best practices marketing concepts chart

Loyalty Program Best Practices

Building a program which creates commitment and longevity

Building an engaging program that wins with customers takes planning, budget, and strategy. The business rules and objectives behind your program affect everything you do from cost, points, communications, image, and engagement. Your vision and business rules must be consistently carried out through the program in its entirety. Supporting the customer experience no matter when or where you are engaging with them is a challenge; bridging the gap with your internal teams as well as your partners from the beginning, however,  will lead to a consistent customer experience and program understanding.

Define Your Objective

The overall program objective is the number one thing you need to define.

  1. Define your Strategy
  2. Set budget
  3. Define and Work with Marketing on Positioning
  4. Review Risks
  5. Complete Financial Analysis
  6. Business Analysis
  7. Select Platform and Technology Partner
  8. Select and Define Team Member Roles
  9. Testing
  10. Launch

Consider Your Strengths

When you begin to strategize about your program, remember to consider the strengths of your team and brand. Loyalty should never be a one-size-fits-all program, and once you have a program, it will change and evolve with the market and customer need.

  1. Define the core objectives for the program.
  2. Define the target group.
  3. What is the program structure?
  4. What will be the currency of the program?
  5. How will customer issues be resolved?
  6. Will there be fees or membership dues?
  7. Will partnerships be needed to optimize the program?

Target rewards, and communicate with tiered customers differently. A core functionality is rewarding the top customers. Customer should not all be treated the same. They don’t spend the same, they don’t engage the same, and they are not the same. Privileges should be created in tiers, which give recognition to top customers and give the others something to work toward. Remember, a key in any loyalty program design is behavior modification. Some loyalty programs have become mindlessly rewarding for nothing. I agree that saying “thank you” for business is good business, but it is not a loyalty program. When you set your program goal, it should be specific to drive or change a behavior. Program goals can include:

Customer Retention

Customer Satisfaction

New Customer Aquisition

Increase Revenue

Increase Customer Engagement

Your program should be a benefit to the customer. If your budget does not allow for a program to reward customers in a manner they perceive as “worth it”, then your program will fail. The average customer now belongs to more than 20 loyalty programs. Bad customer service continues to be the number one reason a customer will change brands. If you are going to stand out in the crowd, your loyalty program must be well defined, well developed, and funded appropriately.

For more information, contact

Chad Gibson


 DBG Loyalty – Custom Loyalty Programs

DBG Loyalty is a leading innovator in loyalty and rewards marketing. DBG was founded in 2002 because the industry was looking for a trusted technology leader who could develop and establish consumer loyalty programs. DBG has customer relationships which span from the time of inception.

Linda Butcher

Linda Butcher

Linda Butcher is the Chief Business Development Officer at DBG Loyalty, where she heads strategy and sales. Linda has extensive experience in consumer engagement through social media, marketing,
and loyalty solutions.

Linda Butcher

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