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How To Make Your Loyalty Program A Success


Loyalty card programs are everywhere we turn. They’re a great way to encourage repeat customers and build excitement about doing business with your company.


Below are some ways to make sure you’re making the most of your loyalty program:


1. Make it easy to sign up: employees should encourage every customer they come in contact with if they’d like to register. Offer registration on your website, social media pages, and anywhere else you can think of.


2. Make it easy to remember: one trend that we’ve seen in loyalty cards is offering a regular sized card as well as a key ring card. Key ring cards are convenient and an excellent way to keep your brand in the minds of customers. Even our local library offers key ring cards!


3. Make rewards attainable: decide on your goals for the loyalty program; do you simply want people to visit the store/restaurant more often? Make more purchases in a particular area of your business? Whatever your goal, think about customers who will not fall into that category – how will the program benefit them?


A popular drug store launched a loyalty card program, and the perception seems to be to reward those who use the retailer for prescriptions. That’s fine and dandy, but I am a regular customer at this store while I rarely need prescriptions. For the life of me, no matter what I purchase (and I’m at this store more than I probably should be), my loyalty points rarely increase. It’s frustrating and makes me feel as though it’s not worth being a part of the program at all. So, while their goal may be encouraging more prescriptions, they are alienating customers like me who spend quite a bit at their locations on a regular basis. Something to think about.


4. Cross reference rewards: work with other businesses to partner in loyalty programs. A great example of this is Jewel-Osco’s newer loyalty program. For every $50 you spend in qualified purchases, you can earn $.05 off gas at participating Shell stations.


I rarely shop at Jewel or purchase gas at a Shell station, but the first time I needed gas badly and the nearest station was a Shell, I remembered the loyalty card I had with Jewel, as it asked for it at the pump. I swiped it, thinking that it probably wouldn’t work because I hadn’t shopped at Jewel that much, and, remembering my experience at the drug store retailer I just mentioned, I figured that whatever I purchased didn’t fall into the “qualifying” category.


Imagine my surprise when it announced that I was getting double off my per gallon price – $.10 instead of $.05. This small savings caused me to do a happy dance at the pump, much to the embarrassment of my children.


After that, I realized it was a game for me – when I need to purchase gas now, I do look for a Shell station to see if I have any discounts. Sometimes I don’t, but many times I do. Cross referencing loyalty programs is good for both businesses – I tend to think of hitting the Jewel more often than I used to, and I now look for Shell gas stations to play the “gas lottery.”


Think outside the box for this – can you work with other businesses to create a loyalty program that gives discounts for their business? Think of things outside of gas stations – restaurants or even online businesses such as Amazon.


5. Talk to your customers and get their feedback: I was recently in a store and used my loyalty card (okay, I’m starting to realize I have quite a few of them!), and the next day I got an email from the company saying that they know I recently made a purchase and asked if I would provide feedback. If I chose to, I would either be an instant winner and be notified immediately after the survey, or could be entered into the drawing.


For a second I wondered how they knew I made a purchase, but then I remembered that I swiped my card and my account has my email address. Very good way to capture feedback!


Make your loyalty program fun and unique, and customers will keep coming back, as you’re now making routine tasks, like grocery shopping and purchasing gas, fun and “game like.” We can all use a little fun in our day!