With the eCommerce market growing by 13% every year, there’s more and more competition to fend off. As a result, savvy shoppers are becoming blind to standard sales and marketing messages – just 4% of digital ads are viewed for more than two seconds.
To grab the attention of customers, focus on open communication and fostering two-way conversations. Audiences are looking for “human” interactions with the brands they shop with. They are looking for added value beyond just price and logistics.
A loyalty program allows you to give back to the customers who engage and purchase from you often. The added benefits, such as points off future purchases and early-access to VIP events, makes customers feel appreciated and more likely to return to you over the competition.
To show your customers why you’re just like them, make sure you promote your loyalty program in a way that’s human too. Instant messaging and loyalty emails both give you a two-way, direct and personal way to tell customers all about the benefits of your loyalty program.
In this blog post, we’ll be looking at how you can use your loyalty program alongside your push-notifications and emails to provide value to your customers and secure a long-term, loyal customer base.
Transform loyal customers into advocates
Whether you know it or not, your existing customers are incredibly valuable. Retaining them costs you five times less than acquiring new ones, and, if they have a good experience, they’ll tell others about you too.
Driving word-of-mouth and advocacy is important in the world of eCommerce. Referred customers spend 200% more than customers acquired through other means as they trust the opinions of those they know over and above sales and marketing messages.
To encourage customer advocacy, you first need to take note of who your happy customers are. These could be the individuals who have left you a positive review, members of your loyalty program who purchase from you often or those who have the highest customer lifetime value.
Once you know who these soon-to-be-advocates are, you can then use conversational marketing tactics to nudge them into telling others about you.
First, make sure your loyalty program rewards customers for referring their friends. For example, Taylor Stitch, gift their customers $20 in credit off a future purchase if their referred customer purchases. This acts as an incentive for completing the action.
Then, implement an engaging campaign that tells customers about the benefits of being an advocate on your behalf.
Your push-notifications could tell your customers the number of loyalty points they’ll get in exchange for telling their friends about you. And, to make it even easier for them to share your brand with others, including their unique referral URL in the pop-up. This way it’s easy for them to copy and share it with friends on WhatsApp and social media with just a few taps.
You could also use your loyalty emails to encourage these customers to endorse your brand to others. Alongside your customers’ referral URLs, use these emails to tell your customers about the values you stand for. They’ll feel more emotionally aligned with you and will be excited to invite other like-minded individuals to become part of the same community.
For example, Annmarie Skin Care use their loyalty emails to celebrate their “Wild and Beautiful Collective” – their community of advocates who share environmentally-conscious beauty secrets with one another. In their loyalty emails, they promote the community feel of this club and encourage their already loyal customers to invite others to sign up.
Converting one-time shoppers into repeat purchasers
Key to retention, is the way you encourage one-time shoppers to repeat purchase from you again before you lose them for good. The moment after they’ve bagged their first purchase is the perfect moment to forge an emotional connection that will urge them to return.
Push notifications and the promise of loyalty points will encourage customers to return to you over other competitors in your market. After they’ve completed their first purchase, send your customer a push notification that thanks them for their purchase and encourages them to complete more actions to earn loyalty points. This could be to encourage them to sign up to your newsletter or follow you on social media. Once they have more loyalty points in their account, they’ll be more likely to return to you to redeem them.
You could also send one-time shoppers a loyalty email that tells them of the points they have waiting for them that might expire soon.
Beauty Bakerie, for example, sends points expiry emails that warn their customers that their points will run out soon. The sense of urgency gives customers a reason to return and reminds them that they shopped with you in the first place.
Catch customers before they churn
For many retailers, abandoned carts and lapsed customers can be demotivating. You spent time and money getting a customer to your site and adding to their cart, but you still lose them at the check-out. In fact, some retailers report that their cart abandonment rates are as high as 77%.
Remind your customers of the cart they’ve abandoned with notifications and emails that show them the rewards they’re missing out on.
For customers who are close to churning, use web push notifications to amplify key marketing promotions around your loyalty program. Maybe you’ve added a new rule where customers can get points for using your hashtag – tell them!
You could even use push notifications to tell your customers of an upcoming double-point event you have incoming. This way you’re providing the customer with a valuable notification that makes them feel special for being a member of your loyalty program.
Be sure to mimic these campaigns in your loyalty emails as well. You want to tell your customers about all the exciting things going on around your brand so they’re excited to rediscover you.
All in all, customers are fed up with standard sales messages. They want to shop with brands that provide an experience unique from the others.
A loyalty program is the differentiator you need. And, with a key focus on notifications and loyalty emails, you can promote it in a way that’s both humanising and valuable to your customers.
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LoyaltyLion is a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform trusted by thousands of ecommerce brands worldwide. Merchants use LoyaltyLion when they want a fully customised loyalty program that is proven to increase customer engagement, retention and spend. Stores using LoyaltyLion typically generate at least $15 for every $1 they spend on the platform.