The Convenience Retail Loyalty Playbook – Chapter 4: Recruiting Members

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 from Chapter 4, this video explains our top ten tips to recruiting members to your convenience retail loyalty program. 

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

Chpater 1: Introduction
Chapter 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 

Recruiting Your Members

The first objective for any loyalty programme is to recruit members. This step ensures you have both the permission and the power to communicate with customers even when they are not in your store. A effective recruitment strategy uses a range of tactics to connect with your customers whether they are online, offline or anywhere in between.

Key Principles for Successfully Recruiting Customers

No matter how much your customers like to spend their money in your store, it will never be their intention to join your loyalty programme unless it’s easy, easy, easy.

And by that, we mean that it’s your responsibility to create a programme that is:

  • Easy to understand
  • Easy to decide to join
  • Easy to join

This chapter discusses all of the features available within our loyalty marketing platform to help you recruit your members easily.

We believe if it’s easy for you, it’s easy for them too, so let’s begin.

We’ll start by explaining our top ten easy tactics to recruit members, some that you can action immediately and others you’ll add over time as you continually develop your programme.

Top Ten Tips to Recruiting Your Members

  1. Easy to Join – then Progressive Profiling: The best loyalty programmes know that converting customers to members requires simplicity and patience. The more data you ask for, the fewer people will join. Our recommendation is start by asking for JUST the mobile number. It’s unique, easily remembered and immediately connects your brand to your customer’s world. Over time, other personal details can be added to the customer’s record – a process known as “progressive profiling”. Truly we believe that patience is powerful and as customers begin to enjoy your programme, they will be happy to share more.
  2. Instantly Reward: The “value exchange” has to be fair to the member so don’t forget to incentivise them to join. A free coffee or ice-cream “just for signing up” makes the member feel instantly valued, or you can use points, stamps, coupons or prizes if you prefer – whatever currency your programme uses that will become familiar to your members.
  3. Friends Trust Friends: As you recruit each member and nurture each relationship, you enjoy a unique opportunity to access their network of friends of family members IF they enjoy your programme and genuinely believe others will too. Research shows that we have an average of 40 friends each, so if you can convince each member to connect you with their network, your programme will soar. Remember to use the “refer-a-friend” feature in a prominent way that members understand and use – make it easy to share!
  4. Reward Referrers: While some programmes simply hope that their loyal customers will suggest that others sign up too, the best programmes incentivise the “referring” member and the new “referred” member  – ensuring they both feel good about sharing your brand. In return for a small incentive and set-up cost, you can enjoy a lifetime of value from each new member, while continually rewarding the member who invited them to join on your behalf, and for your ultimate benefit. We’ve also seen that new members who join your programme from a friend’s referral are “stickier” and more valuable than members from advertising campaigns. For the referring member, we recommend that you tie the reward to the same currency and foundation as your program, but whether you decide to award them with points, prizes, products or promotions (the more compelling the better), any reward is better than none. Games can be particularly useful and fun for members, while also allowing you to control the probability of winning.
  5. Reward the Friends Who Accept the Referral: While these new members inherently trust the person who referred them, they will need support, guidance and reasons to trust your brand. Having accepted the programme invitation, you have a short window of opportunity to convince them to engage with your programme. For these members, we recommend an even richer reward than members who join from other channels, preferably using a tangible product they can enjoy even before they begin to understand your programme’s  value proposition and rewards.
  6. Recruit In Store: Your programme communications should create a compelling concept that customers simply can’t miss. Exclusive pricing that’s clearly branded “members only” creates demand and a sense of exclusivity that give your customers a great reason to join. For example, these offers could be branded “WOW” with WOW tags on products in the app as well as on the products in the store. These products should be planned, merchandised and managed so that only your programme members can ever enjoy these exclusive WOW rebates. And don’t forget to ensure your “refer a friend” concept is clearly seen in-store too e.g. remind your coffee customers every time they buy a coffee that they can just refer a friend to get a free one!
  7. Recruit online: Social media platforms offer intelligent marketing solutions that can target customers who have not joined your programme. We recommend using Facebook and Firebase app software development kits to install ads on Google and Facebook for members in the relevant geographical area for your store.
  8. Recruit on wifi: Everyone loves free wifi in stores, so set up a link to your app from your wifi login page or send the link to them by email after they’ve connected. Make it easier for members to use wifi in your stores.
  9. Educate and equip your staff with the tools to recruit for you by ensuring they know and like the programme and can explain its benefits to customers. They should then support them by entering the mobile number on the payment terminal for any unknown card, and everyone wins.
  10. Measure and monitor and share the best recruitment performances by staff in different stores every day. Make sure each member is allocated to a local store so they know how many local members they have at all times. You can then benchmark stores against each other and run recruitment competitions to see which store’s team can grow their membership base by the highest percentage each week and month. You can also benchmark what percentage of transactions are members and which still need to be converted.

Your loyalty programme is a tool to show loyalty TO your customers in order to earn their loyalty in return

Checklist for Recruiting Your Members

Our checklist below will help you focus on each element step by step so use this simple guide to ensure you’re leveraging every possible tool to ensure you have a powerful audience to engage with, that is continually growing.

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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