4 Tips for Starting a Customer Loyalty Program

Business.com / Marketing Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Creating an effective loyalty program is essential. Here are some tips for you as you begin your loyalty program.

Have any loyalty cards in your purse or wallet?  I bet you do.  Everyone has competition and customer loyalty programs are a good way to promote repeat business and also gives you the chance to compile information about your customers.  Not to mention, these programs further your marketing efforts. Of course, creating an effective loyalty program is essential.  Experts in the industry say that mobile technology is the future of loyalty programs.  Remember, everyone doesn't have a smart phone or the correct app to fully benefit from your loyalty program, so make it easily accessible for anyone who would like to participate.  Here are some tips for you as you begin your loyalty program.

RelatedReturning Customers Spend 67% More Than New Customers -- Keep Your Customers Coming Back with a Recurring Revenue Sales Model

Go tried and true -- create a punch card.

A simple and great place to begin is with a loyalty punch card. Simply design and print out the card and begin handing it out to your customers.  After a designated number of purchases have been made, offer your customer something free of charge or at a discount.

Choose incentives with care.

Reward your loyal customers with class.  Unfortunately, sometimes freebies can de-value your services.  Small businesses pride themselves in the way they found their customer loyalty -- first and foremost on excellent and personalized service and of course high quality products and services.  Think of ways you can make incentives exclusive.  Experiential rewards are popular because they add value to the lives of your customers, make your business stand out and make customers want to come back time and again.

Offer an opt-in program.

A simple option is a program that allows your customers to sign up for offers or rewards.  At the point of sale, ask your customers if they'll share an email address and in exchange, they'll be placed on an opt-in email list.  Your customers will receive regular communication, information about discounts and offers that are eligible for loyalty members solely.  Email campaigns that track loyalty members are a good source of revenue for your business and allow for easy tracking.

Related: Start a new opt-in email marketing campaign!

Include a digital element.

Even though you'll have some customers who aren't digitally savvy, it's likely most will be.  The need to accommodate to the growing mobile trend is becoming more important all of the time.  There are apps small businesses can utilize for free, or a reasonable fee.  Check out your options and try to find a service that integrates social media so customers can share your amazing services with their family and friends.

RelatedThe Technology Behind Your Mobile Conversions: Lining It Up for Killer Sales

Customer loyalty programs are a great way to cater to your customers and encourage them to come back to your business time and again.  Treat your customers royally and communicate on a regular basis. Use your loyalty programs as a way to show your customers that they're valued.

What strategies did you use to build your customer loyalty program?


Author Bio: Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com, specializing on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

(Image Source: freedigitalphotos.net by scottchan)

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