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Holiday Marketing: 5 Reasons Why Customer Loyalty Programs Are Essential

Ryan Ayers
Ryan Ayers

Integrating a loyalty program into your marketing campaign generates year-round benefits.

Loyalty programs can help companies and organizations land new customers and nurture them into devoted brand advocates. It seems like the perfect time for this is right after Halloween when the holiday marketing floodgates burst open with brand messages from far and near. When this happens, holiday marketing messages are everywhere in the warmup to the holiday buying frenzy begins.

For some, the holiday marketing season may seem like a bit much, but the world's brands do quite well during the season – at least the ones that do it right. Holiday season brand winners evoke emotions, promote sharing and somehow manage to create tangible, memorable moments.

There is no specific formula for success. The best holiday marketing campaigns come in all different shapes and sizes. Still, there are practical methods for achieving the best results during holiday loyalty program promotions.

During the already frenzied holiday season, savvy marketers increase the value of their goods and services by further developing a sense of urgency. Most importantly, marketers make sure that consumers have the best buying journey experiences possible during the holidays.

One element of successful holiday loyalty program building is maximizing pay-per-click (PPC) ad spends. Partnering with influential local charities is another way that brands build goodwill with consumers.

Additionally, email campaigns – which are still leveraged by 86 percent of modern marketers – are a standard staple for brand building. Adept marketers are skilled in several disciplines for leveraging email to reach consumers, such as automation tool deployment as well as subscriber engagement and growth strategies.

For those launching email marketing initiatives for the first time, they must choose solutions that integrate with existing digital resources to save time and money as well as simplify reporting. Furthermore, it's vital to take advantage of email application automatic drip functions to boost conversion rates.

Editor's note: Need an email marketing service for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you with free information.

Leveraging data to build loyalty

Effective loyalty programs increase customer retention, boost sales and improve buyer satisfaction. Enterprise leaders can use big data technology to personalize loyalty offers and increase the likelihood that consumers will return to use their points.

In the future, blockchain technology could completely disrupt the current loyalty program paradigm. Currently, brands incur considerable expenses to store collected loyalty program data. However, blockchain may provide a solution for verifying, storing and securing brand loyalty information at a fraction of what it traditionally costs to manage these campaigns.

Here are five reasons why brand loyalty building during the holidays is smart and essential.

1. Loyalty programs are a cost-effective way to build business.

Some entrepreneurs may think of loyalty programs as initiatives that consume cash and resources and may, or may not, succeed. However, it actually costs more money to go after new customers. So much so that the cost of a loyalty program is marginal compared to expenses incurred when prospecting for new clientele. Promoting brand loyalty programs among an existing consumer base is more likely to provide a marked return on investment.

2. They deliver more than improved sales.

Demographic data is one of the most important resources available to marketers. Detailed consumer data helps marketers to develop strategic plans that promote sales.

In today's fickle buying environment, marketers must understand what promotes sales as well as what deters conversions. Loyalty programs, in a sense, are a form of research that helps advanced data science marketers understand consumer buying patterns. 

3. Consumers love loyalty programs.

Brands that offer loyalty rewards stand out from competitors that don't offer similar programs. Loyalty programs send a message to consumers that a brand is interested in more than profit. This kind of reward initiative helps brands build a rapport with consumers that is mutually beneficial. The simple show of goodwill provided by loyalty programs results in positive outcomes for enterprises. 

4. They are a great way to boost brand recognition.

Loyalty programs encourage new consumers to make a repeat purchase faster than they would without an incentive. Additionally, since these programs make existing consumers feel valued, they improve brand sentiment and increase the likelihood that buyers will recommend goods or services to friends, family members, and associates. The more that a consumer feels appreciated, the more likely they are to provide referrals. Some may even become brand advocates. 

5. Loyalty programs have a successful track record.

While loyalty programs may yield varying results, they're time-tested and have proven to be effective repeatedly. Business leaders have successfully deployed loyalty programs across a number of industries. In fact, the growth hacker movement originated from a model based on the loyalty program framework. Growth hackers, who use most of their time and resources to expand their business, have viewed customer loyalty as the easiest way to promote new business development.

Brands enable enterprises to create a sense of belonging and build strong emotional relationships with consumer bases. Loyalty programs give business leaders the opportunity to deliver experiences that improve with each engagement. These experiences build a foundation that only improves with each interaction. By putting the spotlight on consumers, loyalty programs make the prospect of patronizing brands and sharing recommendations more appealing.

During the holidays, consumers are exposed to a multitude of emails, social media ads, television advertisements and other marketing channels. Savvy entrepreneurs can leverage loyalty programs to stand out among the competition during the holidays.

Loyalty programs aren't all business. As a matter of fact, they make shopping fun for consumers, and they're the perfect opportunity to promote positive memories that will leave a lasting impression with consumers.

Image Credit: one photo/Shutterstock
Ryan Ayers
Ryan Ayers Member
Ryan Ayers has consulted a number of Fortune 500 companies within multiple industries including information technology and big data. After earning his MBA in 2010, Ayers also began working with start-up companies and aspiring entrepreneurs with a keen focus on sustainable scaling, professional development and business growth.