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The 5 best beauty loyalty programs and why they’re so effective

In today’s highly competitive beauty industry, loyalty programs have become a powerful tool for brands to retain customers and foster long-term relationships that lead to more repeat purchases. With beauty brands spending $7.7bn collectively on advertising each year, it’s no wonder that businesses are looking for alternative ways to stand out from the crowd and connect with their customers – but how do you get it right? 

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of beauty loyalty programs, ranking the top 5 based on their effectiveness so that you can learn what works and what doesn’t. We’ll explore the key features that make these programs stand out, and find out why they’re so loved by their members.

Exploring the 5 best beauty programs 

1. Sephora’s Beauty Insider program

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The Sephora Beauty Insider program is widely regarded as one of the best beauty loyalty programs in existence. Its effectiveness can be attributed to several key factors, here are just a few that stand out to us: 

Tiered reward system: The Beauty Insider program offers a tiered system (Insider, VIB, and Rouge), each with increasing benefits. This tiered structure incentivizes customers to spend more, as they can unlock more exclusive rewards and perks. This approach keeps members engaged and motivated to reach higher tiers.

Diverse range of rewards: Sephora offers a wide range of rewards, including free beauty products, exclusive access to events, early access to sales, and even personalized beauty recommendations. This diversity ensures that members can find rewards that genuinely appeal to them, increasing the program’s attractiveness.

Birthday gifts: Sephora gives members a special birthday gift every year, which adds a personal touch to the program and makes customers feel appreciated.

2. Ulta’s Ultamate Rewards program

Ulta’s Ultamate Rewards program is another best-in-class example that gets a lot of attention. And for good reason! Here are some of the reasons this program made the list: 

Multi-tiered system: Similar to Sephora, Ulta’s program uses a multi-tiered structure (Member, Platinum, and Diamond). Each tier offers escalating benefits, encouraging members to spend more to unlock higher levels of rewards.

Frequent promotions: Ulta regularly runs promotions and bonus point events, creating excitement and encouraging members to shop during specific periods. This sense of urgency can lead to increased engagement and loyalty.

Ultamate Rewards credit card: Ulta offers a co-branded credit card that allows members to earn points on all purchases, both in and outside of Ulta stores. This card integration enhances the overall loyalty program experience and creates a unique and memorable touchpoint. 

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3. MAC’s MAC Lover loyalty program

MAC have kept their products at the heart of their loyalty program. It’s a technique that works well for brands in the beauty industry as the products are visually appealing. Here’s why their program resonates with customers: 

Product rewards: MAC allows members to redeem their points for products, offering flexibility in how members can use their rewards. This feature ensures that members can select products they genuinely desire.

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VIP events: MAC organizes exclusive events and masterclasses for its top-tier members, creating a sense of exclusivity and community. These events deepen the relationship between the brand and its loyal customers.

Exclusive products and previews: MAC offers members early access to new products and limited-edition collections. This exclusivity generates excitement among members and motivates them to stay engaged with the brand.

4. The Body Shop’s Love Your Body Club 

The Body Shop’s “Love Your Body Club” sets itself apart by aligning with the brand’s strong commitment to sustainability and ethical practices. It’s not just your typical rewards program; it’s a reflection of The Body Shop’s values and mission to make a positive impact on the planet and its people. Some of the key features include: 

Sustainability focus: Members can earn extra points for participating in eco-friendly actions, such as returning empty containers for recycling, bringing reusable bags, or participating in community events. These actions not only benefit the environment but create a sense of belonging and community.

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Charitable donations: Love Your Body Club members have the option to donate their earned points to The Body Shop’s charity partners, supporting various social and environmental causes. Members can feel good about themselves for supporting meaningful causes, and this will help to create an emotional connection with the brand. 

Birthday gifts: All members receive a gift from The Body Shop on their birthday, making them feel appreciated, seen and valued on their special day.

5.  Lancôme’s My Lancôme Rewards program

For those seeking a little luxury, Lancôme’s My Lancôme Rewards program caters to high-end beauty consumers. Exclusive events, personalized gifts, and early access to new products are just some of the benefits members can expect. 

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Exclusivity and luxury: Lancôme is known for its premium beauty products, and its loyalty program reflects that luxury. Members of My Lancôme Rewards are offered exclusive access to high-end skincare and makeup products, which can be particularly appealing to those who appreciate luxury beauty.

Personalization: The program offers a personalized experience for its members. Lancôme collects data about members’ preferences and purchase history to tailor product recommendations and special offers. This level of personalization enhances the shopping experience and makes members feel valued.

Tiered membership: The program includes tiered membership levels – Rose Gold, Gold and Platinum – based on how many points members have earned. Higher-tier members receive more exclusive perks, creating an aspirational element that encourages increased spending and loyalty.

What do the best beauty loyalty programs have in common?

Beauty Loyalty Programs (2)

Having explored the top beauty loyalty programs and why they’re so effective, here are the key features that you should prioritize implementing into your own program: 

Loyalty tiers: Many of the top beauty loyalty programs, such as Sephora’s Beauty Insider and Ulta’s Ultamate Rewards, implement tiered structures. These tiers, with increasing benefits, incentivize customers to spend more to unlock exclusive rewards and perks, fostering engagement and motivation to achieve higher status.

A diverse range of rewards: Offering a wide variety of rewards, including free products, exclusive event access, early sales access, and personalized recommendations, ensures that members can find rewards that genuinely appeal to their preferences. This diversity enhances the program’s appeal and attractiveness.

Personalization: Personalized experiences are crucial. Programs like Lancôme’s My Lancôme Rewards and Sephora’s Beauty Insider use data to customize product recommendations and special offers, making members feel seen and valued. This level of personalization enhances the overall shopping experience.

Exclusive access and events: Hosting exclusive events, VIP masterclasses, and providing early access to new products and limited-edition collections generates excitement and creates a sense of exclusivity and community among members. These elements deepen the relationship between a brand and its loyal customers.

By learning from these beauty loyalty programs and prioritizing the key features outlined here, you can create a loyalty program that sets your brand on a path to long-term success. So, what are you waiting for? Book a demo here

About the author

Georgie Walsh

Georgie is the Content Marketing Manager at LoyaltyLion. Georgie has spent most of her 6+ years marketing in B2B companies, and has developed a huge passion for bringing B2B voices alive through engaging copy and memorable storytelling.

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