Five customer loyalty program ideas to keep customers coming back.
With online customer experiences becoming the norm, creating and tracking a customer loyalty program has never been easier or more relevant. Punch cards have evolved to unique discount codes and tiered loyalty point programs. Here are five effective customer loyalty trends perfect for direct selling.
1/ Offer Free Trials Before and After a Customer Buys
Free trials and samples have long been an effective marketing strategy in the direct selling industry. Product samples are highly portable and easy to hand out. In fact, many direct selling companies create their entire business-building system around sampling. However, samples don’t have to be limited to potential customers. Consider giving current customers samples based on their purchase history or let them cash in loyalty points for product samples. This can encourage customers to share samples with others as a natural transition to becoming a distributor. For service-based customers, make the terms of free trial periods easy to understand and easy to cancel. Complicated cancellation policies can be a big barrier that keeps people from signing up for free trials.
2/ Offer Discounts for First-Time Purchases
Many people need five or more exposures before making the decision to buy. Offering coupon codes for first-time buyers can help tip the needle in your favor. Many direct selling companies now allow distributors to create coupon codes right from their back office. First-time purchase codes can also be printed on promo cards to hand out at presentations, used in website pop-ups or sent via email or direct messaging apps. Some of these codes can have a usage time limit to encourage quick action. Make potential customers feel special by communicating the code as a “personal discount code” or telling them the code can only be used once.
3/ Offer Discounts Unique to Each Customer
Take extra steps to make customers feel special. Send special offers or coupons on a customer’s birthday, the anniversary of their first order or some random “just because” offers. Communicate to the customer using their name and recognizing these important dates. Keep track of their favorite products and offer suggestions of related products based on a customer’s unique goals. Incentivize customers to take surveys to help build a unique customer profile. Provide that info in the distributor back office so each distributor can better tailor their sales and marketing efforts based on customer goals, expectations and product purchases.
4/ Create Unique Ways for Customers to Earn and Cash in Loyalty Points
Effective loyalty rewards points should go beyond simply building up points based on purchases. The “buy 10 get one free” model is archaic to today’s online customer experience. Reward points on customer birthdays and for taking actions such as downloading the company app; writing product reviews; following social media accounts; taking surveys; or participating in customer appreciation events. Consider creating a tiered points program so customers can build points toward better prizes. Create special opportunities to earn points through promos, new product launches or holiday sales. Allow customers to cash in points for special product flavors, discontinued products or offer some products only to rewards members. Brand the loyalty program with a unique name and perhaps a logo that are recognizable across any communication platform.
5/ Consistently Communicate a Customer’s Loyalty Points Level
Keep your customer loyalty program top of mind to encourage continued interaction and purchasing. Make the customer’s rewards status visible when they sign into their customer account on a distributor’s replicated website. Show their progress building toward products or prizes they can achieve. Reward badges to create a more gamified experience. If possible, include their points status in email blasts. Communicate how much money loyalty customers can save every month or year.
From the December 2022 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.