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How to Retain Clients Using Rewards – Five Inspiring Examples

Customers are the backbone of any business. Find out how these companies reduce churn rates and keep their customers happy.

Companies do a lot to attract customers. Marketing strategies can go a long way towards piquing customer interest.

But how do you keep them coming back again and again?

Businesses spend time and money on strategies to bring in new customers, but it might be a better idea to work on keeping the existing ones. The best customers don’t just buy your product or service once. They keep coming back, and may recommend you to others.

This ultimately increases your customers’ lifetime value … and your revenue.

Overall, existing customers cost less to market to. According to Forrester Research, it can cost five times (that’s 500%) more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Every customer counts. Even a 5% increase in customer retention can impact your profits 25% to 125% for the better, depending on your type of business.

Existing customers also tend to spend more than new customers. According to a Marketing Metrics ecommerce survey, the probability of an existing customer buying from your company is 60–70%, while new ones are only 5–20% likely to buy.

Despite these statistics, companies struggle to create client retention strategies. In fact, a U.S. News and World Report study says that businesses in the U.S. lose an average of 15% of their customers every year.

Churn rates are not a necessary cost of doing business, though. With the right reward strategies, you can keep your existing customers happy and ready to tell their friends about you.

Take a look at how five companies utilized rewards systems to keep their customers coming back for more.

The Examples

Are you ready to reap the rewards of customer retention?

Find out how these customer retention strategies work and why:

Example #1 – The Starbucks Loyalty Scheme

Making a Starbucks run is as American as apple pie nowadays. However, the chain’s popularity has made getting a morning cup of joe a daunting experience. Waiting in those long coffee shop lines can make that dream of drinking a venti frappuccino a distant one.

Unless you use their special rewards app…

Starbucks Rewards is a popular customer retention program that benefits repeat customers. Customers earn stars or points. Eventually, they can use those stars for free drinks and food. Starbucks also offers free refills, double-star days, exclusive deals, and a birthday treat.

The company was among the first retailers to release a dedicated app for their loyalty program – and they make it convenient for customers to participate. 

Customers simply use the app to order or pay, and their purchase goes towards items they buy on a regular basis. Not only do customers save time ordering online, but they also earn points for more free stuff. That’s quite an incentive to buy what they’re already craving in the first place. It helps busy customers save time, too.

Example #2 – Ring’s Follow-Up Messages

The folks at Ring Inc., a home security company now owned by Amazon, don’t believe that their work is over once a customer buys a Ring product. They bring customers back into their sales funnel using a series of follow-up emails. That includes a welcome email once a customer registers for a security account.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Ring also shares information regularly, sending their clients content about product setup and features. Important touchpoints help Ring maintain relationships with customers, even after the sale.

Ring product may not be a consumable. But easy access to support and information can go a long way towards creating a positive experience. In fact, according to RightNow, 55% of consumers say they could fall in love with a brand that provides such comprehensive support.

Example #3 – Ellevest Offering Rewards for Referrals

Ellevest enjoys a unique niche in the financial industry. The company is on a mission to close the investing gender gap. They offer online investing, retirement, and other financial planning services. But they do something unique to expand and retain their customer base.

Offering rewards for referrals is not a new strategy. Companies typically offer some type of reward for referring friends and loved ones. But usually those rewards amount to low credit amounts per referral.

Ellevest does it a little differently, though.

Both referrer and referee receive the same generous $50 credit towards Ellevest services. Offering a generous referral bonus makes this program stand out from others like it. To top it off, the in-house credit ensures that both new and existing customers stay around to spend it.

Furthermore, Ellevest understands that people talk to each other. If existing customers have positive experiences with them, they’re likely to refer a friend. In fact, the Temkin Group says 77% of customers would refer a friend after positive experiences with a company.

Example #4 – Annmarie Gianni’s Skincare Rewards and Gift Sets

Reward programs are a popular way to inspire customer loyalty and retention. But small businesses, like Annmarie Gianni Skin Care, take a different approach. 

Traditional reward programs offer points per purchase. After customers accumulate a certain number of points, they can use those points to spend on more products. This is a great technique for beauty industry giants because it relies on volume. 

However, for smaller businesses, it’s a slightly different story. They may not receive the traffic that well-known beauty giants do. So they rely on other techniques to keep customers returning. Annmarie Gianni Skin Care has quizzes that contain offers for customers who complete them on the official website. The company also offers promo-priced sample kits, promo codes, and a free ebook. 

The quiz and offer combination was a success. It generated $200,000 in sales and 20,258 leads in only two months. The company retained existing customers and acquired new ones, too!

Example #5 – LinkedIn’s Unexpected Gifts

You may already have a profile on LinkedIn. Most professionals do nowadays. But did you know that LinkedIn rewards their top users?

Everyone loves unexpected gifts. It can brighten an otherwise humdrum day when you receive a surprise from a brand. You weren’t expecting it, but it made an impression on you. That impression can help build a stronger connection to that brand.

Reward programs use freebies to thank customers for their loyalty. But you don’t need to be a retailer to surprise your customers with gifts. 

LinkedIn is primarily a professional-based social platform. They do offer business solution classes and services on the website, but for the most part, it’s a way for professionals to connect with other professionals.

So it was a surprise for many when LinkedIn sent out boxes filled with goodies to the top users. These unexpected gifts helped to create a lasting connection with the social platform. 

The recipients won’t forget their delightful surprise anytime soon… and users showing off their great gifts on social media doesn’t hurt the brand either!

Reward Loyal Customers with Great Gifts

Reward and referral programs are a popular way to retain existing customers. Points, special promo codes, and add-ons are just the beginning of your options. They work because customers love getting free stuff – even if they have to collect points to do it.

Keeping your focus on existing clients has a variety of benefits, too.

It costs less to market to existing customers, and they tend to buy more than new customers. So you spend less on marketing campaigns for more revenue.

You can incorporate great gifts into your retention strategy. Everyone loves surprise gifts and freebies. Gifts can create a deeper bond with the brand and encourage loyalty.

Design your own version of a loyalty program by sending gifts to your top clients. Surprise them with an elegant wine decanter or cigar humidor. You may want to consider personalizing those gifts for that extra special touch.

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