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7 ways loyalty marketing can supercharge every part of the marketing mix

As a resident marketer within a Shopify brand, we do not doubt that you manage a lot of different channels and activities. You’re likely trying to juggle acquisition and retention, without losing control of that daily to-do list. 

The chances are, you’re also prioritizing that to-do list according to deadlines, and the demands of the rest of the business. However, what if we told you that repeat customers generate 300% more revenue than first-time shoppers? Perhaps that might change the order in which you approach your tasks and bump loyalty marketing up the agenda. 

The good news is, we’re not here to tell you to prioritize retention over acquisition. We’re here to explain the relationship between brand loyalty and marketing mix. We’ll explain how loyalty marketing can help you shoot for both goals simultaneously, without adding anything extra to your plate. Keep reading to find out how loyalty marketing can supercharge your entire marketing mix and the channels you own, including: 

  • SEO 
  • Social media
  • Paid advertising
  • On-page conversion
  • Product launches
  • Content marketing 
  • Email and SMS

The SEO benefits of a loyalty program

Data shows that 37.5% of all ecommerce traffic comes from search engines, and nearly a quarter of orders can be directly linked to organic traffic. What does this mean? Search engine optimization – or SEO – is high on the agenda for almost every ecommerce marketer. Your strategy might involve building out content to drive traffic from certain keywords or building up backlinks from other relevant sites. But does it include your loyalty page? 

The best loyalty marketing is not done via popups or widgets. It is done via integrated pages that sit natively within your site and its navigation. This approach doesn’t just help you increase program enrollment and participation. It also gives you another page you can use to improve your SEO performance. 

We recommend ensuring that your keyword strategy extends to the copy on your loyalty page and that you incorporate an FAQ section so you have more copy to work with. However, there’s more! 

Are we right in thinking that reviews also fall within your remit? Well, Trustpilot tells us that Google loves reviews. In fact: 

  • Reviews can help you rank higher in organic search results
  • They can support your off-page SEO strategy
  • They contribute to an ever-improving brand reputation

With a loyalty program, you can use loyalty points to incentivize customers to leave reviews. This doesn’t just make it easier to collect more reviews, but it helps keep your reviews recent and engaging with minimal effort, providing a strong signal for search engines. 

Loyalty programs and social media 

Almost every ecommerce store out there is using social media either to connect with customers or to sell to them. Why? Because that’s where your customers are. 12% of all digital buyers in the US are using Instagram to make purchases, and 8% are already using TikTok. By 2025, Facebook is expected to reach 80 million shoppers. 

There are so many messages that can contribute to your social media strategy, but the real challenge is getting those messages seen by the right people. How do you build up your social media following quickly and effectively so that you can keep in touch with as many potential and existing customers as possible? This is another area where brand loyalty and marketing mix come together. 

Most loyalty programs now offer members points in exchange for social media likes and follows. For example, if TikTok is a new channel you’re exploring for your Shopify store, you could sit back and wait for people to find you or come over from other channels, or you could use your loyalty program to win them over much faster. 

But it’s not just likes and follows that can be secured with loyalty marketing. You can also incentivize customers to tag your brand in exchange for points. This extends your reach still further as all their followers then see your brand as well. 

With your loyalty program collecting followers for you, you can take a step back and think about your content strategy. 

Loyalty programs and paid advertising

It’s not just your organic social that can benefit from a loyalty program bump. Your paid advertising can also reap the rewards. Paid advertising is an extremely common channel when it comes to growing an ecommerce store so it’s no surprise that it’s typically part of the brand loyalty and marketing mix. However, the average click-through rate for ecommerce stores using Google paid search is now just 2.69% – nowhere near as high as we would like. 

What if we told you loyalty marketing could help you stand out from the crowd and increase that click-through rate? Your current strategy may well be product-led, promoting individual items and often the discounted price that consumers can purchase them for. However, we highly recommend also including ads that promote your brand, your brand story, and where possible your loyalty program. 

Integrating loyalty marketing in your paid advertising strategy enables you to demonstrate to prospective customers that they can unlock additional value and benefits if they purchase from you, rather than another store. You can also include quotes and testimonials from existing loyalty program members which will work wonders in convincing new shoppers that your program is worth joining. 

This strategy doesn’t stop at the first purchase. Including double and bonus loyalty point promotions in your paid advertising schedule will help you to reconvert those who have already purchased and joined your loyalty program faster and more efficiently, bringing them back for a second purchase so they can unlock extra points and claim a reward. 

Loyalty programs and on-page conversion 

We already discussed how loyalty marketing can help you generate more reviews further up in this article, however the placement of those reviews is also extremely important. The type of review is also key. 

We recommend harnessing brand loyalty within your marketing mix to incentivize different types of reviews. For example, a text review could earn a customer 50 loyalty points, however, a photo review might unlock 100, and a video review 150. This helps you to collect a wider variety of user-generated content, but it also gives you far more visual and video content that you can then use to optimize your product pages, bringing your inventory to life and significantly increasing conversion. 

Your loyalty program can also increase on-page conversion if you include points with your product listings. Letting customers know how many loyalty points they could unlock if they joined your loyalty program before purchasing is a fantastic way to show additional value and drive more purchases. You also ensure that they collect those points, and return to spend them on a second purchase. 

Loyalty programs and product launches 

There’s always a lot of pressure on marketing teams when a new product launches. It’s your job to get it in front of as many people as possible, but it’s also your job to make sure as many people as possible buy it. 

Luckily your loyalty program is here to help! When a new product or collection drops, there’s no need to discount it or add a special offer to encourage people to buy it. Instead, run a bonus point promotion, so that anyone who purchases the new product gets double or triple points. This incentivizes them to try the new product, while also making it more likely that they’ll return to unlock a reward and purchase again sooner. 

You can also drive a lot more attention to your product launches by building early access to new products into your loyalty program tiers. Offer your most valuable and loyal customers early access to new items as they go live, and you’ll soon create a sense of FOMO that brings others flocking to both your loyalty program and your new product. 

Finally, deploy tester or sample sizes of your new products as free product rewards within your loyalty marketing strategy. When a customer has enough points, they can redeem them in exchange for a sample of your new product. Fingers crossed they fall in love with it and return to buy it at full price! 

All this buzz around your new products, before you even start looking at promotion beyond your existing customer base. This is one of the strongest examples of brand loyalty and marketing mix coming together to get new and exciting products in front of more people.

Loyalty programs and content marketing

Much of the time, ecommerce marketers are so focused on conversion and sales, that they forget how powerful a tool content can be. Sure, it takes time to create it and once created you then have to promote it. However, it can play a really valuable role in loyalty marketing, and engaging and building relationships with customers. 

First and foremost, we recommend revamping your ‘About’ page. Make sure that it tells your brand story, and then use welcome email journeys, social media messages, and as many other channels as possible to point people towards it. 

Then, think about the content that your customers would value the most. We’re thinking of exclusive get-the-look guides, make-up tutorials, and pet training manuals – the options are endless. Figure out what kind of content best fosters brand loyalty and suits your marketing mix best, and then pop it into a loyalty program tier that customers can’t unlock unless they continuously engage with your brand. 

Sooner or later, non-members will see what they are missing out on, and start engaging more to earn more points and unlock your great content. And in the meantime – they’ll have earned enough points to also unlock a reward they then return to spend. Plus you get many more eyes on your content, delivering a far higher ROI on that marketing activity and spend.

Loyalty marketing and email/SMS marketing

And now, we’ve saved the very best until last. Email and SMS marketing are both integral parts of any loyalty marketing strategy and vice versa. An ESP (email service provider) is one of the first investments that an ecommerce brand makes, and today, with more and more customers opting out of email, an SMS platform is not far behind. 

However, it’s getting harder and harder to engage customers over email, and with fewer customers willing to share their data, it’s never been harder to personalize email and SMS messages to improve their performance. 

This is where a loyalty program has your back as a marketer:  

  • Firstly,  loyalty data – for example, available rewards, points balances, or tier statuses – provides you with the information and data you need to make a marketing message entirely personal and unique.
  • Secondly, loyalty marketing gives you a platform for collecting more data you can use to personalize messages. Offer loyalty points in exchange for completing a quiz or an online profile, and you’ll soon know everything about your customers, from what skin or type they have, to what hobbies they enjoy. Then you can segment and personalize using that zero-party data. 

Personalization has never been harder, but it’s also never been more important as Google and Yahoo crack down on email hygiene and pay ever more attention to unsubscribe rates and spam reports. Your loyalty program can help you ensure that you not only make it into a customer’s inbox, but you get the clickthrough rates that give email providers confidence in your domain. 

And if that’s not enough? Use loyalty points to incentivize your customers to sign up for your SMS alerts and ensure that you can reach them outside of their inboxes too. 

Supercharge your Shopify store’s marketing mix with loyalty marketing 

Thanks for joining us on our whistle-stop tour of how a loyalty program can help brand loyalty and marketing mix come together to supercharge all activities and channels.

Remember, loyalty marketing doesn’t just help you retain your existing customers. It also helps you: 

  • Reach prospective customers through more effective SEO, social, and paid advertising activity
  • Convert more customers with on-page optimizations such as reviews and loyalty point promotions
  • Spread the word about new product launches, and use content to drive interest more effectively
  • Achieve greater levels of personalization to increase the effectiveness of your email and SMS communications and ensure your marketing messages are reaching more people

If you’d like to chat about integrating brand loyalty and marketing mix, we’re here to help. Simply book a time to talk to one of our loyalty marketing experts.

About the author

Fiona Stevens

Fiona Stevens is the Head of Marketing at LoyaltyLion, a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform for fast-growth ecommerce merchants. LoyaltyLion helps thousands of retailers worldwide to build fully customized loyalty programs, proven to increase customer engagement, retention and spend. Fiona has almost 15 years experience in Marketing, having worked in-house and agency side across functions including PR, SEO and content. She has specialized in loyalty for retail and ecommerce brands for the past eight years.

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