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January 2009
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Launch A Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs can have a tremendous impact on the bottom line for your business, and they are very easy and inexpensive to get started.  This type of advertising program can be started for a few bucks and is a terrific way to encourage customer loyalty and word of mouth advertising.

During these times of economic instability, it is increasingly important to focus on your customers!  When there is less business to go around, competition tends to get fierce.  Your customers will help you get through these tough times if you have a high standard of customer service.  Launching a loyalty program is a great way to show your customers that you care about them.

As a rule of thumb, a business should spend a MINIMUM of 3% of revenue on marketing.  Unfortunately, the advertising budget is one of the first to go when times get tough.  Loyalty programs provide great value for very little expense, and they are popular with customers – especially those that are price sensitive.  Get yours started with just a minimal investment in some printed cards and an ink stamp or hole punch (choose a shaped one like a star or heart instead of the typical round hole that could be easily duplicated).

The first step to creating your own customer loyalty program is to determine what you can give away of value that your customers will want, and that you can also afford to give.  Next determine the steps that the customer will need to take to earn that item.  And finally, you’ll need to get the word out about your program so that your customers can join in the fun.

Your program will need to based on your business type – for example, if you have a fabric store you can hand out cards that get a hole punched for each yard of fabric purchased, that is good for a free yard of fabric after the customer receives ten punches.  An alterations business could give away a free hem after five alterations, or a seamstress could give a stamp for every $10 spent that will be good for $10 off once the customer receives ten stamps.  The possibilities are endless and the results for your business will be increased sales and customer loyalty.

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Author, Instructor & Pattern Designer


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