The Convenience Retail Loyalty Playbook – Chapter 5: Engaging Your 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 5, this video explains our top ten tips to engage with your loyalty program members.

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

Chapter 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 

Engaging Your Members

With a clear and effective recruitment strategy in place, the second priority for your new loyalty programme is to develop an equally powerful plan to engage with your members.

As always, we’ve created a checklist of our top ten tips to successfully engaging, so simply follow this step-by-step plan to ensure you have a fully optimised programme.

Key Principles for Successfully Engaging Customers

Our best advice for any loyalty programme professional is to treat your customers the same way you’d like to be treated. While your commercial objectives are critical to the business and the reason for investing your time and money in a loyalty programme, the strategy has to be balanced with a genuine commitment to being loyal TO your customers before you can expect them to be loyal to you.

Your goal should centre on ensuring your members feel welcome, that the programme captures their interest, and is always fun and relevant. We also believe it’s important to ensure your members feel seen and special, especially on key days like their birthday, while also enabling them to feel connected – both to your brand and to each other. Let’s discuss how to achieve these goals, using the best features of our loyalty platform with your customer’s interests at the heart of your strategy.

Top Ten Tips to Engaging Your Members

  1. Welcome Your Member. As the first step to onboard your new member, we recommend simply saying “thank you and welcome”. You can also introduce useful features on the app and behaviours that you want to encourage such as “Refer-a-friend”.
  2. First day fun: Let’s immediately engage the new member in an apparent game of chance – but actually it’s one that everyone wins! On day one, our advice is to give the member a prize in the same currency as your programme so they start to learn how it works, allowing them to win points, or perhaps a stamp on the stamp card of your choice. The prize can even be a voucher, so that by buying certain products, they get double stamps or even a massive multiplier like 10X points!
  3. Create a Games Calendar: This is one of the most successful strategies we see. Members love to know there are games to play all year round, especially ones where they can play & win every day. We recommend themed game campaign periods throughout the year with a new chance to win every day, for example new games for each new season (so four times a year) and for two-three weeks each time. For maximum impact, we recommend a mix of prizes, sometimes offering free products, sometimes discount coupons, and sometimes simply using your programme currency such as stamps or bonus points. By combining these concepts, your members can enjoy a high probability of winning, while you control the total availability of prizes across the whole campaign period.
  4. Plan Your Prize Strategy: It’s important to ensure your programme is fully stocked with prizes all year round so your prize strategy must include two essential elements. Firstly, your game prizes must be based on the core foundation of program, whether its points, stamps, or even a surprise rebate if they are subscribing to a monthly spend on coffee or car wash. Remember, it’s cheaper to use points or stamps as prizes rather than always free products. Our second recommendation is to work closely with your suppliers to allow them to reward your customers with their products at no cost to your budget. This can be negotiated by showcasing their products to your audience, keeping them top of mind all year round. Suppliers increasingly recognise the power that retailers now have as a media partner, driving interest in their products directly in your customer’s hands, with their full permission. Let suppliers finance the game campaigns prizes which ensures sampling of their new products, as well as discount vouchers for more mature products. Some big suppliers even have valuable sponsorship assets and can source “money can’t buy” prizes for your customers such as festival tickets, tickets to certain sports events etc. You can also include valuable rewards that you know customer’s love, such as cinema tickets, Netflix codes etc.
  5. Themes and Passions: Create stronger connections with customers by connecting with what they love. For example, national or international football games, Christmas countdowns, Halloween or simply summertime. Learn from the marketing experts like Coca Cola who are always creating excitement around upcoming events where they have great sponsorship assets such as the World Cup, Champions League etc. The same strategies you use in store work brilliantly through your loyalty programme, to help your members celebrate their passions and seasons like summer, Christmas etc.

6) Celebrate Birthdays – Everyone’s birthday is a chance to celebrate them as a valued member of your community, and it’s a unique opportunity for your brand to show your loyalty to your members and how much you appreciate them. Plan a birthday gift and allow them to choose between different rewards, or give them enough points that allow them to spend on something they want. We recommend you are clear about how long this gift is available for – perhaps just on their birthday or for the week afterwards for a bit more flexibility. The generosity of the campaign means you can also use push notifications to offer the reward, and to remind them to use it too!

7) Use the power of push notifications. Perhaps the most powerful tool in any digital loyalty programme – push notifications can be used extensively all year round, particularly “rich” push messages that feature images and emojis. Members love them, particular when you send reminders to use rewards before expiry – as so many members forget! In our busy everyday lives, relevant and engaging messages can truly drive exceptional levels of engagement, so make sure you automate and leverage this tool for success.

8) Sharing and Sociable. The most successful loyalty programmes are much more than the transactional programmes of the past. They also create emotional connections. We have developed delightful concepts that make your program more social, not just about the member herself.

For example, you can allow your members to share her points, stamps, coupons and rewards. This “share & care” concept means members are sent treats they can’t use themselves, instead they share with friends or family, creating a wonderful feeling of a shared community and driving word of mouth referrals too.

9) Ask for Feedback: What better way to let your members feel valued than to ask their feedback on products. Let customers rate your products, especially when you launch new ones, and you’ll enjoy useful insights as well as another engaging conversation with members.

10) Measure What Matters: Our favourite KPI is asking your members whether they’d recommend you to a friend – giving you a “net promoter score”. Use our platform to measure it, monitor it, and let it guide you.

Checklist to Engaging Your Members

This chapter’s checklist as below will help you focus on each element step by step. Use this simple guide to check that you are using every possible tool to engage with your members in ways they love.

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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