A recent market research article from the Guardian, called “How loyal are you to your loyalty cards?”, reflected on recent cutbacks by retailers to their loyalty scheme reward perks. It gauged consumer opinion of loyalty cards in general and their perceived value.
The consensus was that many loyalty cards were simply weighing down customers’ pockets, with most rarely used and only a select few deemed valuable rewards opportunities. With many brands using email marketing to push loyalty offers and rewards points updates, if customers believe most of their loyalty cards to be obsolete then engagement attempts are likely to fall on deaf ears, becoming as redundant as their cards.
We outlined 3 key ways brands could make their loyalty cards more rewarding for customers with email marketing.
1. Give clarity on the value of your loyalty points
Nectar, Tesco Clubcard and Boots are seen as the “big three” loyalty card schemes in the UK, but with so many reward schemes out there it seems consumers can no longer keep up with them all and a large amount of loyalty points are left unredeemed.
A recent report from the Financial Times delves into the increasingly muddy waters of loyalty points schemes. It talks about controversial trends, such as Nectar halving its rewards points and how many schemes are offering more rewards to customers who rarely use the schemes – to try to lure them back – whilst truly loyal customers are offered minimal offers and value.
They also quoted this alarming statistic from Loyalive research: “£6bn worth of points remain unused by the 10 largest loyalty schemes in the UK.”
Marketers need to use their email interactions with customers not only to keep them regularly updated with a number of points they have accumulated, but to demonstrate the true value of these points and provide clarity on the limitations and restrictions of these points.
2. Make offers and messaging relevant and targeted
Too many emails from retailers are generic, offering to double or triple reward points with certain expenditures (often within very short timescales) or 50% off products if you buy x by y date. Give your customers better and more timely and relevant incentives for purchases. Employ personalisation to make customers feel valued and use behavioural triggers to offer rewards that really customers want.
3. Encourage customers to use loyalty points online
If customers feel that their loyalty cards are a weight in their wallet rather than an indispensable rewards asset, then lead them towards a culture of going online to exploit potential rewards and offers. This can reignite the customer’s use of the scheme and make it easier for them to see how they can get the best value from the scheme. It will get them into the habit of checking their accumulated points.
Conclusion: Give real reward for loyalty and change perceptions
Retail brands clearly have a lot of work to do to reverse the negative perceptions of their loyalty schemes, but with effective email marketing strategies your brand reputation can be enhanced and perception changed. Before long, customers will become more receptive to messages about loyalty points and offers.
Grab our guide to the Secret Email Marketing Strategies from Top Retailers to see how innovative brands are winning with email!
Enchant is a leading UK customer lifecycle marketing agency, specialising in email marketing and marketing automation. Focusing on the key touchpoints within your customer lifecycle will enable you to build brand loyalty and boost customer retention. If you want to improve your email marketing performance, arrange a free consultation now with our email experts and see how we can help!