Tools and Tips for Customer Loyalty and Advocate Marketing

Eliza Fisher, Social Annex

Eliza Fisher, Social Annex

Author Bio

Eliza Fisher directs Social Annex's blog, case studies, white papers and more. She's an expert on customer loyalty and advocate marketing, and has advised some of Social Annex's highest-profile clients on messaging strategy. Her work has appeared in publications like Internet Retailer, Marketplace and The Huffington Post.

Whether you’re looking to boost customer acquisitions, conversions, average order value or repeat purchase rate, customer loyalty and advocate marketing are two comprehensive and cost-effective strategies to consider. In fact, establishing a bond of loyalty is crucial, as returning customers spend an average of 67% more than first-time shoppers.

Advocate marketing is nurturing and inspiring customers to support your marketing efforts. Shoppers become advocates by referring friends, contributing user-generated content such as reviews or images, engaging with your business on social media and more. It is an excellent way to energize your audience, gather new customers and improve your conversion rates.

A better-known concept is customer loyalty. It can be taken to much more profitable levels when joined with advocate marketing. One Social Annex customer increased loyalty program revenue by more than 300% within a year by incentivizing advocate marketers with loyalty points.

If you’re considering this approach – or if you already have the tools – it’s vital to integrate them into your email marketing strategy to keep your customers informed and engaged, whether they’re submitting reviews, referring friends or earning rewards.

Triggered and automated emails are great tools for building rapport with customers and boosting their engagement and satisfaction throughout their buyer journey.

User-generated content solutions, like ratings and reviews, questions and answers, and visual commerce, typically use two types of triggered emails. Remember, many images and videos for visual commerce are sourced through social networks, so in those scenarios you won’t always have users’ email addresses. Here’s when you can send emails:

  • The user-generated content is approved or disapproved.
  • There’s engagement with the content, such as a vote, a like, etc.

For refer a friend campaigns, you’ll want to set up triggered emails for both the original referrer and the referred friend:

  • If the referral is made over email, you can create automatic reminder emails to both the referrer and the friend if the friend hasn’t purchased.
  • Once the friend makes a purchase, use a triggered email to notify the referrer that they’ve earned a reward.
  • If the referrer doesn’t claim the reward by purchasing within a certain timeframe, set up another reminder email.

Customer loyalty programs offer more opportunities to engage and connect with customers through email. The advantage of a flexible integration means it’s easy to customize and change your loyalty email strategy depending on the type of program you run and how your customers are responding to your marketing efforts. Loyalty email triggers can be a welcome series, points-earned reminders, monthly points statements, reward updates (almost reached, earned or expiring), special occasions, top loyalty achiever status and re-engagement offers.

These options may seem endless, but triggered emails automate your work. You can engage with your customers frequently and scale your efforts as you go, keeping them active in your loyalty program and advocating for you, without the headache of managing it yourself.

Building the framework for triggered emails requires dependable communication between your commerce marketing automation platform and your customer loyalty and advocate marketing solution. Thanks to Bronto’s apps and integrations and Social Annex’s unified platform, it’s never been easier to include loyalty and advocate marketing as core elements of your marketing communications strategy.

For more information about using Social Annex with Bronto, contact your Bronto Account Manager.