How to Design a Successful Consumer Incentive Program in 2018

Karrie Lucero
Karrie Lucero
In General
Karrie Lucero is a Content Marketing Manager at Xactly. She earned marketing and journalism degrees from New Mexico State University and has experience in SEO, social media and inbound marketing.

The consumer market is driven by consumer incentive programs. These incentives create relationships and drive brand loyalty across the globe. As a retailer, you must figure out how to differentiate yourself from the competition, and one way to do that is through a consumer incentive program. Of course, it’s also important to understand the incentive for incentives.

Engage Your Customers

To start, you must determine the best ways to build customer loyalty for your company. When designed well, customer incentive programs can help attract new customers and grow customer loyalty. Of course, there are different types of consumer incentives. So, it’s best to start by examining your existing customer base, personas, and prospects to determine which are the most relevant for your company.

Share it With Your Existing Customers

It’s one thing to ask a customer for a review or survey after a purchase. But a successful consumer incentive program should attract new customers and create brand advocates out of existing customers.

When you target your existing customers, you are reaching out to customers you have already established a relationship with and offering incentives that will motivate them to become advocates of your brand. In turn, this can help attract new customers.  For example, you might offer discounts for add-on features or products to current customers, and you might offer rebate rewards or other types of sales promotions to prospects.

Think of your consumer incentive program approach as a method for rewarding customers for being just that–your customer. Your incentives should show appreciation for their input and promotion of your brand. Just be sure to create incentive programs that are relevant to your customer base (both incentives and what you ask them to do) because bad incentives can hurt.

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Utilize Your CRM Data

There’s no point to having a CRM if you aren’t going to use the valuable insights collected. You’ve got customer names, phone numbers, purchase histories, archived conversations and more–so why not use this data to design your consumer incentive program?

Reach out to a proven audience. Talk to your consumers to see if they’d be interested in participating and what types of incentives they’d want in a program. The more data you can collect from your current customers and prospects, the better. Then, you can create customized programs that will really hit home with your target audience.

Make it Easy to Participate in

You want your customer incentive program to be as user-friendly and readily available as possible for anyone who is interested. Every customer should qualify for your incentive program. Saving it for an elite group of people will ultimately, defeat its purpose.

When customers opt to join it, it shouldn’t be a lengthy task. Don’t ask your customers to fill out a novel just to get the incentive either, otherwise, they won’t want to participate. Rather, start with your CRM data and collect anything you’ve missed from your customers. The easier your incentive is, the better for you and your customer.

Think About What You Want to Accomplish

Consider how customer loyalty will help your business. For example, restaurant incentive programs might offer a free dessert or cup of coffee to frequent customers. Another consideration is a free meal after X amount is spent or after X amount of visits.

As a result, you want to create a consumer incentive program that generates incremental sales. It should also boost the comprehensive customer experience. If you don’t offer good desserts, then the incentive won’t work since no one will care for a slice of your pie. On the other hand, if you have the best chocolate cake in the city, your incentive will certainly increase sales and build loyalty.

Make Rewards Realistic

If you’re going to offer rewards, then customers should be able to earn them. Consider weighing rewards based on the amount of time or effort it will take customers to earn them. For smaller efforts, such as a ‘like’ on Facebook or retweeting a blog post, you might offer a smaller reward. On the other hand, a customer that volunteers to participate in a webinar or customer reference call might earn more points because the action involves more effort.

Break Down the Noise

You want to offer a real incentive to your customers that help differentiate you from competitors. To do this, you must have a deep understanding of your what your customers perceive as valuable.

Consider the products and services you offer and whether or not you could weave those into your rewards. To illustrate, if you sell servers you might offer a free data center design consultation when the customer spends X amount. Another option is to partner with another business to increase the range of your consumer incentive program.

Keep the Loyalty Going

One of the biggest challenges of customer incentive programs is keeping customers involved after the initial rush. Make sure your rewards are enticing enough to keep customers coming back. You may even consider gamifying your incentive program by having customers earn points for each action. When they’ve earned enough points, they can then trade those points in for a product, service, or other prize.


Final Thought

A successful consumer incentive program requires getting to know your customers, personalization, ease of use and realistic redemption. It’s also critical that your incentives are valuable to your customers. Make sure your customer incentive program always has the end user in mind to ensure that their experience is the best it can be.

If you use a CRM system, you already have a wealth of information that you can use to jump start your customer incentive ideas. Talk with your customers to help build an incentive program that will improve the customer experience at every level. No one knows your customers better than your customers!


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How to Design a Successful Consumer Incentive Program in 2018