Loyalty programs remain one of the core ways for brands and companies to grow connections with their customers or partners and encourage repeat business. According to Accenture, 90% of companies currently have some type of loyalty program in place, with more than 3.3 billion loyalty memberships in the U.S. alone.
But simply having a loyalty program doesn’t always mean you’re effectively reaching your members. If your loyalty program is too complicated or fails to resonate with members on a personal level, it can actually result in loyalty fatigue – a trending term used to describe when members become tired or disillusioned with a loyalty program.
When done right, loyalty programs can help brands and companies develop meaningful relationships with their members and drive a change in behavior. Whether you’re building a loyalty program for the first time or updating an existing program, keep these areas top of mind to help you create a personalized loyalty program that engages, motivates, and retains members.
Gaining control of your data is important when launching or evolving a loyalty program. Now that third-party cookies are being phased out, access to zero-party and first-party data is becoming increasingly more important. Focusing more on zero-party and first-party data also helps companies remain compliant with ever-changing compliance and data protection regulations.
Data is also the key to creating more personalized experiences. According to Accenture, 83% of people said they are willing to share their data in exchange for more personalized messages or tailored offers. Companies can use loyalty programs to collect data from individuals through a number of ways including member profiles, opting-in to communications related to specific interests, participating in questionnaires or surveys, and even creating wish lists.
Consumers are expecting personalized experiences now more than ever before. Harnessing your data allows you to tailor program communications and reward types that are relevant to your members, improving loyalty and advocacy while increasing program engagement.
Implementing a member preference center or incorporating additional attributes in your current preference center is a great way to start collecting first-party data that can support your personalization efforts and provide members with the best possible experience. But remember, if you ask members to provide personal data, they will expect a more personalized experience in return.
Driving social responsibility
Evolving social views are contributing to a member’s willingness to participate with a brand. In fact, 87% of Americans are more likely to purchase a product if the company advocated for the social issue they care about. Therefore, social responsibility should be top of mind as you launch or pivot your existing loyalty program.
Companies can use their loyalty programs as a way to respond to varying social and environmental causes. One way is implementing a Buy Back Program into your loyalty program, which allows members to receive rewards for returning used products. Another option is letting members donate a portion of their rewards to a charitable cause, either of their choice or to charities your company is already partnering with.
Of the B2B loyalty programs Ansira supports, loyalty members have funded the planting of over 148,000 trees over the last two years. Focusing on converting member activity to drive social responsibility can have a meaningful impact on a member’s participation in your program while also helping your company or brand’s global footprint.
What’s old is new again. Gamification began trending in the early 2000s and we’re seeing it emerge once again. If used correctly, incorporating elements of gamification can help members move toward the same goal you have for the program while supporting member recruitment and retention. Companies can create challenges, competitions, or point-based systems that make earning rewards more engaging and fun.
Leaderboards have been considered a common element to predict member behavior. Members like getting rewarded and seeing where they rank. Another great option are scavenger hunts where members can find and collect virtual items to earn rewards. These can be as simple as hiding links on your homepage that members must search for or watching videos. These help increase time on your website, which can expose members to specific products or services you want to highlight.
The Ansira Experience is Everything
Working with brands across a multitude of industry verticals from tech to QSR (quick service restaurants) to automotive has given Ansira a window into the unique challenges and commonalities brands are facing today. Whether you’re looking to optimize existing programs, overhaul a program entirely, or are just beginning to ideate your loyalty strategy, we can partner together to design a loyalty program that will create brand fanatics for life. Contact us today.
Kristin Cardona – Senior Director, Client Strategy