Incorporating a Customer Loyalty Program into Your Marketing Plan
Once your small business is off of the ground and running, you'll find that it may be necessary to start tweaking your marketing plan in order to keep up the growth. Although your plan might be working smoothly at the moment, there is always room for improvement. Constantly thinking of ways to keep your marketing plan innovative, will help you bring in more customers.
One way that you can attract new clients to your small business, as well as improve customer retention, is through a loyalty program. Many companies eventually institute customer loyalty programs in order to keep their clientele happy, as well as reach out to other groups of consumers. Although more large corporations are investing smaller amounts in customer loyalty programs, this marketing tactic can still be effective for small business owners, according to USA Today.
Often, big companies try to offer numerous benefits to consumers through loyalty programs, which can be confusing and seemingly unnecessary to clients. For this reason, it doesn't always work out perfectly for large businesses. However, small business owners have the opportunity to think on a more minimal scale. Entrepreneurs are continuing to find marketing success through simplistic loyalty tactics that allow them to reach out to customers in a unique way.
There are a couple of different customer loyalty program plans that can be easily put into place by entrepreneurs without spending a lot of money. Best of all, many of these methods are tried and true, meaning that small beading business owners can expect to see some positive results if they choose to go forward with these plans.
One of the easiest customer loyalty programs out there is to offer a "get one free" option when a customer spends a certain amount of money. Although this incentive translates into a consumer having to buy more in order to reap the benefits, it can still motivate clients to return to your small beading business in the future.
If you want to be more generous, consider offering a cash incentive to your customers for spending a certain amount instead. This might seem like a more costly loyalty program, but it can draw more customers than just offering a "get one free" option. For example, give customers a $5 credit at your store if they spend $50. You'll be surprised as how many people are willing to hit that limit.
If you're still hesitant about offering people free cash through a customer loyalty program, think about providing complementary services to your reliable clients. For instance, you might want to offer a free jewelry repair to your customers who spend at least $100 at your business over time. If you operate an online business, you could always provide free shipping to customers who spend a certain amount of money. These are subtle, easy ways to keep consumers coming back for more.
Once you decide on a customer loyalty program that works for your beading business, there are a couple things to keep in mind. Entrepreneur.com says that there are many things that could easily turn consumers off to the idea of your customer loyalty program. For example, spamming your email list with messages about your discounts can automatically make you annoying to the recipients. Worst case scenario, these clients might even ask to be removed from your email list - not only does this hurt your customer loyalty program but your client retention rate.
Inc.com also notes that it is important for you to evaluate the cost of your customer loyalty program and compare it to your return on investment. Often, amateur entrepreneurs make the mistake of offering too many discounts too quickly. Doing so can hurt your finances and furthermore, it won't pay off in the form of more customers.
Instead, softly pitch your loyalty program to customers and let them decide for themselves. Post information about the discounts on your company website or your social networking profiles. In your routine email newsletter, casually mention the sale rather than making the entire message about it. You'll be surprised at how effective these little tactics can be.
As always, don't forget to make a detailed plan for this marketing endeavor. You should ideally have a timeline for your customer loyalty program and a set of goals you wish to achieve by a deadline. This will help you stay on track and gauge whether a loyalty program is right for your small beading business. Although you may end up finding that it isn't a good fit for your company, it's a lesson worth learning and can help you plan better for the future.
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