Colloquy, experts in loyalty marketing research, recently released the 2013 Loyalty Census. This is one of those reports that I wait for every year to gauge the state of the loyalty marketing industry and learn insights into specific segments. This year the numbers look good and Colloquy acknowledges with the cover of their white paper stating “2.65 billion… that’s the number of U.S. loyalty program memberships in 2012”. That’s a huge number and it is up from 2011’s 2 billion loyalty program memberships.
But of course that isn’t how many customers are actively using loyalty programs. Colloquy reports that the average number of household memberships is 21.9, but only 9.5 of those are active memberships. These numbers are similar to those I heard in a recent webinar with Maritz and Loyalty 360 that the average consumer is enrolled in 7.4 loyalty programs and is active in 63% of those programs.
Moral of the story – while there are a lot of loyalty program memberships businesses struggle to keep members active.
Why are these numbers good?
Both of these reports show that customers are in fact interested in loyalty programs and they continue to join loyalty programs.
Why are these numbers bad?
That’s a lot of loyalty programs and a lot of noise to be out there competing against.
What should you do with your loyalty program?
The challenge of loyalty programs is keeping your customers active once they have enrolled. Businesses need to connect with their customers to keep their business top of mind. It isn’t enough to make enrollment easy and then just expect your customers to do all the work. You need to actively engage your customers in ways that are important and interesting to them. Sending email and text communications with special promotions, newsletters, sales and upcoming events is an easy way to connect. Make your loyalty program fun and interesting to stand out from the competition. Be sure to partner with the right company to provide the tools and loyalty expertise for your loyalty program. Capitalize on the fact that the numbers show customers interest in loyalty programs and make yours one of the programs they actively participate in.