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How to Attract and Retain Premium Loyalty Program Members

Seventy percent of consumers would enroll in a paid loyalty program if their favorite brand offered one.

As we all know, though, getting customer loyalty right is hard and premium loyalty is harder.

In fact, our study shows that nearly 70 percent of consumers say their loyalty is more difficult for a retailer to maintain than ever before.

The easy part of traditional loyalty is program member aggregation. It’s free!

But premium loyalty programs need to be sold.

So, here are five key factors that can assist brands in effectively selling premium loyalty programs.


1. Present a Compelling Call to Action

Your best customers don’t wake up in the morning and ask themselves, “Do my favorite brands have a paid loyalty tier? And if so, I need to enroll today!”

Brands need to promote messaging that creates awareness and a sense of immediacy.

So, how do you seize this opportunity?

Figure out what your customers want, identify their pain points, and address them through the benefits in your premium loyalty program.

Capture their attention with a call to action that is clear, concise, and compelling.


2. Respect Your Customers’ Behavior

Time is valuable.

Your customer has already been motivated to come to your store, browse your site, or open your catalog.

Respect that customer behavior to ensure their primary motivation is realized: A purchase of one of your products.

Post-purchase program presentation is optimal. The customer has completed a purchase and you have not interfered with that process.

You have their attention.


3. Outline a Clear Program Value Proposition

Great, you’ve got the customer’s attention.

Now what?

Present a clear value proposition like Lululemon. For $128 annually, members receive a pair of pants or shorts.

If you click over to the Lululemon website, you can see that many of the pants are around the $100 price point, with some of the more hip looking women’s leggings coming in right at $128.

If someone plans to buy one pair of those leggings a year, that membership just paid for itself.

Prime has a myriad of benefits, but a brand offering a premium loyalty program should focus on two or three to spark interest in its consumers.

You need to convey the inherent value of the program. Prime is loaded with benefits, but Amazon doesn’t pull you in by referencing all of them.

What are your customers asking for?

What are they purchasing?

What pain points can you remove for them?


4. Give Customers an Incentive to Enroll

A premium loyalty program is not a tangible item. You can’t pick it up and touch it.

Customers might be hesitant to enroll prior to experiencing the value.

Remove that hesitancy by offering a free trial period and present an incentive of immediate value to close the deal.

This is direct response.

You need to be on message with your brand but are looking to capture an enrolled member now.


5. Keep Your Members Engaged After Enrollment

Congratulations! You’ve acquired a premium loyalty member!

Stay focused, there’s no honeymoon.

You are going to charge a fee at the end of a trial period. Your program needs to deliver seamless and immediate value and live up to its promise.

If not, that customer is heading for the back door. Transactional rewards provide immediate value as do surprise benefits that don’t require customer action to receive them.

Just be sure to balance transactional benefits with experiential ones.

Instant discounts and free shipping are often the hooks to get enrollments, but the experiential benefits that make members feel special are what keep them engaged.

Engage with them via your program online, mobile, in-store, and post-transaction.

Keep your members engaged and excited about the program.


Premium Loyalty is About Committing to Your Members

Traditional loyalty is transient; premium loyalty is a true commitment.

Thank your customers for their business.

They committed to your premium loyalty program and now you are committed to them as loyal customers.

Attracting members to your premium loyalty program is fantastic!

Now, you must show them you know them and reward them for their loyalty and frequent engagement.

That is the key to retention.

After all, are you just looking for signups? Or do you want members of your loyalty program to be committed and highly engaged?

Tony Muro

Tony is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Clarus Commerce. For over 25 years, Tony has driven revenue generation for Financial Service, Retail, Ecommerce and Travel & Hospitality partners by delivering winning customer acquisition, activation and retention solutions. Tony is an empty nest newbie with two daughters just taking flight. He's also a lapsed Minnesota Vikings fan who can be found tormenting his over 40 soccer league opponents on the weekends.

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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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