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7 Tips on how to Start a Loyalty Program

Implementing a loyalty program can seem daunting, but don't worry! We've got your back.

First of all, it involves investment and commitment, which can be enough to make some people back out. Beyond that, it requires strategy and a well constructed vision for the program, along with paying attention to each aspect of the program, which can seem overwhelming at first. To settle your nerves, we’ve put together a guide that will take you through each aspect and step of setting up your loyalty program. Learn how you can tweak each and every program element to turn your program into a revenue-generating machine that you and your members alike can’t get enough of.

  1. Take a Minute - Have a Think

    Before setting up your own loyalty program, choosing your software, deciding what type of program you want and more, first decide why you want a loyalty program, what you expect from it, and what you think you should or need to do in order to realize those expectations.

    While this may seem unnecessary or like a step you can skip, it is essential. Many people fail to recognize the amount of strategy involved in loyalty programs. Correction - good loyalty programs. You have rules, tiers, workflows, filters, various different types of rewards - you can’t expect to effectively set up, manage, and make the most of all the various features in synchrony without having spent time formulating a strategy prior to launching your program.

  2. Decide on Your Goals

    After taking time to delve deeper into the world of loyalty programs and really understand the different aspects, characteristics and capabilities that they can have, you should be more aware of what you can reasonably expect and do with your program.

    Deciding on your goals early on is essential. This is because every part of your program should be constructed around these goals, in particular the rewards you offer and what you offer them for. If you’re interested in increasing store visits and purchase frequency, for example, it’s best to gear your rewards towards rewarding exactly that. Use point multipliers to give members more and more points with each engagement within a certain period of time, for example. Looking to increase basket size and decrease the number of purchases? Try offering graduated rewards or rewards that are based on basket size, making sure that there’s more of an incentive for members to spend more in single sessions.

  3. Take a Look at Current Members

    The ultimate goal when setting up a loyalty program is to generate more revenue. However, achieving extra revenue through your loyalty program is completely contingent upon engagement. If you’re looking to maximize engagement, maximize how much attention you pay to your members.

    Start by looking at how your members currently shop or interact with you. Are there certain patterns that are better for your business? If so, reward these patterns or habits. Do you have existing data that shows member preferences or most purchased items, or things that your employees may value? Try offering one of these items as a reward for the behavior that contributes best to your goals. They like the reward, you like the outcome - win-win.

  4. Time to Get Started

    Now that you’ve selected your software and gotten a grasp of the direction you want to go in with your program, it should be easy for you to make a start on actually formulating rewards and more. However, it’s best to learn more about the finer details involved in rewards first.

    We recommend taking a look at ONE OF OUR GUIDES to see the different elements that each program has. This can start with rewards and rules, and go all the way to creating automated workflows and gamification.

  5. Automate & Integrate

    When you first start, it may be difficult to get a grasp of how everything works within a short period of time. Once you’re comfortable and feel at home in your dashboard, it’s time to start taking things up a level. Use automations to take some of the burden off your shoulders. Create triggered workflows, time-based messaging sequences and more, ensuring you’re always in the right place at the right time.

    Integrating your program with your systems will ensure that your collection and redemption processes will be streamlined completely. Link your program to your POS system, e-commerce system, even ordering or reservation system. Certain software will allow you to incorporate an employee rewards program as well by connecting your loyalty solution to your HR systems.
  6. Market & Promote Your Program  

    You didn’t come all this way and build a whole loyalty program just to tell nobody about it. Promote your program through a diversified selection of channels - through your website, physical locations, email and social, paid ads and more. Most importantly, as you know, making signups and subscriptions as easy as possible should be a big priority - nobody wants to feel like they’re filling out a government form to join a loyalty program, so keep the process and the questions short and sweet.

  7. Iterate and Improve Your Program

    Once everything is up and running, you’ll have a gold rush of data, along with a lot of feedback in a more direct sense. Use your loyalty scan data, along with existing purchasing data, to detect what rewards might perform better than currently poorly performing rewards. Segment members based on their monetary value, preferences, or anything else that you find relevant for segmentation to create more personalized and targeted experiences. Use email marketing and other communication channels to make sure any lapsed members are kicked back into action.