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4 ways to hook customers into your loyalty program

Written by: Drew Marquesen, Senior Strategist, Customer Engagement Group
(View Author Bio)

Across the customer lifecycle, there are moments that can negatively impact perception of your company and lead to drop off. But during acquisition, the stakes are higher. These are first impression moments, subject to snap observations that can lead to inaccurate judgments and drop-offs. When your objective is to capture true customer loyalty with sustained, long-term engagement, first impression moments are incredibly important.

These first impression moments can be perilous, especially when asking someone to take an action or provide their personal information. Maybe there’s a registration process, a request for a personal email or phone number, Terms and Conditions to accept or a login to set up. All can lead to someone dropping off before their first engagement even begins. One example of risk during acquisition showed that 14% of an audience made the effort to accept the Terms and Conditions and then dropped off, leaving free, zero-obligation rewards on the table.

When you get your customers into your loyalty solution, be sure to give them a first impression that inspires engagement. We have identified patterns across some of our most successful programs that have led us to develop a framework for reducing drop-offs at first contact and generating sustained engagement. The foundation of this framework is 1) provide the opportunity to engage, earn and redeem at first contact, and 2) make certain the earning potential is enough for a memorable redemption event.

Here are four ways to do that:

1. Remove barriers to enrollment and activation.

Avoid lengthy registration processes, ask for as little as possible and minimize the effort to engage. This encourages customers to engage with your loyalty program without dropping off. When possible, use a single sign on (SSO) for a seamless enrollment.

2. Offer plenty of initial engagement opportunities.

Onboarding, gamification, curated content, motivation, and accumulation can all be leveraged to drive initial engagement and reduce drop-offs.

3. Craft a compelling WIFM.

What a customer can earn needs to be directly correlated to what they’re being asked to do. The “What's in it for me” needs to be clear, concise and perceived to be in their favor in order to remove barriers to engage and accelerate earnings.

4. Create redemption opportunities right away.

Customers should be able to earn enough at first contact to also redeem a reward. Redemption is a critical milestone in sustained engagement. It endears someone to the program, so make it intuitive and frictionless.


By removing barriers to engage while accelerating earnings at first contact, you will hook more customers into your program and will be more likely to generate sustained engagement and true loyalty.


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Drew Marquesen

Drew Marquesen

Senior Strategist
Customer and Member Engagement Solutions

Drew Marquesen is a Senior Strategist designing Customer and Member engagement solutions for BI Worldwide with 12+ years of driving outcomes for his clients. He’s a skilled operator with a strategic mindset and a unique aptitude for the art + science of consumer engagement marketing. He’s currently focused on content strategy and how data can be transformed into meaningful, actionable stories and improved lifecycle moments.