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How to motivate customers to become loyalty program members

in Acquisition Marketing, Loyalty Programs, Member Rewards

Everyone likes to feel special. Considering how frequently people's lives can start to feel like a daily grind, consumers are always eager to discover new ways to bring a spark to their daily activities. Companies can play an integral role in this process by crafting loyalty programs that offer meaningful rewards and other benefits of membership that are sure to bring a smile to their customers' faces.

However, while this may sound like something most people would be willing and excited to enroll in right away, it's often not that simple. With the wide variety of loyalty programs out there today and the large number of brands most consumers purchase regularly, these individuals tend to carefully select which memberships to sign up for. For this reason, businesses need to not only consider what loyalty rewards they want to offer, but how they're going to motivate their target audience to participate in the programs they've created.

A sense of exclusivity
According to The Analytic Hospitality Executive, one of the first steps in maximizing the impact of a customer loyalty program is figuring out how to make those initiatives feel exclusive to members.

"If a firm is enrolling everyone that comes through the door they may not be creating the kind of program that encourages loyalty through feeling special," Mike McCall, a researcher for the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research, told the source.

McCall further explained that in his studies with co-author Clay Vorhees, he found that not every person who signs up for a loyalty initiative necessarily helps the bottom line, and it's usually customers who say these programs don't make them feel special who aren't contributing as much. To this end, McCall recommended that businesses should carefully consider the profile of their ideal loyalty members if they want to achieve positive ROI. 

In essence, segmentation is a must. While it might seem like a good idea to encourage a large number of people to enroll in a loyalty program, it's actually more productive to identify ideal members and focus on attracting those individuals. It's the quality of the participants, not the quantity, that counts, and even customers appreciate when companies think this way. Additionally, by segmenting a client base by who might be most receptive to loyalty programs, businesses enable themselves to provide more highly personalized rewards and incentives.

Intuitive experiences
In order to find out what it takes to create a loyalty program customers will be eager to join, Street Fight spoke with a number of industry professionals for their takes on the matter. Stuart Kiely of Swipely told the source that one important thing to remember is to make participating in membership initiatives simple. Clients shouldn't need to alter their buying habits in any way, and the fewer steps it takes for them to register, the better. For instance, people shouldn't need to adopt a new channel if they don't want to: The program should meet them wherever they are.

Further, it's also important that once individuals start earning rewards, the redemption process is simple. Companies could use an online portal that includes a streamlined interface through which members can see their points and exchange them for desired items in just a few clicks.

Get the jump
Sunil Saha of Perkville told the news provider that another strong strategy is to motivate customers by offering special loyalty rewards just for enrolling. He explained that many businesses have discovered it's beneficial to give out "introductory points" tied to simply taking the time to sign up. This can give customers a taste of what's to come: When they start the relationship feeling appreciated and seeing evidence of how their loyalty is valuable, they'll be more likely to stay active in the program.

Every company needs to take a customized approach to loyalty because each client base is unique. Using private-label marketing solutions to develop a highly tailored loyalty program is critical if businesses are to reap the full benefits of investing in these initiatives.

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