Enrollment vs Engagement: Loyalty In Action

“Are you a member of our loyalty program?” 

Getting to the checkout without hearing that phrase is a modern feat of humankind. Retailers, financial services, and expanding sectors like drugstores and restaurants know that loyalty membership programs are one of the easiest ways to get individual data on shoppers while enhancing the brand-to-consumer relationship. But when shoppers are asked (and asked, and asked again), they often can’t see the forest for the trees—that a loyalty program is an opportunity for consumers themselves to customize a relationship with brands.

The average number of loyalty programs per US household has grown to 29, based on data gathered by Colloquy. That same loyalty data shows that only 42 percent of those memberships are currently active. Just imagine what advantages consumers are missing out on when over half of their memberships are disused. Enrollment doesn’t necessarily mean engagement.

To encourage customers to join the conversation, utilizing a preference management center for users is the best way to improve engagement. Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication, is the ideal way to further involve customers who’ve already opted-in to receive brand news and loyalty benefits.

When customers join your loyalty programs, they’ve already established that they like your brand and want to create an affinity that goes both ways.  They’re waiting for you to start the conversation—have you yet?

Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to inactive customers who relegate your brand to the unused half of their loyalty memberships. Raise the profile of your brand, the affection of your customers and the engagement of your most loyal consumers by giving them the tools to communicate back to you. 

About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores last summer. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.

Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

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