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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : October 24, 2013

How to increase loyalty participation

Loyalty programs have been around for decades, and they have always been popular. But, while more consumers are part of loyalty programs, fewer consumers are actually actively participating. One expert offers his advice to increase participation.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Between 2010 and 2012 loyalty programs increased by about 25%, but at the same time, participation in the programs decreased. Why this discrepancy?

Martin Tongue, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Points: In the same study, COLLOQUY actually announced that the average household belongs to 22 loyalty programs. While there has been an increase in the number of loyalty programs, many members are becoming disengaged because they don't feel the rewards on offer are relevant to them personally, or because they have to jump through a number of hoops to earn miles or points that aren't commensurate with their efforts.

Since the adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices, customers now crave more and more information to be available at their fingertips and on-the-go. They also want more personalized offers that are relevant to their preferences and more flexibility and ease in the ways in which they can redeem them. So, while they may be joining more programs, the loyalty arena has become a very crowded marketplace and one that brands find it tough to stand out in. Points counteracts this by creating services that help brands help their members get the most value from the programs they interact with.

Kristina: What do brands need to do to increase participation?

Martin: Brands need to find new ways to re-engage their tech-savvy customers. Many companies have seen success with personalization, i.e., ensuring the offers they are providing to their customers are ones that are most relevant to them. But personalization also requires better use of customer data to provide the right offer, at the right place, at the right time.

Combined with better understanding of their customers' preferences and communicating with them across the channels they value and use the most will help to re-engage members.

Kristina: Tell me about the Points program - how does it work? What problem does it answer for brands?

Martin: Points provides loyalty eCommerce and technology solutions to the world's top brands to help them enhance their consumer offerings and streamline their back-end operations. Points' solutions enable the management and monetization of loyalty currencies, ranging from frequent flyer miles and hotel points to retailer and credit card rewards.

As we see it, one of the biggest challenges facing loyalty programs today is member engagement. Our services help loyalty programs add value and keep their members engaged. It's important to note that doesn't replace the core proposition of any one brand's loyalty program in any way. What's been proven time and again is that the more opportunities members are given to earn and redeem miles or points, the more engaged they will be in that program. By working with Points, brands can give their members more ways to do both, at a lower cost to their loyalty program while generating increased revenue, engagement, maximizing sales and cultivating lasting customers.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: customer loyalty, loyalty marketing, loyalty program tips, Points

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