It’s been said time and time again that a focus on customer retention is key to a successful customer lifecycle marketing campaign. While there are quite a few ways marketers can strive to keep customers active and engaged in the customer lifecycle, customer loyalty programs are one of the most powerful strategies.

A New Partnership

We at Emarsys understand the importance of quality customer loyalty programs and believe that the most successful programs reward behaviors and engagements. That’s why we recently partnered with Antavo to provide our clients in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Ireland with the ability to utilize Antavo’s loyalty programs within their online stores, with the goal of increasing repeat purchases and customer lifetime value.

Emarsys chose Antavo for this partnership based on three key differentiators of the company’s loyalty programs:

  • Ease of set-up.
  • Automatically running loyalty programs that showcase immediate results, with comprehensive reporting in-dashboard or via email.
  • A dedicated Avanto account manager for each client, to help with loyalty program management.

To mark the occasion and celebrate our partnership, we wanted to bring it back to basics and highlight three key steps to starting a successful customer loyalty program.

Your wallet without the wallet1. Define a Goal

What are the ideal end results of your loyalty program? More referrals? A higher customer retention rate? More reviews of your products?

All of these things are possible, but it is extremely unwise to move on to the rest of your planning process until you know your objectives, and how you will measure success against them.

 2. Set a Clear Progression Structure

Now that you know what it is you’re hoping to achieve with your loyalty program, you can start to plan how the program will work. Start by asking yourself the basics:

  • Will there be tiers that loyalty members move through? If so, how many, and how do members transition between them?
  • Are there points involved, or some other sort of measurement system?
  • If there are points, will they have a fun, brand-related name?
  • What actions are required for a member to move to the next tier in your program?
  • What is the monetary value associated with these points or actions?

Once you make these decisions and define all of the important aspects of your loyalty program, make sure you also have the proper content and collateral available to effectively communicate the existence and workings of the scheme. A lack of transparency or an overcomplicated scheme can be a significant barrier to entry. Bonus points for your brand (pun intended) if you make this information both visually striking and easy to find across all channels.

3. Choose Your Rewards

Now that you know your goal and how your program will actually work, you need to make sure you have a clear idea of what the rewards will be. Discounts are the obvious choice, but they are far from the limit of possibilities.

Are their contests you’re running that points could be credited toward? Is there some sort of vacation or event you can reward your loyalty program members with? Oftentimes, a memorable experience will mean more to your customers than a standard discount, and increase the chances of further propagation through social sharing of that experience.

You’re on Your Way

Of course, there can be quite a bit more that goes into the management and maintenance of loyalty programs. If you’re using a loyalty software like Antavo, make sure you know your contact point for assistance and how to reach them. Additionally, it’s always beneficial to read up on some of their resources to understand how to get the most out of your loyalty program.

If you’re already an Emarsys customer and would like to know more about Antavo, its capabilities, or how to include it in your marketing strategies going forward, please reach out. We’re here to help.