24 Expert Tips To Turbocharge Your Customer Loyalty Program


To help you achieve your retention goals more effectively, we’ve compiled a list of 24 burning questions that our community had on customer loyalty. In this blog post, we’ll address these questions with tips, strategies and expert guidance to help you build a strong and sustainable customer loyalty program! So without further ado, let’s dive straight in. 

1. When should you bring partner rewards into your customer loyalty program?

Align your partner rewards with the rest of your marketing strategy – for example, if you’ve got a partnership with a brand on a new product line you’re bringing out, or you’re working with a partner on a new design. These are the kinds of activities where it makes sense to bring in partner rewards. 

2. What is the best way to market a refer-a-friend campaign within a loyalty program?

Integrate your referral campaign with your reviews. If you’ve got a happy customer who has left you a glowing review, ask them for a referral and make it really straightforward by providing them with unique referral links they can easily pass on. Make sure you’re offering enough points to anyone who makes a referral that they can redeem a reward with you, otherwise, it won’t be compelling enough to inspire action. And don’t forget to shout about it on your social accounts! 

3. Are more companies implementing experience-based rewards into their loyalty programs? How can you get a better sense of what customers would want?

100% yes – experience-based rewards are a big part of most of the tiered programs we see. The best way to find out what your customers want is simply to ask them. Even better, build a community of Insiders that you can offer focus groups to as a perk for being loyal. This way, you get the info you need and your customers get to feel like VIPs!

4. Our most loyal customers are already loyal, so incentivizing them with discounts or free products feels like giving away margin unnecessarily. How can a customer loyalty program help? 

This ties back to the previous answer; offer experiential rewards that are cost-effective to deliver, for example, early access to sales, the first opportunity to try new products when they launch, or exclusive access to great content. Don’t forget the value that a loyalty program member can offer you in terms of referrals, reviews and social media mentions – they’re also helping your margins in other ways! 

5. How can a customer loyalty program bring back lapsed customers? 

Surprise and delight! If your customers have forgotten about you, you need to give them a reason to come back and shop with you instead of going somewhere else. Get in touch and credit them with some extra points, just make sure you give them enough to use in an immediate purchase.

6. How can you increase customer loyalty with new product launches? 

There are a few things you could try here. Offer bonus points on specific product collections so that you can encourage customers to buy those new items, or award points to customers who use a certain hashtag or mention the new product on social media to spread some hype. We would always recommend offering your top-tier customers the opportunity to try the new product before anyone else to make them feel extra special. 

7. How can I get my customers to sign up to our loyalty program?

Implement some on-site notifications that briefly interrupt their experience and entice them with the benefits of your loyalty program. It’s also a great idea to include the perks of your loyalty program in your post-purchase communications so that customers know exactly how many points they’ll get if they sign up once they’ve already made a purchase. 

8. How can you measure the loyalty of customers in a short buying cycle?

Look at how much your customers engage with you between their purchases. Do they ever talk about your brand and advocate for you? Do they engage with your loyalty emails or promotions? Are they shopping with you outside of sales and discounts? A lot of the time, short buying cycles can be driven by promotions, so look at what they are doing outside of those. 

9. When considering an update to an existing customer loyalty program, what should the approach be and what key things should you consider? 

Treat it like any other marketing activity  – do your market research, speak to your customers, understand what is it they care about, and then upgrade your program to match. But don’t just make changes for the sake of it. If something is working then keep it in there, no matter how rudimentary it might seem. 

10. How can you create emotional loyalty for a highly transactional-driven audience? 

Tie the transactions back to the causes that your customers care about, for example, allowing them to earn points for positive behaviors like recycling packaging. On the flip side, you can give your customers the opportunity to redeem rewards in the form of something like a charitable donation. By tying your brand in with these charitable loyalty offerings you can create a connection that sits outside of the transaction. 

11. How can I incentivize sports fans to come back to our store when the competition is now so fierce? 

Use your loyalty program to differentiate your brand and amplify the reasons your brand exists in the first place – it’s so important to tell your story! Use this messaging to build a community of people who care about the same sport or the same sports team, and then encourage them to engage in between purchases. By building up this community you’ll ensure that when they do come to make a purchase, you’re the first brand they synonymously think of with that sport. 

12. How can I increase LTV?

Focus on increasing the number of engaged loyalty program members. We know that loyalty program members spend more than non-members and purchase more frequently – even more so if they redeem a reward. So the best way to increase LTV is to increase the number of members you have in your program, and this means focussing on enrollment and keeping people engaged with your loyalty program over time. 

13. How are stores personalizing their programs on their websites? 

This depends on the functionality that a store has, but there are lots of different ways to do this. For example, delivering a personalized account page so that you show your members how many points they have, which available rewards they have, and how far from the next tier they are. You can then pass this information into your emails and SMS messages, or use notifications to show people when they have rewards available.

Integrate your loyalty data so that you can trigger personalized emails and SMS communications when people hit certain points thresholds, unlock new rewards, or move up a tier. Make the most of the flows that Klaviyo has to offer so that simple tasks like birthday emails or account creation prompts are automated and you don’t have to think about them. 

14. How can I get the best results from Klaviyo

Integrate your loyalty data so that you can trigger personalized emails and SMS communications when people hit certain points thresholds, unlock new rewards, or move up a tier. Make the most of the flows that Klaviyo has to offer so that simple tasks like birthday emails or account creation prompts are automated and you don’t have to think about them. 

15. How can I get people to start using their points? 

Clear communications! It needs to be really obvious how your members should use their points and what value they’ll get from using them. Things like points balance updates and reward available reminders mean that people don’t forget they have them. Make the barrier to claiming the first reward really low so that your members get used to that process and start engaging and redeeming as soon as they join. 

16. Which KPIs should I be focussing on? 

Repeat purchase rates, the time between purchases, and reward redemption. 

17. How important is personalization in building customer loyalty?

So important! It’s getting harder and harder to get your hands on zero and first-party data, but when someone opts into your loyalty program that’s exactly what they’re giving you. You need to use this data effectively and responsibly, providing a great level of personalization so that your customers see the value of staying in your program and continuing to give you more data along the way.

18. How do you drive revenue and retention with subscription platforms such as Recharge

Focus on providing enough value so that a customer can’t be tempted away. Your competitors will be out there launching introductory offers to tempt your customers away, so you need to show that staying with you is worth more. This could look like removing the delivery charge for your most loyal customers or giving them their third box free. Think of different ways to offer incentives that would mean the value your customers get from staying subscribed with you outweighs the hassle of switching for a better one-off offer. 

19. How can we get people to redeem more rewards?

Offer more relevant rewards, and if you can, give people the opportunity to choose which reward they redeem. Give them a choice between a financial incentive or a free product or free shipping. If you can offer that variation they feel like they’ve chosen what they want and that really helps.

20. What are the key things to focus on getting right when you first start building a loyalty program? 

Start simple. You want to keep your loyalty proposition really easy to understand and engage with, and you want to keep it simple so that you don’t have to undo anything in future. Also, don’t wait too long to focus on retention. Once you have one customer you have the opportunity for a repeat customer, and you also have a person who could tell someone else about your brand. Focus on rewarding advocacy from the start, because those initial customers can do a lot to grow your customer base through word of mouth. 

21. What are the most effective methods to retain customers in your email list?

This comes back to making sure you’ve got the right integrations. If your loyalty program is integrated with your ESP then you can send out highly personalized email communications. Use your emails to talk about your loyalty program and its benefits, and take every opportunity to tell your brand story and create an emotional connection through your communications. You could also incentivize your customers to sign up to your newsletter by rewarding them with loyalty points, so you’re growing your email list and engaging them in your loyalty program at the same time.

22. Which features drive conversions in a good loyalty program?

Notifications are really great at interrupting your customers in the right place and effectively inserting your loyalty program across the customer journey, so they’re a big one in terms of features. We also see a lot of success when brands use custom rewards that are really tailored to their customers – these are great at driving conversions.

23. Which brands are doing loyalty well? 

Big-name brands we love are the likes of Sephora and Nike – the communities they’ve built are second to none and they may be really big but you can still do a lot of the things they’re doing on a smaller scale. 

LoyaltyLion favorites such as Astrid & Miyu, Edgard & Copper, REN Skincare and LIVELY are all well worth looking at for inspiration because they’re long-running and well-established programs that have been consistently innovating along the way. 

24. How do you build a better loyalty program? 

We’ve covered most of this in the previous questions but… Ask your customers what they want, really understand what motivates them, tie your program closely to your brand story to build emotional connections, focus on program enrollment and driving engagement and redemption, and keep it simple! 

And finally, if you really want to build a better loyalty program then reaching out to us is a brilliant to start. To understand how LoyaltyLion can help your store with customer retention, book a demo with us today.

Special thanks to our friends at LoyaltyLion for their insights on this topic.
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