Research shows increasing your customer retention rate by five percent has the potential to increase your profit by up to 95 percent. With the potential for a payoff like that out there, it’s absolutely imperative to consider as many ways as possible to hold on to your existing customer base. A proven method of accomplishing this is rewarding repeat customers with special offers in an effort to strengthen your relationship with them. Here are a few examples of winning loyalty programs to consider.
Make Points of Purchases
Perhaps the most common loyalty program, point systems entice customers to make a set number of purchases to earn a valuable reward. The key here is to make it easy as possible. Southwest Airlines had one of the simplest point programs ever devised by an airline. For every 10 flights you took with the airline during a calendar year, you got one free. Take 20 you got two, take 30 you got three, 40 got you four and so on. Easy to understand and easy to redeem it was one of the all time great frequent flyer programs. You can follow the airline’s lead for your ebook store. For every 10 books a customer buys in a year, they get one free. The key is simplicity. People got very upset when Southwest switched to a more complicated program.
No Fears of Tiers
As you’re strategizing ideas for how to sell an ebook online, consider instituting a program in which rewards become more valuable as your customers move farther up the food chain. Let 10 purchases get a customer a relatively inexpensive gift, while 30 garners them a better gift and 50 earns an even more valuable one. You can assign level designations as they make more purchases too. Purchasing 10 items within a certain time period qualifies them for “Silver Status”. Buying 30 makes them “Gold” while 50 turns them “Platinum”. Along with gifts can come ever more desirable perks as customers reach the upper tiers. These can include benefits such as chats with authors, sneak previews of new titles and opportunities to purchase new ebooks before they’re published.
It Pays to Play
Subscriptions and memberships are excellent ways to reward loyalty and get customers to make purchases in advance. Plus, they get a feeling of importance because they belong to your site’s VIP group. Wineries have been doing this with wine clubs for years. Similarly, the Amazon Prime strategy rewards users with fee two-day shipping; free streaming videos and a host of other benefits non-members don’t get. Remarkably, providing Prime benefits costs Amazon more than it makes in fees for them, but it serves as a loss leader. The company loses money on Prime memberships, but more than makes up on the purchases its Prime members make.
A Coalition of the Willing
By partnering with other merchants, you can allow your customers to earn discounts on other products and vice versa. This gives them the ability to turn their book purchases into currency on sites offering other things in which they have interests. Getting to know your clientele will serve you well as you determine what partnerships will be most beneficial. If your site caters primarily to a female shopper, then teaming with other sites offering products in which women are most likely to have an interest can be quite successful. The key is building a willing coalition of partners to which your customer base can relate.
These are the four examples of winning loyalty programs are the most common you’ll find. Of course, there are a number of ways within each category to incorporate your own nuances. This will make it uniquely your own and ideally make participating even more attractive to your ideal customer.