How to Maximize Customer Engagement with Loyalty Programs

How Loyalty Programs Maximize Customer Engagement with Customers

How do you move customers from one-time buyers to super fans? That is your primary job if you are part of the customer acquisition or customer retention team. To retain customers, you need to create loyalty by engaging them and upselling and cross-selling other products. And if you do not do a great job, well, your job is on the line.

So, how do you limit churn? It is all about building and nurturing a customer relationship. It is about creating a positive customer experience that will make customers enjoy buying from you, feel good about themselves, and engage with your brand. 

Here are three things to do to encourage customer loyalty.  

Kickstart the Relationship Post-Transaction 

Find ways to reach out, recognize, and reward customers after they complete a transaction. To do this, you should foster two types of loyalty: rational and emotional loyalty. Rational loyalty is transactional, earning the loyalty of customers who value extrinsic motivators through incentives and discounts. Emotional loyalty is behavioral, earning their loyalty through intrinsic motivators that make them feel valued and understood. This is when customers feel “brand love.”

You can build emotional loyalty through:

  • Customer experience. Your customers must enjoy their experience buying from you. They must also be happy with your customer support. If they like their experience, they will likely stick with you.
  • Communications. Use multiple channels to connect with your customers. The more often you interact with them, the more chances you have to influence their experience.
  • Community. The most-loved brands have successfully cultivated a community of fans. Organize an online community, user groups, and live events where customers can engage with you and other brand advocates.

Add an Emotional Aspect into Your Loyalty Program

How Loyalty Programs Maximize Customer Engagement with Customers

Your loyalty program may revolve around rational loyalty. However, you can also create emotional loyalty with your rewards program. One way is to offer incentives that are emotionally resonant. For example, experience-based rewards such as vacations and events stimulate positive emotions.

Other ways you can do this are:

  • Exclusivity. Your loyalty program members will feel special if you give them exclusive offers unavailable to other customers. This could be limited-edition merchandise or a product variant just for them.
  • Early Access. If you have a sale or are launching a product, give loyal members early access, perhaps with additional discounts. Giving them this kind of privilege increases their feelings of importance.
  • Priority. You can give a priority lane for loyal or high-value customers, whether it’s at your store or on your help desk. Offer an exclusive hotline, faster response time, or access to a live agent,
  • Premium Status. Offer more perks and benefits to higher-tier customers. Notify them if they are moving closer to the next level to generate excitement.

Make Your Loyalty Program Engaging 

A loyalty program gives you multiple opportunities to engage with your audience and nurture a relationship. And it permits you to interact with them. However, not all loyalty programs work. Make yours engaging using:


Customers want you to recognize them as individuals, so they expect loyalty programs to be personalized. Eighty-six percent of consumers say that personalization influences what they buy. One way is to ask them for feedback through surveys so they have an opportunity to be heard.


While you want to reward customers who make new or repeat purchases, spending more should not be the only way to earn points. Thirty-eight percent of consumers dislike this limitation about loyalty programs. Other ways you can reward them with points are when they share on social media, do a product review, refer customers, subscribe to your newsletter, download your app, and more.


Discounts should not be the only way to reward customers. It would be best if you also offered your customers a choice in redeeming the reward types they like. It could be free tickets to events, free subscriptions, restaurant vouchers, and more.


Not all rewards need to be fixed and expected. Surprise and delight your loyal customers with a discount, promo, or freebie every now and then. They will associate your brand with these positive emotions.


Make your loyalty program fun and addicting by incorporating game design, such as goals, points, bonuses, levels, and the like. Make sure they get prompts or notifications whenever they earn them or move up to the next level.


Consumers are willing to pay more and spend more on brands that share the social, environmental, and political issues they care about. Give them opportunities to redeem points to donate to charities or causes they support.

Create an Engaging Loyalty Program

How Loyalty Programs Maximize Customer Engagement with Customers

If your loyalty program has fallen flat, or you are considering starting one that will engage your customers, talk to us to get a fresh perspective to help build or improve your program.

Online Rewards is a versatile and powerful incentive and loyalty marketing solutions provider. We have the best rewards catalog in the industry, enabling you to offer exciting and emotionally resonant incentives to nurture your loyal customers.

Fill out the form below to contact us and learn more about creating a loyalty program that truly engages.



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Online Rewards is a highly versatile and powerful incentive and loyalty marketing solutions provider.  Since its formation in 2002, Online Rewards has designed, developed, and supported global rewards and incentives programs across a variety of industries and applications.

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