The Convenience Retail Loyalty Playbook – Chapter 6: Powerful Promotions

Paula Thomas, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes


The Convenience Retail Loyalty Playbook has been written to help retailers using our loyalty platform to get the best possible results from their loyalty program. Summarized chaper 6, this video explains our top ten tips to powerful promotions with your loyalty program members. 

Interested in reading more? Check out the loyalty playbook’s chapters below: 

Chpater 1: Introduction
Chpater 2: Customer Connection Cycle
Chapter 3: How to Wow (Part 1 & Part 2
Chapter 8: Rewarding With Stamps 
Chapter 4: Recruiting Members 
Chapter 9: Rewarding With Points
Chapter 5: Engaging Your Members 
Chapter 10: Success with Subscriptions 
Chapter 6: Powerful Promotions 
Chapter 11: How to Effectively Analyse Your Loyalty Program
Chapter 7: In-Store Excellence 
Chapter 12: Operating Your Loyalty Program Successfully 

We love to share our knowledge! Explore the full Convenience Retail Loyalty Playbook by downloading it here 

Powerful Promotions

With your engagement strategy in place, our next steps is to ensure you create a compelling promotional plan to drive awareness, trial, purchase and repeat purchase of your key products. After all, the purpose of your loyalty programme is to drive profitable behaviour changes. 

As always, we’ve created a checklist of our top ten tips to successfully promote your products, so this chapter outlines out top ten tips to ensure you have a fully optimised promotional plan.

Key Principles for Powerful Promotions

Our experience shows that the best loyalty programmes balance their “always-on” concepts with more tactical and exciting campaigns that are relevant and personalised. Your promotional calendar needs to be simple enough to understand, yet dynamic enough to excite. 

We also see an increasing importance in combining both transactional and emotional concepts – connecting with customers in ways that appeal to them on both a practical and on a human level. These top ten tips will explain how.

Top Ten Tips for Powerful Promotions

  1. Create consistent concepts that members learn to love and look forward to. The idea is to run simple campaign concepts that the customer learns. For example, if you create a campaign called ‘Treats Tuesdays”, members will realise that there is always a reason to open up the app on Tuesdays because there will be something new. The clear and consistent communication reduces the need for push notifications and you enjoy app openings by design. Other ideas such as “deal of the day, deal of the week” etc are strong winning concepts that are proven to be effective, so even your suppliers will want to join in. 
  2. Permanent headline promotion: As well as certain days and times for campaigns, a consistent value proposition such as “Always 50% off” is a headline that everyone can understand, anticipate and enjoy. With a permanent promotional section like this, you teach members that there is always something for ½ price, and suppliers can also plan to support your programme at key times of year. 
  3. Exclusive Member Pricing: Members love when products are available at preferential pricing no matter how many times they buy – just for being a member. It’s particularly useful to focus on key categories that also build your brand – such as healthy eating. The longer term promotions on new or strategic products can take time for customers to try, but once they do, customers love to tell each other about them. We see great success using this approach for private label food products as well as suppliers who have agreed to become partners for your programme, for your mutual benefit. 
  4. Focus on your programme’s currency: Some programmes use points, some use coupons, and some use stamps. For simplicity, whatever base currency you use to reward your customers, you should also use for promotional purposes. The more consistency you create, the better your customers will learn and respond.  If you use stamps, try double stamp coupons. If you prefer points, create double/triple points for specific products, categories or specific days. Linking your promotions to the core or foundation of your program is more strategic long-term, and also cheaper for you to operate. This avoids the need for deep discounts so the customer pays full price, but gets more stamps. You can also drive purchases of specific products with bonus points and stamps or even specific “double points days” to drive footfall at quieter times.  We also recommend using your programme’s core currency to incentivise cross-sell and product trials in new categories that customer’s can explore.
  5. Create campaign templates that you can re-use to operate efficiently. We recommend designing at least ten templates for the most common campaigns you will do again and again. Lean loyalty program operations are key to any marketing team. By creating one library of graphics and POS settings that are fully tested and working perfectly, you can then easily schedule the same campaign in new campaign periods over and over again. This also includes approvals from key strategic supplier partners who will always be keen to run new campaigns, so these templates should be valid for at least 12 months, and be ready to use for both new products and mature products. 

6) Focus on Fun: Many of our promotional campaigns succeed because customers find them fun! We have created an entire library of games that tempt and tease your members in ways that they love. The true power of gamification is to drive urgency and exclusivity, while promoting your products in a way that really stands out. We use game concepts such as “hurry” or “chicken” or “how long do you dare to wait?” where the deals get better and better, but the richer the offer, the more likely that stock will run out! And not only do members love them, suppliers do too – any of our digital games can be used to drive sampling, brand awareness and engagement in a way that no other channel can offer.

7) Create your own happy hour: Customers readily understand the idea of a happy hour, so this feature is a clever way to allow coupons to run exactly between the times of your choice. You can focus on specific weekdays when your store is usually quiet, or a specific time of the day or a combination of both.

8) Sharing is Caring: One of the most appealing concepts within our loyalty platform is the ability to create a community connection between your members and their friends and family, using our “sharing” feature. It’s good for new products, good for brands and great for you the retailer. The ideas is to create “share & care content” – promotions that can only be shared. The member cannot use it herself, but she can give it away to a friend. This creates word of mouth, collaboration, buzz and a real sense of community. What better way to create emotional loyalty, with people talking together about your brand, your app, your program and your products. The feature can be designed using free vouchers, rebate coupons, games or even points and stamps and when they have shared, the original “gifting” member herself can be rewarded for her generosity.

9) Personalise content with the power of machine learning. Our machine learning model allows you to combine member insights such as demographics, purchase patterns and usage data alongside complementary insights such as day part, day of the week and weather data. The more campaigns you run, the more our machine learning algorithms can personalise your offers so that every user gets their preferred content first.

10) Use push notifications cleverly and consistently. No matter how great your programme is, it can’t succeed without consistent communications that capture your customer’s attention.  Every great relevant offer, every new game and every great “share and care” concept deserves a great “push notification” campaign to ensure a fantastic build up. And don’t forget to build these in to the overall lifecycle of your programme, from welcome messages, to birthday messages, to new coupon announcements, as well as reminders on key campaigns, that are intelligently triggered and sent only to members who have not claimed a reward they are entitled to. Our experience shows that push notifications are the most powerful tool for any digital programme owner, so make sure you use them cleverly and consistently for optimum results.

Checklist for Powerful Promotions 

This chapter’s checklist as below will help you focus on creating powerful promotions. Use this simple guide to check that you are running great promotions that your members understand and enjoy. 

About Us:

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialising in the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.

How we do it:

We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.

Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.

One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.

Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:

About Me:

Paula Thomas

Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Loyalty Industry Podcaster

With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing consulting, managing consumer loyalty propositions, strategy and operations. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2 Priority, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer Group (UAE), as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a former judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards and host of the “Let’s Talk Loyalty” podcast.



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