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16 Ways to Make Customers Join Your Loyalty Program
Kate Banasik
Kate Banasik
May 15, 2024
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16 Ways to Make Customers Join Your Loyalty Program

Launching your loyalty program is just half of success. You still need the right promotion marketing strategy. You need to get your customers on board to reap the benefits of your rewards scheme! I have compiled 16 different marketing tactics to get your customers to subscribe to your loyalty scheme:

  1. Decide on suitable loyalty rewards.
  2. Define exciting earning rules.
  3. Train your sales assistants on your loyalty program rules.  
  4. Incentivize your sales assistants to promote your loyalty program.
  5. Make sure it is easy to enroll in your rewards scheme.
  6. Promote your loyalty program in the store (POS).
  7. Promote your loyalty program on your website.
  8. Promote your rewards program on social media.
  9. Use your e-mail list to promote your newly launched loyalty program.
  10. Offer a sign-up incentive as a reward for joining your program.
  11. Make the rewards easy to earn.
  12. Organize an exclusive event for promoting your loyalty program.
  13. Offer bonus points.
  14. Launch a mobile app for your rewards scheme.
  15. Create loyalty wallets for easy reward redemption.
  16. Keep your customers in the loop with proper communication.

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Read on to discover how to implement those points and why they make sense for your loyalty program:

1. Decide on suitable loyalty rewards

Choosing the right rewards and tier structure is vital to the success of your loyalty program. Carefully consider what incentives will most appeal to your customers and how to structure tiers to encourage ongoing engagement. 

Loyalty rewards overview

By offering desirable rewards and clear progression through tiers, you can motivate customers to participate actively and build lasting loyalty to your brand.

Loyalty rewards matrix & limits

2. Define specific earning rules

When defining your earning rules, it's crucial to create strategies that not only encourage transactions but also foster ongoing engagement. Answering these key questions will help you build a loyalty program that is both appealing and effective:

  • Which transactions to incentivize (channel, min spend, frequency)?
  • Which non-transactional behavior to incentivize (e.g., profile completion & submitting shopping preferences).
  • Will all tiers offer the same earning rules with the same points mapping? Determine if and how earning rules and points value change with tiers.
  • Do you plan to limit earning rules to specific levels, segments, orders, and locations or cap eligible transactions per day? Do you plan blackout periods?
  • Define spending limits and product exclusions for specific earning rules. Ensure that redeeming rewards or purchasing vouchers doesn’t grant points. 
  • Decide whether points are calculated on the order total pre- or post-applied discounts and tax.

By considering these aspects, you can encourage purchases through specific channels, like online or in-store, by offering bonus points for spending over a certain threshold, such as $50. Reward consistent shopping patterns, such as monthly or bi-weekly purchases, to foster frequent interactions. Higher tiers can earn points faster or access unique earning opportunities, adding a sense of exclusivity and motivation. Implementing daily transaction caps, spending limits, and product exclusions can prevent abuse and maintain the integrity of your program.

The possibilities are endless. Thoughtfully planning your earning rules ensures that customers feel motivated and happy to be part of your brand, driving both engagement and loyalty.

3. Train your sales assistants on your loyalty program rules

If in your business there is direct contact between customers and sales assistants/representatives, you should definitely start there. They are the face of your company and they can offer the customers the most personalized approach possible. Start with in-depth training about your loyalty program and make your sales department pass the information to customers at the points of sale to more effectively encourage them to join your rewards program for customers.

You can also use the opportunity to welcome new loyalty program participants with a gift – it doesn’t have to be anything huge, but it would be nice if your sales assistant threw in a nice discount to the first purchase or some extra points to boost the newcomer’s account.

4. Incentivize your sales assistants to promote your loyalty program

If you have a sales department that has direct contact with customers, use your assets. If you include loyalty program subscriptions as one of the metrics of the effectiveness of your sales units or sales assistants and you will incentivize the good work, you will reach your goals faster. Such an initiative should be ready at the launch of the loyalty program, measured back for results and continued if beneficial. As for any investment, keep track of your ROI.

But how to incentivize sales assistants to promote your loyalty program? One of the ways to achieve this is creating an official, internal rewards program, just for the employees. Promise to reward their engagement and see how they respond to this – in most cases, you should see their attitude change positively. And what can you offer your employees to make sure they’ll do their best in promoting your loyalty program? There are tons of ideas, but it’s up to you to select those that’ll work best for your crew – you can offer an extra PTO or vacation, free tickets to movies or events, exclusive discounts, bonus cash… whatever comes to your mind.

5. Make sure it is easy to enrol in your rewards scheme

Make sure your customers can sign up quickly and easily for your rewards program. The longer it takes, the fewer people will join. Use simple messaging and clearly explain the program’s rules and conditions. Define any specific eligibility criteria, such as being from a certain location or within a certain age group. This helps manage expectations and ensures that only those who qualify can join.

Here are a few more tips to make your rewards program enrollment smooth and straightforward:

  • Automatic enrollment: Allow members to join automatically when they complete any earning rules, like making a purchase.
  • Multiple enrollment methods: Offer various convenient enrollment methods. These could include QR codes at the POS, in-app push messages, emails, SMS messages with a link to the landing page, or integrating the sign-up form into the new user registration process.
  • Streamlined sign-up process: Simplify the sign-up process by requesting minimal information initially. Ask for more details later to complete the customer profile, and incentivize this with bonus points or special discounts.
  • Dedicated landing page: Create a landing page for your rewards program that explains how to earn and redeem points. It should also provide an overview of earning rules and rewards, and include a link to the full Terms and Conditions.

Starbucks makes it super-easy to join their rewards program. They even promote the easiness of joining on the landing page of the program. It asks you to fill out 4 fields (name, surname, email, password) and give consents. It’s a nice example of a speedy onboarding, though the claim “Free coffee is a tap away” feels a bit like an overstatement. Users need to click join, then fill out quite lengthy form, mark the necessary checkboxes and only after those steps they can actually join the program... and start collecting points to eventually get a free coffee.

Starbucks loyalty program page

6. Promote your loyalty program in the store (POS)

You should be drawing attention to your fidelity program in your store or POS. Consider window stickers, information on the price list/menu, doors stickers, hand dryer stickers in the bathroom.

The more exposure your customers have to the promotional materials (if those are not too pushy) the bigger the chances they will subscribe to your loyalty scheme.

7. Promote your loyalty program on your website

If you have a website, you should advertise the availability of your loyalty program online, at the very least on the main page and on a dedicated landing page that explains how the scheme works, how to sign up for it, and what are the rewards that customers can earn. Let the customers know how they can collect points, redeem them, and for how long they can store them.

Hyatt is promoting its loyalty program directly on the main page of their website. They also have a menu section dedicated to showing how their loyalty program works:

World of Hyatt homepage informs customers of the loyalty program existence.

Website visitors need just one click to see how World of Hyatt works – all the information about earning rules, tiers and rewards is available in dedicated subpages, so the customers interested in participating in their loyalty program can learn everything there is to know in one place.

8. Promote your rewards program on social media

People spend a lot of time on social media. They like browsing useful, engaging, funny or beautiful content. Create save-worthy images and catchy tag lines while promoting your loyalty scheme on your social media.

You can use both organic posts and paid ones – remember to link your landing page under each advertisement to make the sign-up as easy as possible! Thousands of paid ads end up wasting budgets just because instead of directing to dedicated landing pages, they send users to homepages, where finding the information about loyalty programs is much more difficult.

You can also run a referral scheme for your loyalty program with influencers or micro-influencers. Offer the influencers affiliate links for the loyalty program subscriptions and incentivize them. Measure the conversions and the ROI of your own campaigns and of those of your influencers and decide which advertising strategy brings you the most benefits.

Remember that if you have followers on social media, many of them are probably already loyal customers. They will be the first ones to join your loyalty scheme and promote it! Do not miss out on this great marketing opportunity and onboard them, as soon as possible!

9. Use your email list to promote your newly launched loyalty program

If you have a database with customers’ emails who gave you permission to contact them for marketing communication, inform them this way about your loyalty program. If a customer has already given you personal details previously, they are already engaged and on board with your brand and this is the type of engaged audience that you really don’t want to miss out on!

Use the space in the email to show the best perks of your rewards program:

Domino's sends an email about Piece of the Pie Rewards program

But just an email stating that your company launched its loyalty program probably won’t be enough – think of ways to make joining your loyalty program more appealing and make sure that you’ll inform newsletter subscribers about it in the message title!

Take a look at your newsletter's usual open rates and click rates. Let your subscribers know that you’ve prepared something extra for them – a “500 loyalty points just for subscribers” is a promising start to an email from which people would learn about the existence of your loyalty program. What more can you offer for signing up? See below!

10. Offer a sign-up incentive

A great way to kick off your loyalty scheme is by offering loyal customers a welcome reward for joining. It will provide them with an immediate value that boosts the overall appeal of your marketing campaign and encourages them to join your program.

H&M offers a 10% discount for the next purchase if you join their club. Straight to the point:

H&M loyalty program new participants get 10% off their first purchase as a welcome gift.

11. Make the rewards easy to earn

Offer a couple of ways customers can earn rewards quickly. If customers can see that earning rewards is an easy task, they’re more eager to engage, join your scheme and take advantage of its benefits. Rewarding customers for engaging with your brand on social media, reviewing your products or making the wish-list are all great ways to make your rewards more accessible.

Short presentation how customers' points add up : 100 points= $3 off 250 points = $8 off etc.

Ulta rocks it with the communication on their rewards – you can easily see how many points you can exchange for which perks. 

12. Organize an exclusive event for promoting your loyalty program

Make your customers feel like they are missing out on something valuable. You can, for example, offer special merchandise, special services or a bigger discount to those who come to your event and subscribe to the loyalty scheme. Your customers will quickly become a part of the program to make the most of the offer. As a side benefit, you will probably get some social media engagement that will advertise your scheme further.

MAC, a cosmetics brand, offers exclusive events (make-up sessions, masterclasses, outings) as a perk in their loyalty club. It fits their audience who are mostly people interested in professional make-up. This kind of bonus might be cheaper than only giving away discounts and it is more beneficial for the users. It also helps MAC to promote more products to customers during the events. Win-win!

13. Offer bonus points

If you run an event/special days with extra points customers can earn and you advertise it, you might be surprised by how many more subscriptions you can get. Customers like easy to earn rewards and nothing sounds more rewarding than extra points.

There's a great chance that your loyalty program includes loyalty cards for customers – giving them some bonus points from time to time won't strain your company's budget, but it might seriously increase customer engagement. Watch out, though, and don't offer free points too often – people are getting used to free stuff quickly and once it ends, they could be less happy than you expect!

Example of extra bonus points like et free food, drinks&more, or bonus Stars & Games

Starbucks hits this point by offering Double-Star Days, Bonus Stars & games.

14. Launch a mobile app for your loyalty program

According to Technology Advice, people are 59% more likely to join a loyalty program that offers a mobile app. No wonder! It is easy when at the POS (and it does not get lost as easily as a loyalty card), customers can get notifications about events and discounts. It is way more appealing than simple loyalty cards for customers. Do you want to step up the game? Create a gamified loyalty program with a mobile app. This will get your customers hooked!

Read our post on mobile loyalty programs.

Gamified loyalty program by Kiko Kisses

Kiko Milano rocks it with their gamified loyalty program, Kiko Kisses.

15. Create loyalty wallets for easy reward redemption

Make it simple for your members to redeem their rewards by setting up a customer wallet. This handy feature shows the current status of their points and when they’re set to expire. It lists all available rewards—both unlocked and locked—and lets customers choose and redeem rewards with just a barcode or QR code right in the app.

Don't forget to include promotions and promo codes for your loyalty program members, along with a clear list of earning rules. Keep your members in the loop by showing their transaction history, including points earned, spent, and expired.

You can also display their current loyalty tier and its expiration date, making everything clear and accessible. With a customer wallet, your members can effortlessly manage and enjoy their rewards, making the whole experience more fun and engaging.

Loyalty wallet with customer & rewards details

16. Keep your customers in the loop with proper communication

Keeping your customers informed about key communication moments is a game-changer. Let them know when new rewards are added to the catalog and give them a heads-up when their points or rewards are about to expire. Celebrate the rewards they’re eligible for and cheer them on as they get close to unlocking new ones. Don't forget to highlight those extra reward opportunities, like double point days or special products.

Make it easy for your customers to track their earning history – whether points have been added, removed, or expired. Keep them updated on their tier status, whether they’re moving up, at risk of moving down, or have already been downgraded.

Use fun in-app nudges to show points they can earn or ones that are about to expire. By keeping your customers well-informed, you'll not only enhance their experience but also keep them constantly engaged and excited about your rewards program.

Loyalty communication: point expiration

As you can see, there are many ways to boost the number of customers joining your rewards scheme. Which one is right for you depends on your brand, your products, your audience, your available communication channels. Every successful campaign starts with user research.

If you still do not have your loyalty scheme ready or the infrastructure you have in place does not let you launch the right program or measure back the results – try Voucherify, the ultimate loyalty program management system, free of charge. We also offer the infrastructure to launch in-cart discounts, coupon discounts, referral programs and giveaways.

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Summary

Some of the above-mentioned tactics are easy to implement and do not require any specific technology stack in place. Training your sales representatives, incentivizing them, launching an event promoting your loyalty program or making the scheme rules understandable do not require any special stack. There are some strategies though, that require a good customer loyalty software in place. Offering sign-up incentives, bonus points or launching a mobile app require a flexible and preferably API-first customer loyalty software in place. Most important features that are required to implement these marketing tactics are:

  • Bonus points for specific customer actions or for specific membership tiers.
  • Customizable earning rules.
  • Personalizable rewards.
  • Custom events.
  • API-first infrastructure that allows for displaying the same loyalty program information on different platforms like website, POS, mobile app

Voucherify is a headless, API-first customer loyalty software that has all the above-mentioned features and more, to help you promote and manage your loyalty program easily, without the need to involve developers.

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