New Loyalty Program … Build It and They Will Earn
Wouldn’t it be nice if it were really that easy? Awhile back, I was on LinkedIn reading posts in some of the customer loyalty program groups. I came upon a question being asked about how to get more people to sign up for a loyalty program. The reason this particular question grabbed my attention was because of who posed the question. I did not know the person, but I knew the restaurant chain where they worked. I had been there at least 100 times. I often went with friends for happy hour or with my family for dinner. My son actually enjoyed going there when he was three and four. The number of places he liked to go at that age was definitely a short list. This was the only one with waiters and without a slide.
The question for me was not so much why more people had not joined this great program, but rather, why did they have a program? My next thought was that it must be something new they were starting. However, that was not the case. It was a loyalty program that had been in place for over a year. I had been there at least 15 times in the last year. I was their loyal customer. How could I not know about their loyalty program? I had never seen a sign, I was never asked by an employee if I wanted to sign up, and I had never seen anything on a receipt. The question wasn’t how to get more … but how were you getting any? How were they telling people there was even a program for which they could sign up?
Customers are coming to expect businesses to have some kind of a loyalty program. It can be as simple as, “buy five ice cream cones and you get one free” with a punch card. It can also be extremely complicated for higher value items.
While it would be nice to have a punch card for “buy three cars, get the fourth one free,” it just does not work like that. The one thing that all loyalty programs have in common though is people have to know they exist.
For the ice cream shop, it is easy to create a sign or two and have the employees ask if the customers are members. All it really takes is having the employees buy in. Let them know it is a good thing for them to have loyal, repeat customers.
Now for the larger, more complex programs, it takes more than just that. You want people to know that if they use your service or buy your product that they can earn rewards. Reaching the largest number of potential members is important here.
No Magic Formula for Loyalty
Ways to get the word out vary from program to program. There is no magic formula. It takes using different methods to reach different people. Email, direct mail, social media, ads in magazines or online are all important. There are many options, and all of them will reach some of your target audience, but none will reach all.
Remember, a great program is only as good as the members think it is and they must join the program to form an opinion.
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.
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