3 Innovative Tactics for Driving Customer Loyalty

Kristen Dunleavy, Movable Ink

Kristen Dunleavy, Movable Ink

Author Bio

Kristen is the head of the content marketing program at Movable Ink, the leading provider of intelligent content for email marketing. When she isn't writing, you can find her training for her next physical challenge or sampling new cuisines (but not at the same time).

Loyalty marketing campaigns are one of the most effective ways to develop long-term customer relationships. But why are they so important, and how can email marketing personalization help you elevate your campaigns and stand out from the competition?

The Benefits of Loyalty Marketing + Personalization

It’s no secret that customers frequently switch products and service providers due to increasingly compelling offers from competitors. It happens across industries – from retail to travel to entertainment, and every industry in between.

Developing trust with your customers early on is essential for developing loyal, long-term (and profitable) relationships. Loyal customers not only continue to buy from your brand, they become brand advocates and acquire new customers for you.

Sixty-five percent of US online shoppers demonstrate loyalty to brands by purchasing more of their products or services, according to a Wunderman study. And 61% show their loyalty by recommending the brand to friends and family.

But how do you develop trust and create those relationships in the first place? Create relevant, 1:1 content for your customers.

Rather than sending generic offers that aren’t relevant to your customers, personalize your loyalty and rewards offers to create a helpful experience that makes it easy for people to click through and make a purchase.

Personalized loyalty programs do more than just surprise and delight – they show your customers that your brand cares about them as individuals. As a result, such content gets more shares, more clicks and creates the best experience possible. Everyone wins!

Let’s look at three ways you can personalize your loyalty campaigns and build stronger relationships with your devoted customers.

Use Real-time Content + Data

Picture this: You’re a member of a frequent flyer rewards program, and you’d like to use your points toward a new booking. But you receive an email with an outdated points total and become confused. You know you have more points than the email states, so you reach out to customer service. It turns out the information in the email was old. As a result, you unsubscribe from the airline’s emails because you just can’t trust them anymore.

This scenario is all too common for companies with prices and/or inventory that are constantly changing. Travel, retail and ticketing brands know this pain all too well.

If your email content doesn’t match your website content and doesn’t update in real time, your customers could lose trust in your brand altogether. That’s why real-time pricing and inventory is essential for any loyalty campaign. Add customer data to further personalize the experience, and you’ve got a an incredible opportunity to surprise and delight.

So, what does this type of personalized loyalty experience look like? Here’s a good example:

This email gives real-time rewards points, displays items they can be redeemed for, and reveals exactly how close the customer is to reaching the next rewards tier. The CTA links to the brand’s mobile app, making shopping on the go a breeze.

Tell Customer Stories

You’re probably familiar with those year-in-review emails that provide a detailed overview of each customer’s unique behavior from the previous year. For example, in addition to other loyalty program information, Delta lets members know how often they sat in the window seat, and Spotify showcases each user’s top genres and artists.

Such experiences are excellent examples of how to incorporate storytelling in your email marketing. Taking customer data and presenting it in a visually appealing way – otherwise known as data visualization – is a great strategy for driving engagement, especially as part of a loyalty program.

You can showcase any type of customer interactions with your brand in your year-in-review email. You might include purchase behavior, rewards points accrual, emails opened or simply an overview of their past actions.

These loyalty emails can be used by any brand, not just ecommerce retailers. By putting your customers in the spotlight, you have the power to create a highly-personalized loyalty campaign.

Add Behavioral Elements to Create Recommendation Emails 

Let’s face it: Customer expectations are high, and your loyalty members’ expectations are even higher. Customers want relevant, helpful offers that make it easy for them to shop the products they want the most. So tap into their behaviors and make them work for you.

By incorporating items they recently browsed on your website, products they left in their shopping cart or recent purchases, you can create a powerfully personalized recommendations email. And when you add behavioral elements to a well-timed email with a great discount, you’re setting yourself up for success with your most loyal customers.

In this example, the email pulls in three of the customer’s recently browsed items, along with prices, ratings and a unique discount. You might also consider adding these elements to an abandoned cart email to give your customer the nudge they need to make a purchase.

Loyalty Campaigns + Personalization = Winning Customer Experiences

With more brands competing on customer experience than ever before, it’s increasingly important to personalize whenever possible – especially in your loyalty campaigns. We hope these ideas will inspire you as you develop your next creative, customer-centric campaign.

Want more email marketing loyalty inspiration? Check out our blog post: 6 Ways to Drive Loyalty with Intelligent Content.

To learn more about Movable Ink, contact me at Kdunleavy@movableink.com or visit our website.