Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 27, 2018 and was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on June 28, 2019.
If you make a list of the brands you love, the ones that get you the most excited are probably going to be the ones that have a visible loyalty program. This makes a lot of sense — as a customer, your ability to find and join the program is what determines whether you’re going to find value in it. As a result, whether or not a rewards program is visible has a direct impact on how quickly that brand will be able to acquire, engage, and retain new members.
These 3 stages are what it takes to build a sustainable brand community, and also has a profound impact on how likely customers will be to share their experiences with others. Since each of these goals are directly related to why you chose to run a program in the first place, it makes sense that a visible program should be a top priority!
Let’s dive into how your visible program can accomplish all of this at each of these three stages.
A launcher makes it easier for customers to join
In order for your customers to join your loyalty program and become repeat customers, they need to know that it exists.
Far too often I see brands burying their rewards program information on secondary pages of their website, leaving it up to visitors to discover the details and where they can sign up on their own. When I ask why, they answer that they don’t want to be “pushy” with their program. The problem is that this approach actually builds more barriers to entry, preventing a significant number of shoppers from joining because they simply couldn’t find it or got frustrated trying to find it.
Not only does your customer experience suffer, but it can also have a significantly negative impact on your bottom line. By making it a challenge to join your program, you miss out on turning more of your visitors into repeat, loyal customers and creating more valuable customer engagement. As the shoppers responsible for 41% of your store’s revenue, repeat customers are something you simply can’t afford to miss out on!
Country Archer understands the importance of having a highly visible problem, which is why they keep their rewards program launcher visible on almost every page of their website. That way no matter what page customers enter their website on, they immediately know that Country Archer has a great rewards community waiting for them to join.
By making their rewards program accessible on their homepage and across their site, every Country Archer visitor has easy access to learning the value of their brand community and, more importantly, joining and engaging with it!
A visible program improves customer engagement
When a customer joins your loyalty program, it will only be valuable if they know how to use it. One of the best ways for your members to learn how your program works is to play around with it, exploring how they can earn and redeem points.
A visible rewards launcher plays a huge part in that process by reminding your repeat customers they are already part of your rewards program! After they acknowledge and open your panel, they’ll be shown their points balance and, as a result, will start exploring how they can push that number closer to the next redemption threshold.
This customer engagement can take any number of forms, all of which are outlined in your program’s panel. From submitting their birthday to following on social media or leaving a product review, your panel is the best way to reduce barriers and encourage your members to engage with your rewards program.
The easier you make engaging with your program, the deeper of an emotional connection you can develop with each of your members. The more your customers like you, the more likely they’ll be to come back and engage with you again, making your brand a part of their shopping habits.
You can see this at work with The Wrap Life’s loyalty program. The Wrap Life wanted their program members to always be able to check how many Threads they have and what they can redeem them for.
Keeping their loyalty program visible at all times with an accessible launcher and panel allows The Wrap Life to make sure that they’ve created as many opportunities as possible for valuable customer engagement every time a customer returns to shop.
Your panel increases the ability to share
Encouraging repeat customers to share your brand with others is an incredibly important part of growing a strong brand community. That means it’s important that sharing your brand isn’t viewed as a burden to your members.
Just as joining and engaging needs to be convenient, you need to make sure that sharing your community is as enjoyable and easy as possible in order to get your members to actually make a referral. Easy sharing allows you to make customer engagement more delightful, increasing the chances that your members will show their friends the value of your brand and encourage them to join your community.
Sock brand Feetures is a prime example of the power of a visible program for sharing their community. Their loyalty program is focused on referrals, and as a result they’ve made it super simple for their customers to refer friends in only a couple of clicks.
They do this by displaying their program Launcher all over their website. Faster than you can say “Feetures,” their community members can share the Feetures brand in emails or on social media, earning $10 for each successful referral!
Sharing is caring, so show your customers you care about their sharing by making your rewards program visible at all times.
You can’t appreciate what you can’t see
The saying goes that seeing is believing, and it applies to loyalty programs as much as anything else. In order for your program to take truly help you acquire, engage, and retain repeat customers, your program has to be visible and easily accessible.
Invisibility might sound like fun when you’re a kid, but as you’d expect, being invisible makes it incredibly hard to be found.