Getting people to join your loyalty program
Once you have set-up a loyalty program (be it your own or a generic program), it is crucial to get participants. Of course your loyalty program is so attractive it should be able to grow on itsself. However, some additional marketing effort may not hurt. There are several tips and tricks to get customers to join your loyalty program.
Use your owned media
The simpliest way to let customers join your loyalty program is to use your own media: your social channels, your email newsletter, your in-store communication. The best moment may be in the purchase process itself: Get 10% discount on this purchase if you become a member of our loyalty program." Make sure you have very compelling and clear messages for your customers on the added value the loyalty programs offers them ("What’s in it for me?").
Member gets member
Promotion by word of mouth is of course one of the best ways to promote your program. You can incentivize your customers by a member gets member program ("You will get a gift if you bring in a new member", or, even better, "You both get a gift).
You need to analyze very carefully which segments of your customer base respond best to a loyalty program, both in entering the program as in the additional sales. Once you have identified the best responding segments you can focus your communication on these segments and make sure you manage your budgets as efficient as possible.
Third party media
Of course you can also use third party media to get members for your loyalty program. However, are the users you are reaching in this really potential loyal customers? Or will they just join to get the free sign-on gift or the extra discounts.
Some programs may be very suitable for third party promotion. Loyalty programs like those of Amazon and REI can be market aggressively as they require the users to pay an annual fee in advance before getting specific discounts. Other loyalty programs may acquire a lot of members but the members quickly prove not to be loyal at all.