Retaining customers is one of the most significant challenges for today's digital enterprises (brick-and-mortar businesses as well, of course) but for those able to do so effectively on the Web today, the rewards can be particularly immense.
As many brand marketers can attest, even small increases in loyalty can result in major improvements in the average profit per customer (and revenue in general) over time and their lifetime value (LTV) - and that has not gone unnoticed. In fact, 46 percent of inbound marketers and 45 percent of outbound marketers indicated that increasing revenue derived from existing customers is a marketing priority for their company according to the "State of Inbound 2016" report from HubSpot.
How will they make that happen? By optimizing their digital loyalty programs.
The problem is that most enterprises simply do not utilize the numerous software offerings available or the many well-documented best practices for maximizing the use of these programs, but that's beginning to change.
Customers, who join loyalty programs primarily in order to save money and receive rewards, are obviously a linchpin of success and it's time that digital enterprises start treating them as such. While acquiring new users and developing initiatives that cater to them can undoubtedly be time consuming and in some cases costly, those that understand the nuances of customer retention are those best positioned to develop a more loyal following and profit from their engagement and experience as a result.
That said, it will be important (now as well in the future) for marketers to concentrate their efforts on discovering opportunities to earn the loyalty of customers and there is no shortage of software solutions to help make that happen. Website Magazine has put together a quick guide on the Web of some practical strategies for those looking to establish their own loyalty program at wsm.co/loyaltyin17. In order to provide some initial context, it is vital to understand a little more about the market itself and how it works.
Perhaps the most important thing to understand is that there are several varieties of loyalty programs. "Points" programs, for example, let users accumulate points to redeem for rewards or free products or services (these are actually the most common types of loyalty programs). A variation of the points approach is "Tiered" loyalty offering that provides customers with rewards based on what they have spent in total as a user.
There is also what is known as a "Spend" program where customers receive loyalty credit for the amount they spend at a business (also often known as cash-back rewards). Similarly, there are "Paid" programs (the most popular of which is Amazon Prime) that charge members a yearly fee for access to exclusive services, discounts or unique opportunities. Finally, there are the traditional "Punch" programs, which tend to be the most popular in brick-and-mortar stores, that reward users after a certain number of purchases have been made.
Take a closer look at some of the more popular loyalty solutions on the market today and the benefit they might be able to provide your enterprise and its customers in Website Magazine's guide to Loyalty Solutions.
It's a crowded market for sure and more vendors enter regularly. Take the first step to more engaged and profitable customers today and consider a loyalty program for your own enterprise.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to a 2016 Facebook IQ survey of nearly 15,000 U.S. adults:
Seventy-seven percent of people return to the same brands repeatedly.
People who report a household income of $150,000 or more are 32 percent more likely to be loyal than those who report a household income of under $35,000.
Forty-two percent of "new parents" (who have kids under 1 year of age) describe themselves as loyal compared to 36 percent of non-parents.
Digital marketing executive with proven experience in all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), performance-based advertising, consumer-generated/social media, email marketing, lead generation, Web design, usability, and analytics. - 20-year Internet marketing veteran, currently serving as the Digital Marketing Campaign Manager at Antenna Group (formerly Chicago Digital). - Former Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine, and a regular speaker on Web technology digital marketing strategy - Author of several books on digital marketing Including Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success; Affiliate 360: The Fundamentals of Performance Marketing; Domains 360: The Fundamentals of Buying & Selling Domain Names, and SEO 360: The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.