loyaltyAs every good marketing professional knows, it costs a lot more money to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. In fact, there are some studies that show that new customer acquisition can cost up to 30 times more. For that reason, many companies have started implementing loyalty programs; schemes where, generally, customers receive points when they make a purchase that they can then later exchange for money off or free products. As you can imagine, schemes like these can be a great way to encourage people to keep shopping with you!

While the number of loyalty programs may be increasing, not every company is using them in conjunction with their email marketing strategy. Good quality marketing emails are great for building customer loyalty, so they can go hand in hand with your loyalty program. If your company has a loyalty program (or you’re thinking of starting one), here are some of the ways you can use it alongside your email marketing strategy:

Encourage Customers to Join

Customers are usually encouraged to join loyalty programs when they make a purchase. However, if you have customers who haven’t shopped with you in a while, your loyalty program could encourage them to revisit you. Use a marketing email to try and persuade your subscribers to join your loyalty scheme.

You can do this by listing the benefits of your loyalty program, like Amazon Prime do:

Amazon Prime

Or you could offer them something to encourage them to join, like Starbucks did:

Starbucks
Either way, letting your subscribers know about your loyalty program could help to retain lapsed customers.

Points Balance

Like I said before, the majority of loyalty programs require customers to collect points that can be used for free products or discounts. You can use a regular email to let your loyalty customers know what their points balance is. This may encourage them to either spend their points, or shop with you more to boost their points balance.

Nectar includes the customer’s points balance in the subject line of their emails:

Nectar Subject
The body of the email then shows ways customers can increase their points balance:

Nectar Points
Costa Coffee give the points balance in the body of their marketing email, and let customer know whether they can redeem them or if they need to keep saving:

Costa Points

Points Expiration

If your loyalty program requires your customers to collect points, it can be a good idea to put an expiration date on those points. That way, your customers may be encouraged to shop more with you, and won’t simply bank their points and forget about them. When your customer’s points are about to expire, you can send them an email reminding them to use them. This can be as simple as including something in the subject line.

Zooplus used this subject line for an email advertising their sale:

Zooplus Points

The email itself just showcased some of the products that were on sale:

Zooplus Sale

Although there was nothing about the loyalty program in the body of the email, including a mention of it in the subject line could be enough to encourage their customers to visit their website and snap up some sale bargains.

The benefits of a loyalty program are twofold: you retain more customers while they get rewarded for shopping with you. By running your loyalty program alongside your email marketing campaigns, you’ll only achieve more success.

Image courtesy of Jeanne Claire Maarbes at FreeDigitalPhotos.net