Boosting Rewards Program Engagement with Email Marketing

October 19, 2017 Kirsten Burkard

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Get your customers excited to join your new rewards program!
Kick off your rewards program with a bang using strategies from our rewards program email launch guide.

Like any good relationship, a healthy customer relationship requires solid communication.  Email marketing has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to communicate with your customers.  With the right strategy, you can use email to significantly boost your return on investment.  In fact, research shows that for every dollar spent on email marketing, an average of $44 is realized as ROI!

ROI realized with email marketing
On average, $44 is realized as ROI for every dollar spent on email marketing.

With these stats in mind, email marketing is the obvious choice when it comes to improving your rewards program’s engagement rate.  Like any other retention tool, your rewards program needs to be monitored and optimized in order to get the most out of it.  Investing time into developing an effective email marketing strategy is the perfect way to make sure your customers know about your program and understand it.  The more visible it is, the more likely shoppers are to engage, and that engagement is what will turn your rewards program into a profitable marketing tool for your brand.

Let’s take a look at five email marketing campaigns that will supercharge your program’s engagement.


Boosting Engagement with Points Balance Emails

Points balance emails are the easiest way to encourage your customers to engage with your rewards program because they remind shoppers that they have value waiting for them.  Most of your customers are enrolled in a number of different programs, and keeping all of their points balances straight is extremely overwhelming.  

boosting program engagement with emails mouth points balance example

By sending semi-regular balance emails, you can remind your customers of what they’ve already earned with your program, what they can do with them, and how they can earn more.  This makes it extremely easy for them to understand not only how to get the most out of the reward points they have but also how to replicate that value in the future.  In addition, these emails will increase the visibility of your program, putting it back on your customers’ radar and encouraging them to spend more with your brand now and in the future.


Boosting Engagement with Birthday Rewards Emails

Everybody likes to feel special, and your customers are no different.  That’s one of the reasons shoppers shoppers join a rewards program in the first place!  However, while being a member of your awesome program is a great start, you can take those feelings of inclusivity and luxury even further by incorporating birthday rewards into your email marketing campaigns.

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Birthday rewards help customers feel special by combining personalization and additional value.

Birthday rewards are bonus rewards that customers earn every year on their birthday.  These rewards act to not only personalize your customer experience but also create a more genuine connection.  With birthday rewards you can provide your customers the kind of personal  recognition that builds  trust and positivity between them and your brand.

boosting program engagement with birthday reward emails simons example

Sending customers a personalized email that wishes them a happy birthday with a gift of reward points helps make your program’s perks feel more than a simple discount.  Instead, your rewards begin to feel like gifts, which are infinitely more valuable and personal.  These positive feelings will pull customers back towards your program and boost your engagement all at once.


Boosting Engagement with Referral Program Emails

A strong referral program is a great addition to any rewards program, but in order to be successful customers need to actually refer their friends.  Advertising your program on your homepage and social media channels is a great place to start, but email marketing can push it even further.  

boosting program engagement with email marketing OLO referral example

Including your referral program in marketing campaigns puts this part of your program in front of those customers who have already expressed interest in promoting your brand.  By giving them all of the information they need to know about the benefits of joining, they are empowered to become better brand ambassadors in exchange for valuable incentives: your program’s rewards.  This little push will get them excited about a new way to engage with your brand, and expand your marketing reach simultaneously.


Boosting Engagement with Incentives Emails

The reality is that customers join a rewards program in order to get something back.  That’s why they’re called rewards programs.  It stands to reason, then, that an effective way to get them to engage is to promise them something exciting or valuable.

boosting program engagement with emails sephora beauty appreciation week

There are a couple of ways you can do this with email marketing.  The first is with a bonus points campaign.  Brands like Sephora have been running bonus points campaigns for years, promising their customers additional reward points for shopping during a certain time period.  You can easily promote this type of campaign in an email, letting shoppers know when the promotion is happening and how they can earn these bonus points.

You could also increase the value of your customer’s points for a period of time.  This type of incentive puts your program’s best rewards in reach, making participation immediately more valuable.  These types of incentives reaffirm their decision to join your program, and positions the idea of shopping with your brand as a highly valuable and enjoyable experience.


Boosting Engagement with Re-Engagement Emails

Re-engagement emails are sent to customers who have stopped engaging with your program to remind them why they joined in the first place.  In general, you can determine who these customers are by employing the “4x4 engagement rule”.  This rule defines a disengaged customer as someone who was active four times in four weeks but never again.

boosting program engagement with emails overtone reengagement example

Your rewards program is the perfect incentive to include in these emails.  Highlight all of the awesome rewards they can earn and remind them of how easy it is to get them.  Essentially, you want to use these emails to re-sell them on the idea of participating in your program, so make your program look good!

This type of email marketing is also a great opportunity for you to remind customers that you value their business.  Take the time to let them know how much you appreciated their business in the past and that you would love to have them back to shop with you again.  


Creating Lasting Engagement

By incorporating any of these campaigns into your email marketing strategy, you’re equipping your brand and rewards program with the firepower they need to create long, lasting relationships with your customers.  Sometimes all it takes to get someone re-engaged is a little bit of TLC (and some awesome email campaigns).

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Looking for more ways to improve your program's engagement rates?
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