Long-term customer engagement is always a key goal for loyalty programs. Programs often struggle with keeping momentum going on engagement rates. Lack of points to spend, low-earning rates, and lack of communication between brand and customer all tend to result in lower engagement rates.
The biggest drivers of lower engagement rates tend to happen because most loyalty programs are focused on transaction-only engagements -- meaning a customer has little else to do in the loyalty program if they're not making a purchase to earn points or redeeming points for rewards.
We’ve talked before how loyalty programs that focus solely on transaction-only rewards leads to less overall customer engagement. If customers only interact with your program when they make a purchase then your customer engagement could be very infrequent, depending on your brand and industry.
This is where promotions and gamification tactics come into play! Promotions such as sweepstakes and contest are great marketing strategies for lead generation, increasing brand awareness and driving customer engagement. They're fun, creative opportunities that allow customers to participate for the chance to win different kinds of prizes. What's more, promotions offer ways to engage with customers without requiring them to make a purchase (since it is technically illegal).
Here are a few engagement tactics and ideas for using promotions within your loyalty program:
Gamification is a proven tactic for getting audiences to engage in a program or platform. By making loyalty program fun and competitive you're providing more engagement value for customer participation than simple transactions. Puzzles, games, and collect & wins for sweepstakes entries are great methods for entertaining customers while also motivating them to interact more with your loyalty program. This also gives you an opportunity to add elements like leaderboards, achievement badges, and recognition awards to your program.
Create User-Generated Content
Sweepstakes, photo contests and video contests are great methods for gathering user-generated content to share on social media and within your member community. By joining your loyalty program your members have already proven they are followers of your brand. Further inviting members to share unique photos and anecdotes on Twitter or Instagram for entries is a great way to view and share brand-related content. Creating a themed photo or video contest allows members to be more creative with their entries while displaying their passion and enthusiasm for your brand publicly.
Target Areas Of Low Engagement
Promotions are very versatile. One of their primary benefits is how creative you can be when designing or developing a digital promotion. Sweepstakes and contests can be themed for seasons, holidays, anniversaries, current events, sports, etc. Brands often use promotions or giveaways to market new product launches. They can be hosted on most social media platforms and on microsites. You can even combine different types of promotions -- such as a daily instant win with a monthly sweepstakes draw -- to form one larger, more enriched promotion.
There are dozens of opportunities and goals you can build a promotion around, including targeting areas of low engagement within your brand or loyalty program. For example, say you want to increase customer interactions on a particular brand social media account or promote a specific feature of your loyalty program that isn't getting much use; chances are you can design a sweepstakes, instant win, or contest to help you achieve both goals.
Focus On Community Recognition
Promotions don't always have to be random chance drawing to win a prize. Firedrills, giveaways, and photo and video contests are a few examples of promotion types that don't always involve a random drawing. These types of promotions are good for helping you target specific brand goals or missions. For example, since your customers might be feeling the strain of COVID-19 restrictions, you could design a giveaway type promotion where the first 500 visitors to a microsite get a free product. Another idea would be to host a photo contest where every entrant receives some type of award, such as a discount code or product coupon.
One powerful idea for building customer engagement in your loyalty program is to make a promotion social recognition based. In the time since COVID-19 quarantine measures were put into place, the world has shared stories of people, organizations, and businesses who stepped up to help others and provide assistance for their communities. Brands can host a contest - photo, video, or essay contests are the best formats - where entrants nominate individuals or businesses who they think deserve recognition and an award for their efforts. By allowing program members to nominate others, brands can help foster bonds within the loyalty program community and build relationships between brand and customer.
Promotions like sweepstakes and contests are great method for driving engagement and excitement within loyalty programs. While there are numerous design, legal, and administration factors to consider when hosting a promotion, the benefits to doing so will only help your brand succeed. Here are Brandmovers we've spent 15+ years building and executing both promotions and loyalty industries. Get in touch today if you like to learn more about what we can create to help you increase customer engagement and loyalty!