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Get More from Your Rewards Program

What’s in this article:

  • If you want to turn your customers into brand ambassadors, give them a reason to be excited about your company — like rewards
  • Customer reward programs shouldn’t only be a way to reward the customer for their loyalty, but they should also be a way to continuously engage them
  • Follow these creative ways to better engage your customers with a reward program

Maybe you scan their card, type in their phone number, or have them add their member ID number online when they check out. No matter how you track your customer rewards program, we are going to bet you aren’t doing as much with this tactic as you could. These programs shouldn’t only be a way to reward the customer for their loyalty, but they should also be a way to continuously engage them — when done properly, that is.

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So, if you’re ready to better engage your audience and form stronger relationships with them, check out these five creative marketing tactics with your rewards program.

Send them back to their abandoned cart

As any e-commerce brand can attest, abandoned carts come with the territory — but at a steep cost. Here are just a few statistics that will make your head spin:

  • The average cart abandonment rate across all industries is 70 percent.
  • Mobile users’ abandonment rates are even higher at 86 percent.
  • More than $4.6 trillion of merchandise is left in carts in each.

Yes, those numbers are discouraging. But what you do to re-engage these online shoppers after they have left items in their carts is what matters. And while your initial goal might be to convert and earn back that lost revenue, you can also boost brand loyalty by using your rewards program as a tool to bring them back.

You might think of the rewards your brand gives customers — whether that’s points or a membership status — as things they earn when they make a transaction. Instead, think of them as a motivator, instead of the end result.

For returning shoppers who leave items in their cart, send them an email letting them know they will earn rewards points if they return to their cart. Include how many points they will earn and how close that puts them to the next level or tier in your program’s rankings, if that applies. Once they go back to their cart, make sure to show them how many rewards points they will earn after they complete the purchase.

Reduce down times

Does your brand have “dead times,” either with few people in your physical store or little traffic to your site? That’s natural. But instead of simply accepting the reduction in customers, use your rewards program to bring in the crowds.

A great example of a brand successfully using this approach is Chick-fil-A. The company often offers customers extra loyalty points for purchases on certain days or times. These times are generally not ones the customer would choose themselves — like 2 to 4 p.m. — but now their customers have a reason to go during that time. And that’s the whole goal right there.

You could offer double the points during these assigned days or times or give everyone the same number of points. Let your customers know about this incentive via email or through your app.

A better way to define your VIPs

Upsell with rewards

Customers who are a part of your loyalty rewards program are obviously interested in your brand and products. So, they are the ideal segment to try to upsell, without making it seem like that’s what you’re doing. Here’s an example of an extremely simple way to do that.

In each customer email, DSW includes the customer’s status level and how much more they need to spend to earn their next reward. If a shopper is thinking about making a purchase, they will keep that reward amount in mind. For example, if they originally planned to spend $40, they might be motivated to spend $17 more so they can earn a reward.

You could also include a chart or graph to show them how close they are to earning their next reward. Kohl’s shows its customers how much they have earned toward their rewards balance and a progress bar that displays how close they are to earning that next reward.

Encourage visits

Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or are only online, you want your customers to visit you regularly. The more visits, the more likely they are to see something they want to purchase. Plus, any engagement you have with your customers helps make your relationship with them even stronger.

So, why not use your customer rewards program as a way to bring them to your physical and/or online store?

You can give them ways to check in, whether that’s through an app with GPS or through a function on your site that tracks their visits. Anytime you can get them in front of your brand is a win, and rewarding them for those visits will keep them coming back.

Ask them to take action

If you want to turn your customers into brand ambassadors, give them a reason to be excited about your company — like rewards points. You can offer them a set number of points for each referral they send, with bonus points if that referral converts. Or you can give them rewards for filling out a survey. Let them know you’ve only chosen your top customers to offer this survey to, helping them feel even more special and motivated to complete it.

Winning creativity

Anytime you can boost customer loyalty and revenue all at one time, you have found a winning combination. Let your customer rewards program tackle both by incorporating these creative techniques into your strategy.

Just make sure your customer rewards program is worth their time. If there isn’t something of value they can earn by participating in it — like money to spend on your products, discounts, or other deals — they aren’t going to bother with your program. Like with the rest of your marketing efforts, your loyalty program needs to provide value for your audience.

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