In 2020, just having a loyalty program isn’t going to cut it. No, I’m not telling you to abandon your loyalty program. Far from it. I’m telling you it’s time to revitalize your loyalty program.

On average, customers are members of 14.8 different loyalty programs. However, they’re only actively using 6.7 at a time (Bond). With only a finite number of loyalty programs on the typical customer’s mind, yours needs to stand out from the pack.

Here’s how to ensure your loyalty program sticks around.

Digitize it. The first, and most significant suggestion I have to offer is to make sure your loyalty program is digital. I could go on about the benefits of digital loyalty programs for ages. Not only are they more reliable (customers can’t lose them like hole-punch cards), they allow you to do so much more. With digital loyalty, you can directly engage customers, track metrics, reward, communicate, and personalize on a much deeper level.

Still not sold? According to a survey from the Harris Poll, 76% of Americans prefer loyalty programs that only require a name and phone number. 79% are more likely to join a loyalty program that doesn’t involve carrying around a membership card. If you want more people to join, you need to go digital.

Rewards are important, but prioritize experience. Obviously, one of the top reasons people join loyalty programs is to get rewarded. That’s a given. But rewards aren’t why loyalty programs exist. And they’re not the sole factor for any given program’s success. Rewards are important, but they shouldn’t be your sole focus. Rewards are a selling point. They’re a means to an end.

Loyalty programs are about keeping customers engaged with your brand. That’s why it’s the extra perks that get people to stick around. According to Bond, it’s the experience that ultimately drives nearly 75% of customer engagement. Improving your loyalty program means asking yourself how it can better improve the overall customer experience. Here’s a few examples to consider.

  • Free shipping
  • Exclusive discounts
  • Advance deals
  • Event reminders
  • Flash sales
  • Contests
  • New product announcement

Personalize. One very important way to emphasize experience in your loyalty program? Personalization. Leveraging your loyalty program to tailor the experience to individual customers can prove highly effective. When done right, it actually lifts member satisfaction by 6.4x (Bond).

Personalizing your loyalty program means having a firm understanding of your audience and the makeup of each demographic that composes it. You don’t need advanced AI to deliver a personalized experience. Just a grasp on who your customers are, and what they expect from your brand. Give customers multiple reward options. Set up birthday rewards. Use their names in messages. A little bit of personalization can go a long way.

Implement gamification. Making sure people stick with your loyalty program means keeping it as engaging as possible. One highly effective way to do that? Gamification. It’s the act of implementing game elements into something that’s not traditionally a game itself. In this case, a loyalty program.

Bond research shows that game mechanics nearly double the enjoyment level. Turning your loyalty program into a game recontextualizes how it’s perceived by the customer. A purchase is no longer just a purchase. It’s a step toward winning a game. Rewards feel like they’ve been properly earned. Try it out.

Build Loyalty With CoGoBuzz

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Powered by advanced WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, CoGoBuzz comes packed with a completely digital, text-based loyalty program. Our service has a diverse array of features designed to keep your customers engaged, rewarded, and involved. CoGoBuzz simplifies customer engagement down to a simple text message, letting you connect with your customers on the devices they use the most. With CoGoBuzz, you can automate entire campaigns ahead of time. Send automated birthday messages and more!

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What makes your loyalty program special? Let us know in the comments!