Three Ways to Build a Successful Loyalty Program

Oct 13, 2020

Katie Castillo-Wilson

Katie Castillo-Wilson

TapOnIt Founder + CEO

Customer Loyalty

Loyalty. It’s important to any long-lasting relationship.

When it comes to loyalty, especially when you’re talking about consumers and businesses, know that you’re aiming to create more than a loyal customer—you’re looking to develop a complete brand enthusiast. I’m talking about someone who wouldn’t dare cheat on you with another brand. Someone who wouldn’t dream of shopping with a competitor. Someone who says your name when asked about where to access a product or service. 

These brand enthusiasts are your fans and their loyalty is meaningful. It’s a big deal when a person/business who provides a service/product can create a loyal relationship with a consumer. When we look at all the loyalty programs that are brought to consumers from every type of brand—from grocery stores to gas stations, to Michaels, to the sandwich shop down the street—each of those businesses are giving consumers reasons to choose their brand over others.

Loyalty programs are a great way for brands to keep existing customers walking through their doors. And a great offer to entice someone to join a loyalty program or to walk through the brand’s door is a wonderful way to gain new customers and potentially pull customers away from a competitor. 

Loyalty isn’t built in a day. It takes time. Trust needs to be built between brands and consumers. But that trust is more important now than ever because people’s habits are changing. And when consumers change their behavior, brands need to follow suit. 

It’s no secret that since the pandemic began, more and more consumers have been taking their shopping online. Consumers have a ton of new and interesting choices. That means brands need to get creative about how they attract new and existing customers. This is even more important to local retailers and restaurants—they really need to find new and interesting ways to encourage customers to walk in the door. Loyalty programs are a fantastic way to achieve this. 

Give Customers A Reason To Sign Up

Entice them! It could be something as simple as, “Give us your email address and get $5 off your next purchase! Text the keyword to enroll.” Even a digital punch card that gets used during your first visit to a store. The point is: businesses need to come up with something that gives customers a sense of accomplishment and gives them a reason to sign up. And once they’re signed up, give customers a reason to stay by providing value through specialized content or through a targeted coupon.

Make Loyalty As Easy As Possible

Loyalty programs can’t be complicated. Not just in terms of sign up, but to encourage consumers to use it each time they walk through your door or visit your website. Many consumers aren’t carrying a traditional wallet any more, so a physical punch card may not be the best option. Businesses should seek to connect customers to their loyalty program using a single piece of information. For me, I’m most connected and loyal to the programs that are tied back to my phone number. I have four email addresses, and I can’t remember any more log-in names and passwords, but I’ll always remember my cell phone number. 

Don’t Forget To Gamify Your Program

Loyalty programs need to give customers a sense of accomplishment by associating their interaction with your brand with benefits. By allowing a customer to earn a reward, it actually prompts them to make additional purchases. Whenever possible, gamify your loyalty program and outline specific actions for consumers. Tell them what you want them to do, give them points to give them a sense of achievement, and once they’ve earned the points, they win. Customers will continue to purchase from your business, turning shopping with you as part of their habits, which in turn means a long-lasting relationship with the customer. 

Here’s the benefit of a great loyalty program: you’ll know your customers’ purchases. And from those purchases, you can learn a lot about a person. You can likely deduce their age, if they have a family, when they run out of products. It’s a lot of insight that gives a brand the information they need to create targeted promotions and content. 

At TapOnIt Technology, we help brands build loyalty programs that appeal to consumers in its simplicity and can engage members with specialized content and promotions—the kind of engagement that gives customers a reason to keep coming back to your business time and time again.