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How to create a loyalty strategy that works

There are an increasing number of loyalty programs on the market today, and that is great news for consumers. In fact, the number of loyalty programs Canadians are members of has increased from 5.9 to 6.6 per person between 2017 and 2018—whether these programs reward in miles, points, cash back, benefits, or more. When a loyalty program is set up, the main challenge for any company is to come up with an idea that stands out. Too often, very little time is spent on the program design—which may result in a program that rewards behaviour but fails to create long-term relationships between company and client. The result? Clients who are unsatisfied and a program that is simply forgotten. In a market where loyalty programs are increasingly fighting for space, you need a solid loyalty strategy.

A good offensive will help you increase sales and grow your profit margins, especially with your most valuable customer segments—all while strengthening ties between your brand and consumers.

But how do you ensure your program has what it takes to attract clients? Here are some tips to help you put a winning strategy together.

Keep it simple

A loyalty program should be easy to understand and use—from the moment a customer signs up to when it comes time to redeem a reward. Nothing turns clients away like getting lost in a long list of rules, exceptions, and exclusions when it’s time to trade their points, miles, and more for a reward.

  • Keep the program structure simple and ensure you clearly communicate how to earn and redeem rewards, as well as their value.
  • Clearly list and communicate all the actions needed to earn points, miles, or other rewards, requiring little effort on the part of the consumer.
  • Ensure the redemption process is simple and integrated.
  • Train employees on the front line to explain the program in a few simple sentences.

Quick sign up

The sign-up process for your reward program should be as simple as possible. Ask the minimum of information up front from customers, and put a strategy into place to allow them to complete their profile at a later time. This also provides you with an opportunity to communicate again with them later.

Ask and listen

Chances are you’ll discover you already have a set of active clients once you start planning your loyalty strategy. This is your opportunity to learn what they have to say. Simple tools like a survey or group discussion can help you ask questions about what they prefer, what rewards they’d like to see, and what kind of loyalty experience they envision. You can then adapt your strategy to their feedback.

Remember that you don’t have to get everything done on day 1. Having a good base will enable you to add more sophisticated layers to promotions and inject some creativity into your program to ensure it always feels fresh and new.


Want to learn more about building the right loyalty strategy for your business? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are experts in loyalty programs.