For your marketing campaigns to influence loyalty program members to visit and spend more, you should keep in mind three things: format, relevance, and timeliness. How you communicate with customers impacts how customers engage with your brand. Creating a strong marketing strategy with effective messaging is vital to getting noticed. When you send your guests the right message at the right time, it cuts through the clutter and truly resonates.
Using the proper approach to convey the information you want will maximize a message’s impact. Here are some examples of the most effective marketing messages to send to your program members:
Welcome: The welcome message is an opportunity to give your guests comprehensive information about your loyalty program. If they enrolled at the POS, it’s possible that they only got a bare-bones description of what your program offers to avoid holding up the line. Now is the time to tell them all the benefits they receive by being a member. Because this message may be dense, it’s best suited for an email. If you want to welcome members by text message, referring them to an email or linking to a landing page works well.
Almost There: This is a great way to motivate customers to accelerate their visit cadence and come in sooner to earn a reward. After defining what “almost there” means for your brand, you should reach out to guests when they are only one visit away. While the message can be sent via text or through geofencing, it’s especially effective in an email that features images of the reward that will be received. The current point balance should also be included to help prevent guests from falling short of the goal.
We Miss You: When done right, sending a message to your lapsed guests can bring them back for a visit. For maximum effectiveness, you should know each guest’s individual visit cadence. Reaching out too early could result in sending an unnecessary offer, but if you wait too long, they might be gone for good. Guests who are uncertain to return to your locations can’t be relied on to still have your app downloaded on their phone. The best method for winning them back is a progression of emails with tiered offers.
To see the full list of messages that can be used to achieve a successful loyalty program, watch our on-demand webinar, “11 Effective Messages You Should Send Your Guests.”
Successful loyalty programs provide guests with multiple ways to engage and enroll. Every guest is different and each has preferred ways to interact with brands. Some of your guests may be tech fanatics who use every new feature as soon as it’s released and reject the idea of physical membership cards. Meanwhile, there may be others who don’t own smartphones and feel alienated by app-only programs.
By offering your guests several enrollment methods, you maximize the potential of your loyalty program. Here are seven of the most effective ways to engage with guests:
Using a combination of these seven methods enables you to reach the most guests and make the biggest impact with your loyalty program. To learn more, watch our webinar on this topic, “7 of the Best Methods to Enroll More Guests,” or request a demo.
Are your numbers for loyalty penetration and new member enrollment declining? Is there evidence that you are over-discounting customers? Does your program conflict with your corporate strategic objectives? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it may be time to consider a program redesign.
Product offerings change, concepts evolve, and priorities shift. To get the most from your loyalty program, make sure that it always aligns with your corporate strategic objectives. If your program doesn’t reflect what your brand represents, it isn’t benefiting the organization as well as it should.
J.P. Licks, a 17-unit Boston-based ice cream concept, came to the realization that its loyalty program no longer fit its price structure and corporate priorities. Before the redesign, members were required to accumulate 50 points to earn $5 off. Among the benefits was getting a free sundae on their birthday and on the anniversary of joining. The company also wanted to promote its fresh-roasted coffee at the time of the program launch, so registration included a free coffee.
After a while, it became apparent that the program was vulnerable to fraud. People were opening new accounts to receive free coffee because no stipulations were in place to prevent it. Cards were being activated and then never used, leading to a skewed view of membership and member activity. Additionally, price increases over time meant that members were achieving rewards much faster than was originally intended.
Deciding that it was time for a change, J.P. Licks shifted its program to a three-tiered structure. At registration, members now start with 10 bonus points instead of a free coffee. They get $2 off after earning 30 points and need to visit three times before being eligible for a free birthday reward.
Under the new tiered structure, members are incentivized to advance to higher tiers because the size of the birthday reward increases and there are opportunities to earn bonus points on certain days. Meanwhile, the anniversary sundae has been replaced by other events throughout the year. By rewarding members based on which level they are at, J.P. Licks has been better able to determine whether a reward is simply viewed as a thank-you or could be used to motivate behavior.
Just over one year into the new program, J.P. Licks has been able to significantly reduce the number of inactive memberships. It has also increased the overall level of interaction, including reengaging lapsed members and getting them excited about the loyalty program.
To learn more about this program redesign, check out J.P. Licks marketing manager Rachel Klein in our on-demand webinar, “Spotlight Series: Revamping Your Program.”
Visit challenges are a great way to boost sales and increase customer engagement while motivating guests to dine more frequently. With the help of machine learning, this marketing technique has evolved from using the same challenge for all guests or even segments of guests to fine-tuning both the number of visits required and the timeline for completion. The approach has been shown to engage more customers without increasing discounts or cannibalizing sales.
HuHot Mongolian Grill, a 65-unit all-you-can-eat stir fry concept, had run simpler versions of visit challenges in the past. The members of its loyalty program were assigned different visit requirements based on the bands they belonged to, and the promotion would last for two weeks. But the results left considerable room for improvement.
One-to-one visit challenges enabled HuHot to vary two different parameters. Backed by computer algorithms, the company determined the proper time frame and number of visits to use for each guest. Some were given less time to complete the challenge, such as visiting twice within a week, while others needed to make six visits in a month. Considering visit history is often key in motivating guests to make that one additional visit.
The results of the one-to-one visit challenges exceeded expectations. Compared to the simplified version, HuHot saw a 69% increase in overall lift. It can be difficult to motivate more visits from those who are already frequent guests, but HuHot realized a 22% sales lift and a 21% visit lift for guests in the platinum band alone. Since sales had been flat for this group in previous visit challenges, the one-to-one approach proved capable of moving the needle for even high-frequency guests.
To hear more about the success that HuHot Mongolian Grill has had with its one-to-one visit challenges, check out senior director of digital Monica Minford in this on-demand webinar, “Spotlight Series: One-to-One Visit Challenges.”