3 Secret Reasons Your Brand Needs a Rewards Program

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As brands are constantly inventing new ways to interact with their audience, customers are increasingly accepting new technologies. They expect a higher form of relationship with their brands – customer service won’t cut it. To be successful, you need to create an engaging customer experience.

The best way to do this is to use a loyalty or rewards app. They get the customer engagement that brands need to stay financially and socially relevant. But besides keeping your customer base engaged and happy, having a rewards app or loyalty program is integral in a way that customers don’t realize, and you’ll get a lot more than engagement if you can convert your customers. subscribers using your rewards app.

Here are the benefits of a loyalty program that go beyond customer satisfaction.

They prepare you for long term success

Starting with the obvious, having a customer loyalty app prepares you for repeat customers. When you add a competitive and fun element to your marketing, like a points system, customers who are already part of your brand will start to engage at a higher level.

Case in point: In 2016, Starbucks reworked its Star Point rewards system to award stars based on the money a customer spent on a single purchase. Starbucks customers may not need to upgrade to a venti, but the rewards program encourages them to get a little closer to a free breakfast sandwich.

Almost everyone loves to compete, even if they only compete with their will not to get bigger coffee. But these rewards are not only attractive to the competitive nature, they also generate future sales without your customers even realizing it. When they only have two points to go before they win a free sandwich, suddenly it pays to go back to your cafe, and not just the one that’s best for them.

Related: Which Hotel Loyalty Programs Are Best For Business Travelers

They help grow your business with referrals

The first step in running a successful business is finding and retaining customers. Without them giving you their money, your business ceases to exist. The second step is one that unfortunately many businesses never get to: getting current customers to attract more customers.

Having a loyalty or rewards app turns all of your users into unintentional referrals. Think about it: what if you like a particular restaurant, store, or even a particular type of shoe? You tell your friends about it. With one app, it’s easy for a customer to summarize and set up their friends for your business, effectively warming up the sale for you. Having a rewards app won’t seal the deal, but it will add credibility and make the new customer see what all buyers want: the potential for free stuff.

Referrals cost you nothing and often do a better job of attracting new business than the best marketing campaign, because human beings trust the word of genuine people rather than any sort of advertisement. Once referred, they will come to you with the app already installed, some confidence already in their minds, and a greater willingness to spend their money.

Related: McDonald’s Just Launched Its Loyalty Program. Here’s how to make yours successful.

They provide you with invaluable customer data

Finally, let’s discuss the real value of adding a loyalty app or any tech-based component. When you have an app, mailing list, or SMS list, you have access to valuable customer data that helps you better understand the demographic distribution of your audience.

How often do the best users interact with the app? What is the most popular award? How often do specific customers make a purchase? What is your most popular product? What products are your richest customers buying? What is the breakdown of your clientele by age, location and function?

These are all great things to know when trying to gather information about your audience, and a loyalty app is the best way to do that. With their continued engagement, you’ll have ongoing data that you can use to inform your campaign as it progresses.

Digital marketing isn’t just about getting X number of likes on your Facebook posts or sending Y number of emails. It’s about finding the angle that will inspire the most people to convert. Human beings have innate desires of which they are often completely unaware, but they remain invaluable tools for marketers and salespeople.

That little endorphin rush someone feels when they find out they’re only one visit to a free iced coffee? It’s the love of competition – and you can market that. When is a customer making coming to your store every week another part of their routine? It’s customer loyalty – and you can market that too.

A good marketer will create multiple pathways to success and conversion – a strategic marketer will make sure all of these paths connect and set their campaign up for success across the board.

Related: The Marketing Power of Rewards Programs

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