Businesses often use marketing gimmicks to promote and encourage reuse of their products and services by clients. In a world where customer is king and they can and do, vote with their feet, business owners need to find ways to encourage repeat custom and entice new customers.
Loyalty and membership cards
Loyalty or membership cards are not just the preserve of big business. Using plastic cards as loyalty cards is big business and small business owners can benefit from them just as much as their larger counterparts. These cards can be printed to your own bespoke design and come with a terminal to allow you to add points to a customer’s card. You can also invest in some software which will allow you to analyse customer data and act on the information you can glean from it.
Research has shown that a large proportion of a company’s sales come from a small proportion of repeat business and it actually costs more to secure new custom than it does to retain repeat business. It is a good idea to capture your customer’s details through a loyalty or membership card from their very first transaction with you. Loyalty cards are popular with consumers if they provide meaningful rewards and the ability to tailor a customer’s rewards based on their purchase history is invaluable. You get repeat business and the customer gets discounts or offers that they can actually use and benefit from.
Advantages of a loyalty card
People like to get bargains, discounts or the occasional thing for free. It makes a customer feel valued and the personal touch these cards can offer on a customer by customer basis is invaluable. If a customer knows that by shopping with you they can accrue points or other rewards, then they are much more likely to make sure they go to instead of a rival offering the same items or services. The ability to earn rewards is enough to bring them to you. Placing an expiration date on ‘cashing’ in those rewards can help that customer shop sooner too.
You can track trends in customer spending and members of your loyalty scheme are more likely to leave feedback or fill in customer surveys. You could also set up a system where those who spend more benefit more, with VIP rewards. Send your members regular emails or newsletters and as well as providing information on products and special offers, include useful articles pertaining to your business and the products or services you sell. Contests are also a good way to get people to participate in surveys, or write reviews for your website.
The plastic cards are advertising in themselves as they will carry your business name and logo. They can come in different shapes, although credit card shape is perfect for most wallets or be made into a handy key ring too. This way, more people might catch a glimpse of the card, free advertising! They can be printed on both sides with vibrant colours and you can emboss the member’s name too. The tough plastic means they are extremely durable as well.
Karen Cross writes regularly on small to medium business marketing for a range of business and marketing websites and blogs, including suppliers of custom printed plastic cards.