When done correctly, loyalty programs are full-time jobs for marketers. But even though marketers are actively engrossed in running their program, certain features and functionalities can fall into disuse.
This tends to happen when those features land outside the normal day-to-day workings of a loyalty program. But making sure these features don’t go under-utilized is what will give your program a boost and ensure it's keeps program members active, happy, and engaged.
Here are three loyalty program features every marketer should be using more often:
Why They’re Important
Surveys are one of the best and most important loyalty program features to use regularly. Why? Loyalty program member surveys provide you with information willingly given by customers with whom you already have an existing relationship. They’ve purchased from you, enrolled in the program, and most likely participate to some degree: making them some of your best sources of research data.
Among other benefits, surveys can:
- Give you actionable insights into customer choices, needs, and wants
- Reveal opportunities to improve or modify your loyalty program
- Provide you with reasons or instances for why customers would choose to buy from a competitor over you
Example: Let’s say you’re a company that produces teapots and teapot accessories. You send a customer survey out to your loyalty program members. In one of the questions you ask program members to list examples of other stores they might buy teapots from and why.
The responses you get can lead to some interesting revelations. Maybe one of your teapot competitors includes discounts on tea bags when purchased with a teapot. Perhaps another teapot company lets shoppers order teapots or accessories with custom images, colors, or designs, making the product more unique and personalized. Maybe a different competitor offers a great repair or replacement service for any damaged teapots. Or maybe it just comes down to price.
Getting this type of information from customers is invaluable because it directly shows you opportunities to improve your own offerings. Your company can use survey responses to generate ideas for expanding or adding new product lines or services, if it makes sense to do so. Survey response information will also help you devise marketing strategies that counter your competitors and utilize better segmentation to create more targeted customer offers.
You can separate survey responders into certain segments and then create relevant messaging and offers that specifically appeal to them. To go back to the teapot example, you could segment all the the individuals who like customized teapot colors or designs into a group that gets first-look at newly released teapots or limited-edition teapot designs. Another segment could be customers who liked getting discounts on accessories or tea bags with their teapot order, making them a group that receives special bonus offers for bundling purchases, etc.
Why They're Important
When the word “promotions” comes up, most people assume that refers to sales or discounts. It does at times, but in this instance, promotions refers to engagements drivers: play-to-win games, social media hashtag promotions, photo or video contests, etc. These are engagement opportunities that reward users for their activity and engagement, not necessarily for their purchases.
Transaction-based promotions like bonus point sales can be good program member activity drivers, but because they require purchases there’s a limit to how often a customer can realistically participate. Remember if the only time customers engage with your loyalty program is when they buy something, then all it takes for them to stop participating is for enough time to go by without a purchase that they lose motivation and interest.
You can combat program abandonment by creating earning and engagement opportunities that don’t rely on purchases, like promotions:
Games - gamification is a great way to bolster loyalty program activity. Using missions or challenges lets program members participate through fun and competitiveness.
Social UGC Hashtag Promotions - social media channels can generate program member engagement very easily. Using a loyalty platform’s integrated tools like the ones offered by Brandmovers enables you to set up a branded hashtag promotion that rewards members for posting comments, photos, or videos to a certain hashtag. This also has the benefit of providing your brand with UGC that can be pulled into an on-site mosaic or shared across other channels, generating more customer awareness.
Promotional Experiences - got a launch party coming up? A company or holiday event? Or even just a webinar? Toss your members some bonus points or other perks for joining in the fun and participating. This can also include consuming experiential content, such as videos or tuning into livestreams.
Why They're Important
Program analytics are a core part of loyalty program success -- yet it's surprising how often they go unused or underutilized by loyalty program administrators.
Taking the time to really dig into loyalty program data is easier if your program has modern data analytics and reporting dashboards that easily break down loyalty program performance into actionable insights. It saves you from having to manually compile and format the data yourself, which is time-consuming and hinders your ability to make real-time decisions.
The best way to make program analytics a core part of your routine is to set aside a dedicated time each week to review program performance data. Try to avoid just gathering numbers for a report; instead, look at your specific program KPIs or general program metrics such as:
- Users who haven’t logged in in 30/60/90 days
- Users who haven’t submitted their first receipt or redeemed for their first reward
- Members who have redeemed unique codes or offers
- Top redeemed rewards
- Top products or categories purchased
- Top customer or earners
Focusing on certain metrics like these helps you actually put the data to good use. Like with survey data, understanding program analytics and metrics can help you gain actionable insights into how to optimize program performance. You're able to recognize areas for improvement and create actions plans for re-engaging members, create more targeted offers, or identify opportunities to drive cross-selling or purchase rates.
Loyalty programs can be major drivers of growth, and the best way to ensure your loyalty program is reaching its full potential is to ensure you’re utilizing every aspect of your program features and functionalities. Starting with these three can help you get a bump in performance and soon you’ll start to see the benefits of loyalty program activity.
If you're looking for more ways to better utilize your program features or to give your program an upgrade, find out more about how Brandmovers can help.