It is no secret that well-done loyalty programs can result in huge ROI, with customer retention costing 5x less than customer acquisition. Nowadays this is common knowledge with over 3.3 million loyalty memberships throughout the U.S. according to Colloquy. What is not all so certain is how to go about creating and implementing one of these huge ROI loyalty programs, which turns your customers into your advocates and marketers.

Getting started can be the hardest part of many processes, from starting a diet and workout plan to constructing a robust loyalty program, it can seem equally overwhelming prior to taking the leap of faith and getting started. We are here today to rid your fears and prepare you for a high growth loyalty program that will increase retention and bridge the gap between the 83% of consumers willing to make a referral… and the 29% that actually do, according to Texas Tech.

So before we jump in let’s get our toes wet. What is a gamified loyalty program?

A gamified loyalty program is the structure that provides your customers will an enjoyable and unique experience, which is driving their behaviors to increase purchases, referrals, reviews, social media actions and more by providing various incentives. These incentives do not have to be expensive discounts or prizes, in fact, many people are highly motivated by a prize such as a blog post about them, a featured image on social media or an invite to a special event.

Now that you’ve adjusted to the temperature, let’s jump in!

1. Set Goals

Beginning with the end in mind is crucial to your loyalty program’s success. To do this you need to lay out all of the goals you are hoping to obtain with this loyalty platform. Some of these goals could be:

  • Increase in repeat purchases
  • Increase in customer acquisition
  • Increase in social media engagement
  • Increase in event attendance
  • Increase in advocacy
  • Increase in brand awareness
  • And more

Once you have all of these goals clear you need to set the metrics to be able to measure the success. Some examples can be the lifetime value of customers, revenue, social media community and engagement, the amount of event attendees, the amount of new customers and more.

2. Prioritize & Plan

Once you get past the goal setting you need to prioritize these and set your action plan. Below is an example of when we assist our clients in this phase of setup.

In this example, our case study Retail client is new to the market and holds repeat purchases as their top goal, customer acquisition as their second and social media engagement as the third.

Increase in repeat purchases: LTV of customers
Increase in customer acquisition: % New Customers
Increase in social media engagement: Viral Growth, Number of new community members

They will determine their success by the increase in revenue through LTV, the amount of customers as well as social media community size and viral growth. Next step is to make a solid action plan that includes what they will do each week and month to ensure their loyalty platform’s success. Consistent execution is absolutely vital to obtaining results. Each business’s action plan will vary depending on their goals and resources. For our case study Retail Client, we created a short example below.

  • Week 1
    • Set up 10 Actions
    • Set up 10 Prizes
    • Add platform to social media and website
    • Import all CRM contacts
    • Send out a blast email to all CRM contacts
  • Week 2
    • Add 1 new double point day action
    • Send Facebook and email notification to tell users of double point day for purchases
    • Post on social media about the platform and double point day
  • Week 3
    • Run a hashtag contest related to branding
    • Award prize and announce it on social media

3. Define Actions and Prizes

This step allows your team to get creative, our clients use various different types of actions and prizes from Facebook likes and reviews to posting a selfie and making a purchase. Below is how we create a summarized list of actions and prizes for our case study Retail Client to obtain the previously mentioned goals.

  • Increase in repeat purchases
    • Provide rewards for purchases
    • 1 day per month provide double the rewards for purchases
    • 1 day per month provide triple the rewards for purchases
    • Provide discounts as rewards
    • Set levels and larger rewards at each level
  • Increase in customer acquisition
    • Provide win-win referrals
    • Set up a referral system using Facebook, Twitter and Email
    • Use invite only events and provide multiple tickets to clients
    • Increase rewards for referrals 1 day per month and communicate that through social media, email, Facebook notifications and website
    • Provide rewards for online reviews and testimonials
  • Increase in social media engagement
    • Provide rewards for likes and follows on all social media accounts
    • Provide rewards for sharing posts
    • Run contests involving the brand such as:
      • Hashtag contest
      • Photo Contest
      • Photo caption contest

4. Import Users & Launch

The first steps to launch are to add information about this program on your social media accounts and website. That way it automatically gains trust and visibility from customers who hear about the program through the email campaign or from friends and family.

After launching your loyalty platform you are more than likely to experience a snowball effect in the amount of users and engagement. The more users you obtain the faster it will double and triple in size and engagement. To get our clients started we encourage an initial import of CRM contacts, which will jump start your loyalty program’s usage and will make your results appear faster than imagined.

After importing these users it is key to send out an email campaign, which includes general information about the program, their login information as well as visual examples of the prizes. This excites users and gets them to start engaging and performing various actions.

5. Analyze & Repeat

Once you get the ball rolling with your loyalty program you can’t simply let it sit there! You need to monitor the results and repeat successful campaigns, actions and prizes. The platform provides you with various statistics such as the amount of new social network community members, loyalty members, prize redemptions, viral growth, actions completed, demographics of users, and more. Use this data to your advantage by analyzing which actions and prizes perform the best and following that model.

To keep your community and platform users engaged you can send Facebook notifications, emails, social media updates and website updates. This lets them know of new ways to earn rewards, new prizes they can get, new company updates and more. This platform must be nurtured and kept up to date, which turns directly into big results for your brand.

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Want to know more? Feel free to contact Social&Loyal today for a free consultation!

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Toni Arco
CEO & Head of Growth
Toni, our CEO, is passionate about business growth through technology. He has founded 2 technology companies and spent over 6 years as CTO of digital marketing companies. He spends his time discovering the newest technology and applying trends to our own product and processes. He mentors tech start-ups and teaches courses on growth hacking to share his knowledge.
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