The global loyalty program market stood at approximately $181 Billion in the year 2019. The market is fast-growing, and it is expected to reach $195 Billion by the end of 2022. This highlights two things –
- There is an increase in the number of organizations allocating their marketing spending on loyalty programs.
- There is an increase in the number of organizations increasing their marketing spending on loyalty programs.
Both the happenings are linked to one key point – to reduce the customer churn! Yes, loyalty programs are proven to strengthen customer relations and thus reduce customer churn.
However, companies that are already having loyalty programs, especially B2B companies, may face challenges when it comes to participation rates!
While we already know that B2B customer loyalty is especially important to maintain repeat customers and increase the customer base. Ensuring maximum customer participation in loyalty programs is a real challenge, and needs immediate attention.
Are you a company brainstorming on ways to boost participation rates for your B2B loyalty programs? This blog will help you.
In this blog, we have covered
- B2B Loyalty Programs: Enrolment vs. Participation
- Strategies to Boost Participation in B2B Loyalty Programs
- How to know if your loyalty program participation is improving
B2B Loyalty Programs: Enrolment vs. Participation
First thing first, enrolment in a loyalty program is different from participation. A customer may join (enroll) in a loyalty program. But later, they may not take part in it! Let us discuss it in detail –
Most organizations come up with attractive schemes to encourage their customers to join them. However, they end their job there, which costs low participation in the program.
Statistics show that of 14.8 enrolments in loyalty programs, only 6.7% of them are active. Getting customers to join your loyalty program means nothing if they are not active – it would turn out to be a total waste of the effort and resources invested in it. Loyalty programs are aimed at keeping the customers engaged, and if that does not happen, then there is no purpose to it.
There could be several reasons for the ‘high enrolment but low participation rates.’ And it is a sign that you have to re-evaluate and rework your strategies and make the loyalty program more engaging.
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Strategies to Boost Participation in B2B Loyalty Programs
Participation rates can drop dramatically if your loyalty program is not encouraging enough. Remember that your job does not end with creating a robust loyalty program. Your next job would be to ensure that your customers enroll and also participate in the program.
Here are a few proven strategies to encourage participation –
1. Make sure that your customers understand the program
The key to participation in the loyalty program is the ease of understanding. You may have a great idea for a loyalty program, but how you are presenting it to your customers also plays a vital role. Promoting an exciting loyalty program is exciting. However, if the participation rates are impacted if the program and the benefits are not easy to understand.
81% of the members belonging to loyalty programs voice out that they seek ease of understanding from the program.
Consider this and make sure that your program is easy to understand and that the benefits and the terms and conditions are well highlighted. You could be taking help from explainer videos or ads to do so.
This explainer video by TRW Diamonds is one of the most impressive examples. It is for its loyalty program, TRW Diamonds. The video talks about who it is for and why one should be a part of it.
2. Come up with different ways to earn loyalty points
As a B2B company, you may be having a subscription-based business model, and the frequency of purchases may be less as the customers opt for half-yearly or annual packages. In such scenarios, loyalty programs that reward only when you make a purchase may not be engaging enough. So what do you do about it?
Come up with different ways for your customers to earn points. For instance, you could give them points for a testimonial, for referring your business to a friend, or on special occasions like their company’s anniversary, etc. Setting up point milestones – rewarding them upon achieving a certain level – is another way to keep them engaged.
Lenovo uses a clever way to reward its customers for participating through the incentive program of educating its customers. For its loyalty program, Lenovo came up with two ways for its participants to earn points and rewards –
- Learn and earn – Business partners get to earn points for completing their educational modules.
- Sell and earn – Business partners could earn points for their sales performance.
3. Highlight the reward status
Remember the days when you saved money in a piggy bank? You would weigh it from time to time to find out how full it got. It is similar to business transactions, and loyalty programs are not an exception! Both B2Bs and B2Cs can use this strategy of ‘highlighting the reward status’ to encourage the customers to participate in the program.
When you provide a place for them to check on the reward/ point status, they visit your site more frequently, and this will also increase the probability of purchases. Not just a portal for them the check the reward status, sending them timely statements via text or email is also an excellent idea to keep them informed and interested.
4. Make it easy for them to redeem their points
Map out a clear plan on how your customers can enroll, participate and redeem the points. Difficulties during the redemption would discourage your customers and lead them to disengage with your loyalty program. To address this problem, you could start by having a dedicated portal where they can check the status and also redeem the points.
On this, we love the user-friendly portal offered by Celebrity Cruises. Travel agents registered in their loyalty program can easily access and redeem their reward points on the portal.
5. Offer personalized rewards
The best way to keep your customers engaged and earn their loyalty is by making sure that they feel special. For this, you can either build a ladder program where they climb up based on the points they earn or offer unique experiences based on your interactions with them. Advancing your personalization strategy is one of the best ways to ensure maximum participation in your customer loyalty programs.
One of the best examples is the membership program offered by the cloud-native computing foundation. It offers different statuses to its members – silver, gold, and platinum-based on their participation.
6. Make sure that you take regular feedback
Customers just love brands that take feedback and act upon it! It is also the case with loyalty programs! It is always a great idea to take feedback from your customers and reflect on it. It is a gesture that will help them understand you better. Come up with questionnaires and surveys to understand what they feel about your loyalty program.
How to know if your loyalty program participation is improving
To judge the effectiveness of your loyalty program, you will have to look at the redemption rate.
Redemption rate = Total points redeemed/ Total number of points earned by the customer
Keeping an eye on the redemption rate will also help you understand if your customers are engaged in the program or if they have lost interest in it. At the same time, an increase in redemption rate points to an increase in customer participation in the loyalty program.
Participation rates largely depend on whether your program is easy to find, simple to join, and attractive to engage with.33
Already launched a loyalty program? Great! Now, remember to keep encouraging your customers to participate in the program. We have already discussed the strategies that would help you out! Use them to get the most of your B2B loyalty programs.
Shivani is a talented CS manager with the skillsets to elicit, scope and manage end-to-end B2B SaaS project delivery. She has a keen interest in depicting her learnings in customer success by writing resourceful blogs and articles.
Published June 02, 2022, Updated August 04, 2022