How Personalized Rewards Communications Can Build Revenue and Retention

The retail world is still recovering from a difficult 2020 that saw brick and mortar business turn digital overnight and new acquisitions grind to a halt. While most brands were already preparing for the transition before COVID-19 struck, the dramatic shift to both e-commerce and a retention-heavy strategy left many brands reeling. As the uncertainty of last year leads to a return to normalcy in 2021, the organizations that invested in their rewards programs and loyal customers are in an enviable position to rebound from last year’s chaos.

In Movable Ink’s recent eBook, Retention in Luxury Retail: Launching an Impactful Luxury Loyalty Program, we outlined the uphill battle many brands face this year. With consumers “turning to the internet to find the best deals before making their purchases, and price being the driving force behind these decisions, loyalty is harder to maintain.” E-Commerce is a double-edged sword, but one brands will rely on heavily this year. While online sales can cause a boom in new customers, it’s also much more difficult to retain them.

The Role of Rewards Programs in Retention Strategy

E-Commerce is a growing, but moving, target. Consumers have become more tech-savvy, taking the time to search the internet when making new purchases. The result is a more competitive landscape, where the value of customer loyalty is at an all-time high.

Retention is at the forefront of every 2021 marketing strategy, making loyalty programs that communicate value to new and existing consumers an essential aspect of every consumer brands’ business model. One brand embracing this is Philosophy, the skincare and cosmetics company, who designed a personalized customer rewards program that engages consumers, gamifies the process, and individualizes the experience. Their 1:1 loyalty emails offer gratitude to existing consumers while communicating a points structure that encourages repeat purchases.

Integrating Consumer Data into Personalized Communications

Philosophy wanted to leverage their existing rewards program to drive more sales and retention. That required building a sophisticated email campaign that went beyond the simple “first name” personalization, instead creating an automated monthly email with complex customer data. The creative graphics and lighthearted tone displayed individual information on a member’s rewards tier and the points needed to leap into the next tier.

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The graphics were gamified to create a “Gratitude Meter” that was divided into three tiers based on points a shopper earned. The email then offered suggested items based on shopping habits that would help push a customer into the next tier of rewards.


Combining Sophisticated Consumer Data with Customer Advocacy

The data collected in an omnichannel loyalty program helps retailers identify their most high-value customers and acknowledge them. Philosophy’s reward communications reward consumers with the kind of recognition that goes a long way to build consumer advocacy. Their rewards program is a “Gratitude Scale” with tiers broken down into three levels: Optimistic, Confident, and Empowered.

Philosophy’s purpose-built, data-integrated emails combine innovative data usage with simple, powerful messaging that recognizes and appreciates consumer loyalty. As brands build their personalized emails and mobile messaging, it’s best to follow suit and translate complex data into compelling visuals that promote emotional connections.

Final Thoughts

Brands are now relying heavily on loyalty programs, mobile applications, eCommerce, and other data-driven tools to drive sales in a still-recovering economy. With Movable Ink and the Customer Engagement Data Platform from Emarsys, marketers can tap into their loyalty data and transform it into a personalized, loyalty visualization and encourage customers to earn more points, move to the next rewards tier, and ultimately build a stronger connection to your brand.

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