When it comes to marketing, a lot of business owners focus on attracting new customers. But the truth is that getting customers to return time and again is more sustainable and profitable.
Study shows that acquiring new customers is five to twenty-five times more expensive than retaining an existing one. That makes sense because finding a new customer every time would require more resources.
In this article, we’ll go over a list of loyalty marketing strategies that will help maximize your growth. But first, let’s define what loyalty marketing is.
What Is Loyalty Marketing?
As you’ve probably already guessed, loyalty marketing is an approach in which a business retains its existing customers by incentivizing them with discounts, free products, and other rewards that keep them happy.
There are different types of loyalty in marketing, and the most common one is transactional loyalty. This entails giving out rewards with every purchase and is the reason behind most customer loyalty programs.
Another type of loyalty is advocacy loyalty, in which existing customers are rewarded for successfully referring their friends to your business. In fact, some of our users at UpViral — Terry Mitchell of Sew Much Easier, for example — have used this strategy to generate new leads each month. So far, they’ve collected 94,601 leads.
7 Loyalty Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Brand
Consider implementing these loyalty marketing tips that will increase your repeat customer base.
1. Offer discounts to get more sales.
Discounting may not be a new strategy, but it’s highly effective for drumming up your sales. The key is to not provide discounts to everyone, but only to certain groups. Here are some examples:
- New customers: First-time visitors are most likely not ready to buy yet. You could, however, offer a discount code in exchange for their email address (and you’d send that discount to their email so they can use it on their purchase).
- High spending customers: Offer discounts to those who reach a certain spending amount. It’s a great way to show your gratitude and gives them a reason to buy again.
- Early bird discounts: This is effective when you’re trying to get as many people as possible to try your new product. You can even create FOMO (the fear of missing out) by limiting the discount to the first 50 orders or putting a time limit on that offer.
2. Respond to online reviews.
Online customer reviews can shape people’s perceptions of your brand. Plus, they serve as useful feedback that allows you to understand what your audience wants, thereby helping you improve your efforts.
However, it’s not enough to have online reviews — to make the most out of reviews, make sure you’re actually responding to them. This is a simple loyalty marketing strategy that boosts customers’ experiences.
Whether it’s thanking them for their kind words, answering their questions, or taking responsibility for a negative complaint, take the time to respond.
Pro Tip: You can incentivize people to write a helpful, honest review. Send them an email explaining it, and with the link to the reviews page. Alternatively, you could include writing a review as one of the UpViral Custom Actions in your giveaway in exchange for more points.
3. Implement a refer-a-friend program.
In a refer-a-friend program, you reward customers for referring new people to you.
Sure, loyal customers would recommend your business without getting something in return. However, incentivizing the behavior will add excitement and increase action.
Your existing audience is the best source of referrals because these people already know, like, and trust you. And rewards are proven to increase word-of-mouth, especially if your rewards resonate with their interests.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you own a book shop and want to generate more leads. So, you create a basic sweepstakes campaign where your loyal customers must share it with their friends to get a chance to win 12 best-selling books. Participants will simply enter their name and email, and start sharing.
4. Partner with another company.
Partnerships allow you to offer customers more product options. It would be even better if you partnered up with a brand they also follow that complements yours. While this requires more research on your part, it’s a win-win for all parties.
For example, coffeehouse chain Starbucks teams up with heritage brand Stanley to offer durable, outdoor drinkware.
Another strategy, which uses the value-based type of loyalty program, is to partner with a certain charity so that a portion of their purchase can support a cause. This shows your involvement with the community and it also makes your customers feel good about themselves!
Check out this interesting case study where Nicholas Kusmich used UpViral to sell 6,400 books and provide clean and safe water for non-profit organization charity: water.
5. Remember their birthdays.
People feel valued when their special days are remembered, such as their birthdays. The simple act of sending a happy birthday email can go a long way towards increasing loyalty.
If you want, you can take it to the next level by sending a huge birthday discount in that email or a free product.
To make this more convenient, use a CRM (customer relationship management) software that keeps track of customer birthdays and automates the process of sending them emails. Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) is one option that does this.
6. Add a wishlist to your website.
Are you giving customers the option to save the products they like even if they don’t buy them yet? This is where wishlists are highly beneficial. They improve your audience’s shopping experiences.
Big e-commerce names like Amazon.com use wishlists, and you should too.
Use these loyalty marketing ideas to maximize your wishlist feature:
- Let your customers know that they can save out-of-stock items. Once these items become available, you’ll notify them via email so they can make that purchase.
- Be sure to also alert your customers when their saved items go on sale. This is great, especially for boosting holiday sales.
- Check that your wishlist plugin has a social sharing feature so that your customers’ wishlists can reach new customers.
7. Establish a membership program.
A membership program is essentially a program in which customers sign up and become entitled to receive certain benefits such as discounts, store credits, and VIP access to offers.
Getting your customers to renew their membership requires providing more value, constant communication, and making sure that the program is easy to understand and use.
Customer loyalty paves the way for growth. As you’ve seen from the list, you can keep customers happy in various ways, such as providing discounts to certain audience segments, rewarding them for generating new referrals, and building the right brand partnerships.
At UpViral, we’ve helped marketers, business owners, and agencies drive more brand awareness, leads, and sales through incentivized word-of-mouth. You can create any campaign, from sweepstakes to milestones to leaderboards. See what’s possible with UpViral.