Let’s conduct an experiment. Start by taking out your wallet (no, we aren’t about to ask you to give us any money). Once you exclude all of your important IDs and credit cards, how many items are left if your wallet? Chances are you have more than a few loyalty rewards cards stuck behind your insurance information and photos of your kids.
Now here’s the important question: when was the last time you used those rewards cards? Have they incentivized you to visit those businesses any more than normal? Probably not.
More and more businesses are opting out of the standard rewards card because they know that they won’t work for the casual customer. So instead of trying to come up with some sort of rewards program that caters to everyone who has ever visited their store or website, it is more common now to find loyalty programs that are specific to that business’s goods and services.
This list from Manta can help you think of some creative ideas:
- Mug Club: A bar can sell customizable beer mugs to customers and then hang them from the ceiling for the customer to use (and get a discount) every time they visit the bar. Customers love the discount just as much as they like the personal touch of having their own mug at the restaurant.
- T-shirt Discount: Several restaurants around the US will offer special T-Shirt Discount Nights and give an exclusive discount or free appetizer to anyone who wears the company’s tee shirt to the restaurant. You could even offer free tee shirts to people who support a fundraising cause or who visit special events to encourage them to visit more often.
- Exclusive Events: Businesses can host invitation-only events for loyal customers who sign up for email blasts or register for a different loyalty program. For instance, a salon can offer wellness inspired trade shows or a repairs shop can lead an informative seminar.
Just be careful not to fall into the trap of offering too much for your rewards programs: something that cuts into your profits too much or draws in new people for one event but doesn’t encourage steady patronage is likely doing your business more harm than good. You might need to try a few different ideas before finding the right one that strikes a good balance.
And one last thing—be sure that you are getting out the message about your new rewards program or event! A custom, mobile responsive website is the first step to reaching your audience. A short explainer video can also help you attract attention on social media! R&A can help you jump-start a new rewards program with a designated video and landing page so you can start spreading the word!