In an earlier article, we discussed how loyalty programs work and why brands should invest in them. We suggested that the key to a successful loyalty program is keeping customers engaged and emotionally connected. The argument for loyalty programs does not end here. By integrating your loyalty data into a CDP, you can enhance your segmentation strategy and make your customer data more useful and actionable. In this article, we’re going to look at how customer loyalty data can help you increase engagement, personalize messages, acquire new customers, and drive traffic to your sites.
Keeping your customers engaged is essential to retaining existing customers and acquiring new ones. Highly engaged customers will remain loyal to your brand and share their positive experiences through word of mouth, which will bring new customers to you. Loyalty data gives you an opportunity to engage your customer with messages that are completely personalized for them. The contents of these messages are solely about them: It’s their points balance, loyalty tier, and join date. And the messages are sent when they are relevant to the customers — when they’re moving up a tier, when they have points expiring, or when it’s their birthday. You don’t have to rack your brain to come up with creative ways to engage your customers. Loyalty data lends itself to relevant and personalized messages.
56% of people remain loyal to brands that demonstrate that they “get” their customers. However, only 19% of loyalty program members say that brands’ programs make them feel special and recognized. That means there’s much room for improvement to treat customers like VIPs. Loyalty data gives you another layer of information you can weave into your personalization strategy. A quick and easy way to introduce loyalty data to your emails is to include your customers’ total points earned in your loyalty program. Immediately, your message will feel more personalized.
You can take this to the next level by launching behavior-triggered emails, or text messages, that inform your customers about their statuses in your loyalty program and encourage them to take action. For instance, you can tell your customer they’re a few points away from reaching a new tier and give them an offer to incentivize leveling up with a purchase or other action, like leaving a review. Campaigns like this make your customers feel like you know what’s going on with their accounts and will also drive more engagement with them.
Capitalize on your customers’ tendency to spread the word about their positive experiences with your brand. Loyalty data will come extremely useful in this use case too. Add referral links to your messages and incentivize your loyalty members to invite their friends to try your product. Send your customers reminders with their points balance and reward them with points for interacting with your social channels, like following or liking your brand and sharing your posts with their network. Their contribution to your word of mouth marketing efforts will have a significant impact on gaining your prospects’ trust: 92% of people trust a recommendation from a peer, while 70% of them trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know.
Having access to loyalty data in your CDP also allows you to identify loyalty and non-loyalty members and engage them with the appropriate messages. You can enhance your segmentation by adding loyalty membership status, tier level, points earned, or points spent into your segment definitions, thus making your targeting more precise. For instance, if you are launching a flash sale for coats and jackets and want to treat your loyal customers to an extra discount offer, you can easily create a segment of customers who visited product pages for coats and jackets in the past week and who are members of your loyalty program. Or you can nudge customers with an email or SMS to re-engage them with your brand if they haven’t spent their loyalty points in a while.
Loyalty members joined your program for the promise of receiving special treatment, so make sure you do reward them with exclusive sales, early access deals, double-points-earned promotions, or in other ways you find fitting. All these offers will be driving traffic to your site, where we know loyal customers are more likely to make a purchase, compared to new ones.