How to Increase Loyalty Program Engagement

August 31, 2018 Brianna McEwan

Consumers today not only want, but expect personalized and compelling experiences. Many brands turn to loyalty solutions to make this happen and loyalty program participation is at a high. In fact, 78% of people actively participate in at least one program per month and 63% of consumers could be persuaded to choose one brand over another due to the presence of a loyalty program. Despite this, however, many consumers are quick to jump ship if they find that the program doesn’t add value or the rewards aren’t compelling. To keep this from happening, brands must alleviate common loyalty friction points to keep customers excited about the program. Here are some ways to help increase consumer engagement in your loyalty program.

Reward consumers for every engagement

When points take too long to earn, rewards can seem unattainable and customers can lose the motivation to continue using the program. Awarding points for a wide range of activities, like visiting a store, connecting social accounts, opening emails, and watching videos keeps customers engaged with the brand throughout their lifecycle. Offering a range of rewards, from low point value, easily attainable prizes, to aspirational, high point value rewards keeps members at all stages satisfied and pushing to get to the next level.

Budweiser shows value from the start with their Budweiser Rewards program, which awards members 100 points just for signing up. Members can immediately redeem those points for prizes like digital wallpapers and sweepstakes entries or they can save up for once in a lifetime experiences and autographed merchandise. The wide range of offerings, and instant point collection, ensures a reward for every member, at any stage of membership.

Rewarding customers for every interaction keeps them excited as they watch their points build up and encourages more engagement with your brand, helping to turn customers into brand advocates.

Offer unique & memorable experiences

28% of consumers abandon loyalty programs when rewards aren’t personally compelling or relevant and 25% abandon programs when they don’t see the benefit. Providing one of a kind rewards and memorable experiences helps to create an emotional connection between the consumer and the brand which encourages members to remain active in the programs.

Pepsi and The Walking Dead create unforgettable, once in a lifetime experiences that are personally relevant to their specific fanbases. Pepsi Stuff offers exclusive rewards like the chance to win a trip to the Super Bowl and celebrity meet-and-greets. The Walking Dead offers once in a lifetime fan experiences like the chance to tour the set and receive a zombie makeover or to receive personal messages from cast members.

Providing these types of rewards drives engagement and helps to create experiences that consumers will remember and forever associate with the brand, creating an emotional connection and encouraging brand loyalty.

Listen to your customers

Consumers have expressed that personalization is something they desire, yet brands continue to miss the mark. Only 34% of consumers have purchased something that was recommended to them by a brand in the past six months. In order to amplify personalization efforts, brands must start listening to their customers. As Conor Mason, Senior Brand Manager at Anheuser Busch said in a recent webinar, “consumers love to tell you what they want.” It’s up to brands to actually listen and to take action to create relevant programs that speak to their customer base.

Brands like tarte cosmetics and Sleep Number incentivize members to complete surveys, write product reviews and connect on social media. By doing this, they gain valuable insight into their customers’ tastes, preferences and general lifestyle. Surveys help tarte and Sleep Number learn more about what types of products their customers are most interested in so that they can personalize outreach and experiences. Both brands use product reviews to gain feedback, which helps them with business strategy moving forward. These strategies allow brands to listen to their customers so they can tailor their programs and products to appeal to their target audiences.

Invest in compliant personalization capabilities

In this day and age, many consumers are unwilling to share personal data, but still want personalized experiences. In fact, only 46% of consumers are willing to share data in exchange for personalized experiences, but more than half of consumers want to receive in-store personalized promotions. Investing in technology that allows customers to opt-in and share the data they want allows brands to communicate with them in authorized and transparent ways, based on the information they’re willing to provide.

Steve Madden’s loyalty program, SM Pass, is a voluntary, opt-in program that allows members to choose how much information they want to share with the brand. Members can choose to only provide their name and email address, or can go as far as sharing their gender, birthday and style preferences. Steve Madden can then provide personalized and compelling brand experiences for each customer through meaningful communication, relevant promotions and personalized rewards, all with the expressed consent of their customers.

Brands today need to be aware of the friction points in their loyalty programs, and take action to relieve them. The strategies above help to do this and, in turn, help to increase loyalty program engagement.

CrowdTwist supports brands across industries to power engaging, multichannel loyalty programs that combat the common friction points, ensuring that programs appeal to each specific customer base and continue to engage consumers throughout their entire lifecycle. Learn more about our offerings here.

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