If you’re new to loyalty, these basic marketing principles will help ensure that your program runs smoothly. In this article, you’ll find essential tips about the importance of:
- understanding your market
- prioritizing your customers’ needs
- respecting privacy
- communicating effectively
- explaining the Points Business Solutions program
- testing and adjusting promos
✔ DO know your market
Understanding who your customers are — and especially who your best customers are — is crucial to success. Try to identify both their demographics (age, gender, income, etc.) and their psychographics (their needs, what motivates them, etc.). Once you form a picture of who your typical and your most lucrative customers are, you can structure your loyalty promotions and select your advertising and marketing channels to appeal to them.
✖ DON’T put your needs ahead of your customers’
Following this guiding principle will help ensure your marketing is relevant and successful. Instead of considering what products you need to sell, for example, try asking yourself, what does your target market need and want? What are you able to do or offer to help them meet their needs? For example:
- If the best customers for your car rental company are successful, status-conscious entrepreneurs, you might offer extra loyalty rewards for luxury vehicles.
- If working women are the primary customers of your gourmet food store, promote time-saving conveniences, such as menu planning and delivery services, with an incentive of 500 points/miles on the first use.
- If you sell mainly to cost-conscious customers, use your marketing materials to remind them of the money-saving benefits of collecting through Points Business Solutions.
✔ DO respect privacy
Privacy laws are complex. Follow marketing best practices and common courtesy and avoid being overly intrusive. Only collect and store the customer information you need and will use, and always obtain permission. When requesting customer email addresses, inform them why you want it, how you will use it, and what you will and won’t do with it. Tell them, for example:
- that you intend to use it to communicate with them;
- that you plan to send them information such as offers and events that you feel will be helpful to them;
- that you will not sell, trade, or share their information with other businesses (except to deploy your emails, if you employ an agency to do this).
In your emails, always give people the choice to opt out in small but legible print at the bottom.
✔ DO communicate regularly
Once you have their permission, stay in touch with customers and clients through regular mailings or emails. Tell them about sales, Points Business Solutions promotions, new products, events, and other business news of interest to them.
Find a balance between communicating too frequently and not often enough. Every business is different, so you’ll need to decide what’s right for you. Start by deciding whether a quarterly, monthly, or weekly schedule is appropriate. Be sure you can commit the time required to meet the schedule.
✖ DON’T assume they know how it works
Consumers have more information than ever to keep track of, so make sure your customers know how to collect their award. One great way to do this is to interact with them at checkout. For example, you might say, “Congratulations, you earned 350 points/miles today! Remember to keep this award certificate, and go to the website printed on it to claim your reward.” (If you award by generating print or email certificates, the URL of the redemption site will be included.)
If you print award codes onto your own collateral or receipts, make sure to print the URL of the redemption site and expiration date on it too. For example, you could add below the Award Code number: “This is your Award Code. To claim your award, enter your code at the website below before [expiry date].”
✔ DO try new promotions and make adjustments
One of the key factors of success as a loyalty program participant is to offer awards frequently. This will help you stand out in the marketplace, and encourage customers to look forward to doing business with you to earn more points and miles.
Don’t get discouraged if your promotional ideas don’t go as planned. Marketing is all about trial and error. Try an offer. If it doesn’t get a good response, try something different. If your offer gets a good response, make slight adjustments to see if you can do even better.
You can get plenty of ideas on how to use Points Business Solutions to market yourself and build your business — just view our Complete Guide to Points Business Solutions.