The benefits of a well-executed loyalty program are numerous. There are hundreds of big brands that attribute their entire e-commerce business’ success to their loyalty program. Why? It has the power to increase sales, ROI, customer acquisition, brand engagement, customer lifetime value, etc. To harness this power, retailers need to be strategic before, during, and after the launch of their rewards program.
Implementing a loyalty program demands that you consider the type of rewards to offer, your end goals, and how you can present them in the most convincing way to your customers. Below is a checklist of some of the most important steps you need to take when launching a loyalty program.
Brand the rewards page
Creating and branding the rewards page is probably one of the most obvious steps to take before launching a loyalty program. Since the rewards page reflects the kind of value your brand has to offer, its language, color, and overall appearance must match your brand’s message. Retailers should use software that allows them to customize their reward pages to suit their brand. Again, the copy on the rewards page should be convincing and clear enough for new shoppers to spot its value. Utilize the power of images, videos, and infographics to share the details of the loyalty program while incentivizing customers to take action.
Integrate third-party apps such as email marketing and customer/chat support services
Integrating certain third-party applications could be the difference that sets you miles apart from your customers. Especially in this age of fast technological advancement, you want to have the right software and apps to run your loyalty program effectively. However, before launching the program, test your apps properly and integrate the appropriate plugins that can help you run the program better. Most of the popular software integrations you might need are email marketing and chat support apps. Do your research and find the most suitable ones for your business and the goals you want to achieve. If there is a need to move data across apps, and set up certain automation, ensure that you get all these done and test that everything is well synchronized before the program launch day.
Configure/ Set the rules in the rewards program
Another important task to complete is to set up all the rules for earning rewards in your program. For instance, you can set a rule that rewards users $2 for every 100 points. At the same time, you need to set the rules on the amount of money spent and its equivalent number of points earned. For instance, every purchase totaling $50 is equivalent to 50 points. So using the former reward rule, the customer will earn $4 for purchasing products worth $200. Retailers can also set rules which offer customers more perks as they make more frequent purchases, perform certain profitable actions, or give them special discounts in certain seasons. Retailers need to ensure that they have simple-to-understand reward rules and incentives for their members. People are more likely to participate in a loyalty program that offers clear rewards and irresistible value.
Promote your program
It is an error to think that your loyalty program will sell for itself once it is created. If you are not experiencing a good ROI after launching your rewards program, likely, there wasn’t enough promotion. However, more people will become aware of your loyalty program when it is purposely promoted, increasing sales and profits. Therefore, once everything is set up in your rewards program, do not hesitate to promote it to your customers vibrantly. You can use paid ads, free social media posts, email marketing campaigns, website pop-ups, among others, to attract the attention of both new and existing customers.
When launching a loyalty program for the first time or revamping an existing loyalty program, an email announcement is an excellent way of ensuring that all your customers receive all the information they need. Compared with social media posts and paid ads, email has a higher possibility of directly reaching customers at a lower cost. In addition, open rates are higher, and there is a better sense of exclusivity for email announcements. Retailers should take advantage of this strategy by sending email notifications about their loyalty program launch to customers. In that announcement, they can also include important information such as the loyalty program’s benefits, how it works, and how they can easily participate in it. Before sending out such emails, decide what you want to achieve when your customers read your email. For instance, do you want them to click on a link to purchase a product and receive certain rewards in return? Do you want them to refer their friends or share the news about your loyalty program on social media? Or do you want them to sign up for your new loyalty program? Be sure to consider all of these factors when sending out email announcements. If you decide to promote your program through an existing email marketing campaign, you can add an email signature that includes a link to join the loyalty program to every email you send. This serves as a constant reminder about the program and will eventually get the members on your list to join your program.
Make it visible on your website.
There’s no point going through the entire process of creating a loyalty program and launching it if customers cannot easily find it on your website. Accessing your loyalty program, especially on your branded website, should be among the simplest things your customers should be able to do. Displaying your brand’s loyalty program on your website’s main page or header will draw more attention and attract new buyers. The availability of a loyalty program can influence customers’ purchasing decisions; hence retailers should not take this for granted. Avoid placing links to the loyalty program on parts of your website that cannot be spotted at a glance.
Create an explainer page
Before you launch a loyalty program, make sure that it is visible and well understood. A detailed explainer page on your website can provide all the necessary information so customers can fully understand the program. On this page, you can include all the details on how users can earn and redeem their rewards. In addition, it should be able to answer all the potential questions a customer may have about your loyalty program. For instance, it should explain the number or value of rewards available, how rewards can be collected, how many points or money they need to spend to become eligible for certain rewards, exceptions, expirations, and how they can get started with the program. Don’t forget to include a link to the ‘Terms and Conditions page if need be so that you do not end up receiving lots of complaints from customers who are not aware. Explainer pages are the perfect destinations for Call-to-action buttons and links that will encourage users to participate and learn more about the program.
Automated, Timely and Personalized promotions
The perfect time to promote your loyalty program to customers is when they feel the most positive toward your brand. A positive moment creates a positive reaction which increases the customer’s likelihood to participate or engage further with your program. This is why retailers need to gauge these moments and encourage customers to take action during these times. For instance, if you have an e-commerce store, the right moment to promote your loyalty program is when a customer has just completed their order and is expecting to receive that product. Announcing a loyalty program or a reward for the action they just took would increase their interest in your brand and drive them to participate in your program. Another opportune time is when they have completed a second or third purchase or when they have referred a certain number of people to your store. It is not enough to create a loyalty program. Promotional messages need to be automated and sent at the right time in the customer’s journey.
Social media sharing
When setting up a loyalty program, make sure that social sharing buttons are available to promote the program to both new and existing customers. Most of your customers and potential buyers use social media frequently; hence there’s a huge chance of growing the program faster. Therefore, it is prudent to have a solid strategy for social media promotions following the launch of your program. For example, will you share only details about the new reward program? Will you share reviews or testimonials from existing customers on your social media page? Will you incentivize your customers to engage with your platforms or promote your program on their personal social media channels? Draft a solid social media promotion strategy for launching your loyalty program and for promoting it as well.
Launching your loyalty program shouldn’t be so hard once you get the above steps in order. You can create an integrated marketing experience for your customers by using the Beans App. Get started here.