Of all of the possible factors that can impact the success of your convenience store’s loyalty program, enrollment is far and away the most important.
After all, you can increase program participants’ engagement and you can increase their spends, but if your enrollment numbers are low, neither of those other activities will have nearly as much impact.
So, it’s clear that not only do you need to attract as much attention as possible when you launch a convenience store loyalty program, but you also need to be continually enrolling new customers to keep your program growing and maintain its positive impact on your bottom line.
Below are six tactics convenience stores can use to enroll more customers in their loyalty programs, both at the beginning of the program and ongoing.
- Increase Your Signage
It’s a discouraging but true fact: 75% of customers go to your fuel pumps but never make it into your store! That’s a big number, but there’s also a huge opportunity in that. You have people standing still outside of your store for two to five minutes, just looking for something to hold their attention while they pump gas. The answer? Signage!
Promoting your convenience store’s loyalty program—and its fuel benefits—is a great way to encourage people at the pump to come in and sign up. Coca Cola did a study that concluded that 31% of people who noticed signage at the pump were influenced to go in and make a purchase. Now, imagine if that signage encouraged them to go in and get something (your program benefits) for free!
Putting up signage to promote your loyalty program, especially around your pump, can have a great deal of impact for minimal effort.
- Make Value Clear
No matter how many customers you have, you’ll get a low percentage signing up if your program isn’t clear to them. What are the benefits? How do customers earn those benefits? You need to be able to explain the answers to those questions in one simple sentence—and it needs to be a sentence that your employees know and understand so that they can explain it!
It also needs to be simple for customers to understand. The value proposition (what they get out of it) needs to be clear and valuable and they need to easily understand how to enroll and participate.
The best convenience store loyalty programs, too, should have something beneficial for every type of customer you have, but should also be especially attractive to those fuel-only customers to lure them into your store and increase their average spends. Be sure to have a compelling welcome reward like bonus points for signing up or even a discount on fuel for the first 30 days so that customers are excited to join.
- Develop Ambassadors
Your employees have the most interactions with your customers and it’s important that they not only be ambassadors for your brand, but also for your loyalty program. Your loyalty membership rates will skyrocket if you encourage and incentivize employees to talk about your program with customers—and to talk about it with excitement.
Some stores have found success letting their employees “try out” their rewards program for a limited time to see the benefits and experience it for themselves. This gives them an insider’s look at why customers should sign up, and makes their endorsement much more genuine.
- Make a Splash
When you launch your convenience store loyalty program, it needs to be a major event. And not just for a few days—you should make your initial launch of the program an exciting, well-publicized promotion that lasts at least a few weeks, if not a full month.
During this time, signage should be especially prominent, employees should be talking about the program with every single customer, and you should also consider offering special rewards bonuses for people who sign up within your launch promotion time period. Getting a large volume of people to sign up quickly creates momentum for the program and helps you reap rewards later on.
- Offer Contests
One of the best ways to incentivize employees to get customers to sign up for your program is to host contents. You can have a contest for who gets the most signups during the initial program launch, but you should also consider having a running monthly contest so that the enrollment boost continues well past the initial launch.
A contest helps increase your employees’ excitement about the program, and that makes it more exciting for customers, too. When you’re planning a contest, first, be sure that your employees fully understand your loyalty program since they’re certain to get questions. But you also need to make sure the contest prizes are valuable to your employees! Some Paytronix clients have seen success giving away gift cards, concert tickets, and even paid days off for top program enrollees. Remember that high-value prizes mean more enthusiastic employees, which in turn leads to more members enrolled and more revenue impact in the long run.
- Increase Enrollment Methods
When you’re trying to get as many customers to enroll in your convenience store’s loyalty program as possible, you’re best served by giving them as many ways to enroll as possible. After all, people do what’s most convenient for them—so you want to have made things convenient. Here are seven possibilities for enrollment methods; we’d strongly encourage you to use as many of them as you can!
- Text-to-Join: Customers just text their email address to a phone number and click to confirm on a push notification
- Text-to-Join via POS: Employees can enter customers’ cell phone numbers at the point of sale to prompt the confirmation push notification
- Physical Card: People still love actual loyalty cards! They can sign up in-store and take their card when they go.
- Mobile App. Letting people sign up at their own leisure on your mobile app is a great way to boost enrollment, as well as boost app usage.
- NFC Tap: When people pay with their phone (via Apply Pay or Google Pay) they can be prompted to sign up for your loyalty program right at checkout.
- Reverse Enroll: Instead of requiring people to sign up for a loyalty card in store, you can let people take a card, sign up at home, and then identify themselves the next time they’re in the store to complete the process
- Kiosk: A dedicated kiosk in your store can make sign up easy for both your customers and your employees but cutting down on questions and time in line at the counter.
One Paytronix client recently significantly boosted their loyalty program enrollment just by switching up their methods of enrollment. Click here to read the case study now.
Paytronix helps its convenience store customers identify their greatest revenue opportunities, and then custom-craft loyalty programs that help them meet their unique objectives. To talk with a Paytronix team member today about your needs and opportunities, reach out at 617-649-3300, extension 5.