How to Craft a Loyalty Program Your Customers Won’t Ignore

 In customer Loyalty Programs

Customer loyalty programs have been a mainstay in the retail marketing world for some time now. They’ve helped retailers achieve multiple milestones, and they’re successful for a few reasons. For one, loyalty and rewards programs are really good at inspiring customer loyalty. Consumers claim that reward programs actually change their spending behavior and loyalty members spend more than non-members. That means a good loyalty program can drive real, measurable sales results.

Despite wild successes past, loyalty marketing is at a crossroads. From personal data and privacy concerns to social responsibility, today’s consumer trends spell a need for change in the way retailers approach rewards programs.

A lot goes into building a customer loyalty program from the ground up — the most important considerations are:

  • Medium,
  • Rewards,
  • Personalization.

To earn the loyalty of consumers, retailers need to focus on the two shifting T’s: trust and technology. These are two of the most important factors that need to inform every aspect of your program. 



Yesterday’s consumers were adept at using various emerging tech and social media. Today and tomorrow’s consumers are platform-agnostic, meaning they expect brand experiences to transcend devices. They expect a seamless, cross-platform, and cross-device experience that moves with them.

Today’s generation is also the generation of social media natives and community builders. They trust their community more than they trust brands, period. That’s why it’s important to build community and social proof into your rewards program. What does that look like? It looks like incentivizing referrals to friends and family, awarding reward points for reviews and testimonials, and promoting your program through relatable influencers — not celebrities.


Personalization That Adds Value

For many of us, when we think about personalization in marketing, we imagine an email subject line that addresses customers by name — but personalization can be so much more than that. It can add real value to consumers’ lives. 


  • Use personal data intelligently

A loyalty program offers you tons of valuable data about customer habits and preferences — data you can use to further personalize the program and tailor rewards to each customer. That data also carries the risk of making you come off as creepy (more on that later.) 


  • Personalize more than communication

In the email subject line example, retailers have jumped right on personalization in their communications. But, as mentioned earlier, personalization can be way more valuable than that. Use the information you learn about customers through the loyalty program to actually improve the program itself. Add real value by tailoring rewards and points to each customer — making it easier and more lucrative for them to stay loyal.


  • The right rewards 

Speaking of rewards, today’s generation demands a different approach to rewards and their pacing. Brand loyalty for millennials  is less about a ‘program’ and more about how the brand experience aligns directly with their lives.

Consumers today aren’t interested in jumping through hoops or complying with strict requirements to earn points and, ultimately, rewards. That means it’s on retailers to shake up their approach to how you put loyalty programs into practice.

These are the must-haves for a successful, forward-looking customer loyalty program:

Diversify how customers earn rewards:  Offer points both when customers spend money and when they engage with your brand to drive interactions and loyalty that’s more meaningful than a simple transaction.

Offer incremental rewards:  Today’s customers are all about the instant gratification so incremental rewards concentrated toward the beginning of the loyalty timeline will help keep customers engaged with the program.

Rethink your rewards: Younger consumers aren’t driven by discounts and free products alone. They value experiences and social responsibility, so take that into account when choosing the rewards you offer.

Despite ever-changing consumer preferences, loyalty programs don’t live and die with each passing generation. They endure because they drive real, measurable benefits for both consumers and retailers alike. While rewards and mediums may change, when done right, loyalty programs will always prove a surefire way to inspire customer retention and grow customer lifetime value. That’s why it’s more than worth the investment of re-examining your program. Visit for more information.

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