Consider how many businesses you buy from on a regular basis. How do they get you to come back? Loyalty marketing, marketing campaigns created specifically to foster brand loyalty, reward customers with perks and prizes to attract and delight loyal customers.
In this digital age, you can’t keep your customers unless you give them a reason to visit your business again and again. Today’s consumers are on the receiving end of more of them than ever before, their attention is stretched thin and they’re strapped for time. With nearly 40,000 products lining the shelves in the average grocery store, it’s a wonder that consumers only spend an average of 41 minutes in the store at a time. That means they see nearly 1,000 products a minute. Loyalty marketing strategies focus on providing your customers with an experience sure to make them select your brand’s products each trip to the store.
It may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. By building relationships with your customers – instead of just promoting random sales or “throwing a few darts and seeing what sticks” – you’ll eventually see an increase in repeat clientele that’s worthy of a loyalty program all its own.
Nearly every customer can be a customer for life, assuming you treat them right. Campaigns that focus on creating customer loyalty can go a long way toward turning a one-time shopper into a dedicated customer. Take a look at some of the innovative ways marketers are creating brand loyalty to improve their sales and boost profits.
Loyalty Marketing Gives Them a Reason to Talk About Your Brand Online
In the age of social media, customers don’t forget. Ever. They tweet, they post on your Facebook wall, and they make it clear how they feel. If you do something bad or neglect their needs, they will talk. You can’t win a customer once they’ve left your business. It’s better to win them before that happens.
On the other side of the coin, positive word-of-mouth marketing is invaluable. So valuable in fact, according to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.
Take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing and encourage your fans to share their positive experiences with your brand as a way to foster more brand loyalty. You can incentivize this by offering your fans an entry to a sweepstakes or promotional game in exchange for a positive anecdote or story about your brand.
Offer a Unique or Exclusive Experience
Consumers love exclusivity. So long as they get an invite, of course. Attract and delight more loyal customers with an exclusive event or offer.
Offer exclusive early shopping to your most loyal customers to encourage them to “snatch the opportunity” to be your brand’s first shopper for a new product launch. Share private deals or messages with your brand’s most engaged social media followers, and watch them spread the word for you, free of charge.
Treat your customers like VIPs, and they’ll return the investment to your brand. Successful exclusive programs are an opportunity for your brand to express your appreciation for a customer and provide the type of experience that suits them and encourages them to return.
Create a Tiered Loyalty Program
Similar to offering exclusive experiences, tiered loyalty programs encourage repeat behavior from your brand’s most valuable customers.
Give your customers different values of rewards based on their level of engagement with your brand. For example, customers who shop the most frequently may receive the best rewards and rebates with your brand, whereas consumers who shop less frequently still get rewards, just of lower value.
This way, your brand incentivizes casual shoppers or low spenders to shop just a little bit more in order to get a better prize or reward. Brands that already offer tiered loyalty programs experience positive ROI, with some brands noticing that their top-tier customers spend 20% more than the average customer.
Whether you measure the frequency of shopping visits, the total amount spent, or some other metric, there are numerous ways your brand can implement a tiered loyalty program.
Form Relationships with Loyalty Marketing
Of course, one of the most important factors in loyalty marketing is forming deep relationships with your consumers. How do you form deeper relationships with your customers? Over the last few decades, MRi has had the opportunity to identify some best practices.
Most importantly, you’ll want to understand who your customer is. What do they value? What do they hate? How old are they? What do they do online? How do they get their news? These are just a few of the multitude of questions you should be asking about your consumers. You’ll want to know as much about them as you do about your best friend.
From there, engage with them! You spent all of that effort getting to know your consumers, don’t let that go to waste! Loyalty marketing relies on regular open communication with your fans. Be sure to meet them wherever they are. If your audience loves TikTok and spends a lot of time on the app, reach them there! Don’t waste your time with a single email campaign and wonder why nobody interacted with your brand.
Companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average 89% of their customers! Even more convincing, loyalty program members spend 27% more when the brand establishes a positive emotional connection.
Execute a Promotional Campaign
Promotional marketing campaigns like sweepstakes, games, and contests, are all effective tools to foster greater customer engagement and brand loyalty.
Whether it’s the chance to win an exciting prize, a fun contest that challenges your audience, or incentivizing rebates and rewards, there’s surely a promotional campaign strategy to help your brand foster greater loyalty.
Senior Vice President of Client Services, Tim Hobbs, suggests that your brand consider combining promotional tactics to get the most bang for your buck. Executing a sweepstakes plus a promotional game, like an instant win game, is a solid tactic. One that we’ve found works extremely well in certain situations.
In this particular case, the big “hook” prizes, usually awarded in the sweepstakes, draw people in. Then, while they’re engaging with your brand, motivate them to come back over and over again with a more frequent but lower value instant win prize as a way to encourage repeat and frequent gameplay.
No matter what your brand’s purpose is, a dedicated promotional marketing consultant can help you identify the proper program (or a mix of programs) to suit your needs.
Your Brand’s Next Step Towards Loyalty Marketing
Although there are a number of different ways to improve your brand loyalty, the list above provides you with some great ideas on where to start.
Ready to take the next step? Contact one of our experts to launch your brand’s purpose-driven promotional marketing campaign.