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5 Keys to a Successful Rewards Program for Home Business Owners

You can offer free and discounted products to create rewards that drive more sales and improve customer satisfaction.

Ultimately, your long-term business success will depend on your ability to create loyal customers. Loyal customers stick with your business and become repeat purchasers. Returning customers usually spend more on average, which results in a higher profit margin. New customers cost you both marketing time and dollars and generally spend less on their purchase. When you compare the two, it’s easy to see how your business will grow faster if you develop a process for consistently creating loyal customers.

What does it take to make a loyal customer? It’s been said before: a happy customer is a loyal customer. Unfortunately, there is no cookie-cutter happy customer formula that can be applied to every business. The key is to focus on creating an overwhelmingly positive customer experience, that starts with the first interaction and continues throughout the course of your seller-buyer relationship. It really comes down to delivering your own unique mix of a great product, stellar service and ongoing follow up that individually and collectively exceeds customer expectations.

Customer rewards programs have proven to be extremely effective at increasing customer loyalty because they are designed to increase repeat purchases for existing customers. You’ve probably participated on the receiving end of a customer rewards program, they often appear in local businesses as simple “Buy X Products, Get 1 Free” punch cards. While simple rewards programs like these are very effective for smaller bricks and mortar stores, busy network marketers will benefit most from an automated digital rewards program.

Tips for a Successful Loyalty Program

1. Identify Your Goals

Like most marketing initiatives, you should launch your rewards program by setting goals to identify what you want to achieve and to measure your success. The most obvious goal for a rewards program is to increase repeat purchases, you can also structure your program to improve customer satisfaction, move certain inventory, generate referrals or meet a wide variety of sales and marketing goals. You are only limited by your creativity.

Once you’ve identified the areas you would like to improve, turn your goals into S.M.A.R.T. goals by making them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. For instance, one of your rewards program goals could be to increase accessory sales by 3 percent in the 4th Quarter.

2. Define Your Program

Remember those rewards punch cards we spoke of earlier? Well, they work because they are incredibly simple to deploy, manage and participate in. Keep this in mind as you structure a rewards program for your direct sales customers. A complicated rewards program that’s difficult to understand or participate in will only discourage and frustrate your customers. Instead, for the best chance at success, you should look to launch a program that is simple to understand and requires the least amount of effort to participate in and earn rewards. Oh, and it should also be fun!

3. Choose a Desirable Incentive

Your rewards incentive or gift should be something that your customers look forward to receiving. Think of your incentive as the carrot that guides your customers towards taking actions that help you meet your goals. Some reps create a discount offer and some offer corresponding or popular merchandise. It’s important to note that some of the most successful reward incentives offer unique items that customers cannot get anywhere else.

4. Create Ongoing Promotions to Encourage and Increase Participation

The most important key to success for your program is to spread the word as frequently as possible.Send regular email updates to customers participating in the program to update them on their progress and motivate them to continue earning points towards their rewards.

Include a sentence that promotes the program after your signature line in your emails and put it on your invoices and other business communications as well. Encourage your customers to share positive feedback about their rewards on social media for more exposure.

5. Monitor Your Program for Success

Pay close attention to any data that provides insight into your customers’ participation in the program. Is your program attracting your best customers and are they using it on a consistent basis to achieve your rewards? Use your program data and customer feedback to fine-tune your program to increase participation and exceed your goals.

The Ship.com shipping platform for sellers includes a simple rewards program that allows you to assign points for purchases and automatically tracks your customers’ progress. When the designated points have been acquired and the reward level is achieved, your customer receives an automatic notification and you also get a notification to deliver the rewards gift. It’s a “set it and forget it” program that continues to work for you behind the scenes. With the Ship.com platform for sellers, you can quickly and easily create a successful loyalty program that helps you meet your business goals. Create a preliminary program and use it as an opportunity to listen to your customers and build stronger relationships. When your customers see how much you care their loyalty will increase — along with your sales.