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Seven Strategies For Promoting Your Loyalty Program 

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SoCal Explorer Loyalty Program

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Understanding The Value and ROI Of Customer Loyalty Programs
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The Easy Way To Test-Start A Loyalty Program

The Easy Way To Test-Start A Loyalty Program

There are times when brands don’t want to dive 100% into loyalty programs. Research shows that loyalty programs help companies increase market share, increased sales, and more profitability. But when faced with the in-depth process of designing, creating and executing a loyalty program - combined with hearing accounts of failed loyalty programs - brands can be hesitant to jump headfirst into launching a full-fledged loyalty program without at least testing the waters first. 

Which is totally fine! Part of building a business case for a loyalty program requires understanding several key factors, like program structure and setup, rewards options, points allocation and more. It's good idea to put time, research, and data into determining what type of loyalty program design and strategy works best for how your brand operates, your customer base, the industry you're in, and the products you sell. Building long-term loyalty takes a long-term commitment, so you want to set yourself up for success from the start. 

At Brandmovers we use a specific strategy for helping brands explore whether they're ready for a loyalty program or not. This method allows clients to test-drive what having a loyalty program would be like and helps them as they begin to research options and gather customer data and feedback.

It works very simply. If you’re looking to: 

  • Test your customer base’s reaction to loyalty rewards and incentives
  • Gather customer info for an enrollment campaign push 
  • Explore new engagement techniques for your existing customer base

Then you can utilize ongoing promotions program utilizing sweepstakes, contests, or even simple receipt validation promotion, to do all the above. 

Why Promotions? 

The most common perception of promotions like sweepstakes or contests is that they’re used to drum up customer attention or give away prizes. However they also share a number of similarities with a loyalty program. 

  • Some promotions require customers to register or create an account to enter
  • Customers take a specific action, like posting on social media, playing a game, or purchasing a product to potentially receive a reward 
  • One type of entry mechanism is letting participants submit a receipt or proof-of-purchase for an entry
  • Prizes or rewards are fulfilled at the end of the promotion
  • Promotions give measurable program data and let you track metrics and KPIs 

All of these features - account registration, receipt validation, rewards fulfillment, and analytics - comprise the basic functionality of a typical loyalty program. 

Of course there are major differences between the two. Promotions like sweepstakes, instant wins, and contests have their own set of strict federal laws and guidelines that brands must follow. Actual loyalty programs are more structured and sophisticated, with features like tiers, member benefits, and in-depth processes for earning and redeeming points.

Understanding The Benefits

It's the similarities between the two that make promotions an excellent method for “test-driving” a loyalty program. You can see how your brand team handles program execution in its entirety: from designing the promotion and determining prize amounts and allocations, to handling customer service and fulfillment afterwards.  

You can also evaluate the reactions of your customer base - did you get high levels of consumer interest and participation? Were customers open to creating accounts and submitting personal data for a chance to win? Did your participants seem to enjoy engaging with your brand and have positive reactions to the rewards and prizes you provided? 

This can sound very trivial when laid out step-by-step. Of course customers would enjoy winning prizes, who doesn’t? But remember the point is to test both brand and consumer interest in an eventual loyalty program. Because if your brand decides to start a loyalty program, some of the actions you'll need to take in order to drive customer engagement and program participation is:

  • Attract customer attention and incentivize them to sign-up 
  • Provide transactional and non-transactional point earning opportunities, such as making a purchase, following and interacting with brand social media accounts, or writing product reviews 
  • Give members a platform where they can create accounts to view their points total and track their progress 
  • Curate a rewards catalog with products and items your customers will enjoy 
  • Track, collect, and analyze program data to measure success and implement improvements
  • Provide additional activities such as games or challenges, customer surveys or polls, or member events to retain customer interest and engagement

See the similarities? 

Taking The Next Step

What if your brand has already run sweepstakes or contests before and you want to explore the next level towards creating a loyalty program?

If you had positive customer responses to past promotions, your next move can be to expand into longer, more involved campaigns. Instead of hosting a one-time promotion, you can establish an ongoing series of campaigns that allows registered customers more chances to earn certain rewards or points on a rolling basis. 

At this level customers can receive rewards for participating in brand-specific events or activities and engaging with brand content, such as videos, polls, and referrals. The purpose of enabling customers to participate and earn rewards on an ongoing basis is that it motivates them to keep returning to your brand, which is one of the foundation stones leading to real customer loyalty. Additionally this step helps to attract and gather the individuals who will eventually become your loyal customer community of advocates, influencers, and brand ambassadors. All before you evolve into a fully developed, omni-channel loyalty platform experience. 

Grow And Scaling To Success

When it comes to building long-lasting customer loyalty, there’s no quick turn around. Long-term loyalty takes long-term dedication. But that doesn't mean your only choices are to go all-in on a full-scale loyalty program or nothing. 

Part of our expertise at Brandmovers is helping companies create scalable solutions that can be easily expanded as the customer participation and program activity naturally grows. Using our modular technology companies can begin with the loyalty program features and functionality they want, and then continue adding new functionalities and integrations; all without requiring a complete loyalty program overhaul and rebuild. 

A slow-build approach to developing customer loyalty certainly isn't the wrong way to go. There are numerous methods to test-drive loyalty programs no matter your brand or industry, and cultivating a solid customer base is a key aspect of every successful loyalty program. All you need to do is get started. 

If your brand is wanting to explore starting a loyalty program or looking to improve their existing program, Brandmovers is here to help! Reach out to us today 

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