7 Keys to A Loyalty Program That Actually Works

Did you know that 97% of loyalty platforms are transactional based, and 77% of these fail within the first two years according to Cap Gemini?

So, if you have a transactional based loyalty platform you only have a 23% chance of actually being successful…

With such low odds, how can your company ensure its loyalty platform will actually work?

With 6 years of experience building loyalty platforms that actually work for industries such as Retail, Food & Beverage, Nonprofit, Travel and Cosmetics, we have boiled down our expertise just for you! Here are the 7 keys to a loyalty program’s success.

 

1. Human Design

To make customers loyal to your brand, you cannot treat them like robots. Humans are motivated by 8 core drives, as described by gamification expert Yu-kai Chou. When choosing a loyalty technology you need to ensure that it is aligned with these drives and has the ability to tap into intrinsic and extrinsic human motivators.

We have built our gamified loyalty platform based on human-focused design instead of function-focused. This means that users are driven to continue engaging through the use of levels, club ranking, locked prizes, point system, badges, social influence, challenges and more. This should be one of the top decision factors in choosing your company’s loyalty technology to maximize results and create true loyalty.

 

2. Provide Value Before Requests

In today’s society marketing is absolutely everywhere, from the roads to buildings, emails, social media, websites, phones and more. Many times we are being asked to do something, drink this soda, buy this shirt, watch this movie and so on. This has all become noise in our daily lives that we barely notice anymore. If your loyalty program requires a purchase or action done by the user right away then you will lose them right away. They aren’t phased by these requests.

What will catch their attention is if you start your relationship off on the right foot by providing them value before making any requests. Give them points just for signing up, which they can use to enter a giveaway. Show them that if they don’t sign up for your program, they will be losing something. People are highly motivated to prevent a loss, while a gain is just something extra that they don’t need-to-have. Your loyalty program must be a need-to-have to be successful, so give them value first and prove your program is worth their time and money!

 

Positive Experience

Customer loyalty occurs when a customer has had a positive experience with a brand that was powerful enough to affect their purchasing decisions and turn them into your advocate. The key piece in the customer loyalty recipe is the positive experience. The way brands create a positive experience has changed over the years, no longer is a nice smile at a store enough to build a lasting relationship with a customer.

Your loyalty program is an incredible resource to build this unique and positive experience with consumers. It needs to be fun and enjoyable for users, you cannot expect the classic “Buy 10 get 1 free” to create anything other than annoyance to have to work for a discount. When’s the last time you redeemed one of those stamps for your 1 free? Were you happy about it? Or were you thinking, “finally I can get rid of this thing!”. We’d put money on the later.

Choose a loyalty platform technology that allows you to set up fun games, challenges and engaging activities that are enjoyable, making users want to come back and share it with all their friends!

 

Make it Viral

“Going viral” is a hot topic, and can easily be applied to your loyalty program. Many companies think loyalty programs are meant to only increase retention but acquisition is equally as important when building out a platform.

Evaluate a loyalty technology’s ability to share content, obtain referrals and increase social media followers. Our platform allows users to refer people through Facebook messages, posts, notifications, Twitter posts, Email or a unique link. Win-Win Referrals are also very motivating for users who are more driven by helping others. You can reward users for sharing Twitter and Facebook posts or following on these accounts, Instagram and Google+. Set up a loyalty platform that rewards sharing and you’ll see the new leads come pouring in.

 

Easy to use

Choosing a platform that is easy to use doesn’t only apply to your end users, but about to the admins who will manage the platform. Pick a platform that users can figure out without a list of directions. If it’s too complicated then you will lose users quickly and become part of the loyalty program failures.

That statement goes the same for your team, if the program is overly complicated for admins then your team won’t set up new campaigns or use the platform to its full potential. Make sure that your team can handle it before you make any commitments.

 

Social Media

This one feels obvious but the vast majority of loyalty programs out there have nothing to do with social media. With 2.95 Billion people projected to be on social media by 2020 (Statista), if you’re not implementing social media into your program you’re simply going to be left in the dust.

Reward users for engaging with you on social media for things such as likes, follows, shares and more. One of our most used features is our Facebook Photo Contest, that allows users to upload an image that must be voted on through social media and requires all voters to sign up to the platform with one click. This contest is fun for users and spreads quickly through social networks.

 

Mobile

I won’t elaborate too much on this point since we all know; go mobile or die. Your platform doesn’t need to have a mobile application but it must be completely responsive with a web application at least. We have the ability to set up either option for our clients and are able to track how many people access the platform through mobile. Needless to say, it’s a large portion of users and has been a huge part of our client’s success.

Test out platforms in the mobile version when contemplating different technologies to ensure your users will be able to engage from any device they choose.

 

Consistent Updates

We saved the best for last! Keep your platform up to date so that users will always want to come back for new actions, new prizes and new campaigns. We like to compare the platform to a Facebook Business page, you can obtain leads through Facebook but you need to be active to please the algorithm and obtain visits, likes, shares and messages. Your platform is no different, although we don’t have an algorithm, people seem to have their own internal algorithms that decide if something is worth their attention or not. Add new actions, prizes, contests, challenges or giveaways each week to maintain user’s attention and engagement.

 

So, there you have it! All our 6 years of expertise boiled to to 7 key points. We hope that this information will help your company’s loyalty program become a wild success. If you’d like to set up a call with our expert team to review your specific business needs please do so through this link!

In the meantime, check out how you can measure customer loyalty!

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