Let’s do a little exercise.
Scenario 1: You receive an invitation to join a loyalty program at Store A, where you have shopped once or twice before. You are notified that you get 10% off of your purchase if you join the rewards program, therefore you sign-up. You leave and don’t hear back from the store.
Scenario 2: You receive an invitation to join a loyalty program at Store B, where you have shopped at once or twice before. You get 10% off of your purchase if you join the program, therefore you sign-up. This time you leave the store and immediately receive a “Thank-You” email for signing-up, as well as a list of all the benefits you now have access to as a member of the loyalty program. Every few weeks you are informed of new or relevant exclusive member rewards and benefits to which you now have access.
Which store would you be more likely to return to? – Chances are that you would chose Store B.
The difference between Store A and Store B is that Store B uses Marketing Automation to continuously enhance their Customer Loyalty Program, whereas Store A’s Marketing Automation process ended once the Customer joined the Loyalty Program. Though lead nurture and lead acquisition are important, what businesses with loyalty programs must remember is that it is just as important to keep engaging members even after they have joined the program. What good are new members if they don’t come back in and shop with you? Loyal members that deliver a high customer lifetime value (CLV) is what companies should strive for. So stop measuring a loyalty program’s success on the number of registered members, but rather by the number of active members. Your business must have a system in place to continually engage these members, and Marketing Automation can be your effective solution.
When thinking of Marketing Automation for tracking product interest, customer activity and channel preference, you can use this information to create the proper engagement campaign. So what about Marketing Automation for Loyalty Program members you might ask? – Well it works in a similar way.
Here are just a few member activities your business can use as triggers campaigns in a Loyalty Program using a Marketing Automation system:
- Joining the Loyalty Program – Make sure the system sends a thank-you message to new members. In addition to serving as a confirmation that the membership was processed, this message can be used to remind members of the benefits the program offers, as well as encourage future sales by reaffirming how participating and shopping with the program can benefit them.
- New benefit/Close to Earning a New Benefit Members can lose track of what rewards they have earned or can earn during special events or while progressing through a program. A new customer benefit provides a perfect opportunity to extend communication and encourage a sale. Who doesn’t like benefits? Chances are many members will come in to take advantage of the opportunity.
- Benefit is about to end – Does your member have an unused benefit/reward that may expire? Make sure a Marketing Automation trigger message is in place to remind members to capitalize on this opportunity before it ends. Communicating a sense of urgency can encourage members to come in and shop.
- Special Event – Show your Customers that you value their membership by recognizing special events such as your Customer’s birthday, membership anniversary, holiday etc. These are nice opportunities to make your Customer feel special, help keep your brand top-of-mind and to mention how the loyalty program can benefit them during their special day.
- Inactive account – Though, ideally continued communications will reduce the number of inactive accounts, there will inevitably be members who are not participating. Or, maybe a member has participated in the past, however these last few months their activity has been slow. Regardless, it is important to reach out to these members to revive their interest in the program. No matter the tactic you decide upon, whether it be reminding them of their benefits, sending a funny media clip, or describing how the program can benefit them if utilized, it is imperative that communication is delivered to help turn these inactive accounts into active accounts.
Long story short, can Marketing Automation be used for lead nurture and acquisition? – Yes. Should you stop there? – No. Existing customers have already shown their approval for your business, now you just need to remind them of how your program can continue to benefit them. Marketing Automation can serve as the perfect, low-hassle medium to keep a loyalty program top-of-mind, drive repeat usage and sales, and build a positive active member relationship. So make sure you’re thinking beyond the old mindset of putting the most effort into member acquisition, and instead have Marketing Automation help you increase the CLV of your current members.
For more Marketing Automation tips and strategies listen to our recorded webinar Is Marketing Automation Failing You or Vice Versa?