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Getting Out of Loyalty Limbo

It happens to the best of us: I recently signed up with a new loyalty program and the store associate gently reminded me, more than a few times, that I should go online to confirm my account.

Guess what I did? Completely forgot to go online to confirm my account.

So there I was, in loyalty limbo – something that's unfortunate, but not uncommon.

Colloquy's 2015 Census data showed that over two years, there was a 26% increase in the number of memberships reported since their last study in 2013. The biennial report also showed that the average number of loyalty programs per US household grew to 29, but that only 42 percent of those memberships are currently active. Sounds like someone I know, right?

And what I'd say, and what clearly applied to me, was that consumers are missing out on huge advantages of engagement when over half of their memberships are disused. Enrollment doesn't necessarily mean engagement.

Consumers who don't complete the confirmation process, or who do and then lose interest in either the store or the membership itself 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. That process could lead to savings and personalized recommendations for them, and customer lifetime value for your brand.

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 started the opt-in process 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.

Do you know what happened when I went into my email and confirmed my opt-in to the loyalty program? I was given a $10 coupon for my next visit. Consider me engaged.




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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