Many consumers keep a few loyalty cards in their wallets that they use over and over again at their favorite stores. Designing a customer loyalty program is a great way to show your customers that they are valued and ensure that consumers will continue to return to your store. If your customers feel like you appreciate their business, and you offer them something substantial, a customer loyalty program goes a long way.

Customer loyalty programs are intended to provide rewards to your company’s “best” customers. However, those loyalty cards or memberships will remain untouched if you don’t provide something worthwhile. Customer loyalty programs work the best when your customers are offered great deals and incentives to join. In order for your customer to utilize your program, you must provide them with some worthwhile deals.  You need to give your customers a reason to sign up for your customer loyalty program. They shouldn’t be receiving the same offers and discounts that every other customer is receiving. Truly reward customers for being part of your program and show them that you appreciate their continued business.

If you’re wondering what the point of customer loyalty programs are, here are a few reasons you should consider starting one for your company.

Lets customers know they are valued. Many consumers want to feel some sort of connection with the companies they’re purchasing from. They want to know their business is valued, especially if they’re a repeat customer. A loyalty program allows you to reward your customers in a way that makes them feel like you’re looking out for their best interests.

Encourages repeat business. A customer will be more likely to return to your business for products and services if they know they will be racking up points in your customer loyalty program. If you’re thinking about going to a frozen yogurt place, for example, you’ll be more likely to return to the one that you have a loyalty card with. If you’re close to a free reward with one place, you’re not going to suddenly switch over to another frozen yogurt place. This helps your customers feel connected to your business and keeps them coming back for me.

Helps collect customer information. You can learn a lot about your customer base by collecting information through a customer loyalty program. Loyalty programs enable you to collect more extensive customer information up-front, but perhaps more importantly, they allow you to gather detailed information on purchasing behavior as your loyal customers rack up points. This information will help you build stronger marketing campaigns, based on who is signing up and how they are using your products. Overall, a customer loyalty program could provide strong research for your marketing strategy.

Promotes word-of-mouth advertising. A loyalty card is a great way to get other people asking about your business. Not only do customer loyalty programs consistently remind customers of your products and services every time their open their wallets, it will also get other people interested. Satisfied customers will be more likely to tell their friends and families about a good loyalty program.

There are several ways to create a customer loyalty program. With mobile devices so widely utilized, it’s important you keep those devices in mind. Giving people a way to access their customer loyalty accounts online, and keep track of their points and offers, is of utmost importance. Here are a few ways to build your own customer loyalty program.

1) Create loyalty cards or punch cards. If you run a retail store, punch cards work very well. Giving customers a hole punch on their card every time they spend $20 in your store, for example, will lead to customers returning to get their reward. Once they hit a certain spending threshold, you can give them a certain percentage off, or give away a free item. Offering incentives to shop at your store will bring in more business.

2) An opt-in email program. By giving you their email address, customers can easily sign up for your customer loyalty program, and they can receive loyalty perks right to their email account. Many customers prefer to receive offers digitally, so they might be willing to opt-in to your email loyalty program. Use their email addresses to remind them of their points and how much they need to spend to get to the next level of the rewards program.

3) A direct mail campaign. Having customers sign up by giving their physical address allows you to send discounts and coupons through direct mail. Once they’ve signed up to your loyalty program, you can send them offers that will bring them back to your store. Once your customers reach a certain level of your loyalty program, you can send them the corresponding offers. Design a direct mail piece that shows them they’re a unique and privileged customer, since they are part of your loyalty program.

A customer loyalty program not only reminds your customers that they are appreciated, but it gives them a good reason to keep purchasing from your business. It’s also a great way to ensure that consumers will choose your products and services over your competitors’. Creating long-term loyalty with your customers can really pay off.