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Loyalty schemes - right for your business?

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Loyalty schemes - right for your business?

Ali Golds

I love loyalty schemes - who doesn't love getting something for free? I remember the last Sainsburys 'swipe and win' promotion for instance; I won £47.50! Yes, £47.50! For just swiping my card when I bought something. Well, four things actually. But you get my drift.

However, not everyone is a fan of loyalty schemes and they can be tricky to run for micro-businesses. So how could you make a scheme work for both your business and your clients?

The first thing to do is identify why you actually want one. What is it going to bring to your business, and what will it give to your clients? 

From your point of view, a loyalty scheme can give you information that you might not otherwise get from clients. I find them endlessly fascinating; think about what the supermarkets and high street retailers find out about you as a customer:

  • Your buying habits show them, for instance, whether you have children (and roughly what age they are), pets (and what type) and a vehicle
  • Your address tells them what socio-economic group you're in; which in turn gives them information on things like the type of car you drive, where your children go to school, what jobs you/your partner might have
  • They can also glean information about holidays, insurance, healthcare and hobbies
  • Plus LOADS more

All from one little piece of plastic and a registration form.

The above pieces of information may or may not be of interest to you in your particular business, but loyalty schemes can be useful to find out when clients buy, what they buy and what other products/services that you sell might suit.

Of course, if you sell a handful of products to a handful of clients then a loyalty scheme isn't likely to be of much use to you and you can find out the things you want about clients by checking your sales records and sending surveys every so often.

And from your clients point of view? If you're offering discounts, freebies, exclusive invitations, earlybird offers and other promotional goodies; they're likely to be interested. Most of us are happy to give our details over to get something special in return. Just be clear on what it is you want!

So if you want to launch a scheme, what would you offer? What would it cost, and what would be the value, and use, of the information that you get in return? If there's no apparent pay-off, then leave it as an idea on the shelf for another day. But if you can see the merits, get planning. Research any competitor offers, as well as offers from other industries, and make sure that you have a fabulous marketing strategy running alongside to get the most out of it.

Good luck!

Want some help devising a loyalty scheme for your clients? Get in touch!

www.creativebizdev.co.uk