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How personalised incentives build up customer loyalty

by 
 
November 13, 2019

Uncover how to combine Braze’s cross-channel approach with Voucherify’s reward infrastructure to give backwind for your customer retention campaigns.

Building customer loyalty with personalized incentives

Are your customer loyalty KPIs standing still? You have improved your product, personalized your messaging, adjusted branding, and used cross-channel conversations, yet your offers don’t win beauty contests for customers’ loyalty. Rings a bell? If so, you might reconsider your incentives. 

Content:

  • Why you should focus more on retention and customer loyalty
  • Customer loyalty infrastructure — what’s that and why you need it
  • How to build your customer loyalty infrastructure at a fraction of the cost
  • Practical examples of campaigns you can launch with the Voucherify <> Braze integration
  • Case study — Soul Cycle
  • How to start 

Why to focus on retention in the first place 

Perhaps you don’t need to be reminded of why the customer loyalty tactics should rank high in your marketing strategy. If — however — it’s been long since you last considered it, here are some data-backed studies to reflect on:

  • The top 10% of your customer base spend 3x more than your average customer.
  • 67% of customer churn is preventable if the issue is resolved during the first interaction.
  • Customers with an emotional connection to a brand have a customer lifetime value that's 4x higher than the average customer.
  • 47% of consumers won't engage with a business after a moment of brand disappointment.

Sources

At the same time, other findings confirm that a well-crafted loyalty program can be a useful tool to fix some of these:

  • 37% of customers will pay extra for an enhanced tier of membership.
  • 52% of loyal customers will join a loyalty program.
  • 75% of consumers would engage more with loyalty programs that make rewards mobile-friendly.
  • 70% of consumers would be more likely to recommend a brand with a good loyalty program.
    So what can you, as a product marketing manager, do about it? “Create a loyalty program with points and incentives” — you’re right on the money. But before you start sending loyalty discounts like a sailor, remember that… 

… incentive spray and pray won’t work in the long run.

Driving loyalty, as the name suggests, is a long game. As every marketing strategy, it requires dozens of experiments. And experiments require environment in which you can run them — with the safety net and repeatability. 

What if I miss to set it up? — you ask. You might waste your promotional budget. How? By sending wrong incentives to the wrong audience. 

The best approach involves iterations — test what raises loyalty on small scale, then prepare a global roll-out, then come up with another customer retention campaign — rinse and repeat.

So, how to build a loyalty customer loyalty “lab”? It depends on many verticals like the industry or your promo budget, but the good news is that there are you some common field-tested tips here to get you started right away. 

At Voucherify, we’ve been helping our customers build their customer loyalty “labs” and we’ve noticed several common points. We’ve found out that — from the marketing team point of view — your customer loyalty software should enable the team to:

  • Personalize the incentive — incentives like discounts or loyalty points work best if they’re adjusted to customers’ preferences and behaviors. Make sure your incentive catalog is versatile enough to engage the whole audience with likeable rewards. See the examples below.
  • Protect the budget and reduce fraud — make sure your discounts target the audience. This includes grouping customers in segments with filters based on purchase history, personal attributes, reward history, but also things that are more dynamic like the cart structure or geolocation.
  • Approach the cross-channel way — engaging the right audience is only the first step. To get the serious ROI from your campaigns, you need to target customers at the right time with the channel they prefer and actually use. Be it email, SMS, push notification, livechat, newsfeed, banner, or whatever your customers keep in touch with.

But in today’s, fast-moving world, the lab won’t be complete without some essential parts from the engineering point of view:

  • Web API — ever-changing customer trends make e-commerce challenging. To tap into new marketing channels your architecture should be flexible and easy to connect to new customer touchpoints. Separating backend from frontend with the use of API enables you to include new channels into your loyalty strategy without a fuss.
  • Marketer dashboard — to save tons of engineering time when your loyalty program is live, you might want to give control over the campaigns the marketing team with a dedicated dashboard.

I know what you might be thinking now — that’s helluva lot of work. When you add up time for implementation, people training, and maintenance, the summarized cost will be a valid reason to question this loyalty strategy ROI. 

If you have a Braze account, we have good news for you. With Voucherify <> Braze integration, you can meld personalized loyalty tactics with the cross-channel marketing infrastructure you already have, at a fraction of the cost.

One-off coupons, referrals, loyalty points, cart-level promotions and more

What kind of customer loyalty campaigns does Voucherify add to Braze and how does it take care of your loyalty experiments?

First of all, Voucherify is a one-stop-shop for digital rewards and comes with various incentive mechanics including:

  • discount coupons — both public codes like “BlackFriday” but also one-off random codes “BF-sud82z”, percentage- and amount-based, or free shipping, 
  • referral programs — one-sided and two-sided, both including tiers (e.g., invite 5 friends and get $100, make it 10 and the bonus triples),
  • digital gift cards — cards you can redeem as long as you have positive balance,
  • cart level discounts — offer a discount without a coupon code, based on the cart structure, e.g. buy one get one free, get 10% if the cart’s value exceeds $100,
  • loyalty points — collect points and exchange them for rewards, either discounts or material products,
  • online lotteries — organize an online contest to raise brand awareness, define reward and enrolment conditions. 

The best thing about having all these programs in one place is that they can be dovetailed to create a unique customer experience — reducing work needed from the engineering team to integrate all the parts.

For example, a reward in a referral program can be a discount coupon. Or, your shoppers can exchange loyalty points for gift cards. Or, a reward in a lottery enables “buy one, get one free” for a winner.

Second, Voucherify offers a reward engine which keeps your campaigns effective and secure at the same time. There are 3 essential cogs which, when interwoven, protect your budget from waste:

  • real-time segments — allowing you to filter customers according to their attributes but also purchase history (e.g. only new customers, customers from New York, customers who’ve made at least 10 orders),
  • triggers — which working on top of segments enable you to deliver the incentivized message to a customer in the right context (e.g. email, SMS, push notifications, and any channel that can be integrated with webhooks),
  • validation rules — they make sure the redeeming customer matches the condition you’ve defined for a reward, including their attributes, current order structure, and the budget you’ve planned for the whole campaign. (e.g. as advanced as: give only new customers from Berlin a 50% off for a leather cover if they put iPhone X 64GB to the cart, only first 100 customers are eligible).

Third, every experiment needs to give a clear answer whether it’s something to go after on scale or something to be dropped. Voucherify monitors redemptions from every loyalty program and shows performance reports on single coupon, campaign, or global basis. It also warns you about failed redemptions or malicious activity so that you can react accordingly. This is an essential part of the loyalty infrastructure that empowers marketers to create data-driven campaigns. 

Voucherify customer loyalty system

Finally, Voucherify winks at the engineering team too. Developer-friendly API and SDKs help connect your loyalty campaigns to any e-commerce or CRM system on one side; on the other, to any marketing channels. With this connectors in place, Voucherify knows how to personalize incentives with customer and cart data and ensures smooth customer experience when it comes to redemption — mobile or web.

When push comes to shove, your marketing campaigns will generate tons of requests from the marketing team. They are a significant ball and chain for your dev team. Voucherify reduced them to a minimum with a marketer-friendly dashboard. It gives them virtually full control over the whole loyalty strategy.

Dashboard

In other words, you can achieve the same personalized incentive machinery as the one e-commerce big fish have built with their hordes of developers. 

If you’re interested in how you can level the playing field with Voucherify and Braze, explore these examples of personalized campaigns which can lead to increased customer loyalty rates.

Examples

Geolocation with unique, one-off coupons

Send a one-off coupon code with a push notification to a customer who matches the predefined location criteria. It can be a simple send-out to a segment called “Londoners” or, a more advanced solution like a notification triggered every time a customer enters one of the geofences you’ve defined. Also, if you run a brick-and-mortar business, you can restrict the coupon redemption to specific stores only.

Multi-tiered referral program with a custom conversion event

Unique codes can be used to run referrals too. With Voucherify, you can define a two-sided (reward for both the referrer and new customers) program. Connecting to Braze will enable you to send invitations to the program in the e-commerce prime time moments, for example after the first successful purchase.

The platform makes it easy to add referral tiers and custom conversion points to let you precisely define who and when gets a reward — and what kind of reward they get. Take Taxi companies for example, they count a referral as valid after they complete the first ride, not just for providing the referral code when ordering a cab — and that can be achieved with Voucherify.

In-app cart-level discounts

You can run personalized discounts without the code. Voucherify promotions together with Braze notifications enable you to display incentives in the web or mobile applications. With real-time segments, you can trigger an in-app message informing a shopper about an exclusive offer like buy product X get 50% off for X accessories. Voucherify will apply the discount automatically if the cart structure matches the criteria. 

Loyalty points for customer actions

Point-based loyalty programs are one of the strongest drivers for repeat purchases. The thing that boosts effectiveness of these programs is rewarding customers not only for purchases but also other actions like writing a review or sharing the brand on social media. On top of counting purchases, Voucherify supports custom events, allowing you to assign them appropriate value in points.

Points are given an expiry date, so that you can make sure customers will exchange points to rewards like discount coupons or gift cards in finite time. SMS or push notifications can be used to send any message related to earning and spending points. A nice addition is that these discounts can be used to upsell shoppers if order volume rules are applied.

Case study — Soul Cycle

A revolutionary indoor cycle fitness company reached out to Voucherify to help them (re)engage their communities. With Voucherify API, they could quickly split their members into geolocalized segments and offer them highly relevant discount coupons via Braze.

Soul Cycle leveraged Voucherify’s built-in distribution channels to send well-timed deals via push notifications or as an in-app message on mobile. Campaigns were personalized using several attributes including products (fitness programs), audience segments, calendar events, location, and partnerships.

With Braze <> Voucherify integration, they built a powerful customer loyalty machine which can be quickly adapted to new campaigns, like this one.

How to start

You can plug in incentives into Braze using two modes:

  • connected content 
  • custom attributes

Both ways have been described in Voucherify <> Braze integration tutorial. Depending on the way you want to use it and what data you want to share with Voucherify, the integration takes something between an hour and a couple of days. In case of any questions, you can always contact Voucherify’s support or raise a question on the community forum

Wishing you a growing loyal customer base. 


Personalized promo campaigns convert

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