New Year’s Resolution: Revamp Your Loyalty Program?


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As 2012 approaches, many of us are starting to consider our resolutions to begin the New Year. And if you are responsible for a loyalty program, this is a good time to take a fresh look at that as well. Any program can benefit from some classic New Year’s resolutions:

1. Get a Makeover. Even a strong and successful loyalty program should consider a new look just to keep things fresh for those engaged members. A rebranding effort can inject excitement and energy to the program without disturbing the actual value proposition. Some fresh colors and a new logo can liven things up, and a new card can be selectively issued to re-engage some stagnant or lapsed members.

2. Trim the Fat. Many loyalty programs are already designed to reset in January, inactivating the accounts and wiping out the points balances of any member who was not active the past calendar year. If your program doesn’t do this you likely have some stale liability on your books that is dragging down program performance. Take a second look at your total member base and who isn’t engaged. Are they worth reactivating, or is it smarter to drop them? How much is spent on them in marketing? How much points liability do they have? Understand your lapsed member profile and revisit your terms and conditions. Make this the last year you have lapsed memberships on the books.

3. Take Up a New Hobby. Offer members something “new” to play with by adding an element to the value proposition. Engage them with a soft benefit, an evergreen bonus, an affinity club or even a tier. Look for unmet needs within your member base, a company objective or strategy the program is not meeting, or something that accomplishes both. Though a simple value proposition is best, adding a component to your program can bring about improved engagement and performance.

4. Call and Write Your Loved Ones More. Maybe you are the type of person who calls your mother every Sunday, and maybe you’re also great about staying in contact with your members. Or, like many marketers, maybe you only talk to members when you want them to buy. Instead, consider sending them a reminder of program benefits they aren’t taking advantage of, an update on their points balance, or just a note to say thank you. Show some no-strings-attached appreciation, and when you do want them to buy they’ll be more likely to respond.

5. Tackle Your Finances. Personal finances can go a bit off-budget through the holidays, and the same is true for loyalty programs. What you planned last year might have changed or morphed throughout the year. Now is the time to step back, look at those program KPIs and determine the financial health of the initiative.

So as you approach 2012, consider some ways you can improve your program’s performance. And if you can stick to a resolution past Presidents’ Day you’ll likely be ahead of me.

Dan Ribolzi
As a LoyaltyOne consultant, Dan advises on best practices in all areas of loyalty marketing, including program design, evaluation and growth strategies. Drawing on his expertise in customer-centric marketing, he helps develop and implement loyalty solutions that meet clients' business objectives while creating value for their customers.


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