How to launch a loyalty program quickly and efficiently

It’s all too easy for the launch of your loyalty program to slip down the to-do list while you try to find time to build something all-singing and all-dancing. But the truth is, your program doesn’t have to be complex at the outset, and it is possible to launch quickly and efficiently. Here are the top four priorities you need to consider to get your program live.

What is your program going to look like?

Deciding on an identity for your loyalty program can be relatively easy, as it’s important for your program to feel like a natural extension of your brand. We recommend using the primary tones from your brand color palette wherever possible, to ensure that customers never feel they are stepping out of their customer journey while engaging with the program. So that’s the color scheme sorted, but you still need to come up with a name.

Again, this should be aligned with your brand so that customers stay connected with your store at all times. For example, a good name for LoyaltyLion’s program would be Pride Points. And remember, your program will evolve – you’ll have plenty of time to add to it’s identity as it grows further.

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What are you going to award points for initially?

Many stores fall into the trap of overthinking their points strategy prior to launch. The truth is, you don’t need to have a full plan mapped out to hit go – it’s ok to start small. To get your program up and running efficiently, prioritize awarding points in return for simple actions such as purchases, site visits, and account creation. 

This is enough to give customers a taste of how they can benefit from continuous engagement with your brand, without being difficult to implement or manage initially. It makes it easy to introduce your program to your customers in a clear and simple way as you launch.

However, it also means that as you add more earning opportunities you’ll have more reasons to communicate with your members. They’ll love to see the program and as a result, their points balances, growing over time. 

What rewards are you going to offer initially? 

Similarly, you do not need to have a full rewards strategy mapped out in order to launch your program. There are many different rewards you could implement within your program, but to get started, a simple approach is enough. 

Kick things off with simple money-off vouchers or percentage discounts. These will be enough to get your customers excited as they start to see the benefits of collecting points. To get these rewards up and running, you will just need to decide how much you want each point to be worth. At the start, we recommend setting up your program to give a maximum of 5% back to customers

The decisions you make here do not need to be final. You can change details such as discounts you offer and how quickly rewards will expire along the way if you don’t get it quite right the first time – just be sure to clearly communicate changes with your members. 

How will you communicate the program to your customers?

Though it might be a popular mantra, the statement ‘build it and they will come’ doesn’t always apply. You will need to communicate your program to customers to encourage adoption. However, at launch, this doesn’t need to be a big announcement. In fact, starting smaller gives you the opportunity to finetune your program before you take it mainstream. 

Start to build up a member base with on-site notifications that encourage customers to join the program or create an account while they’re making a purchase. You could also insert details of your program into post-purchase emails, alerting customers to the fact that they’ve missed out on points that they can earn if they return to create an account. 

This approach helps you get started without a full promotional plan but also ensures that you have a test base of customers to trial your program with, before you start to build it up further. 

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the idea of launching your loyalty program or you need further advice on getting started, then check out our express set up checklist. You can also talk to us online, anytime

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