On paper, a loyalty program sounds like a simple and elegant sort of thing. Your customers shop at your store, you send them great promotions, they come back and spend more at your store. Everyone wins. Right?
If the Chief Marketing Officer Council is correct, nope.
It turns out that Americans are increasingly apathetic at best and downright hostile at worst toward anything that can be perceived as marketing materials. There’s a sense of burnout that comes from getting one too many offers you don’t care about or a sales flyer from a company that has quite literally nothing you’d like to buy.
Unfortunately, that burnout makes your customers much less likely to check out most promotional materials they get, period. That includes the loyalty programs you’ve spent a long time developing, and the last thing you want is customers missing out on deals and skipping returning to your business.
This is less of an issue for small businesses, who don’t have the national cachet and the same habit of sending non-stop promotional offers and—let’s just admit it—outright junk mail. If you’re a small business owner running a popular loyalty program, it’s something to keep in mind nonetheless, because you want to avoid flooding consumers with the kind of mail and e-mail they’re clearly getting tired of.
Nonetheless, there’s an opportunity for a dialogue here. Simply ask your customers which way they prefer to receive their rewards from the loyalty program and move accordingly. For those who like mail, make sure they know they’ll be getting nothing but loyalty rewards from you, which will help you stand out in a sea of credit card offers and local coupons they don’t care about. It never hurts to have the name of your company and loyalty program printed in block letters, either.
Ultimately, if you have a dialogue with the customer, you can avoid the pitfalls so many small companies are experiencing. Tell us more about your loyalty program!
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