Attracting new customers is tough. And, too often businesses concentrate all their efforts on this endeavor, when they should be focusing on driving repeat business.  Current customers spend 67% more than new customersso why not develop a winning program to reward these valuable customers and encourage frequent repeat sales? In this series, we’ll be exploring ways to create a loyalty program that will position your business for success.

Don’t forget to check out Part One on different types of loyalty program structures.


Three-quarters of households are enrolled in at least one loyalty program, with an Building Successful Loyalty Programsaverage number of 18 different programs per household. However, less than half of these accounts are active, meaning that you’ll need to get creative if you want these programs to continue to bring repeat customers through your business’s doors. One consistent criticism of loyalty initiatives is that their rewards are not worth the amount of “work” or time and money spent in their pursuit. The following rewards will help keep customers engaged and involved in your loyalty program.

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Giving Back

A charitable twist on common rewards program, while this approach doesn’t provide a reward directly to your customer, it instead gives them the satisfaction of good will. Select a charity or foundation whose mission aligns with your business, or that is geared towards improving the community. This may seem obvious, but take care not to select something controversial or that might be polarizing to customers. Stick with a cause that everyone can feel proud to contribute towards. This type of approach has been popularized by “social good” companies like Tom’s shoes, and resonates strongly with millennials who tend to be socially-conscious consumers and often identify these values as a priority when making purchasing decisions.

Partner Programs

Partnering with other complementary businesses in your community can allow you to offer more expansive, exclusive perks to your loyalty members If you’re the owner of a salon, try partnering with a massage spa to offer an ultimate a full pampering reward, or reciprocal benefits at either place. Having the same system in place across a few different businesses amplifies the perceived value of the program and encourages customers to keep accruing points and rewards. They’ll appreciate the flexibility in choosing rewards and the broad reach of the program.

Companion Offers

Popularized by frequent flyer programs, this type of reward entitles a member of your loyalty program to bring a friend along for a two-for-one service. This has the ability to turn any routine visit into a fun event, solidifying their positive association with your business. It also exposes a potential new customer to your business, and allows them to try it out, risk-free. This type of soft-sell referral is an excellent way to advertise your business and attract new customers.

Personalized Programs

Similar to how you segment your email marketing lists, you could also offer customers a “Create your own” loyalty program. Give them a few options of reward paths or tiers and allow them to choose which they find most valuable. Tailoring the offerings to their preferences really helps fuel their excitement in participating in the program and will keep them involved.

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