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The first year of your loyalty program can be an amazing experience. The excitement in customer participation, sales growth and redemption rates – a loyalty program could achieve milestone on milestone! From finding ways to personalise communications to the end of the first effective double points campaign, each action and result should set a positive framework for the future.
Even with the glow of a first year, it is important to temper your expectations for the second year of a loyalty program. So much of the growth in that first year is based on the initial uptake, and it’s unrealistic to expect a continued period of escalation to go on forever.
So, what can you expect in the second year of your B2B loyalty program?
We’ve laid out four steps for continued B2B loyalty program success.
Generally, the first year of your B2B Loyalty program will require ongoing adjustment and experimentation as you build an understanding of what it takes to drive success. This important review will create a program baseline and allow better insights to set KPI and targets that you hope to achieve, and give options to introduce more exciting rewards to drive engagement from the customers.
This initial experience is shared between your business and customers as they begin to learn the rules and expectations of the program and the value that can be expected out of participation.
It’s important to remember that, while the growth and uptake may not reflect the first year, the second year can allow you to fine-tune what works and what doesn’t, allowing future success to be more consistent and provide a baseline to work off as you progress.
Without the false expectations of exponential growth, you can begin to see what the program can do to retain customers, keep them engaged with your brand, drive products and sales you want to promote, and work alongside business strategies.
“Many hands make light work”. It’s an old saying, but it’s something we believe in. Collaboration is integral to success – between your business, professionals with knowledge in the industry, and your customers.
We believe that it’s essential, especially within the second year of your program, to work with people who know how these things work. We partner with our clients in a strategic alignment to help design programs that will work to solve existing pain points and create the behavioural change that your brand wants to see from its customers.
We know that no one knows your customer base better than you, when they use your products or services, annual turnover and expected buying habits.
So, what can we bring to the table? A deeper understanding of the person within the business, what they like, what they don’t and how rewards from the loyalty program can drive beneficial outcomes.
These three pillars are necessary to create a sustainable behaviour pattern in your customers that will drive engagement and success long past the initial uptake and boom.
What can you do to retain your customers as essential collaborators past the opening excitement?
As we’ve mentioned, the years following your program’s launch must be met with tempered expectations – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t feel excited about what comes next!
Once we’ve worked together to nail down what your new baseline for a second year, it’s time to work out exactly what you want to use a loyalty program to help achieve your new goals. These may change or evolve from your first year, once your business has seen what the program can deliver.
With clear goals, we then work with your business to ensure that your current messaging is highlighted while re-engaging your participants – something that we work on closely with your business. This collaboration is vital for continued success.
We recently worked closely with a client in the second year of their program, seeing a 199% rise in redemptions and a 124% rise in unique participant redemptions.
This could only occur due to finding an approach that fuelled uptake and revitalised excitement by providing relevant gifts to participants who purchased during an industry-specific timeframe, supported by personalised marketing collateral distributed to segmented customers – all thanks to information gathered in the first year of the program.
While we’ve spent a lot of this blog advising businesses to be cautious in their expectations, it doesn’t mean that the second year of a program is all doom and gloom. With the knowledge and data provided from your launch, it can be simple to review what worked and what didn’t and collaborate on finding ways to isolate and remove the underperforming elements.
Data is so important to the continued B2B loyalty program success. This is where entering year 2 or beyond of a loyalty program gives you a huge range of communications and insight options. For 12 months or more, customers sales, points rates, engagement, and redemptions have been building to define who they are and how they interact with your business.
By segmenting your customers into loyalty cohorts based on their buying habits and activity within your program, your business gains insight into who uses your goods or services, and how they use them. This allows you to direct your strategies into a highly targeted engagement strategy that can boost engagement from your participants.
This data are the keys for continued success, communications or offers by real data – not gut feel or typical seasonality. Actual interactions for the previous period in the loyalty program.
Data analysis allows you to identify the least-engaged participants within your program and communicate directly with them through communication strategies designed to reinvigorate their commitment to the program.
Using offers such as bonus points, updated rewards, or trophy value-driven testimonials, you can find ways to bring your customer’s attention back to your program, keeping your brand front of mind for when they’re ready to purchase again – timing the communications to drop alongside the expected lifespan of the amount of stock they’ve already purchased.
Using data analysis tools such as Power BI alongside insights gained within the first year of program operations will allow you to create strategies to:
The excitement and challenges of launching and maintaining a B2B rewards program is real, but with collaboration from experts, your business can guarantee alignment with goals, as well as take steps towards making those goals into reality.
If you’re interested in seeing what your existing program can do with a more collaborative approach, or just interested in dipping your feet into the loyalty program world, reach out today. 212F makes it our job to help you create lasting behavioural changes in your customers which align with your forecasted business goals.
Whether you’re reflecting, renewing or ready to get your program off the ground, we can help.
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