5 Strategies to Reward Your Followers and Turn Them Into Loyal Customers

Oliver Bridge

Raise your hand if you want free money!

If you didn’t raise your hand, let me guess why: “there’s no such thing!”

Well, that used to be accurate, but think again! New marketing tools are surpassing the limitations of traditional email marketing. Social media continues to rise. And — most recently — high-powered custom video marketing tools have come onto the market that allows you to connect with your followers and build customer loyalty in whole new ways.

These new tools don’t just grab new leads but create loyal followers and repeat customers with little to no marketing costs. That might not exactly be “free money” but it’s about as close as you can get.

The practice of turning first-time buyers into loyal repeat customers is referred to as loyalty marketing. It is based on planning your outreach in a way that allows you to frequently and consistently reward your followers. Today we’ll go over it and give you five killer tips for putting it into practice!

What is loyalty marketing?

Loyalty marketing is a revenue generation strategy focused on creating repeat business, especially with a core group of your most enthusiastic followers. Enthusiastic followers become loyal customers, and loyal customers make business boom and spread your brand.

But it does take some work and some thought to get off the ground. So, is it worth it?

Why invest in loyalty marketing?

Loyalty marketing is all about reducing your business’ customer acquisition costs while boosting sales at the same time. This is generally done by incentivizing and building relationships with each follower you have and making sure that you reward your followers. 

This is why loyalty marketing can significantly boost your business.

Repeat customers are more likely to buy

When a customer buys from a company for the first time, there’s some psychological resistance that has to be overcome. This is like when you’re at a party and you meet a person for the first time — you can’t just go up and talk to them like you would a friend.

No, you need to get to know them, their personality and their background — their personal brand, if you will —  before you can strike up a casual conversation. That takes effort and energy.

The same principle applies when buying from a new company: it’s harder to sell to someone who doesn’t know you. The book Marketing Metrics has shown that attempts to sell to existing customers enjoy a 60-70% success rate, while only 5-20% of new customers will buy.

And, of course, there's the 80/20 rule. This is common wisdom, of course, but the Gartner Group — a global research firm — has made it official, releasing a statistic confirming that 20% of existing customers will generate 80% of future revenue. Each follower in that 20% counts, and will reward your efforts to connect with them many times over!

Repeat customers are cheaper to get

Bringing on a new customer costs five times as much as retaining an existing one.

Let that sink in for a minute. It may seem crazy, but it’s true: Forrest Research (a global research firm) has confirmed that this statistic is actually accurate!

It makes sense, though, right? First, you have to find them. There are a lot of people in this world, and trying to search out the specific people who need what you sell can be kind of like finding one particular grain of sand on the beach.

Then, you need to make them aware you exist — and you need to do it in a way that doesn’t annoy them and brand you a nuisance. That boundary between noticeable and pushy varies by person, too, which doesn’t make your job easier!

And then, once you’ve met each other, they need to get to know you and to trust you before they want to hand over their hard-earned cash.

There are always non-cash routes to go, of course, such as using influencers to promote your brand, but that’s pretty time-intensive compared to standard awareness strategies most businesses use.

Customer loyalty strategies

Now that we’ve (hopefully) convinced you of the importance of customer loyalty marketing, how do you implement it? The key is to reward followers for their loyalty to your company. Below are five customer loyalty program ideas you can use to begin building the loyal brand that your company needs!

1. Exclusive deals and opportunities

Giving special deals to your most loyal customers is the most direct way you can reward your followers. You can reward them for their loyalty up to now, and at the same time, tempt them with the promise of even greater rewards at the next level.

Here are some ideas for how to create these exclusive opportunities:

  • Create customer incentives, such as sales for your followers only. They receive a special coupon code sent directly to them, which can be used on purchases from your company.
  • Create unique offers for your followers, giving them access to products that aren’t available to the general public. This is an especially great way to reward your followers if your business involves physical products and/or collectibles!
  • Send followers an invite to an “invite-only” event. This can be a Zoom call, a Q&A, or anything appropriate to your product. Bonus points if you have a followers-only offer for them at the end!

You can witness this practice at work in the members-only sales done by Flying NightBear Games. These sales are framed as a way of thanking their customers, and encourage continued loyalty.

2. Humanized customer support

Customers will often make their judgments about you and your company when they are at their most emotional. Unfortunately, this is usually when something goes wrong.

When they are angry or upset, an impersonal or frustrating experience with support can make a follower angry enough that 80% of them will go to a competitor and complain publicly, hurting your brand. On the other hand, if your followers talk to someone compassionate and comforting who can solve their issue and make them feel better, you will reap the results: 77% of followers will be more loyal to you, and 75% will spend more!

Customer support is not typically an area you think of when deciding how to reward your followers, but it turns out to be vitally important! You can also read our other blog post to learn more about this field.

One way to give an angry customer a five-star experience is with personalized, empathetic communication. Bonjoro’s specialty, custom video services are the perfect fit for this. Click here to see what we have to offer!

How to deliver good customer service isn’t something we can cover here, but check out our other articles on the subject:

3. Marketing gamification

Gamification is a hot new trend and one that’s highly effective. World of Warcraft is particularly (in)famous for its ability to maintain a devotedly loyal base of customers, and now many companies have brought this power to bear in their own industries.

Here are some gamification strategies for you to try out. Play around with them and see what works!

  • Create a leveling system — purchases, follows, etc., are worth a specific number of points, points get you levels, and levels get you recognition and deals. This ignores all the flowery (and time-consuming) marketing language and connects directly to your followers’ subconscious minds, making it a very satisfying way to reward your followers, and can be accompanied by level-based customer incentive programs.
  • Have a competition (in keeping with your branding!) to see who can “best” use your product — who can slice vegetables the finest with their new knife, etc.
  • Have a (virtual) scavenger hunt! Give out clues on social media that refer to certain facts about your product, company, brand or other things in your field. Reward the first XX people to collect them all with a prize!

The beautiful thing about gamification is that you can do almost anything. As long as it can reward the part of our brain that likes to collect, win and/or build, you’re good to go!

4. Social media contests as ice-breakers

Everyone knows that social media contests are a great way to generate engagement. But engagement only reliably generates basic followers. If you want to create enthusiastic followers who will turn into loyal customers, you need to go a step further and get to know something about each follower. Consider one of the following ideas:

  • Ask your followers to share a photo of themselves using your product on social media
  • Ask your followers to tell a short story about the impact your product has had in their lives — this can be funny, poignant or otherwise, depending on your branding
  • Ask your followers to write about the time your product was most beneficial to them
  • Ask your followers to write a haiku describing their experience with your product (you’d be surprised at what haiku contests bring out in people — sometimes a follower will produce something surprisingly beautiful!)

5. Personalized videos to new followers

Many people will tell you that it’s essential for your company to feel human, and will then attempt to do this by providing customer support from real people at an external call center.

But we’re all used to these techniques — they just feel fake. To reach your followers, you must act like a real friend, talking to them personally at times that are important to them, not to your email blast schedule.

Bonjoro allows you the ultimate in personalization and humanization — a face-to-face connection with each follower and done at just the right time. Click here to begin building a real relationship for your followers and earn their repeat business.

Here's an awesome example from Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income. He uses Bonjoro to send videos to new members of his community, or customers who buy one of his courses.

You might think that trying to send personalized videos to your followers at each milestone would be challenging and time-consuming. You want to reward your followers, of course, but are there enough hours in the day?

Well, normally you’d be right. But Bonjoro is built to do this very thing and to let you do it with ease. In Bonjoro, all your videos can be filmed, edited, sent, and even tracked from one central dashboard.

You need no knowledge of video editing to do this. Just your brand, your followers, and, of course, some time (though especially with Bonjoro’s vast array of integration features, it’s a surprisingly small amount).

The video below shows how simple using Bonjoro is.

Emails that can be custom-sent in this way are what really make a difference to followers — when a follower feels cared about, their connection grows, and soon a loyal customer is born! Click here to start the process now!

To conclude – connection is the key

In the end, it’s all about making a connection.

People are loyal to people. They’re loyal to companies when they can relate to those companies as they can to other people. So all in all, it comes down to the loyalty methods — the practices of connection — that you use. Use some listed here, create your own, or look for ideas in our other blog posts.

If you can build a personal connection between your business, your brand, your followers and even yourself — especially if you do so in a genuinely human way — then you can win their loyalty and ongoing business.

So, if that whole “free money” thing from the beginning is sounding good now, click here now to sign up for a free 14-day trial of Bonjoro!

Growth tips
About the author
Oliver Bridge
Growth Grizzly
Subscribe to your newsletter
Receive monthly tips on how to convert more customers, tackle churn, and spark a little #CustomerDelight

Want a cookie?

Taking one of our delicious cookies helps us improve your site experience.

Click here to read our cookie policy.