Many businesses have decided to create loyalty programs as a way to bring in new customers, encourage repeat visits and purchases, and reward loyal patrons for their continued support. If you shop at a local grocery store, collect frequent flyer miles for a specific airline, or even use a punch card at your favorite coffee shop, then you understand the concept of a loyalty card program. Everyone likes to get things free, and when you turn customers into members of a loyalty program you can not only track their purchases more easily for data collection purposes, but you can give them the benefits that encourage further patronage, perhaps even leaving customers so satisfied that they become brand ambassadors. In short, it’s a win-win. You just have to start by convincing customers to sign up for your loyalty card membership program.
The place to begin is by creating a program that offers advantages consumers are interested in. The idea is to reward loyalty (i.e. repeat purchases) and you can do this in a variety of ways. For example, you could offer special discounts or coupons to members only. Or you could grant preferential treatment such as early access to sales or first dibs on new product launches. You could also give away free gifts for a certain number of purchases or a certain dollar amount spent. Or you might offer exclusive promotional items to members.
Other extras could include upgrades to better products or services or chances to enter contests or sweepstakes exclusive to members. In short, there are several ways you might choose to reward loyal customers who sign up for your membership program. You simply need to consider what you’re comfortable giving up in exchange for gaining members, as well as what consumers actually want out of a loyalty program. A good way to figure out the consumer perspective is simply to ask your customers what might entice them to become members.
Of course, you’ll be hard pressed to get people interested in your loyalty card program if nobody knows it exists. So you’re going to have to advertise. This could include a variety of strategies. For starters you should probably engage in in-store advertising (if you have a brick-and-mortar location) as well as featuring information on your website. Don’t forget to talk up your program to customers when they enter your store or make purchases. You can also advertise via social media and of course, word of mouth.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that your loyalty program is convenient. In most cases, this means creating an account for each member, complete with tracking to make sure that points are accumulating in the system so that rewards can be automatically retrieved by consumers or doled out as applicable. In some cases, you’ll want to provide physical cards such as those offered by comprehensive programs like eCard Systems. Or you may simply want to have accounts attached to login information (a name and password for every member, for example). You’ll have to figure out which system is right for your customer base, but tracking data and making it easy and convenient for customers to access is an important part of ensuring that your loyalty program appeals to consumers.