A Customer-Focused Messaging Strategy Is the Key to Retail Loyalty Program Member Acquisition

Co-authored by Clarus' Senior VP of Marketing, Tyler Haskins

In the field of loyalty program marketing, customer acquisition channels are one of the most important aspects of growing a successful loyalty program. While retention is just as important, acquisition is the metric that gets the most fanfare when success is being measured. Whether it be through social media, or content marketing, or direct advertising, channels are growing and expanding, which makes the acquisition landscape increasingly complicated.

But when we cut through all the white noise of acquisition, there is still an aspect that is getting lost in the shuffle, which is the process of making your acquisition strategy customer-focused, rather than channel-focused.

Customer-focused strategies force you to hone your messaging and streamline your whole marketing plan, but many marketers are focused on each channel individually. But it’s not entirely their fault since we as marketers always want to analyze individual ROI and determine which channel is performing well and which one is struggling. But that thinking can lead us down a path of incomplete understanding.

There needs to be a new way of thinking because customers are not always going to fit in a specific channel-related messaging bucket. To be truly successful, the messaging and the marketing needs to be unified.

Take a modern customer that is a multi-device consumer, for example. A lot of their day is spent going from laptop, to tablet and to their smartphone, where they are not only browsing for information but also shopping, paying their bills and checking their email. But it doesn’t stop there. In addition to browsing, paying bills, shopping and checking emails they might also be an avid social media user, which adds another layer of touchpoints to their daily experience.

Because of the vast amount of touchpoints customers encounter daily, it doesn’t make sense to have an individual acquisition strategy for each channel.  By doing that you’re constantly reintroducing yourself to the customer versus moving them down the purchase funnel one touchpoint at a time.

At Clarus Commerce, we focus on customer-specific messaging, instead of channel-specific. By doing that we know we will win over customers by two simple messaging strategies, which involves understanding where the customer is in the purchase funnel: pain-point and considered marketing. In pain point marketing, we use a strategy that focuses on providing immediate value to a customer that is making a quick yes/no buying decision and solving a pain point in that very moment for the customer. In considered messaging, we take a longer-tail strategy, since the customer we’re trying to acquire takes longer to come around, as they are more careful and mindful consumers

While the customer-centric messaging strategy might be harder to track, the resulting ROI from implementing it is well worth the extra effort.  Basically, we’ve found the more you invest in the relationship with the customer, the more that investment is paid off in incremental LTV. Because, at the core of it, we live in a very technologically diversified world. While it might have been correct to treat all of your acquisition channels as separate entities fifteen or more years ago, the world is a lot bigger, and the line between social media, email, in-person and other pipelines has become extremely blurred. Focusing on a unified and defined message will not only help with loyalty program customer acquisition, but it will attract better customers in the long run.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.