A good loyalty program is the key to success for businesses. Not only does it encourage customers to frequently spend money at your business, but it keeps loyal customers coming back. Loyalty programs are not new and have been around for quite some time. However, once they made the switch to being digital, that’s when the game completely changed.

With some digital loyalty programs, you need to get your customers to sign up in-store or download an app. This can be tough for businesses that are new at learning to promote these features. We want everyone to enjoy the benefits of loyalty programs, so here are some easy ways to get your customers to join your digital loyalty program.

Make the Signup Process Easy

We’ve probably all been in that situation when you shop at a store and they get you to sign up for their loyalty program. Sometimes the process is as easy as giving them your email address but often times you’re required to fill out five minutes’ worth of information while there’s a line of angry customers behind you. Your loyal customers will want to sign up for your loyalty program, but not if they know that it takes forever to actually do it.

Make sure the digital loyalty program that you choose to implement has an easy signup process before you decide to get it. You will be thanking yourself later when your cashiers don’t fear having to ask customers for their information.

Engage with Customers at Checkout

This one goes hand in hand with making your sign-up process easy. As a former retail employee, I understand how uncomfortable it can be at times to ask someone if they want to “sign up for rewards”. However, now there are so many ways that you can ask a customer without making the employee or the customer feel awkward. Here are some questions that have been shown to increase customer sign-ups.

• Do you have any rewards to redeem today?

This question will make the customer curious because they will then realize that there are other customers redeeming awards and getting “free stuff”. This question also prompts customers to inquire further about your loyalty program and how it works. Then, once you’ve had them interested enough to sign up, you show them how simple your sign-up process is.

• Are you a member of our rewards program?

This question is straightforward because there are only two ways to answer it. Either they say yes or they say no and from there, your employee will make the next step. Encourage your employees to also take this as an opportunity to provide information about the program, instead of mindlessly gathering customer information.

• Do you have a/an ___ account?

This is a slightly fancier way to ask and doesn’t sound as much like you’re asking if they are part of your loyalty program.

On a side note, it's important that your employees are asking your customers one of these questions every time. That's why it's important to teach them these variations and have them be comfortable asking customers.

Train your Employees How to Promote your Loyalty Program

Your employees are your loyalty program's number one promoters. It will be very difficult for your program to survive if there isn't anyone directly advertising it to customers. It would be beneficial to conduct a meeting or brief training to get all your employees up to speed on your loyalty program. This gives you the chance to teach them all about the features and to get prepared to answer a variety of questions from customers.

Here are just a few details your employees should know:

-The loyalty program's reward structure

-How the app/program works

-How to overcome customer's objections to signing up

-What to do during a rush. Have a plan for busy days/rush hour and decide if it's a top priority to still ask customers about the reward program

-Answers to frequently asked questions

-All the rewards and point levels

-Basic "pitches" on what to say to customers

It might also be beneficial to have a "cheat sheet" or something small that your employees can refer to. This can be simple and include a basic question to ask customers and a brief layout of the reward tiers.

Provide Innovative Additions

Loyalty programs are great, but now that they've gone digital, there is so much more that you can do with them. Your customers are going to be more likely to sign up for your program if they can do things with yours that other businesses don't offer.

For example, try running "double" points events where customers can earn double, triple or quadruple points if they shop during a certain weekend or day. This will give you some control on keeping customers coming back, even during slow periods. You can also utilize this during the holidays. For example, if you are a pizza restaurant, try offering double points over the Fourth of July to encourage customers to buy your product for their festivities. However, you will need to make sure these are all clearly advertised. You can try running email campaigns and advertise it on your social media.

Another great addition would to have birthday rewards or extra points if they follow your business on social media and share it. These are easy ways for your customers to get points, and it's free advertising for you.

Offer Unique Rewards

Some businesses lack creativity in the rewards category of their loyalty program. While getting 5-10% off on purchases is great, take it up a notch and offer free items. If you're a restaurant, this could be a free appetizer or free medium pizza once they hit the required amount of points. These are more enticing for your customers to work towards and will keep them coming back.

Here is an example of what type of rewards you can include in your program.

Starbucks is also known for having a very well rounded rewards program. Here is a glimpse as to what they offer with their reward program members.

If your customers haven't had the chance to speak to any of your knowledgable employees about your amazing loyalty program, advertise it on your social media. You can try using some quality templates for social media promotions. Here is a website that has thousands of templates, and the best part is that it's free!

If you have already started advertising it on your social media, you can have promotional posters or signs at your registers to remind customers about it. They might even serve as conversation starters if your customers see a sign for "Double Points Weekend" or "Have you redeemed your free ___?"

Having an innovative and all-in-one loyalty program is going to keep your customers coming back. At Loyal, we recognize the importance that a great digital loyalty program plays in a business. Check out our site to see how we can make a digital loyalty program that your customers love. As if it couldn't get any better, did we mention that it's free?