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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : February 11, 2014

Top tips to improve loyalty program use

Between 2010 and 2012 there was a 26% surge in loyalty/rewards program sign-ups. But, at the same time there was a 4% drop in 'active memberships' - those members who regularly use a program and are important to the brand. One expert weighs in on this trend and offers his tips for improving loyalty program participation.

by Kristina Knight

First, get real. Time messaging, that is. Real time messaging and geo-targeting are incredibly important these days because many consumers are always on thanks to their mobile devices.

"Mobile devices have reshaped the way we access information, and capitalizing on the real-time and geo-targeting capabilities of mobile is an important way loyalty programs will be able to capture their users' attention. Incentives and rewards are the foundation of any loyalty program, but targeted messaging its lifeblood," said Christopher Barnard, President, Points. " Which incentive do you think is more immediate to a consumer: a loyalty program card tucked away in a wallet, or a text message at lunchtime that offers a coupon for a restaurant just steps away?"

Second, get gamey. Gamification is a process by which ads - or rewards programs - offer game-styled engagements. Everyone loves games, from those on Facebook to mobile game apps and console games.

"Gamification does three important things: it keeps consumers engaged on a specific platform (mobile devices, social media, apps), engages them psychologically by bringing out their competitive and problem-solving instincts, and, of course, entertains. Its goal is to create a relationship of exchange where consumers are challenged and incentivized to share more of themselves: their time, their attention, their information and ultimately, their loyalty," said Barnard.

Third, make it simple. Simple to stay up to date with the program, simple to use the program and simple to understand the rewards. Mobile technology makes it simple for consumers to stay 'on', make it simple for them to stay on the program, too.

"Loyalty programs can widen their distribution using online, offline and mobile environments, including brick-and-mortar stores, websites, tablets and social media. When programs distribute information as well as transactional capabilities everywhere they can, members are enabled to interact with their programs whenever and wherever they want - opportunities an increasingly mobile-savvy member base is starting to demand," said Barnard.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: build brand loyalty, loyalty marketing, loyalty program tips, loyalty program trends, Points

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