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How Adding Incentives to Your Loyalty Program Can Increase Engagement

According to our 2022 Customer Loyalty Data Study, less than one-third (32%) of loyal customers are members of loyalty programs. So, what can you do to incentivize more of your customers to join your loyalty program? 

Seventy-one percent of consumers in 2021 belonged to traditional loyalty programs and most (68%) were members of one to four loyalty programs. But many don’t use the programs they’re in since 73% participate in only half of the ones they belong to. 

So, what can you do to incentivize more of your customers to join your loyalty program? And how do you get them to engage more once they’re members? 

Adding incentives to your loyalty program can help. Here’s how. 


1. Use Gift With Purchase Promotions or Rebates to Acquire Loyalty Program Members

Our recent Customer Engagement and Loyalty Survey found that 85% of consumers would join a brand’s loyalty program to receive a rebate or a gift with a purchase. 

Gift with purchase programs and rebates are excellent acquisition strategies to acquire new members to your loyalty program. 

They can be guaranteed rewards, cash, offers or in some cases, charitable donations. You can include a progress dashboard so participants can track their purchases toward their gifts.  

You can layer this engagement tactic into your loyalty program. It would require participants to sign-up through your loyalty site to submit for the offer.  

For instance, a CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) company can run an offer at point-of-sale through a specific retailer. When the customer registers to get the offer, he or she is either signing up for the rewards program to obtain it, or they are asked during registration if they would like to join the brand’s loyalty program and earn points for doing so. 

If they check the box to opt-in to the program, they not only have claimed their offer but are now a loyalty member. 

For example, the Energizer Go Rewards loyalty program has offered a rebate incentive. 

To receive the $5 rebate, consumers had to purchase at least $15 worth of any Energizer Brand battery or lighting products in a single transaction at any brand (excluding Lowe’s) between 10/1/2021 and 2/28/2022. 

Then, consumers were asked to take a photo of their original receipt and visit a link to submit it and redeem the rebate. To submit receipts, participants were required to be members of the Energizer Go Rewards loyalty program. 

2. Allow Your Loyalty Program Members to Use Their Points to Enter Sweepstakes 

Allowing your members to use their loyalty points to enter sweepstakes is a great way to spark interest in your program. 

Creating a sweepstakes for loyalty program members to enter by using a low point amount is an exciting and easy way to engage.  

Our quick poll revealed that almost half (47%) of consumers would be willing to use their loyalty program points toward entries in a sweepstakes for the chance to win a prize or experience, rather than using those points for product or service discounts. 

This is important for brands because more members will participate if they can use their loyalty points. Since the prize or contest pool is fixed, more entrants lead to greater efficiency and it’s a great way for brands to reduce their points liabilities. 

A great example is 19 Crimes (an Australian wine brand) with its Infamous Insider Rewards loyalty program. Members complete tasks mapped out in the dashboard to accrue points they can use to enter a sweepstakes to win prizes such as swag, VIP perks and chances to win exclusive prizes.  

Think about making this an option as part of your loyalty program since there is a significant number of consumers who would rather use their loyalty points to enter a sweepstakes to win a prize or experience, instead of using them for a product or service discount. 


3. Engage Your Loyalty Program Members With Trivia and Surveys In Between Purchases 

Trivia and surveys engage your loyalty program members quite well and collect important zero-party data. 

These programs create friendly competition by encouraging your best customers to share their scores or results. Keep your trivia programs fresh by changing the questions on a daily or weekly basis to increase the frequency of participation.  

Trivia tests consumers’ knowledge about relevant brand or pop culture content, gamifying the educational experience by asking questions in fun and engaging ways. Questions can be one-time use, or refresh at each visit or set at intervals throughout the engagement period. 

A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure engagement tactic is a different type of trivia that puts the experience in the hands of the consumer, allowing them to weigh in on the narrative and determine the outcome. 

Once a participant registers, they are taken through trivia or survey questions and each question they get correct can earn them an additional entry. Responses are stored within a database for the brand to evaluate and analyze. This can also be incorporated into a loyalty program to earn without purchase to get more insights into member preferences. 

Miller Lite ran a trivia engagement tactic called the Miller Lite 2-Minute Drill. 

The objective was to give NFL fans a second-screen activity during Sunday games to keep the brand top-of-mind all season long. 

Every Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET, NFL fans could play “two-minute trivia drills” by answering football-related questions for chances to win national and team-specific sweepstakes prizes. 


4. Use Referral Promotions to Engage Your Loyalty Program Members 

You can offer an incentive (extra entry/play for a chance to win/loyalty points) just for sharing on the site. 

According to our 2022 Customer Loyalty Data Study, family and friends (76%) are by far the most trusted sources for consumers. Contrastingly, unpaid influencers only impact 46% of consumers while paid influencers impact 44%. 

You can also set this up to be sent via email to friends by the participant.  

Implement “refer-a-friend” offers to leverage your member base as a catalyst to engage new customers. Offer a $5 gift card toward product purchase where the existing member gets the gift card for making the referral once the referred customer signs up for the loyalty program to claim their gift.  

Johnson & Johnson launched a referral program for My Car Club where members could earn points for each person who they get to join the program.  

Member referrals are an effective strategy to acquire high-value new program participants. All loyalty programs have some type of member referral value proposition.  

The challenge is to keep your member referral offers fresh and engaging. 

When a consumer signs up for a loyalty program, they see the member referral offer and send it to a handful of friends and family. Over time the member referral offer needs to change to prompt members to continue to refer friends and family. 


5. Offer Engaging Content to Incentivize Members for Viewing/Reading

Another way to keep your brand top-of-mind among your loyalty program members between purchases is to offer engaging content and incentivize members for viewing/reading. 

You could do this by posting videos or blogs each month and driving members via email or their social handles to engage with it on the loyalty site by offering points or a sweepstakes entry. 

The trick for this promotion is to keep your content fresh and exciting for your loyal customers. Our quick poll shows that 81% of consumers would definitely return to a loyalty program site if there was updated content available each month or quarter. 

Reinforce your brand messaging, like with blogs and videos, through your loyalty program. T-Mobile Tuesdays is a great example of this since it updates its rewards every Tuesday. 

Our quick poll also says that 80% of consumers probably or definitely would watch a brand’s video content in exchange for loyalty program points. 

Both the Sparking Ice Rewards and Energizer Rewards loyalty programs reward members with 10 loyalty points for watching a brand video. 

The Johnson & Johnson My Care Club also rewards loyalty program members with helpful wellness tips for uploading receipts from purchases with Care Club’s participating brands and for writing reviews, responding to polls, and sharing with friends. 


There are Many Different Ways to Use Incentives to Engage New and Existing Loyalty Program Members 

As you’ve read, there are various ways your brand can leverage incentives through your loyalty program to engage and retain your members. 

Incentives drive brand affinity by offering unique and exciting ways to engage with your loyalty program.  

You can incentivize participation in non-purchase activities such as watching a video or completing a poll question or survey. You can make these engagements even more fun by implementing a trivia or matching game that reveals tips or facts about your products and program. 

The main thing is understanding your audience and offering engagement tactics that will entice your loyalty program members. 

If you’re facing the challenge of acquiring new loyalty program members or if you want to engage your existing members, reach out to our experts here any time


ebbo helps brands achieve their customer loyalty goals with full-service, end-to-end solutions and also creates original educational content straight from the experts to help loyalty marketers stay on the cutting edge of customer engagement.

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ebbo™ is an all-in-one loyalty company. With our data driven strategy, full-service approach, and the unwavering support of the people behind the platform, our dedicated team will work with you to understand your loyalty goals, innovate solutions and help you build customer engagement on repeat.

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