4 Ideas for Keeping Your Loyalty Program Fresh

  • Jun 1, 2011

adding excitement to any loyalty programToday, there are just too many loyalty programs, and most have been designed without much forethought.

A 2009 loyalty census from Colloquy estimated that membership in U.S. rewards programs was about 2 billion. Unfortunately, however, nearly one billion loyalty program members never take advantage of their loyalty program perks, according to a study from ACI Worldwide. That’s nearly 50% of participants.

To add insult to injury, 85 percent said they haven’t heard from their loyalty program provider since the day they signed up.

So, how can you add excitement to your program?

Here are four simple ideas to keep your loyalty program fresh?

1) Keep in Contact With Your Customers: With all the options available these days, there is absolutely no reason not to be in front of your customers in more than one format.

Social media allows you to keep a friendly face in front of your prospects and customers. Are you getting “followed” by their Twitter accounts or “liked” by their Facebook accounts? If not, why aren’t you?

Offer incentives to follow you, including added points, free gifts, exclusive bargains, discounts or specials.

Post interesting and useful news. If the information is useful, people will follow you.

Offer “breaking” news and product introductions first to your loyalty participants.

Make them part of a unique club.

Give them experiences and services not available to others.

Give them reasons to stay in contact with you — and for you to keep in contact with them.

If the only time you reach out to your participants is to offer “legalese” on program changes, remind them of their password and login ID. or to push products on them, your program will not succeed.

2) Add Fresh Incentives to the Mix on a Regular Basis: Is your incentive program print-based only?

Are you gifts/prizes set in stone-12-18 months in advance? How boring!

Gifts should be able to be updated (never subtracted–only added, unless you want to really feel the wrath of angry customers). Post your rewards online and add gits on a regular basis to keep things fresh and fun.

Add new levels or tiers.

Expand offerings.

Add some low threshold point digital rewards and prizes, from music downloads to movie tickets to get your newer clients, or more moderate accounts more involved with your program.

These digital incentives can inspire even marginal accounts without much effort–with hopes of increasing their frequency on a regular basis.

There is a certain amount of inertia built into every program. A good loyalty program is designed to both reward customers and to encourage greater sales, more transactions, etc.

Get them involved with your program early and often for best results.

Smaller gift choices, such as digital rewards, are an excellent way to keep the ball rolling…at a very nominal cost.

3) Have Chances to Earn Bonus Points: Another way to create greater enthusiasm is to have multiple opportunities to earn bonus points.

Can you offer bonus points for watching your company’s YouTube video, commenting on your survey form, referring friend, answering some company-themed trivia questions? That keeps your program engaging.

Bonus points can also be for purchases at a trade show, for purchases made during off-peak seasons, web-only or Twitter-only/Facebook-only deals, etc.

People love getting something for nothing, and these bonus points allow you to keep things fresh. Many times your vendors/suppliers will be more than happy to co-op the cost of these bonus points, especially for multi-pack purchase or off-season sales, so be sure to discuss this program with your vendors.

New ways to earn bonus points also gives you another opportunity to reach out to your participants in a feel-good customer touch point.

4) Cross-Promote with Snail Mail: You may be surprised to learn that snail mail can still be very effective. Enhance your web-only/social-media only program with a postcard mailing on a quarterly basis. It does not have to be fancy, but a postcard can have an immediate increase in activity to your program as high as 16%”, according to Robert Piller President of DownloadIncentives.com. “We have seen activity from a great many accounts previously thought dormant, just by reaching out to them with a postcard mailing”, he continued.

Add bonus points for activity to their account for the next two weeks following the postcard drop and you can see your program become reinvigorated .

Sometimes, out of sight can truly be out of mind.

Wake up your loyalty program and re-invigorate and inspire your dormant accounts with some simple, but proven ideas.

How is your loyalty program coming along?

We’d love to hear from you.


  • Category: Blog, Loyalty Marketing/Frequency Programs
  • Tags: ACI Worldwide, cross promoting a loyalty program, digital incenitves, digital rewards, Download Incentives.com, frequency program ideas, getting more activity to a loyalty program, reinvigorating a lo