Today’s businesses are struggling to add meaning to their rewards program and increase their reward marketing ROI. There are definitely several reasons for their struggle. However, the poor use of rewards and incentives and lack of understanding of buyer intent signals could be among the most prominent ones.
Some brands can afford to reward their prospects or customers but don’t know who to target, which results in loss of funds and rewards marketing effort. Others have limited funds that they can spend on rewards but are required to complete the daunting task of picking and choosing prospects or customers who will actually fulfill their incentive marketing objective. On top of that, they still don’t know if those prospects or customers are the right ones.
Nonetheless, combining the power of incentive programs and intent signals can significantly strengthen your rewards marketing effort and drive positive results. Let’s see how.
A cleverly designed incentive marketing plan will help you encourage high-quality referrals, improve customer relations and retention, increase purchase rates, gain leads, and enhance brand awareness. Marketing incentives are a reward that customers receive in return for achieving a brand’s business objective or supporting its marketing conversions. Rewards are not just given in exchange for purchases. Customers can also win rewards for referrals, email sign-ups, social media sharing, website visits, downloads, etc.
Examples of Marketing Incentives
To put it in layman’s terms, marketing incentives are an enticement that brands use to motivate their prospects or customers to make beneficial brand actions. These actions could be as simple as subscribing to a brand’s social media channel or as demanding as asking a friend to purchase from its online or brick-and-mortar store. Let’s look at a couple of examples given below.
You can offer customers a free product trial and complimentary branded swag at a low price to increase your brand awareness. Some brands also offer extra features or services on the purchase of certain products and discounted deals to motivate customers to buy more and stay loyal. eGifting is another powerful way of rewarding customers or approaching prospects for the first time, and the ROI is often impressive. If you’re looking to improve prospect engagement, automated eGift card deliveries can work wonders for you.
One of Bombas’ referral programs allows customers to receive a $20 gift card to spend on the brand. The program requires customers to send their friends a coupon for 25% off their first Bombas purchase. The gift card, however, is only received after their friends make that first purchase.
A Multi-channel Approach to Incentive Marketing
Incentive marketing can become more effective with a multi-channel approach. Wouldn’t you want to be present everywhere your customers are? Adopting a multi-channel rewards platform will allow you to offer a seamless customer rewards experience across the entire web of channels that customers use to interact with your brand. Your customers will be able to earn and redeem rewards across multiple channels, including in-store, web, app, social media, voice, email, and text.
Starbucks Rewards is a good example as it incentivizes repeat customers through a loyalty program that can be managed in stores, on the phone, via the Starbucks app, and on the Starbucks website.
Automation can be key to making your incentive marketing game more robust. With tactile marketing automation (TMA), you can add another layer of effectiveness to your multi-channel incentive marketing strategy. TMA is a modern way of integrating your digital and direct mail (physical) marketing efforts to drive extraordinary results.
For example, PFL’s TMA solution enables you to add automated direct mail to your digital marketing, measure physical marketing performance, and deliver on specific buyer intents through personalized brand messages. Moreover, it can be directly integrated into your existing tech stack.
Intent data improve sales prospecting but also helps marketing campaigns, including rewards or customer loyalty. Your marketers are likely to see worse results for reward programs without leveraging intent-based marketing for targeting. Businesses can reach close to 300% marketing ROI using intent data.
Intent data for opportune use of rewards strategy:
With intent data, you can send timely rewards program invitations, avoid mistimed coupon sends, find customers eligible for rewards, and connect with them with the right messages. Imagine a customer receiving a 24-hour coupon just minutes after making their online purchase. They won’t want to immediately buy again. Intent data will help you avoid that by giving you access to online behavior patterns, purchase intentions, and other buyer data.
Furthermore, intent data will help you to know if your prospects or customers are reaching out to your competitors so that you can immediately offer them better deals through rewards or first-time purchase discounts.
Intent data for personalization and re-engagement:
With intent data, your rewards program can benefit from granular personalization to ensure maximum customer participation. It enables you to create a relevant context around customer behavior with purchase intent, demographic data, and other key indicators.
Moreover, you will be able to win back your lost customers or bring your inactive customers back into business with a targeted rewards program. Created using intent data, a simple feedback form, or a customer survey with discounts or coupons can help you to re-engage them.
Importance of data accuracy:
Rewards are expensive; therefore, it’s important to ensure they are offered to the right customers or prospects using intent marketing. You also need to be absolutely sure that your digital rewards like an eGift or an online discount coupon and physical gifts like a video mailer or direct mail reach the right email, phone contact, or mailing address.
For example, it’s not enough to have a mailing address, but you need the actual address that the recipient is currently using. You’d want to make sure that the mail reaches the recipient’s desk instead of their HQ or general office address.
Along with using intent data, you also need a clean and updated customer contact database to make your rewards or loyalty program successful. With data providers like SalesIntel, you can do both. You can use their intent data solution to reach 4X pipeline expansion and their 95% accurate human-verified data and the greatest number of direct dials and mobile numbers in the industry to take your rewards marketing to another level.
3 Interesting Ideas for Your Next Customer Loyalty Rewards Program
Customer loyalty reward programs are a way of letting your customers know that you appreciate their loyalty toward your brand. They help you to turn your loyal customers into your brand evangelists and drive word-of-mouth marketing. About 70% of companies agree that retaining a customer is less expensive than acquiring one.
Amazon Prime is one of the best examples if you are to understand customer loyalty. It requires an upfront fee, but the benefits extend to both the customer and the brand. While customers gain from free shipping and VIP treatments, Amazon increases customer loyalty and avoids abandoned carts due to shipping fees.
Implement a tiered rewards system:
A tier system is arguably a better way to run your customer loyalty program instead of a points-based rewards system. A tiered rewards system allows your customers to gain long-term value from your loyalty program and skips the complex, confusing process of matching points with appropriate benefits or rewards. Your customers will also appreciate your brand for keeping them entitled to rewards, depending on their tier. This will help you to avoid the customer frustration associated with points expiration.
For example, the Marvel Insider tiered loyalty rewards program allows fans to earn more benefits, including exclusive discounts and content and birthday and anniversary gifts, as they move closer to becoming a True Believer (the highest tier). In return, the fans are required to take surveys, consume Marvel content, engage with the brand on social media, and check-in at the brand’s events.
Build a coalition loyalty program:
Using strategic partnerships to create all-inclusive offers is a powerful way to show your customers that you care for them and understand their needs. Going beyond what your company provides by making available additional products and services from your partners will keep your customers loyal to your brand. Just make sure your co-branded deals are relevant and valuable to your customers. Another benefit of coalition programs is tapping into the customer base of your partners.
For example, if you run a plant nursery, you can partner with companies that offer planters, plant seeds, or fertilizers to create a coalition loyalty program. This will help both parties to woo their customers with each other’s offerings.
Give a free trial of premium services:
A free trial is a quick way to encourage your customers to upgrade to your premium solutions which improve the ROI on your loyalty program. Offering free one-time trials is a great way of giving your customers a taste of your premium, high-selling products and services and keeps them wanting more.
For example, LinkedIn allows users to try its Premium Career and Premium Business services for one month at no cost with the ability to cancel them anytime.