5 Easy Ideas for Creating a Loyalty Program for Customers
In today’s economic climate has small business owners are stretched thin trying to find new customers and retain current customers at the same time. Customer service has become a full-time job for most small business owners. How do I reach new customers? What social media tactics should I be using in my business? How do I keep my current customers from going somewhere else? How do I get my current customers to refer my business to others?
We all have customer loyalty or reward cards in our wallets, whether is it CVS, Best Buy or some other retailer, but how can a service provider, solopreneur or small business create a customer loyalty program?
- Use your email provider: Instead of having customer sign up for monthly newsletter, have prospects sign up for a customer loyalty program though your email provider.
Send out email offering free reports, webinars, podcasts, articles, discounts and other promotions available only to subscribers.
- Use a Membership Widget on Your Blog or Website: Add a membership area to your blog where only members will have access to premium content.
Add special webinars, teleseminars, ecourses, seminar events, discounts, articles, eBooks, and other promotional items.
- Facebook Fan Pages: Create a Facebook fan page for your company and offer members content that is not available on your blog or website.
You can offer events to attend, videos, articles, promotions, discounts, information on seminars, ecourses, webinars, podcasts and much more.
- Points Program: Create a program for customers where they are rewarded points for each purchase or referral, think frequent flier programs. Create a catalog where they can redeem the points for valued gifts.
You can offer free webinars, workbooks, books, teleseminars, consultations, promotional items, tickets, magazine subscriptions, whatever you can think of that will be of value to your current customers.
- Blog Commenter’s: Use blog commenting software that gives points to readers when they leave comments. Let the reader’s know at the end of each posts that you will be sending a free gift to the commenter with the most comments each week, month or whatever deadline you choose, just don’t make it to infrequent.
You can give away free reports, eBooks, consultations, white papers or whatever item that related to your business that can be delivered electronically. Don’t forget to announce the winner.
How can Businesses put Customer Loyalty Programs to Work for Their Businesses?
Let’s look at a few ways that professional businesses can use loyalty programs:
Professional Coaches: You run a professional coaching business and decide to set up a free customer loyalty program. You begin by creating a landing page explaining the loyalty program to prospects and a sign-up form. You tell them all the benefits of signing up for the loyalty program which could include such benefits as free coaching sessions, discounted coaching sessions, free eBooks and workbooks, free worksheets, articles, webinars, and discounts on books, eBooks, and special reports. You send members an email monthly with links to the specials that you are offering and not available to general readers of your blog or visitors to your website.
Financial Planners: You decide to set up a membership site on your website or blog. Prospects sign up to become members to receive special member benefits. You offer members access to site by logging into the restricted area for members only where they read industry reports, company research, worksheets, educational information and forums. You then notify members though email that new products are available at the membership site.
Author: You decide to set up a Facebook fan page for your books. You are about to release a new book and you want to promote your book and get others to promote you book. You can add sample chapters, podcasts of you reading from your books, post book signing events, hold a contest to win a free book, and hold a contest to people to name characters in your next new book. The possibilities are endless, you could create an online novel where once a week you add a new chapter or create a novel where you begin the novel and have people submit the next chapter every month. You could post the winner’s chapter or you could also have members vote on the chapter that they like the most and post the chapter with the post votes as the winning chapter and ask members to post the next chapter.
Retail Store: You own a small online and offline women’s boutique and you want to increase your customer’s loyalty and get them to spend more often. You decide to set up a customer reward card and customers can swipe the card in the store or enter their customer number when they purchase online. You can reward customer by offering customer only sales, discount coupons, free shipping, in-store events and promotional items, the possibilities are almost endless.
Why set up a Loyalty Program?
Loyalty programs allow you stay top of mind with clients. By offering rewards that are of high value to customers you will give them incentive to due business with you and not your competitors. Don’t forget to offer referral rewards to encourage customers to refer others to your business.
Loyalty programs offer your business these benefits:
- Targeting: Loyalty programs offer businesses the opportunity to target people are willing to become active participants in your marketing programs and helps moves the prospects through the sales funnel into becoming clients.
- Engagement: Loyalty programs allow businesses to engage members and learn what they are interested in learning and buying. Engagement allows business owners to target prospects with offers that will appeal to them because they have creating an ongoing community involvement with the prospect. Engagement helps the build trust and loyalty among members.
- Conversion: Loyalty programs that build trust and loyalty among members leads to increased sales conversion among members. The members already know and trust your products and are more willing to purchase your products.
All you have to do now is decide on what type of loyalty program you want to create. What you want to accomplish and how you will implement the loyalty program.
Do you currently have a loyalty program for your business?