6 Key Steps to Structuring a Successful Rewards Program
By Ria Cruz
A rewards program can be a great tool to retain clients and bring in new business—but you have to structure the program well or it can cause problems. For example, you can’t give too much away because the program will become too expensive, but you can’t give too little or your customers will lose interest. That’s why we created this quick guide for structuring a rewards program that will set your business up for success.
Use a Point System
The tried and true point accumulation system works where activities like spending money or attending classes earns points, and those points are redeemed for prizes. There’s a reason the major airlines and credit card reward programs are set up this way. This structure is easy for customers to understand and incentivizes them to engage more deeply with your business.
Calculate Your Earning Velocity
The average earn velocity tells you how many points each customer earns per month on average across all of the activities you reward. For example, for a yoga studio it might take into account the average number of classes attended each month, amount spent on retail, appointments or workshops attended and referrals. Let’s say for example that this equates to 30 points per month. You wouldn’t want a free class to cost 1000 points in this scenario because it would take the average customer almost 3 years to redeem a free class. But you wouldn’t want it to take only 50 points to redeem a free class either or the average student would get a free class every other month. You can contact us at Perkville to get a spreadsheet to help you calculate the average earn velocity.
Make a Reward Attainable within Three to Six Months
Your customers should be able to earn at least one reward within a 3 to 6 month timeframe. Otherwise, they will lose interest in your program, and it won’t be effective. Ideally this reward would be small or inexpensive. For example, a health club may offer a smoothie or discount on retail. In the example above, it would mean at least one reward would cost between 90 and 180 points.
Award Big for Referrals
A successful referral is often worth hundreds of dollars to health and wellness businesses so ensuring that the points given for a referral are appropriate (not too cheap) is important to keep clients interested in referring friends. As a good rule of thumb, reward your referrals enough such that they can redeem a high value reward if they bring you a new customer.
Use Your Rewards to Cross Sell
Entice customers to try different services or products at your business by cross selling. For example, if you’re a salon, use retail as the rewards so more customers give your hair products a try. Or if you’re a gym, make personal training a reward so that more customers try PT. Cross selling not only encourages customers to try out offerings they may have not otherwise, but also adds variety to your rewards program.
Add Partner Rewards to Your Program
You don’t want the rewards you offer with your program to put you out of business, but at the same time, variety is important. A good way to give customers great value rewards while also keeping the rewards financially feasible is to partner with other nearby complimentary companies. For example, if you’re a spa, perhaps partner with a local salon who may offer your customers a reward such as 50% off their first haircut. Or the local coffee shop might be willing to offer your customers a free coffee reward to drive traffic to their store.