That’s a fair question. And the truth is the only person who can answer it is you. Different businesses also have different needs and requirements. Whilst a loyalty program can work wonders for a sandwich shop, we wouldn’t recommend it for an undertaker’s business.
However, it is safe to say that loyalty plays an important role for most businesses. It’s an oft-repeated mantra that 20% of your customers account for 80% of your sales. The trick is identifying which customers are in that 20%, and to encourage them to keep coming back. The value of a loyalty program is that it rewards those regular customers who keep your business afloat. You know, the customers who keep you in business.
Another classic saying is that it is 5 times more costly to gain a new customer than to retain an old one. Whilst these numbers are just figurative, the basic idea is that keeping your existing customers is paramount to keeping your marketing costs down. A successful business with happy, loyal customers can therefore afford to cut down on marketing, and should instead focus on keeping those customers happy and loyal.
What about new customers?
This is where the savvy Ferret Card merchant will benefit even more, by realising that Ferret Card is not only a loyalty platform, but also a marketing channel. Even if you think you business doesn’t need a loyalty program, there are substantial benefits to running Ferret Card.
People hate being marketed to. Over TV, radio, internet, e-mail, flyers, billboards, etc, we’ve learned to largely block out most of it. You probably don’t remember what the last billboard you saw was, or the last internet banner.
This is where social media comes into play. Whilst people have being marketed to, they can’t help but to tell their friends about that great new restaurant they visited. How many businesses have you tried out solely based on the recommendation from a friend? Word of mouth marketing is truly the holy grail of marketing. The trouble with word of mouth is that the right situation just doesn’t make itself happen. You thought that new Korean restaurant in town was amazing, but you’re not about to go out of your way to tell all 200 of your friends, family and colleagues about it. Ferret Card helps to make word of mouth referrals easy. If I saw 4 of my friends went to this shop, maybe I should ask one of them what they thought of it. A friend redeemed a reward there? Must be something to it!
All this is only possible if you are running Ferret Card Rewards in your business. So while you are busy rewarding your loyal customers, you are also reaching out to their friends.
Does that mean I have to sit and wait for customers to discover me?
Not at all! Since you’ve been using Ferret Card Rewards to reward your customers, the Ferret Card system has been learning all about who your customers are. You can then use Ferret Card Specials to start targeting them directly, based on the criteria you specify.
John Wanamaker is attributed to saying “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” That is the problem with traditional media such as newspaper or TV advertising. Ferret Card lets you cut out that wasted portion, and target the people who you really want to reach.
So even if you don’t think your business is in need of a loyalty program, there are still plenty of reasons to use Ferret Card.