Loyalty programs are available for all small to medium sized businesses and not only reserved for large retailers. With today’s need to reach out through social media and the availability of email and autoresponder programs to assist in regular marketing outreach, there is no doubt that a loyalty program must be part of a successful marketing mix.
CLOSEUP Agency can configure a Digital Loyalty Program to Increase Your Business in Cambridge, Brantford, Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, London, Woodstock, Windsor, Hamilton and Niagara areas.
Use a Loyalty Program to Reward Ongoing Purchases, Referrals and Interactions
Loyalty programs are essentially a planned marketing effort that rewards and therefore encourages, buying behavior whether from existing customers or from those that existing customers can refer to the business. Traditionally, by presenting a loyalty card a purchaser would be entitled to a purchase discount or points that could be redeemed for future purchases. One of the oldest loyalty programs in Canada is Canadian Tire’s money, which are in effect coupons that look and trade like currency. Current trends are towards online loyalty programs, for which QR Codes are being used as a means to entice smartphone users instore to make additional purchases or move them into the store for purchases. An example is scanning the QR Code at checkout as a means of aggregating loyalty awards (see http://www.psfk.com/2012/01/loyalty-cards-app.html).
Loyalty Programs are Not only for Retailers
Every business should benefit from increased customer traffic – either REPEAT or REFERRAL – both of which incremental business can be encouraged through use of a Loyalty Program. For instance, you can embed coupons or other promotion in emails regularly sent to customers of a business, being a very basic but effective loyalty program. Existing customers can be encouraged to refer their friends to a business, either directly for a purchase or if they know that the friends would eventually be interested in purchasing to a medium that permits ongoing contact such as having them signup for a newsletter or join the business’ Facebook or Twitter social communities.
Different Customers prefer Different Loyalty Programs
Different loyalty programs appeal to different customers and a business can use one, all or a combination of loyalty programs for maximum effect -
Type A - Membership Type Loyalty Program
Membership programs are one of the simplest ways to keep customers coming back to purchase where actions can be either points price reduction or promotion incentive based. An example of a Membership based loyalty program is Costco.
Type B - Rewards Type Loyalty Program
Rewards are gifts of perks that are in a sense “earned” depending upon the amount of purchases or actions that your customers have with you. Many gas stations use Rewards based loyalty programs as a means of encouraging repeat business.
Type C – Community Type Loyalty Programs
A business could create an actual or online community such as where a sporting goods store creates a community by sponsoring marathons and local running events. An example is the Running Room’s daily arranged running programs.
Double the Effect of any Loyalty Program
An easy way to enhance and increase the effect of an Outreach Program is to integrate it into regular outreach channels, such as through regular emails or a monthly newsletter that contains both a Call to Action to join the Loyalty Program and a coupon or other promotion to give effect to the program – a Win-Win situation. It’s clear that a loyalty program based upon regular outreach to existing customers and incentivizing these customers to purchase or refer is an effective marketing channel.