customers to take specific actions post-purchase, incentives can be great methods. Obviously one goal is for customers to continue making more purchases, but you can also include to other actions like increasing the number of product reviews, taking part in a company surveys, or driving customer referrals.
Customer birthday awards are a staple for any type of customer rewards program. A full-fledged loyalty program can take celebrating to the next level.
Enrollment anniversaries, first purchase anniversaries, even the brand’s birthday is a good chance to celebrate. Loyalty programs let you take celebrating even further because you can use data insights collected within your loyalty program to personalize the celebration to specific customers.
Instead of just offering a generic discount code or bonus points for a customer’s birthday you could include items from their wishlists or favorited rewards with a message inviting them to spend their gift on rewards they’ve been wanting.
If your program uses tiers, you could combine your data into a triple-combo promotion: show how their birthday awards or bonus points, when combined with a product purchase from their wishlists, will move them closer to qualifying for the next tier level or even bump them up completely. An integrated loyalty program will give you the ability to send these types of customized offers and more as part of your post-purchase strategy.
So start marking your customer calendars and get to celebrating!
Drive Cross-Selling And Upselling
Customers that purchase a product from you most likely did so for specific reasons. It's important to imagine your customer's mindset when creating post-purchase outreach and follow-up. What you don't want to do is go overboard: if your customer just bought a refrigerator, chances are they’re not going to need another refrigerator for at least a while. Sending them an email advertising more deals on refrigerators will get you some puzzled glances or rolled eyes at most.
Instead, take the opportunity to incorporate promotions for related categories or products. To keep with the above example, a refrigerator purchase means customers will be purchasing food and cooking. Different cooking tools, food storage supplies, even themed ice-cube molds are all good related product options you could include in your post-purchase communications. If you use a company loyalty program, this is also a good opportunity to include a few of their saved products or wishlist items.
You can also incorporate other products that are not directly related to a customer's purchase using loyalty program data. For example, if a customer 1) bought a refrigerator, 2) has redeemed rewards points in the past for a cooler embossed with a college football team's logo, and 3) has sports gear or equipment on their rewards wishlists, the odds are good that customer is a sports fan. This gives you more opportunities to send them personalized offers or deals that directly appeal to their interests. The more targeted your offers can be, the better your chance of success.
Increase Customer Engagement
A good portion of loyalty program tactics are geared towards the transactional - meaning they're centered on incentivizing customer purchases. But this can have negative consequences. If customers only interact with your program when they make a purchase, they'll have little to no reason to keep interacting if they slow their purchasing down or stop entirely. It's much harder to build long-term loyalty solely using transaction-based engagement tactics.
Now modern loyalty programs are finding more success in retaining customers by focusing on relationship-building. Non-transactional engagements get more traction when creating an emotional connection between brand and customer, and also gives customers reasons to keep interacting with your program even when they aren't making a purchase. These engagements help keep your brand top-of-mind even when the customer isn't in a buying state. So if that state changes in the future, your brand will be there.
If you're looking for more ideas on how to incorporate customer loyalty tactics into your customer retention strategy, we can help! Get in touch with us today.