Consumers today live in a world where all retailers are vying for their loyalty. Signing up for a loyalty program has virtually no barrier to entry save for the effort of filling out a form. This explains why 77% of consumers are a member of a loyalty program and the average customer belongs to as many as 14.

Do you think the average consumer can name all 14 of those programs? Do you think they can name 5?

Having a loyalty program is a two-way street. The customer is willing to hand over some personal information in exchange for exclusive deals, access to products or services, or otherwise valuable offers not available to people outside the program. If retailers simply amass customer data with no real strategy for analysis, benchmarks or plan of action based on member behavior, customers will soon find you among those loyalty programs they can’t name.

So who does it right? Well, of course the large retailers like Ulta and Target stand out from the pack as they merge their rewards programs into a fully immersive app environment. But there are still important tactics any loyalty marketer can emulate.

  1. Personalization With the right tools, you can tie credit card transactions to your loyalty members. There are security risks to this so having a good partner is critical, but analyzing purchase behavior is central in the ability to offer personalized messages to your customers.
  2. Communication – There are a number of data point within a customer profile that can help you communicate about your business. You might want to let them know about a store opening by targeting only those within a set of zip codes. Or simply announce early access to a product based on past purchase history of similar products.
  3. Feedback – The more steps there are required in order to build rewards, the less likely customers are to stick around. This is why coffee shops still use punch cards – it’s so easy for customers to understand. Listen to your customers even when they are saying nothing (or especially if they are saying nothing). Lack of redemption or engagement speaks volumes about how they feel about our program.

Do you already have a loyalty program that is not working well, or could be working better? Or do you have one that is exploding with data and you don’t know what to do with it? We are a full service marketing agency that can help with initiatives like this. We work with businesses large and small to help retain customers.