What’s Your Story? Share It!

Sharing your story, or stories is a great way to connect and engage. Brand story, personal story, success stories.

Stories differentiate you. Whether you are an online store, brick and mortar store, or any other type of business, you need to share your story.  Your personal story will help you stand out in a sea of businesses.

Sometimes we can’t see our own story

Several years ago I attended a women’s business conference. During the conference, the leader stood up and addressed the group.

“Ladies, I have a request of you. If you could write a letter to your younger self, what advice would you give her?

“Send me your letters. Let’s gather them and create a book of shared wisdom.”

There was a buzz around the room as we digested this. Interesting. This was an amazing group of women and I wanted to be a part of it. What could I write? 

I couldn’t see that I had any wisdom story worthy of sharing. I’d had a pretty normal life, nothing weird or special. Somehow I missed the things that made me unique. Things like being raised in a home with a disabled sibling, facing cancer, divorce, and building successful businesses from the ground up.

A little saddened, I didn’t participate. I wanted to but didn’t know what I could write. I missed out.

Later they published the stories in a book. 

When I read those stories, I realized those women were a lot like me. We had some shared experiences and some unique ones. We all experienced challenges, dilemmas and had to grow with the choices we made.

It made me realize I had not one but many little stories that I could share…just like this one.  

Sometimes it’s hard to see your own story. We can be so close to them we miss how they could create a connection with our target audience. And many times they are challenging to write because we are emotionally so close to them.

It’s easier to tell someone else’s story

I’ve found over the years, it’s much easier to write a client’s story than it is to write my own.  We’re raised not to brag or talk about ourselves. Writing your own story can feel like that’s just what you’re doing. 

As a content writer, storytelling is a key component to help businesses grow. As an outsider, I use a discovery call to uncover potential client stories. And when I hear the hint of one, we dive into it.

Clients are often surprised at the outcome. “Well yes, I guess I did do that.” They hadn’t seen themselves the way others see them. 

If you’re having trouble identifying your story or telling it, you’re not alone.  Sometimes the best answer is to get a professional to help you craft it, then share it like crazy.

Secret about stories

We’re all hardwired to listen to stores. It’s ingrained in our brain. When you share your stories, people will pause to read them. So by including a story, you are guaranteeing that your number one objective, getting their attention, happens.

With the right message, your readers will feel a connection with you and your brand. They feel you understand and “get” them. That leads to feeling you are safe to do business with—trust. 

They feel like you could help or benefit them. It can be a physical, mental, or emotional feeling better.

3 Story considerations

Before you can write it, you have to pick what the story will be.  Your selection is tied directly to your in-depth knowledge of your target audience.  Then it needs to follow a natural story path and in it, something needs to change. 

In my story, it was my mindset that had to change for me to tap into all the stories I could share.

Story relevance

Your story has to be relevant to your audience. You can find examples all around you. In the news, on social media, in magazines, or even YouTube stories. 

If you’re writing for a construction company, a story on how you learned to make chocolate silk cake, is not relevant. 

Instead, share how you innovated or came up with a new technique that is more earth-friendly and controls cost would get a lot more attention.

What are the key concerns or pain points for your audience? What are they most concerned about?  A story that addresses one of these needs will have the triggers to catch their attention and start to build that connection.

Need to follow the story path

Generally, it is a “hero’s journey” story type. It starts with being faced and frustrated with a problem. Then moves into deciding to do something about it. 

Few problems are solved smoothly. We follow the hero and connect with him because we’ve had a similar problem.

Often this becomes being the little guy against big odds. We empathize and root for them.

Maybe those odds seem pretty insurmountable. (Think Lord of the Rings or Star Wars.)  

But in the end, as the goal is achieved, we cheer for the hero and want to know more about them—and your brand.

Need conflict resolution

Your story needs to have the problem, challenge or conflict resolved. Don’t pick one where you don’t yet have that accomplished. 

It’s through conflict, those challenges, that we learn. It also makes your audience side with you and cheers you on. The bigger your challenge, the bigger the enemy, the more they get excited for you to win.

When I work with clients

We work to keep it simple and short. The more simple it is, the more it will be remembered. If you let it drag on or get it too complicated, you’ll lose readers.  

If you enjoyed this article you may want to read ACCA – 4 Key Reasons to Include Stories.


Judith Culp Pearson is a freelance copywriter marketer. She specializes in helping businesses build relationships that result in loyal customers with high customer lifetime value. judith@jculpcreativecopy.com

Persuasion… How to Get Prospects to Act

The art of persuasion is guiding a person to a desired action. It might be a date, marriage or making a purchase
Persuasion is Much like Dating

Connecting with your prospect is the first step toward a sale.  The success of persuasion is to guide them to an action or decision. It is totally dependent on following an often misunderstood path. It can often be much like dating or creating a marketing sales funnel.

What does good persuasion look like…

I got an email last week from a woman who is dear friends with my disabled sister. She wanted help buying Sis a gift.  Sis was born with cerebral palsy. My Sis will be 70 next month and is moving into an assisted living facility.

Of course I replied I’d be happy to help and gave her my cell phone number. 

“I want to buy her a TV for her new apartment. She doesn’t have many things because she has lived with your mom and never had her own stuff.”

“That is really sweet of you Jan. Tell me more. What size and price are you thinking of?”

“I don’t want you to worry about the price. That’s not an issue. Big screen, quality picture, and good audio. She deserves this.”

We settled on a 55” tv as best for her space. Then I went shopping.

I went to my favorite big box store. They had lots of choices but it was really confusing to shop.  Each brand had its own separate area to make an impressive presentation. However, it made comparing brands really tough. 

Of course, they were having a sale.  I looked at some models but while the salesperson, wearing his branded blue shirt was nice, I felt like I was missing something. I was confused and not sure of my decision.

So I did what prospects do when confused…Nothing.  

As I was leaving, I remembered the local specialty store where I bought my last TV.

A young man dressed professionally in slacks, dress shirt, and tie, greeted me. I looked around while he finished with his client.

One of the things I noticed, the TVs were displayed not by brand, but by screen size.  You could see different brands side by side. 

The fellow was knowledgeable and professional.  I noticed he listened to what I was looking for and the criteria and then educated me on similarities and differences.

The fellow didn’t rush. He didn’t get interrupted by a ringing telephone.

And he told me July is the best month to buy a TV because that’s when manufacturers test Christmas pricing. They sell discounted to their retailers and the retailers’ test prices.

He showed me the big box store’s ad on the same model I was considering. The privately-owned store came in $200 less than the big box store. And it had a much better warranty.  Only $99 for five years any size TV, no deductibles all in-home.  

I returned home and contacted Jan. She was excited about what I’d found. Pleased with all aspects including the great warranty, delivery, etc. I returned to the TV store and made the purchase.  

As I left, I told him, “When my TV goes, I’ll be back.” I meant it seriously. He made the shopping experience positive and easy. He earned my loyalty.

I study the human persuasion process

I study buying pathways all the time. Through advanced courses, I’ve taken deep dives into the psychology behind the process. 

The marketer in me enjoys triggering a sales funnel and analyzing it. Some are really good while others miss the mark and leave money and opportunities on the table. 

It sounds straightforward but there are subtle inuendos that can make or break the results. All too often, I see where the marketer made mistakes. 

When I work with clients, we look not at just what they want to sell, but their entire selling process. Every aspect of the related marketing. Each contact point with the prospect.

Don’t ignore this tip 

Persuasion is an art form. It is the process of influencing a person’s attitude or behaviors via communications without duress. None of us want to be sold to. 

Persuasion is the polar opposite of the typical image of a used car salesman. Someone focused on a sale, not what a person needs.

Instead, persuasive marketing gently guides the person toward a desired action or result. 

3 phases of persuasion

There are three unique phases in the persuasion process. If they aren’t kept sequential, the opportunity will be lost. 

It’s rather like a date. Most people avoid going on a date with someone they haven’t met. We worry about what their motives are.

We’d prefer to meet them in what we felt was a safe environment, then get acquainted and see if we wanted to progress to friendship.

The same is true in the buying process.

Get attention

The first thing we need to do in order to persuade the prospect toward the purchase or action is to get their attention. 

We start with a promise. It might be to help them feel better, sleep better, do more, gain status, or be more successful. It must be relevant and of concern to them. 

Someone who sleeps soundly nine hours a night isn’t going to be interested in sleeping potions.

This means it’s critical to really know your target audience. Who are they? Where are they in their life? What are their interests, needs, concerns?  The more you know, the easier it is to give them the right recommendation and offers.

Often I recommend starting with a story. 

It’s hard to resist stories. We’re hardwired for them. If you want to get their attention, tell them a story. 

It needs to be a relevant story. One that helps the reader see a person like themself. Someone who has their problem, concern, or interest. They see that person getting results and that it might work for them also.

A short relevant story hooks the reader’s interest. It builds a sense of belonging and hope. It doesn’t always result in a sale. Its goal may be for them to ask for more information.

Nurture for persuasion

When they have asked for more information, it’s time to strengthen the relationship. You have moved from meeting a person to maybe going for coffee. You would want to get acquainted. That’s nurturing.

In this phase, they need to learn more about you. They need to feel you have their best interests at heart and can help them in some way. This helps them build the confidence in your relationship to take the next step. 

In the nurturing phase the more things they feel they have in common with you, the quicker they build trust.  Many of these are subconscious. They happen without us even thinking about them. Part of our primitive brain, they have helped us survive the millennia. 

Heard of the guy who went in to apply for a job looking like a long-haired sloppy-dressed hippy? He went in for the interview and it went okay.  Then he got a haircut, shaved his beard, and changed to a suit and tie. He went back in and applied again. 

The change of appearance, made the interviewer respond totally differently. Subliminally their brain didn’t connect with the sloppy hippy but did connect with the professional appearance. 

The same thing can happen on a social site like LinkedIn.  Someone asks to connect with you and the next sentence is a pitch to get you to do something.  The person completely skipped the getting acquainted phase. There was no nurturing, no relationship, no commonalities, and the result is “no thank you.”

Become their guide

Once you have built the relationship and their confidence, then you can become their friend. You become their guide through each next step.  

When I was at the TV specialty shop, the salesman became my guide and mentor. He listened and responded. His friend’s brother has cerebral palsy. He understood the challenges. That was a common thing we shared and helped us connect. 

He guided me through the choices and enhanced my confidence in making the right decision. Then let me determine the timing. He didn’t have to do that. 

As with every commodity, the supply chain is unpredictable. If there had only been one left in stock, I might have bought it on the spot. But he was honest and said they had several in stock, so I delayed.

In our online marketing and sales journeys, we know if they leave they may never return. So we use urgency, limited inventory, and other buying triggers to help them decide and take action now. 

We guide them, like a friend, through the buying journey. And then keep the relationship solid with more nurturing and offering value. We gather them into our tribe and start growing their customer lifetime value.


Judith Culp Pearson is a freelance copywriter marketer. She specializes in helping businesses build relationships that result in loyal customers with high customer lifetime value. judith@jculpcreativecopy.com

Digital Sharecropping Risky Business?

Social media marketing is like sharecropping and the game of monopoly. You land on real estate you don't own and you have to pay rent.
Social Media Marketing reminds me of playing Monopoly™.

Familiar with the term Digital Sharecropping? It’s a phenomenon that most people don’t understand. An SEO guru colleague, Heather Lloyd-Martin shared a newsletter email regarding it and got me taking another look.

Digital sharecropping refers to social media channels and how people and businesses interact with them. The earliest concerns about it date back to 2006. 

The term derives from the sharecropping, (aka feudalism) that happened after the end of the US Civil War. People had no money so paid to use a landlord’s property with a share of their crops. They didn’t own the land or even the tools they used. 

In the game of Monopoly™, when you land on a property that is owned, you have to pay rent just like sharecroppers did.

It’s happening today—digitally. And it can be very risky for your business if you are dependent on it.

Social Media Digital Sharecropping

In the last few years, many businesses, especially B2C, have shifted their marketing to focus completely on social media. Some skip a website altogether, focusing instead on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Simple. Easy. Sweet.

What they don’t realize is they have no real control over what the social channel does. The channel owns the real estate. The channel is their landlord.

So they post lots to get more likes and more fans. They work hard to build a social empire of followers.

So what’s wrong with that?  It works great to stay in touch with friends. It’s been a way to stay connected during the pandemic.

However, did you know that once you post pictures the channel actually can now sell the images someplace else without your permission and without compensating you?  It’s in the fine print and it’s been this way for years.

Social was designed to be gathering spots, like the water cooler or watering hole. People visit, put up posts, and share for free. In exchange, the channel sells advertising to monetize users. It’s quite profitable, ask Mark Zuckerberg.   

However, what if you are a business owner? 

Matthew Inman, creator of Oatmeal comics got hit with the dark side of his social media empire. 

Inman’s had a website for years where he publishes Oatmeal comics. But to make it easy to stay connected with followers he shifted to build a huge following on Facebook and Instagram. People love his posts. 

According to a recent The Oatmeal Instagram post, Facebook has decided if Inman wants to reach more than a fraction of his followers, he needs to pay them $2000 PER POST. And this is content he’s putting up free for his nearly four million followers. 

In his Instagram post, he explained the situation and invited people to sign up for his newsletter where they can be guaranteed the full dose of his comic goodness.

He’s also started only sharing part of “something too big for Instagram”, or Facebook, and sending the reader to his website to see the rest.

He is moving away from being dependent on social media. Inman has learned the risks of being a digital sharecropper. Now his focus is real estate he owns and controls. His website and e-newsletter where there are no middlemen charging fees.

Why is digital sharecropping important to understand?

With social media, the rules change with little notice. 

Paid posts, or rebuilding a following on a new channel, are expensive.

Inman worked for years to build his following. Then the rules changed. Without paying huge fees, only a tiny portion of his followers would see his posts.

You don’t want your business to be in Inman’s situation.

How would it impact your marketing if you had to pay for every post you put on your business page?

For your business to succeed long term, you need a plan to take control of your social marketing. 

I’ve discovered the ways to fight back and I’ll share them with you. 

First…

Here’s something most people don’t think of…

Where will you be if a different new social channel becomes the big buzz?  Think it won’t happen?  Where’s MySpace? Friendster? Google+? MySpace still exists, but it’s pretty lonely there. It went out of favor.

And a recent Social America report shared that for Gen Z and millennials, Facebook has lost favor. Instead, they are using Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. And this will change again, it’s inevitable. 

Every social empire you build is only temporary. So if you want to depend on social, get prepared for changes and having to rebuild.

3 ways to offset digital sharecropping

When I work with clients we use social media as part of the mix, but we focus on things they have 100% control over.  We focus on enhancing their website, connecting with emails and newsletters, and building a reputation for offering value.

Website

Your website is something you have complete control over.  Wherever you market, drive the traffic to your website. Make it the hub of your marketing efforts. 

Start a post on social and send them to the website to see the rest. Share a new product or service and direct them to your website to learn more. 

Invite visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. You can increase the number of signups by offering something useful or of value as a reward for subscribing. 

Send them emails with links to information or products on the website. 

Direct mail pieces have gained favor since there is a lot more in our inboxes than in our mailboxes. What you send is more apt to be seen. Use mail as another way to bring people to your website. Drive them to a special report, service, or offer.

Assure your website offers a positive experience and is easy to navigate. 

Contact information needs to be easy to find, preferably on every page so the visitor doesn’t have to hunt.  


People have become more skeptical. Use transparency to boost trust. Consider putting a contact number in a narrow banner at the very top of each page. It’s validation you are a sound trustworthy business. They may never call, but it makes you seem safer than a business without it.

Newsletters and emails

Using email to connect and share is one of the best investments in your marketing mix.  They come from you. 

Whether a short post or a newsletter, they can be informational, educational, and entertaining. They can also drive clients back to your website. Introduce an article or blog with a link to where the complete story resides on your website.  

Email communications are a great place to share more about your team, your brand story, and your products or services. Share your uniqueness, your visions, and your social conscience.

Emails are bond builders.  People love to be part of a group or a tribe.  Your emails and newsletter are exclusive for your subscribers—a place they can hear your news before the rest of the world does.

The right emails nurture new buyers. They help them have the best experience with their purchase as well as get to know you as a brand.

According to a recent study by SubjectLine.com, emails that promote a one-day offer get 21% higher opens than if you just announce a sale.  Words like “today only,” or “one day sale,” get attention and people don’t want to miss out. They create a sense of urgency and exclusivity.

Value reputation

Use content as a way to share and display valuable information you put out.  Content that’s fresh, relevant, useful, and focused on your target audience’s interests and concerns. 

Avoid any techniques or content that seems spammy or pushy/dodgy. 

Your value content is the reputation your business earns. Quality and value are the keys to attracting and keeping your ideal customers.

So where does that leave social?  Social channels are useful tools to support your website…the real estate you own. Use social as a part of your marketing mix. Mix is the keyword. You are using but not depending on channels that you have no real control over.


Judith Culp Pearson is a digital content marketer helping businesses gain and retain customers for a higher lifetime value. Result-oriented relationship building and empathy-based marketing. Reach her at judith@jculpcreativecopy.com.

Customer Experience Enhancers Increase $$$

The customer experience dictates the customer rating. Enhance it and watch profits rise.

Customer experience enhancers create more loyalty, repeat sales, and profitability. The pandemic disrupted the traditional shopping model forcing people to go online. It stuck.

People often now use a blend between the two. The lines between online and a physical store are becoming blurred. More than ever, it’s about what this blend feels like before buying, while making a purchase, and afterward.

A true story of enhancing the customer experience

One of the companies I work with shared how changing a tiny detail made a huge difference. They have an e-commerce store selling both consumer products and professional-only products. But about 95% of their business is professional sales.

To enhance the buying experience for professionals, they set up a drop-down system to validate they were eligible to buy the professional products. The drop-down streamlined the shopping process as they didn’t have to take the time to set up an account.  

The shipping manager received an email from a regular customer: 

Why is there a note that pops up that says I’m not ordering XXXXX? That’s the only product I ever order?

The manager quickly responded, explained why they had the drop-down process. She also thanked the customer for bringing it to her attention. Then, she told the client she was going to see if they could change the default.  

This one tiny change, altering a default, reduced the number of questions the shipping manager got and made her life much easier.  It also made 95% of the customer’s lives easier because they now don’t have to change the default.  

The company still does random checking to validate that the customers are qualified professionals. But it was an easy fix and win-win change.

Customer Experience Enhancers work.

Enhancing the customer experience is the top proven technique to reduce churn, retain customers and increase profits.  The longer you can keep a customer loyal, the lower your acquisition cost. It also raises the Lifetime Customer Value exponentially.

It’s five to seven times more expensive to find a new customer than to keep them. And you’ll increase sales. 

The odds of a new prospect purchasing are between 5 and 20%. But with an existing customer, the odds of another sale jump to 60-70%.  Retention is smart for business. 

I’ve seen this over and over in my businesses and working with clients. Every little detail that makes the customer’s experience better is a significant positive.

Little things are big experience enhancers.

Some changes may be significant, and others, like in the example, are small technical things. However, they all make a difference in the customer’s experience and overall happiness rating. 

For maximum success, the entire brand team needs to communicate, share, and look for ways to be better. The team that interacts directly with shoppers often has overlooked information. Keep them in the loop. Listen to them. Empower them to facilitate and stimulate changes that make shopper’s lives easier.

The Three E’s of customer experience enhancers 

More than ever before, customers turn to the internet for information. And they are using a blended model of shopping in person and online. If in your store and thinking of a purchase, they may compare prices online. Or check customer reviews.

The experience you offer needs to be seamless and supportive throughout their buying journey.

As they experience your content, your customer support, and your social media connectivity, they form an emotional reaction to doing business with you. Positive, negative, or neutral. 

Those businesses that focus on enhancing positive experiences will see the greatest success.

Experience enhance content 

Often businesses in the past had more of an online brochure rather than a customer-focused shopping experience. That model doesn’t work today. Your website needs to feature lots of fresh, helpful content and an easy way to find it.  They want positive experience content.

The underlying theme of content is how this product or service will make their life easier, better, more fulfilling, and fun. Emotional connectedness. Then the supporting information validates why this is so. They want the proof: reviews, testimonials, scientific studies, what experts say, and more. 

They want all of this in an easy-to-access format that makes shopping a pleasure.

Today’s consumer doesn’t want to have to call to get help or find what they need. They want more of a self-service experience. They don’t want to wait days or weeks to get an email response. The longer they have to wait to get answers, the more likely they’ll go elsewhere.

It’s like when you need a service or repair person, and no one calls you back. You go from enthusiastic to neutral to frustrated.

Help shoppers get to know you.

Shoppers want easy access to learning about you and your products—and what makes you unique. They want

  • Answers to all the frequently asked questions. 
  • To read your blogs about how you developed a product or service.
  • To understand how you are helping the planet and being socially responsible 
  • Easy access to resource pages, blogs, articles and to learn about your products and services.
  • To know you and your team as individuals rather than just a company.

Consider offering books, e-books, reports, guides, video how-tos, and other valuable resources.

Customer service is always an experience. All too often, it is a frustrating, time-consuming process. It needs to be friendly, knowledgeable, supportive. Phone connections are great, but if they are searching on their phone and can do a live chat, that works. 

Experience enhance service

For many consumers, a common complaint is the lack of staffing. Lack of staffing might have been a valid excuse during the early days of the pandemic, but it doesn’t fly anymore. 

AI is getting more intelligent, and the interactions with it are more favorable. It just needs to be helpful and able to quickly move the shopper to live chat or a phone connection if the AI can’t solve the problem.  

Communicate with customers where they hang out. Often this is social media. Use social as a way to stimulate interaction with customers and potential customers. Invite them to ask questions and respond promptly. 

Look for ways to reward customers. It doesn’t always need to be a discount. For example, a free guide on having the best experience with your product would be of high value to a new client. 

Develop a customer reward program that makes them feel positive about being loyal to your brand. People love to be part of a group, especially an exclusive group. So invite them to be part of your brand. Treat them like an online family.

Online-Offline-Online

Then take the online experience offline. Send new customers or those who have referred new clients a physical thank-you note. Send a reward to be used on a future purchase. When everything now comes to inboxes, something in the mail we view as unique, special. 

Blend the experience to connect with them online, offline, and back online seamlessly.

Be sure to give them ample time to use any rewards. 

Avoid rewards with a short use timeframe. For example, if you just purchased a printer that touts it has a year’s worth of ink in it, why would you respond to an offer to buy more ink now?  

Amazon gives credits when you buy a kindle book, but they are very short-lived. If you don’t use them in a week, they’re gone. That’s not very buyer-friendly.

Experience Enhance Connections

These are all the points where consumers interact with your brand.  Website, social media, email, print ads, radio, or even television. Using the formats that make sense for your business, look for ways to enhance the experience.

Website experience

If you offer AI or live chats, evaluate how well that is working. What does your customer service team hear from customers?  

Integrate with the service team to identify and smooth out rough spots in the buying process.

Is your team/system available enough to be helpful?  We have a three-hour time difference across the continental US. Consider where your customers are calling from?  Can they easily reach you? 

Stand in your customer’s place. How would you feel about the service if you were in their location? Think outside the box to find a way to smooth and improve this experience. Consider more online self-support information, so they aren’t dependent on phone calls.

Social posting connections

Social posts need to be fun, friendly, and seeking to engage. Get them to smile, inspire them, show them success.

The most successful posting is frequent and regular. People pay attention to what they see repeatedly.  That’s why paid ads pop up after you’ve looked at something. Whatever caught your eye and you looked at is now popping up everywhere you go on the internet. It’s reminding you to look again.

Email personalized experience

With so much in our inboxes, generic transactional emails quickly get filed or deleted. Instead, emails personalized by interest get more attention. Tone and engagement are essential. 

When doing a marketing assessment, I look at it from the shopper’s viewpoint. I look for things to smooth, enhance and increase engagement.  In today’s world, it’s all about experience enhancers to grow business. www.jculpcreativecopy.com

Your Exclusive Rewards Build Customer Loyalty and Dollars Spent

Last week I talked about the importance of enhancing your business rewards program.  I wasn’t the only person talking about the need for this. Customer Experience Futurist Blake Morgan was also sharing.  

This year it is more important than ever before to offer rewards tailored to your targeted audience. If your audience includes Gen Z, the positive stats for loyalty rewards jump even higher.

Review of Ms. Morgan’s article

50 Stats that Show the Importance of Good Loyalty Rewards

If you don’t yet have a loyalty program, it’s time to join the more than 90% of companies that do.

52% of American consumers will join the loyalty program of brands they regularly purchase. A surprising 84% have made a redemption from a rewards program.

Not all loyalty programs get used. Most, 65% of consumers engage with less than half of their loyalty programs. 

Satisfaction with loyalty programs has dropped to 44%, down from 47% in 2018.  People are looking for businesses that offer something better.

Interestingly a whopping 95% of consumers, according to Code Broker, want to engage with more loyalty programs using chatbots, AI, or VR and their smart devices.  75% want them accessible on their smartphone.

Engage with your customers emotionally, and they spend 27% more.  Personalization is huge. When you do it well for your members, it creates a 6.4x lift in their satisfaction with your program.

Loyalty rewards increase sales

One stat I didn’t mention, Incentive Solutions, shared that adding a loyalty program to your e-commerce platform can increase average order quantity by 319%.  

With the competition becoming more fierce as companies try to capture some of the “rebound spending,” it’s vital to ramp up bonding. The better your rewards, the stronger your fan loyalty will be. 

Make sure those rewards are easy to earn and relevant to your audience.

Psychographics can maximize your rewards program.

Psychographics focuses on what and why people respond as they do. And the buying triggers are different for women and men. Since women influence so much of the spending, cater to their reward psychographics to maximize your efforts.

The use of psychographics can be of benefit when considering personalization and relevance. But it’s also beneficial for the emotional triggers of social consciousness. 

Here are my 3 key takeaways on the benefits of loyalty rewards.

There are certainly lots of things to consider to create a winning rewards program.`

Keep reward programs simple

The last thing your customers want is a complicated reward system. In the article, stats showed that you’d reduce the number of users if you require a downloaded app. 

The days of wallets stuffed with rewards cards are over.  Most people don’t want to carry them, and yours is apt to be left on the counter or tossed. 

Avoid or give very generous expiration dates. Rewards expiring before use is a frustration for members. Be sure to thank them for a redemption—you’ll be in the minority that does.

Most consumers, 95%, want to access their rewards via their smartphones. They like to use AI, Chatbots, and VI.  

Giving gifts increases bonding.

Finding ways to say thank you, even when they make a redemption, holds value for consumers.  And if you employ those thank yous, you’ll be in the minority of businesses who take that extra step.

I’ve never met anyone who didn’t enjoy a surprise gift or an unexpected piece of mail that wasn’t trying to sell something…just say thank you. 

If you don’t have physical products, there are other options. There are numerous programs available that offer gifts that can be personalized. It becomes a branding opportunity to keep customers thinking of you.  Branded items offer a bit of swag, another bonus members love.

Even early access to sales is a gift they like.  46% of customers love this bonus.

Or, send members an incentive.75% of consumers purchased something after receiving a reward.

Willing to pay for upgraded loyalty reward program

Don’t discount an upgrade option. Creating an optional paid upgrade can bond members even more. They paid something, which increases the desire to use the benefits. 

Paid membership puts you into an elite inner circle. After a year of being disconnected, being a part of something has enhanced value.  

When I work with clients

For new clients, or when we’re doing a review, I put on my “consumer hat.”  I put myself in the shoes of their target audience and look for ways to enhance their customer experience and loyalty programs. 

A customer who likes your brand and is pleased with your rewards program is far more apt to recommend you to their friends.

Need help?  Judith@jculpcreativecopy.com.

You can read Blake Morgan’s Article HERE.