Home » Blog » Guide To Customer Centric Loyalty Gifting Program

The most treasured customer is a loyal one. Loyalty often translates into frequency, and more frequent interactions lead to more sales and increased revenue. However, to keep customers engaged and loyal requires planning, work, and vigilance to stay ahead of the competition, who more likely than not have loyalty programs of their own.

If you’re business is just starting down the path of creating a gifting loyalty program or you’re unsatisfied with the results you’re getting from your current program, this guide can help you boost brand loyalty through a well-planned and managed gifting loyalty program.

Important Gifting Loyalty Program Considerations

Companies with successful loyalty gifting programs excel in three areas: understanding the behaviors and motivations of their customers; personalizing the gifting program so that customers find value in every gift; and keeping the program relevant to the expectations of their customers.

When creating your loyalty gifting program you should already have the advantage that comes from knowing the people who consistently support your business. They have shown a willingness to spend money on your products or services. The next, and most important step is to use the information you’ve gathered from them to create a loyalty program that offers a unique experience, delivers ease of access with no complications, regardless of device, and makes them feel special and appreciated.

Loyal customers tend to fall into one of two categories: those who have established patterns and behaviors that you can track by analyzing the frequency of interactions, what they purchase, and how much they spend; and others with whom you’ve established a level of trust and community and who have formed an emotional attachment to your brand. The ideal loyalty gifting program will have the following characteristics to attract customers from both camps:

  • Make it easy to participate from day one. If your customers find your loyalty gifting program too difficult to sign up for or you run them through hoops to claim rewards, you not only will have limited participation in your program, but you also risk alienating the customers who are your most cherished patrons.
  • Integrate it into the user experience. Your customer's ability to enjoy your loyalty gifting program should mirror the way they shop and make purchasing decisions. The entire process, from sign up to reward redemption, should be seamless and part of your customer’s journey regardless of the device they’re using or their location.
  • Make it relevant. You have a wide variety of gifts and rewards that fit into any budget to offer your loyalty program members. Focus on your customers with gifts that make them feel special. Aim for fashion and function with gifts of high quality that become part of your loyalty program member’s lifestyle.
  • Make it exclusive. Give your gifting loyalty program members perks that aren’t available to everyone. Even at the most basic level or tier, they should be recognized with a tangible expression of your gratitude. A tiered loyalty program gives members incentives to pursue higher-valued gifts through increased engagement and encourages regular customers to sign up for the same special treatment.

Planning Your Loyalty Program

The following steps can help you develop and maintain an effective gifting loyalty program that establishes a positive impression of your business at every interaction and keeps customers happy and coming back.

Define Goals

Approach your gifting loyalty program as you would any other marketing effort by first deciding why you’re doing it. Just because your competitors have one isn’t enough justification. Determine whether you want to increase the long-term value of marketing spend, spread brand awareness, create a strong referral community, increase order volume, or drive customer spending. Your gifting loyalty program can also be a great way to gather insightful data throughout the customer journey.

Determine Audience

Get a firm grasp on what motivates your customers to spend their money on your goods or services and focus your efforts on forming closer and deeper relationships with that knowledge. Customers recognize and appreciate when the businesses they frequent pay attention to their needs and are engaged with building a better experience for them. The gifts you offer should matter to the customer in some way because they are more than just items you’re giving away. The gift should be a reflection of the importance you place on your customers’ business.

Personalize Rewards

In a successful gifting loyalty program, personalization means more than just adding a customer’s name to a gift. To make your program successful, make it a priority to personalize not only the gift but also the entire experience for your customers. You can track their behavior to understand both what type of gift will make a difference to members and keep them engaged with reminders and special offers that only they can enjoy.

Determine Structure and Incentives

While there are many ways to boost brand loyalty through a gifting program, all share the same objectives: reward your most loyal customers, offer incentives to keep them returning, and gain a greater understanding of their behavior to keep them as customers. Gift tiers based on point totals is one popular structure to reward members for purchases and program participation. Keep the rules simple and uncomplicated to prevent frustrations when joining or redeeming, and make levels attainable and attractive to increase participation.

Market and Attract Members

Promote your loyalty gifting program everywhere and every time customers visit your place of business or connect with you online. Strategically place marketing material or use QR codes at points of purchase or on packaging. Invite customers to sign up when they visit your website. Make it standard practice to remind customers about the benefits of membership in every email. Remember that your current gifting program members are your best ambassadors so encourage and reward them for social channel referrals.

Monitor and Manage Your Program

Keeping your loyalty program fresh and effective requires diligence at every touchpoint of your member’s engagement. Innovations in SaaS gifting loyalty program platforms are making it easier to monitor and manage programs through user-friendly interfaces that track engagements and seamlessly coordinate redemptions. They can track inventory and provide feedback for continued improvement. There are many moving parts to a gifting loyalty program. It helps to have program management professionals working alongside you from loyalty plan concept to gift shipping and delivery.

Find a Gifting Loyalty Program Fulfillment Partner

At some point, your gifting loyalty program will require the services of an experienced, qualified, and reliable kitting and fulfillment partner. A misstep here can erode all the goodwill you’ve established with your program members if the gift they receive is not the one they expected, it arrives damaged, or takes forever to arrive. Among the services you should expect your fulfillment partner to cover are pick and pack speed and accuracy, multiple distribution points and strategic locations, and warehousing and inventory management. The ideal partner can also provide custom gifting boxes and innovative solutions to integrate seamlessly with e-commerce platforms. They should also offer flexibility to accommodate growth and efficient operation during peak season demand.

One of the easiest ways to distinguish your business in the hearts and minds of your customers is with a well-run, streamlined gifting loyalty program. According to Merkle’s 2022 Loyalty Barometer Report, 79% of consumers are more likely to do business with a brand because of its loyalty program, and 91% have earned or redeemed a reward in the past six months. Studies have proven that it costs less to keep an existing customer than to attract a new one and a gifting loyalty program is one of the most successful ways to hold on to the customers you have.

Contact a Marketing.com marketing expert today to learn more about how we can help your business connect the dots to build stronger and longer-term relationships through a gifting loyalty program.