Updated on May 17, 2021
Loyalty program automation is the process of using a loyalty automation tool in a customer engagement CRM like Ingage to automate the creation of loyalty programs, assigning loyalty points, and redeeming rewards.
Ingage’s journey with the Safeer International Group commenced a few years ago when they were looking out for a best-in-class customer engagement and loyalty program automation platform for their 80+ stores all across UAE. Through Ingage’s pre-built customer segment models like the RFM and 360-degree customer data insights, custom loyalty program mobile app development, dynamic coupons, and extensive retail dashboards, Safeer was able to realize the following benefits in its customer loyalty program.
- 65% redemption ratio
- 5% base points increase in loyalty sales
- 12% yearly average increase in Average Transaction Value (ATV)
- 13% increase in monthly loyalty sales since program inception
- 411% of the total customer base converted into app users
Just like Al Safeer, other retailers such as Salman Stores, Al Ghurair Retail, Aster Pharmacies, and other retailing behemoths from the UAE are benefiting greatly from loyalty program automation.
Eager to increase customer loyalty like your retail competition? Well, you only need to know how to use loyalty program automation in a tool like Ingage. Gear up, even as I give you different ideas to run loyalty program campaigns and how you could automate them using Ingage.
Table of Contents
- Say Hello
- Send Reminders
- Re-Engage with Recommendations
- Re-Engage After Purchase
- Win Lapsing Customers
- Win Restocking Customers
- Celebrate Occasions
- Celebrate Loyalty
Sounds simple, right?
But this is your chance to introduce your brand, and convert leads into first-time buyers and subsequently regular customers.
While welcoming new customers, you can let them know the channels you are available on and give them an attractive reason to opt-in for your messages on those platforms.
But there are a couple of things you’ve got to test before launching this campaign.
First, concur upon the number of touchpoints you plan for this campaign. Consider retargeting non-openers on social media. You can also try a variant of product recommendation engines such as best sellers vs recently viewed items vs customers also bought to determine what yields a greater success at converting leads into first-time buyers.
Always, tweak your copy and images, according to the trends!
Be sure to send these welcome messages to your new subscribers, first-time in-store visitors and buyers, and app installers.
Typically, you could automate your welcome messages, as soon as a lead visits your store, or installs your app, or makes his first purchase.
Your customers are busy folks. When you see them abandoning their carts, don't be shy to remind them. And this retention campaign is a must-have retail automation loyalty marketing technique.
This will give you the chance to not only win back cart abandoners but also increase their purchase value by upselling. What’s more, you can also propose alternatives if you find that the cart abandonment was due to high pricing or others.
While sending these reminders, it’s crucial to segment your customers, so that your loyal and repeat customers are targeted less. Incorporate product recommendations into the automation template and monitor their impact on conversions.
Go omnichannel - you can send out a push if you have an app, or facilitate other means. But ensure to test it with dynamic content and make the hero image match the category of the item your customer abandoned.
As you would have guessed, this reminder automation campaign is for your shoppers who have abandoned their carts.
It’s always best to wait between 30 minutes to 24 hours before sending the message. And see it to that you send at least three reminders. Why? Because research has proven that. So, experiment on multiple channels and maximize your reach, open rates, and conversions.
A recently viewed product campaign or any other product recommendation engine for that matter is a wonderful automation move to re-engage your virtual window shoppers.
You can entice them to make a purchase by showing them your knowledge of what they want.
Make this campaign successful by thanking your window shoppers for first visiting your online shop. Then you can either offer additional assistance or maybe an incentive to help them make the purchase. [Example: Offer free shipping upon purchase]
While getting the message onto the template, use the product image (don’t forget to add the links!) and offer recommendations. And most importantly, set a trigger to halt the messaging when your customer adds the item to the cart or checks out.
You would have to target customers who have viewed specific products but haven’t actioned on them - like adding it to the cart.
Generally, it’s best to re-engage your customers within the 30 minute and 24-hour window post logging off.
This is yet another form of retail automation loyalty marketing that nurtures retention. This gives you the elbow room to set up future purchases and eventually loyalty.
So, your messaging should be such that you encourage first-time buyers to transform into repeat customers. Be prompt in getting feedback on customer experiences and purchases to get your loyal customers to continue shopping with you.
While automating this, do set a trigger for delivery updates and transaction notifications. And be contextual by reminding your customers what they bought. As a best practice, either use general lifestyle imagery or item category imagery in your hero image.
As I mentioned earlier on how to win back cart abandons, segment your customers here too based on their lifecycle. For instance, if it is the recipient’s first purchase, you might want to congratulate him.
Dedicate this campaign to customers who have made a purchase.
You can send these retention messages between one to seven days post-purchase.
This is your shot to win back lapsed or inactive customers. You can show them what they’re missing out on and re-engage them.
You can endorse this campaign either with direct mails (for high CLV customers) or with an email and social media retargeting combo. On this journey, in case your initial mail to a high-value lapsed customer fails, consider creating a personal follow-up.
Most importantly, include a clear CTA about the next steps you want your recipient to take. To illustrate, ask your lapsed customer to re-order, or buy an accompanying product, and so on.
The target audience for this campaign is lapsing and at-risk customers.
There are a lot of factors that will determine when your customer has lapsed or is at-risk. This can vary by your product catalog and sales cycle. However, you can calculate this using predictive churn algorithms.
If you are into the consumer goods industry, trust me, restocking campaigns would be greatly efficient. The main goal behind this campaign is to keep your customers coming back to you for more. [Translation: Increase repeat purchases]
You can air this retail automation marketing campaign to remind your customers to reorder any consumable products when they’re likely to run out. Besides, this is also a nice way to demonstrate good customer service.
However, you might want to test the restocking campaign with an entirely email-based workflow vs one that targets customers via social custom audiences.
Launch this campaign for customers who have bought consumable goods.
The best time to send a restocking reminder is subject to the product expiry date and the customer behavior.
Was there ever a time when you got angry at your spouse for wishing you a happy birthday?
Similarly, celebrating your customers’ milestones with a birthday gift or a birthday incentive is an exceptional way to demonstrate how much they mean to your business. This simple retail email marketing automation campaign would encourage your customers to, in turn, be loyal to your brand.
The birthday reward campaign is totally dedicated to weaving that emotional chord with your customers to drive conversions.
The only caveat here calls for accurate data. You would have to segment this campaign based on the events data. Then, you would be good to go with your personalized content based on their lifecycle stage.
And here’s a pro tip. In case, you do not know your customer’s date of birth or anniversary, let them know you treat customers on special occasions in your welcome campaign. This is an actionable means to get the information.
Customers celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, or maybe even their first purchase!
At the time of the event using an event-triggered email.
Your high-value loyal and dedicated customers are the most sacred sources of revenue. Keep them engaged and satisfied by automating the loyalty campaign.
While automating the loyalty campaign, do thank your customers first for the great value they render to your business. Segment your loyal customers based on loyalty tiers and tailor messages to suit their preferences. Personalize their incentives according to their browsing and purchasing habits.
Don’t forget to add a failover channel to re-engage those who fail to be engaged in the first run. You might want to turn this message into a customer service call to enhance personalization and appreciation. If possible, instead of the generic contact, give a dedicated or personal phone number or email address to your VIP customers.
Your entire customer base, segmented into tiers based on their value to your business.
From the inception to the culmination of the loyalty program.
Price reductions for customers who reach a particular spending threshold is a great way to increase prompt purchases. For instance, your retail company might give a 10% off a customer’s next purchase when they spend $100.
But how do you make this process quick and easy?
To understand how this works, I want you to sign in to your Ingage account. Don’t have one? Quickly schedule your personalized demo to get one.
Once you log in, create a campaign.
Give it a name and make it personalized. Then, set the validity, offer, and terms and conditions.
So, now, you have your campaign ready, and it’s time to automate the process.
This way, when your customer checks out, with neither human intervention nor any lengthy processes, your customer could avail of the special offers.
Next, go to the Loyalty Rewards feature to automate the rewards redeeming process.
Start by defining the loyalty rewards program points earning conditions. In our case, the customer’s total transaction value should be greater than or equal to $100 to get 10% off on his next purchase.
Once we have defined the reward earning conditions, we need to configure it, whether it’s going to be campaign based or loyalty points based.
For our example, it’s based on a campaign, so we’ll go ahead accordingly.
Since we’ve already created the campaign, we’ll choose it from the drop-down. Click on the ‘Publish Voucher’ button. Your reward is live now. Upon billing, it will be automatically printed. Your sales assistant can enlighten your customer of the bonanza during checkout.
In case he forgets, we need a communication channel through which we can send this message. And for that, I want you to go to the Journey Builder module on Ingage.
Here’s where we are going to give an extra layer of automation.
If you had read our blog on marketing automation, you would know that every automation starts with a trigger followed by action and ends with an event.
So, that’s just what we are going to do now.
Let’s use a Transaction Trigger and define the conditions.
When it is satisfied, we shall generate the reward (this is the action).
Now, from the drop-down, we need to select the campaign we just created. Next, to get the word across, we could either use a push or SMS or mail. For the demonstration, let’s stick to the email channel.
When it lands on your customer’s inbox, the journey will end.
And that’s it, you have successfully automated your discounts campaign!
Easy right? And trust me, it not only takes the burden off your shoulders but makes the redeeming process very easy for your customer.
We just looked at how you could automate your time-to-time campaigns. Now, let’s look at something even more riveting.
Something every retailer has in his chain of stores - loyalty program automation.
Ingage has a dedicated module for managing your loyalty programs. Its enterprise retailers are generally given a competitive-edge through a custom loyalty mobile app development tied with Ingage.
This way, your customers can get instant incentives, enjoy tier-based rewards, benefit from location-based notifications. As for you, rest assured of repeat and recurring purchases :)
Let’s get to the work, shall we?
First, I want you to create your loyalty program. Let’s do a tier-based loyalty program.
When users join your loyalty program, they’ll generally be on the lowest tier. And you could define as many tiers as you want.
Let’s go ahead and create three tiers - Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Let’s define a rule that your customers can redeem points upon making a transaction of $1000.
If you want, you can allow discounted items to participate in the rewards earning scheme. But to steer clear of confusions, let’s not allow that and define that rewards can’t be spent on items discounted more than 20%. As a bonus, you can also limit the items or brands upon which your customers spend their reward points.
Save all the changes and head to the points redemption rules module.
Fill out the requisites such as the points conversion ratio and the points redemption multiplier value. Define the minimum and the maximum redemption value and the items that are exempted from the reward scheme.
To ensure that no fraudulent transactions take place, enable the OTP security protocol.
Submit it, and you have configured your loyalty program and rewards redemption rules in a matter of few clicks!
In the next phase, we’ve got to generate rewards. We are going to follow the same steps as we did earlier. But instead of triggering the fringe benefits based on a campaign, we shall delegate the perks based on loyalty points.
When your customers have your brand’s loyalty mobile application, they’ll be notified how much they have to spend to earn their next reward. This will keep your loyal customers coming back to you for more and also increase their basket value.
What if you want to give your VIP users tickets to an exclusive event?
Or what if you want to make a donation to an orphanage under the name of your loyal customer?
Well, even for all these creative rewards, Ingage facilitates automation.
For the purpose of demonstration, let’s consider this reward scheme. When a customer reaches the highest loyalty tier, let’s give them a gift card that they could redeem in your eCommerce store.
To automate this process, you must first create an email template on Ingage.
From ‘Channels’, click on Email and create a template.
You can either build upon a pre-existing template or start from scratch. Once you’ve designed the template with the correct links to the gift card redeeming page, you can now automate the journey.
Let’s hop onto the Journey Builder. Our automation will go live when there is a tier movement. So, that will act as the trigger.
When the trigger fires, we’ll send the email we just created, in real-time. Upon its delivery, we can wait for a transaction to occur. If it doesn’t, we can send a reminder, and upon its delivery, we can end the journey.
You needn’t be in the wake to send these reward emails when there is a tier movement. Ingage will take care of it all :)
Excited to try our product, Ingage to automate your rewards redemption and enhance customer loyalty program? Log in to your account and get going!
Don’t have one? It’s easy to get your personalized demo and get started with loyalty rewards automation.