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Only One-Third of Loyal Customers Are Members of Loyalty Programs: What You Can Do About It?

Many consumers consider themselves to be loyal to various brands. Being loyal typically suggests those consumers would be members of their favorite brands’ loyalty programs. 

But that’s not the case. 

Our new 2022 Customer Loyalty Data Study shows that less than one-third (32%) of loyal customers are members of loyalty programs. It’s a startling statistic that begs the question: What can your brand do to improve their communications to get more consumers to sign up for their loyalty programs? 


Make Your Best Customers Aware of Your Loyalty Program 

The reality is many brands don’t do a great job of publicizing and selling their respective loyalty programs to consumers. And some brands simply don’t advertise their programs at all. 

You can have the greatest loyalty program in the world, full of value and exciting benefits, but if consumers don’t know about it your membership numbers will never rise to where you want them to be. 

We worked with Total Retail on the 2021 Loyalty Program Benchmark Report, which assessed 50 of the leading retail loyalty programs. The report revealed there isn’t a lot of consumer awareness related to loyalty programs. 

The report noted some ways brands should advertise and communicate their loyalty programs to loyal customers, which include: 

Subscribers: This is one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods of communicating with your customers. It’s also a great way to engage existing customers. Explain your loyalty program with the same wording, messaging, and images in all your marketing efforts to maintain consistency.  

Social media: With 82% of the U.S. population using at least one social media network, this is a key area for brands to market their loyalty programs. You can incentivize existing program members by offering extra points for existing program members to share your brand on social to spread the word.  

In-store (signage, associates, kiosks, PA system): You have a captive audience when shoppers are inside your brick-and-mortar locations. You can use simple but descriptive in-store marketing, including counter mats, in-store banners, an in-store kiosk, window ads, and in-store radio announcements.   

Promotions: Customized audiences allow brands to generate their own proprietary first-party consumer engagement data to create more specific models and help optimize the brand’s entire marketing mix and to drive loyalty program participation. 

Sweepstakes: Sweepstakes remain one of the most popular ways to collect valuable first-party data because of their versatility. These programs can be tailored to meet a variety of marketing objectives, including awareness and incentivized engagement connected to your loyalty program. 

Rebates & Offers: These incentives help brands drive sales, increase purchase frequency, and can positively impact awareness around your loyalty program.

Make Sure Your Loyalty Program Offers Enough Value 

For a loyalty program to be successful, you need to have an attractive value proposition to incentivize consumers. You must give them a reason to join and become engaged members. 

It’s simple: If your program offers true value, consumers will join. If not, they won’t. Value is what attracts and retains your program members. 

In the past two years since the pandemic began, consumers have heightened expectations and shorter attention spans. To truly differentiate your loyalty program, design a compelling loyalty program filled with benefits that excite consumers and elevate their engagement levels. 

When your loyalty program offers significant value, members will choose your brand over any other. Consider 94% of premium loyalty members shop at that program’s retailer at least once a month. And 67% of premium loyalty members shop once a week or more with their favorite retailers. 

Eighty-seven percent of consumers who are satisfied with the special benefits offered by a retailer’s premium loyalty program will choose that retailer over a competitor that is offering a lower price. 

Consumers want great value and a great experience. When a company gives them an experience worth talking about, they will share it with others and come back to experience it for themselves again. 

If your loyalty program isn’t a differentiator for you and your loyal customers, consider these examples. 

For example, we helped 19 Crimes (an Australian wine brand) with its Infamous Insider Rewards loyalty program that offers many great ways to engage. Members complete tasks mapped out in the dashboard to accrue points. 

Then they can use their points to receive prizes such as swag, VIP perks, and chances to win exclusive prizes. And the more they play, the better chance they must win various new prizes.  


If You Don’t Have a Loyalty Program, Think About Launching One 

Another reason why many consumers don’t belong to loyalty programs is because some brands simply don’t offer them. 

If you don’t currently offer a loyalty program, consider launching one because it can be a major differentiator and boost your customer data collection and elevate overall brand engagement and awareness. 

Premium loyalty program members shop more often. say they shop at that program’s retailer at least once a month, and 44% of retailers with premium loyalty programs say members shop with them at least every few days. 

And premium loyalty members are significantly more valuable than regular customers. More than half of retailers (51%) with premium loyalty programs consider their members to be at least 4x as valuable as regular customers. 

Transactional loyalty is one thing, but experiential loyalty elevates the member experience and creates sustainable emotional connections between brands and consumers.  

Sephora’s Beauty Insider program provides members with many experiential benefits. Consumers who sign up receive access to things like the Beauty Insider Community and beauty classes without having to spend anything at all. 

Lululemon has created a unique brand community since it launched its premium loyalty program toward the end of 2018.  

The premium loyalty program carries a $128 annual membership, where members receive a free pair of pants or shorts with a special logo on them, free workout classes, access to curated events and select product releases, along with passes for members’ families and friends. 

This goes a long way toward building a sense of community and exclusivity. 


Communication and Value Lead to Membership in Your Loyalty Program 

From a consumer’s perspective, the most important part of your loyalty program is tied directly to valuable rewards and the overall value proposition. These rewards and other attractive benefits must be communicated effectively in all brand channels to spark membership. 

Communicate your loyalty program to cover all customers, including traditional points programs, premium tiers for top customers, and all forms of engagement programs in between.    

To download the 2022 Customer Loyalty Data Study, click here. 

It takes a lot to design, build, manage, and promote a loyalty program, but we’re here to help. If you’d like to chat about any of your customer engagement efforts, please feel free to contact us here. 


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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