Use your loyalty program to increase sales and build goodwill this holiday season

If your loyalty program is feeling a little stale, breath some life into it with these two twists, perfect for the holiday season.

Points for charity

During the holidays we are bombarded with requests for charitable giving. You can break through that clutter by offering your loyalty members an easy way to be altruistic while getting them reinvested in your program. Simply invite them to donate their points to charity. This one simple promotion can get rewards points off your books and create a ton of goodwill with your customers and your community.

Here’s how it works:

Determine a monetary value for reward points
Decide what are you willing to and able to ultimately contribute through this program. Then determine how much your points should be worth. (It doesn’t have to be the same as the rewards ratio you give away i.e. $1 per point)

Rather than focusing on straight dollar- for- point value, I think it’s better to work with a local charity to create a more tangible and heartfelt gift, like “feed a family of 4 Thanksgiving dinner” for every 100 points redeemed. Or for every 100 points you donate, we’ll give a bag of pet food to the local shelter.

Choose the length of time for the promotion.
Will it run for a day, week or the entire holiday season?

Select a local charity
Work with that charity to create an offer as described above and determine what your contribution will look like.

Work out the logistics with your POS/train your staff
Make sure all your technology for redemption is seamless and your staff is meticulously trained in processing the promotion – and talking it up with customers.

Use all your assets to get the word out: website, email, social media, flyers, in-store signage and as part of any traditional advertising you may be doing.

Ask your charitable partner to help you promote.

Don’t forget the follow up
end thank you notes to participating program members.

Acknowledge and thank participating loyalty members on social media, in-store and on your website.

Take photos of the check presentation to the charity for use in your marketing as well as a press release for local media.

Add a few twists if you like
Add double points opportunities on certain days to encourage program sign up and additional sales from existing customers.

Tip – be sure to give the program a catchy name and create a promotional graphic. Make it the centerpiece of your holiday marketing strategy.

Points to Enter

This idea gives loyalty members the opportunity to redeem points to enter a contest. For example, they receive one entry for every 100 points redeemed.

Now, the key here is the prize has to be significant and buzz worthy! It can be merchandise from your store, or you can work with your retail/restaurant neighbors to create a package of prizes that will appeal to your target market. For example, if you own a women’s boutique, create a makeover package that include clothes, hair, nails, spa, etc. worth $1000. Think about your customer avatar and what’s important to them. A vacation? A room makeover? A luxury car rental for a week? Don’t be ordinary!

A promotion like this should run longer term with lots of promotion from you and any partner companies you are working with. It will spark interest in your loyalty program and encourage membership, especially with the promise of holding these types of contests on a regular basis.

Inventive uses of points as a marketing tool doesn’t cost much and is suitable for every type of retail and restaurant. So break out of the mold and use your loyalty program as an additional way to surprise and delight your customers – and gain new ones!

Until next time remember,
You can do this!

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