13 Questions To Ask Before Putting Together Your Loyalty Program

  • Nov 17, 2011

Are you putting the gifts before the program?

13 ideas to help your loyalty incentive achieve maximum ROIAustin, Texas: I was called in last month to help a client that had been spending the past four months trying to narrow down their gift awards for their customer loyalty program.  After a myriad of meetings, discussions, fights, bickering, etc., they told me that “wanted to bring in an outside consultant to help wrap things up”.

After discussing their target audience, budget, goals and other preliminary items, I asked to see their program, as I figured it was just ready to go, waiting for the gifts to be selected.

Boy, was I wrong!

They had no program.

They decided that the most important thing was in finding the right gifts for the program, and that the program was secondary.

What a waste of four months of management time and energy.

Needless to say, we did put a program together for them and it will launch in eight weeks.

But this is far from the first time that this has happened.

Are you putting the gifts before the program?

I love to talk about loyalty gifts and rewards. Some say it is my business, my livelihood.

Actually, however, my success comes from the success of my clients’ programs– not the sale of gift items.  My philosophy has been that if the program is successful, the merchandise will take care of itself.  However, if not, we both lose.

Are you putting the focus on the wrong end of the loyalty program?

Surely, the gifts are important.  They are nice and add flash to the program.  But, from my 27 years of experience,I have concluded that there is no one perfect gift out there.

Not even close.

Never will be.

Our company has moved from electronics and home goods to a much larger percentage of digital rewards, where customers get a unique ID number that they can download their gift online–including music downloads, movie tickets, restaurant meals, electronics, merchandise and streaming videos — all at the touch of a button.

It works for most programs and can be customized for others.

But again, the gifts should not the focus.

The focus is in the details.

Here are thirteen questions to ask yourself before designing your loyalty program:

1- Who is the target audience?

2- How will you reach your audience?

3- What forms of media do they get involved with?

4- Will you co-op the program with another company?

5- What is the proper length of the program?

6- How will you launch the program?

7- How often will you keep in contact with your customers?

8- What will you be doing to keep the program fresh?

9- How easy is it for your customers to redeem their points?

10- What is the estimated lifetime value of a customer?

11-  How will your program differ from your competitors’ programs?

12- How can you jump start your program to get people involved immediately?

13- What will you be doing to motivate and inspire infrequent customers?

Perhaps question number fourteen should be: What gifts will you be offering?

Hopefully these questions will help to save you wasted time and effort – and instead have you focusing your time on areas that can help you to yield the greatest sales increase and maximize your return on investment.

Happy Promoting!


  • Category: Blog
  • Tags: digital rewards, frequent shopper ideas, incentive loyalty ideas, loyalty incenitves, music download incenitves, problems to avoid while running a loyalty progam, questions to ask for loyalty program,