Everyone in the marketing industry will agree: Customer loyalty is the gift that keeps on giving. And as the latest findings support, nothing boosts long-term customer loyalty like the right gift, given at the right time.

A recent study at the Queensland University of Technology found that customer loyalty programs that treat each customer exactly the same only go so far. What takes loyalty to the next level, the study found, is gratitude. And one of the major ways to achieve gratitude is giving personalized, relevant gifts.

Imagine how excited customers enrolled in a loyalty program will respond when they receive, out of the blue, a coupon for an exclusive gift that responds to their likes, or a no-strings-attached cash rebate (“Enjoy $25 Off Your Next Purchase”)? Just like that!

The answer: Super excited! Especially keeping in mind that 51% of consumers leave a loyalty program when earning points proves too hard (Colloquy). On the flipside, loyal customers spend an average 23% more money than others (Gallup).

The perfect time for giving is right now. Holiday season is that time of year when customers expect a little something extra – for being nice, not naughty, at least most of year. So why not let them have it, and throw in a little fun and merry-making while you’re at it?

Here are some ideas to get the good times rolling:


Advent calendar

1. Holiday Sweepstakes

Celebrate the German tradition of Adventskalender; a holiday calendar counting down the days from December 1 until Christmas with treats on each day. Selligent customer Fotokasten, a leading German photo products provider, saw great success with a digital online sweepstakes, where participants could win daily prices.

The results surpassed the wildest expectations: With 7,200 daily users and 45% newly registered ones, Fotokasten’s Holiday sweepstakes increased acquisition by nearly 50%. Add to that a 57% email open rate and Jingle Bells-ringing CTO rates of 74-80%.


Loyalty reward

2. Reward existing subscribers…

Constantly remind subscribers that loyalty programs offer true value, by sending gifts they will be grateful for in the long run. Selligent customer, German online optical ecommerce platform Brille24, sends unique gifts on customers’ birthdays with view rates above 55%.


Whether it’s holiday season or not, the main rule of thumb for all loyalty program communications is: Keep it simple and from the heart. When a loyalty program is easy to understand, over 81% of customers stay committed and happy (Colloquy). Fotokasten also uses Selligent’s Net-Promoter-Score (NPS) to track customer satisfaction across the lifecycle and create time-sensitive initiatives.


Loyalty newcomers

3. But also embrace newcomers…

Holiday season is a great time to welcome new customers and set the tone for loyalty with a gift in return for introducing themselves. Perhaps by saying, “Join our mailing list and receive 20% off your next purchase.” Selligent customer Mediahuis used the Selligent platform to create acquisition interception pop-ups, which were served to anonymous visitors to solicit email and postal information. And once visitors are identified, all behavior is captured and leveraged into personalized content.


For Christmas season, Selligent customer Bookit, the innovative Dutch online travel and hotel booking platform, leverages synergies with its owned domain Kerstmarkten. The official website for Christmas fairs in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany integrates with Bookit’s travel booking network, giving customers a chance to sign up for rewards points and customized communications.


Loyalty deals

4. Give early or exclusive deals

Customers are always grateful when brands let them know they are thinking of them. For instance, by sending them exclusive early access to deals relevant to their interests. The payoff is especially high during the Holidays: for many companies 50% of all business happens during holiday season.

Selligent customer SecretSales, the UK-based online flash sales platform for designer brands, uses 360-customer profiles to send customized daily emails with relevant deals. Around Holiday season, the members-only platform turns up another notch by sweetening deals with extra rebates.


Loyalty give

5. Give in their name...

Customers are grateful when brands and companies help them feel good about doing the right thing, for instance by donating to charities in their name. US online retailer Amazon has set up The AmazonSmile Foundation to automatically donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible purchases on the website in a seamless manner.

Adding a social component to the world of finance is Selligent customer Triodos Bank, the world's most sustainable bank and expert in sustainable banking for over 30 years. The bank boasts an impressive track record: 100% of Triodos Bank loans and investments benefit sustainable projects. The bank trusts the Selligent platform to keep customers in the loop by sending 3 million segmented newsletters, and has seen two-digit growth in customers over the past years by spreading good will.

With that said, what are you waiting for? Reward your customers this season – and they will reward your brand with stronger loyalty. Not just for the holidays, but year-round, year after year.


Connect to Selligent

Ready to get in on the fun and create your own holiday marketing success story? To learn more about implementing campaigns and targeted special CRM events in the Selligent platform, contact our team directly.

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