Do you have a loyalty program? If not, you might be one of those people that believes the E-Trade baby is really talking. Okay, that’s not fair.That E-Trade baby is convincing. Regardless, as a business you should be grateful for your customers. The best way to show that is through loyalty. Loyalty is great because it translates – like many things – in business as it does in life. When there is a confluence of relevancy in this way, emotive feelings of that thing (in this case loyalty) are projected on to your brand/business.
Loyalty programs can show up in a plethora of forms. You can send out a monthly email/newsletter to all of your customers that has discounts embedded in the communication. Loyalty cash, for repeat purchase, is great for irregular or large purchases like cars. You might even offer sample products you’re weighing whether or not to stock, if you’re a retail establishment. Regular purchases like coffee or gas lend themselves well to freebies based off of a certain number of purchases.
Most important, loyalty programs regularly remind your customer base why they spend their money with you and not the other business. Let’s face it, there are very few product/service niches that are so unique that there isn’t anywhere else for a customer to get a similar product or service. So, it is imperative that you treat your customers as a valued friend or acquaintance. Caveat: If you happen to be one of those people that itemizes the dinner bill and fights about splitting it evenly because ‘you only drank water’ then don’t treat your customers like friends because that is just kind of rude and classless. But, if you realize that the value of your friendship is greater than one dinner then you’re in the clear. Yes, I said it.
Remember, it is 60% less expensive to obtain repeat purchase than it is to gain new customers, so take care of the people already patronizing you. Any decent CRM will allow you to keep tabs on who is purchasing what and when so there shouldn’t be any problem with knowing which customers to incentivize and which ones to leave out. The point is to reward people that have rewarded you with their dollars and loyalty by showing some loyalty back to them. Reciprocation isn’t only suggested but expected in life.
Finally, you can link it to your integrated marketing communications strategy. If you’re focusing on individuality, then you might offer free or discount ringtones. Ringtones might not directly associate to your product but if it fits with your IMC big idea then go for it! Offers such as this can translate to positive reinforcement of the intangibles or brand personality you want to convey.
Do you have any loyalty program successes? Tell me about them, or anything else you might want to talk about.