How to Keep Customers Happy using Loyalty Schemes


While your competitors are creating discount vouchers and offering giveaway gifts, you can be using your loyalty schemes to do some real work for your business, and for your customers.

When you offer a loyalty program that requires people to not only agree to provide you with their contact information and to send promotional material, they are also agreeing to allow you to track purchases more closely, segment sales, and discover what is selling, when and to which customers.

For consumers, they see the benefit of a 10{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06} discount each time they shop, or free postage, or whatever other promotion is available to your business type. You are buying customer data at a low cost, while customers feel valued and rewarded.

Loyalty marketing, while a valuable tactic for your business, does need to appear to offer value to your customers. If customers feel that you offer them the best rewards for their purchasing experience it will build loyalty and compel them to buy from your website. For example, free shipping on all purchases tends to be a drawcard for consumers.

What is loyalty marketing?

Loyalty marketing is a strategy that encourages customers to do repeat business with your brand. Such strategies involve incentivizing purchasing and generating customer loyalty. Keep reading to learn how.

Why loyalty marketing?

Loyalty marketing is focused on repeat business. This matters. When you have a clear indication of who your customers are and what their purchasing expectations are, you are better able to plan, forecast, and select inventory. This cuts costs and improves efficiency.

It also reduces your overall marketing costs, as once you have secured a customer, leading them through the sales funnel each time requires little effort. They don’t need to be ‘sold’ to; they are already familiar with your brand and value your products. They are familiar with what your business represents and your USP.

Customer acquisition is expensive

Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. Increasing customer retention by 5{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06} can increase profits from 25{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06} to 95{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06}. The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06} to 70{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06}, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06} to 20{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06}.

You know how competitive eCommerce is. Getting that first sale with a customer takes a huge amount of resources. If you can secure your customer, the value of your brand is massive.

When comparing the customer acquisition cost, or CAC, of a new customer with that of an existing one, it makes sense to offer customers incentives to keep them loyal to your brand.

While your marketing strategy should still attract new customers, taking care of the ones you have is valuable, as using their data can also help you know where to source your new customers, and hopefully find your reliable customer base.

Existing customers

Engaging existing customers is cost-effective and usually easier than finding new customers.

According to research, the probability of companies selling to an existing customer is 60{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06} to 70{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06}, while the probability of selling to a new customer is between 5{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06} and 20{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06}.

Global research and advisory firm Gartner Group found that 80{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06} of your company’s future revenue will come from returning customers.

Long term customer retention is vital to the success of any brand. It is clear that it is those who are loyal to your brand who build your business. To engage those people, it is important that you give them a reason to stay with your company.

How to use customer loyalty to grow your brand

A loyal customer can jump to another brand for many reasons. Accessibility, product quality, price point, and service quality can attract or discourage customers, even those who have been loyal to your brand for many years.

However, customer loyalty programs help to secure customers. Such programs incentivize customers to stay loyal to your brand, even if a competitor undercuts your prices or offers discounts, many customers will stay loyal to your brand if your loyalty programs are valuable to them.

Tip 1. Solicit customer feedback

Asking customers for their feedback, especially those who might be leaving, is really important for your business model. If you can see a consistent pattern, you can understand what it is that you are failing to offer customers and find ways to improve your services.

Provide social media channels for feedback 

Social media is a great way for businesses to give customers a voice.

Nike handles customer support and feedback on Twitter using a separate handle, meaning that they can respond in real-time.

This type of customer service is fundamental to the success of your online business. People need to be able to put a face or voice to your brand. They want to be able to connect with your brand with customer service reps. They want to tell you how they feel about your product or service.

Listening to your customers’ feedback is the best way to figure out how to improve your products and services. Your customers can give you feedback that you cannot determine yourself because you are too close.

Customer satisfaction surveys

Customer satisfaction surveys are an easy way to collect feedback from your customer base. When sent at the right time, customers will take the time to respond. For instance, sending a survey slip at the close of a sale, telling people it will take 1 minute to answer three questions, most people will respond.

You can also send an email. They need to be well-timed. If you send it too late after the transaction, people will be unresponsive. If the survey is too long, people are unlikely to respond. And if you send the same survey for every transaction for a long period of time, people will not want to respond. Your survey needs to be updated and relevant to gauge interest from customers. Your survey gives customers a way to engage with your brand and feels that they are contributing to your business investment in their satisfaction.

Request a review

Customer reviews are a great way to spread the word about your products. Opening yourself to criticism, allowing people to honestly tell you what improvement could be made to your product will allow you to deliver on making what products people want to buy.

Testimonials and reviews are also space for your customers to speak your praises. When customers talk to other customers about your product, it feels more genuine and your brand gains a reputation through word-of-mouth.

Tip 2. Celebrate your most loyal customers on social media

You can thank your most loyal customers with a small token of your appreciation, such as exclusive deals, special offers, and greater discounts for your top customers.


When you treat your top customers by sending them samples, or exclusive early launches of new products they are likely to go online and create user-generated content. Social media contests and giveaways incentivize customers to interact with the brand and promote it through their networks.


Offering the chance to win contests, or being featured on your favorite brand’s company’s official Instagram page is very rewarding for customers. By celebrating your best customers on your social media, you encourage organic growth through people wanting to share and ‘like’.

Tip 3. Incentivize repeat business with reward programs

Loyalty is dynamic; you have to keep giving customers a reason to come back. A loyalty rewards program does help to invite people back.

Something as simple as a coffee card proves how basic your rewards program can be – buy five coffees and get the sixth one free.

By adding tiers to the program, you can encourage people to want to commit to your brand even more. Such as buy ten coffees and get a muffin free. Buy twenty coffees and get a coffee in a free replaceable cup.

It makes customers feel connected with your brand, and tell s them that their repeat business is valuable to your business.

Online, it could be as simple as giving a free book from a limited selection when you spend €100 or send a free bookmark with each free delivery of a customer’s books. When you are an online store, you need to find creative ways to allow your customers to be part of your brand voice. Book Depository use their bookmarks to encourage customers to connect. They ask customers to draw pictures, take photos, and make comments about their favorite books and send them in. If their work is selected, it features on the free bookmarks that are sent for the next three months.

Tip 4. Encourage referral programs

While loyalty programs incentivize customers to purchase from you repeatedly, a referral program incentivizes customers who get their friends to buy from your brand.

Customers who love a brand will naturally share with their friends through word-of-mouth. Referral programs encourage word-of-mouth sales by rewarding customers and potential customers.


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