Editor’s Note: This post was originally published June 25, 2015 and was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on March 30, 2018.
Email is not a component you always hear talked about when it comes to a loyalty program. Email marketing is usually associated with abandoned carts or half price weekends, but emails are equally important to the success of your loyalty program. Let me explain.
Email is Still an Effective Marketing Tool
Email marketing has been the darling of ecommerce marketing for years, and it is not hard to see why. Over the past 5 years email marketing has been the fastest growing customer acquisition channel according to McKinsey & Company. It also is viewed as the most effective digital marketing tactic according to global respondents.
As you can see above, email marketing is also viewed as the easiest digital marketing tactic. The overall effectiveness of email and the ease of use make it a perfect fit to include in your loyalty program.
Here are a few easy ways to use emails to supplement your loyalty program.
Easy Email Tactics for Loyalty Programs
Email marketing and loyalty programs are like Batman and Robin! They belong together. They are both great on their own but together they are almost unstoppable. Here are 3 easy ways to team up loyalty and email tactics.
Program Launch Emails
By far the easiest way to start incorporating email marketing into your loyalty program is with a launch email. This is an email that is sent to your existing customer base when you first start your new loyalty program.
Basic example of a “program launch” email
The purpose of this email is to generate initial interest. If you don’t promote your new loyalty program how is anyone going to know about it? Email marketing allows you to easily notify a mass number of people about your program.
Just be sure to include the following to maximize this email marketing tactic:
1) The number of points they will earn if they register an account
2) A CTA to register for your program
Earned Points Email
These emails are designed to show your customers how many points they have earned on their last purchase.
A basic example of an “earned points” email
This provides a few key benefits. First, they get the positive emotion of earning points twice. They see the points they earned at checkout and are reminded with an email. This showcases the value of your points.
Second, it gives you an opportunity to show the total points a customer has and allows you to encourage them to spend them. A customer truly becomes hooked on your loyalty program when they spend points on a reward. They tie the positive emotion and reward to your store and brand.
Here are the key components of an earned points email:
1) Thank the customer for a purchase
2) Show the points they just earned
3) Show total point balance
4) A CTA to spend points on a reward
These types of emails can easily be done with our Mailchimp and Klaviyo Smile Apps.
Enjoy Your Reward Emails
These emails are designed to congratulate your customer on receiving a reward. We want to establish a strong positive emotion when a customer claims a reward, and a well timed email can do just that.
Basic example of an “enjoy your reward” email
This type of email marketing allows you to create even more hype and excitement surrounding your stores loyalty rewards. It also allows you to ensure that the customer actually claims and uses the reward.
If you offer a coupon as your reward you would hate to see that coupon go unused. This would destroy the positive emotions and hurt that customers chance of becoming a profitable repeat customer. An enjoy your reward email reminds them to claim/use the reward and gives them an opportunity to reach out to you if they encountered a problem.
There are a few key components of an enjoy your reward email:
1. Use positive and celebratory language (Congratulations, Wow, Unlocked)
2. Show the reward they claimed
3. Explain how to claim/use the reward
4. Show remaining point balance to encourage them
Again, these emails can be easily implemented with our Smile Apps email providers.
Customization is Key
A plain old boring email is not enough anymore. You need to make your emails stand out from the crowd and be recognizably your brand. You want to include your own wording, your own images, and your own personality.
You can customize your loyalty email marketing with Smile.io for Shopify and BigCommerce on some of our paid plans. With this new functionality you can completely customize your loyalty email marketing initiatives.
Loyalty Programs and Email Marketing
The tactics in this article are meant to give you some easy ways to get email and your loyalty program working in tandem. Follow these three email techniques and you will lay the base for a solid program.
Loyalty program emails or retention emails are both part of a total retention strategy. You can learn about the tools needed to craft your retention strategy with our free ebook “The Complete Guide to Customer Retention Tools.”
Regardless of the tools you choose, a loyalty program and solid email marketing are the backbone of a retention strategy!