Overhauling your loyalty programs: beyond freebies

April 25, 2017

When considering implementing any new marketing initiative, many business owners’ first question is “how much is this going to cost me?”

There are many ways to structure your loyalty program rewards to reduce costs, add value to your bottom line, and amplify the customer’s experience.

Exclusive access & experiences

Treating your most loyal (and probably best) customers to exclusive access and experiences can turn a reward for them into another sales opportunity for you.

For example, offer your most loyal customers access to an exclusive pre-sale event or off-menu tasting dinner where mere access to your product is the reward in itself. Coupled with the opportunity to upsell these customers and gain some intel on how these new or off-menu items might do with your general audience, this idea is a win for all involved.

Rewards-only products

To encourage higher levels of spending within your loyalty program, offer your highest tier access to a coveted product that can only be purchased with program points. Again, it’s about creating a sense of exclusivity—providing access to something they want that they can only get via participation in your loyalty program.

Read more: Marketing & Promotions tips and tactics


Many people are motivated by competition, so creating some kind of game around your loyalty program can be an effective way to encourage participation without having to spend a lot on rewards. Create a leaderboard for your program and publicly talk up and celebrate your loyalty race leaders. This can be a great way to create buzz and a community around your program at little to no cost.


Use your loyalty program to introduce customers to related products they might not otherwise have picked. For example, as a program reward, a cooking school might award a discount to be used on kitchen supplies in the school gift shop. Again, you’re providing access to more of your product, albeit at a discount, as the reward.

[image: Jennifer + Justin by Corey Balazowich on flickr]

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