As we kick off 2022, still facing the challenges that the last two years have brought us, brands are searching for the most effective ways to engage with their customers.
Sixty-eight percent of consumers say their loyalty is more difficult for brands to maintain than ever before. Building deeper relationships with your customers is critical to earning their loyalty.
Consumers have so many choices and if your loyalty program isn’t compelling, or your communications aren’t relevant and valuable, they will look elsewhere. They want brands to know them and talk to them on a 1-to-1 level.
So, engaging with your customers regularly and efficiently will help your brand build lasting two-way relationships that will maintain and nurture loyalty.
Here are the top 3 things you should focus on to build better relationships with your customers as we kick off 2022.
1. Give Your Customers a Choice with an End-to-End Loyalty Program
When it comes to engaging with their favorite brands, consumers want choices. A loyalty program is no different.
Consider offering both a traditional points-based program and a premium loyalty program where your customers can opt-in by paying a membership fee to access enhanced benefits.
Points-based loyalty programs are great at getting customers in the door and allowing them to experience your brand with a low barrier to entry. They’re a great way to collect valuable first- and zero-party data to help with future communications and to optimize the program.
For your top-tier customers, a premium loyalty program offers the best your brand has to offer – things like instant discounts, free shipping, and VIP experiences.
This creates a complete loyalty ecosystem.
When your customers begin in a traditional loyalty program, they can be enticed to move to your premium loyalty offering at some point as well.
Best Buy is a great example of an end-to-end loyalty solution that appeals to Best Buy’s entire customer base – the My Best Buy traditional program for casual shoppers and the Totaltech premium loyalty program for avid tech enthusiasts.
My Best Buy is a traditional tiered program that offers points, discounts, expedited or free shipping based on spend. More recently, Best Buy launched Totaltech, a premium loyalty program full of great benefits that carries an annual membership fee of $199.
Remember, your customers want options.
To spark member growth, engagement, and revenue, offer them an end-to-end loyalty solution that covers all your customers – traditional points programs, premium tiers for top customers, and all forms of engagement programs in between.
2. Interact with Your Loyalty Program Members on a Regular Basis
Acquiring loyalty program members is just the beginning.
Incentivized engagements create connections throughout the customer journey. There are different types of engagement offers to drive an action and they can be via content or past purchases.
Consumers are inundated with thousands of marketing messages each day (predominantly through digital advertising), making it increasingly difficult to break through the clutter. By offering an incentive to draw consumer attention, your brand can break through the clutter and drive engagement with consumers.
Incentive-based promotional activation attracts consumers initially, and then drives engagement.
From watching educational videos, to answering profile surveys, to taking polls, to opting-in to brand communication, to following a brand on social channels, there are many ways to engage customers in the moment and provide opportunities to extend that engagement into the future are limitless.
Engagement solutions like sweepstakes, contests, offers, rebates, and social kickbacks keep customers engaged over time.
Reach shoppers at all points on the customer journey by incentivizing them for non-purchase behaviors that help build lasting relationships and fuel sales growth.
Pursue new shopper technologies, which motivate customers with incentivized engagements to drive trial and adoption and shorten their paths to purchase.
Don’t rely on price promotions alone. Supplement with incentivized engagement. The best promotions complement and enhance the shopping experience.
The power of incentivized engagement/promotions is clear: 81% of consumers are more likely to interact with a brand that offers an incentive; and 68% of incentive-inclined consumers would switch from a brand they regularly used to a different brand that offered better incentives such as loyalty points or rebates.
This builds a relationship with the consumer because incentives motivate positive customer behavior.
3. Customize and Personalize Your Loyalty Program
It’s not enough just to offer engagement incentives. Consumers are joining more loyalty programs than ever before, but it’s challenging for brands to keep members active and engaged.
Member personalization is one tactic that can help drive prolonged engagement through more targeted experiences.
Personalization can have a major impact on both brands and consumers. Personalized communications that are relevant can create lasting customer loyalty and drive revenue growth of 10%-30%.
Your customers want to feel special which is why personalization is critical. For example, communications based on past purchases with recommendations for related products, geolocation offers, and a new experiential loyalty program benefit.
The more your brand can conduct 1-to-1 marketing through your loyalty program, the more loyal advocates you will create and retain.
Create personalized messaging based on past customer experiences. Effectively leveraging personalization and customer data are two big components of brand loyalty.
When you optimize your customer experience it shows members that you care about them and what you’re offering is relevant, fresh, and full of value. This is the key to the long-term success of your loyalty program and your personalization goals.
Consumer Choice Rates High for Loyalty Industry in 2022
One of the reasons it’s so hard to earn and retain customer loyalty is because consumers have so many choices.
In 2022, give your customers what they’re looking for – The option choose how they engaged with your brands through an end-to-end loyalty program, incentivized engagement solutions to keep the communication open between transactions, and personalized 1:1 communications.
If you’d like to learn more about increasing engagement with your customers in 2022, reach out to us anytime.