Running in-house loyalty programs for small businesses comes with many challenges. From deciding what type of reward program to start, figuring out what rewards your customers will care about, advertising the program, to setting up the technology and processes to run the program, businesses are looking at a significant investment in time and resources.

Here are the important steps to take to make sure your loyalty program is successful:


Offer rewards that customers value
Rewarding customers with something they want and care about is key to the success of a loyalty program. After all, consumers are drawn to loyalty programs because they want to receive rewards for their purchases.

It may be difficult to offer rewards that appeal to all consumers, but if a business understands its customer base and considers their preferences, it will be able choose rewards that will resonate best with their target audience.


Deliver a positive customer experience
A smooth customer experience is critical to the success of a loyalty program. A program that is easy for customers to understand and participate in leads to higher rates of satisfaction and program engagement.

Another way to make a loyalty program fun and engaging is to reward customers for online activities such as writing a review, following the company social channels, sharing a post, completing a survey, watching a video, or downloading an app. These actions will help improve user experience as well.


Promote the program and its benefits
If customers are unaware that a loyalty program exists, it will not drive traffic towards a business location or website, influence behaviour or deliver the competitive advantage that businesses are looking for.

It is critical for a business to tell their customers about the benefits of their loyalty program and how/when they will get rewards. The top four ways to promote a loyalty program include the company website, in store, on all marketing materials, and through company employees.


Get staff engaged
Getting staff fully engaged is the secret weapon of success for a business’ loyalty program. When employees are knowledgeable and excited about the program, they are more likely to share it with customers.

Front line staff are the in-house ambassadors, and the more educated and confident they are about the benefits of your loyalty program, the more successful they will be when promoting it to the public as well.


Stay connected
Social media is a great medium to engage with customers and get existing and potential followers to join a loyalty program. Promoting the program on social media is a simple and cost-effective way to let customers know about the loyalty program and any new and exciting offers.

When the company shares stories of customers getting rewarded, winning prizes or other positive experiences it will reach many potential new customers. Emails to a customer database are also a great way to introduce a loyalty program, provide details and get customers excited about the possibility of getting rewards.


Choosing the right type of loyalty program for your business is also very important. Loyalty programs come in many formats and there are benefits and drawbacks to each approach. Some programs are better suited for certain types of businesses and it is certainly not a one-size-fits-all situation.

The AIR MILES® Reward Program has been the top coalition reward program in Canada for over 25 years, is proven to get results and, through AIR MILES INCENTIVES, qualified businesses can adopt it as their reward program in very little time.

Contact us to learn more.