This article is part of our Ultimate Guide to Loyalty Programs.
Consumers are loyal to brands that know them and personalize messaging through an engaging loyalty program. Building true loyalty requires brands to offer unique experiences that add significant value to their lives.
But it’s not enough for your brand to have a loyalty program. You need to promote it, make people aware of it, market it effectively in the right channels, and get consumers to sign up for it.
You can have the greatest, most well-conceived loyalty program in the world, but if no one is excited to sign up, or hasn’t even heard of it in the first place, you’ll be hard pressed to make it successful.
The good news?
You can take advantage of many existing channels that you already have today and make loyalty program promotion a part of your larger marketing strategy.
Here’s how to put these channels to good use and get your customers excited to join your loyalty program.
1. Your In-store Associates Can Be Your Most Valuable Loyalty Program Asset
Since your in-store employees work on the front lines of customer interaction and represent your best brand evangelists, educating them about your new loyalty program is vitally important.
To spread the word accurately and effectively about your loyalty program, it’s crucial your in-store associates are well trained to convey the amazing benefits connected to it. The best way consumers can learn about your loyalty program is from passionate and knowledgeable in-store associates.
The more enthusiastic they are, the better chance you have of getting more consumers to sign up for your program.
In-store associates should be well-versed in your program pitch and be able to explain it to customers and answer any questions. Use an incentive program for your store associates to get as many signups as possible.
Your in-store associates are the face of your brand. Give them the right tools to deliver a superior customer experience that can build customer loyalty.
Learn more about empowering your in-store associates to promote your loyalty program.
2. Get Creative with In-Store Real Estate to Promote Your Loyalty Program
One of your most captive audiences is the shoppers already inside of your brick-and-mortar locations. Often, brands use in-store signage, announcements, and other opportunities to promote sales and promotions, but why not make your loyalty program front and center?
You can use simple but descriptive in-store marketing, including counter mats, in-store banners, window ads, and in-store radio announcements.
How about setting up a kiosk where people can sign up for your loyalty program? It seems simple enough, but most brands don’t offer this service. It would be a great addition to your in-store experience to allow customers to sign up for your loyalty program while they’re shopping.
Think about creating a display near your point-of-sale. The display can clearly explain your program, rewards structure, and feature a signup incentive for customers as well.
Having a display at your point-of-sale is also helpful for employees, as they can easily point to it when customers ask questions about how to earn points and what rewards are available.
Also, you could use geotargeting so that customers who have opted-in receive offers to sign up delivered via SMS or email when they arrive in the store.
3. Offer Loyalty Program Signup and Referral Incentives
A terrific way to get consumers to sign up for your loyalty program is by using an incentive.
And nothing says “incentive” better than getting something free! Offering a signup incentive is a highly effective way to get people to sign up for your loyalty program. You can also offer more free items to people who successfully refer a friend to the program.
And if you don’t give new members a free reward when they sign up, give them something they can use on their next visit.
It’s wise to run contests, promotions, sweepstakes, or other incentivized engagement offers to attract more members to your loyalty program. These methods are helpful in enticing new members.
These types of promotions accelerate member enrollment, and you’ll gain an immediate gratification prize message vs. long-term “earn and get something smaller” message.
A sweepstakes is a “lower hurdle” consumer commitment, and a loyalty program is a “higher hurdle “consumer commitment (long-term commitment that typically requires the consumer to do more over time).
Also, the promotional experience can be used to explain the loyalty program benefits leading to higher conversion and deeper loyalty program participation.
Referrals are the perfect way to entice another of your best assets, your current loyalty program members, to share the love with friends and family. Can you offer them a special reward, additional points, or a free product for referring others to your program?
Consider 83% of consumers trust personal recommendations more than any other form of marketing. Referrals generate twice the sales of paid advertising, according to McKinsey.
4. Tap Into Your Existing Subscriber Lists to Build Awareness of Your Loyalty Program
Email is one of the easiest and cost-effective methods of communicating with your customers. Using push messages, emails, or SMS is a wonderful way to advertise and explain your loyalty program.
It’s also a great way to engage existing customers. If you communicate effectively already with your customers, then mixing in messages about your loyalty program will be no problem.
Explaining how your loyalty program works is the most important point in any email messages to customers. Keep it brief and try to use attractive visuals/videos.
Another key point in communicating your loyalty program is use the same wording, messaging, and images in all your marketing efforts. It’s this consistency that will help spread the message.
5. Leverage Social Media to Promote Your Loyalty Program
You’ve spent time and resources building followers across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, so why not leverage this channel to spread the word about your loyalty program benefits?
With 82% of the U.S. population using at least one social media network, this becomes a critical area for brands to market their loyalty programs.
You can even offer extra points for existing program members to share your brand on social to spread the word.
The incredible thing about social media is, if your customers share about your loyalty program, they become your brand ambassadors. They promote your loyalty program for you and, potentially, recruit new members.
6. Use Your Website to Explain and Promote Your Loyalty Program
When it comes to building awareness, take advantage of the traffic you already have coming to your website and make your loyalty program front and center.
In addition to your home page, it’s a good practice to include information about your loyalty program on internal pages like product pages, sale pages, and checkout pages.
If your loyalty program includes product discounts and/or free shipping as rewards, you can show the member price versus non-member price on product pages as an incentive to get customers to sign up.
One thing that’s very important to consumers is ease of use.
So, use your website to create an “explainer” page about your loyalty program. The simpler you can explain the program, its benefits, and how to use it, the better.
If consumers can easily understand your program, how to join it, and how to engage with it, that’s more than half the battle. Explaining how your loyalty program works is a huge part of engaging consumers.
Especially if it’s a points program, consumers want to know how many points they earn per dollar spent, how they can earn points, and how they can redeem them.
7. Don’t Overlook Product Packaging to Promote Your Loyalty Program
An often overlooked opportunity to spread the word about your program is the packaging and materials you’re already sending or giving to customers.
Brands can take a lesson from Amazon here because all its shipping packaging is an advertisement for Prime. Not to mention the numerous Prime trucks seen in every neighborhood in the U.S.
Your boxes themselves can be a big advertisement for your loyalty program. Even right down to the shipping tape your brand uses. For your in-store customers, you can include messaging with a QR code to sign up.
Some other unique features you can use to promote your loyalty program with your product packaging is leaving handwritten notes for customers. This is an indelible positive mark your brand can leave with every customer.
You can also include discount codes in your packaging, which would entice many customers, along with potential cross-selling opportunities.
To Market Your Loyalty Program Effectively, It’s All About Awareness
Bottom line: The more places you can advertise your loyalty program through channels you already own, and the more reminders you can communicate to show the value to customers, the more top-of-mind it becomes.
Creating awareness about your new or revamped loyalty program is vitally important because it’s an area where brands often struggle.
Keep it simple. Don’t over-complicate your message. Highlight member value and provide a simple and clear call to action to enroll.
Want to learn more about how to promote your loyalty program? Reach out to us anytime.
Click here to read the next article in the Ultimate Guide to Loyalty Programs series: The Bottom Line on Loyalty Program ROI