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Creating Customer Loyalty with Membership Cards

Creating customer loyalty, loyalty card in envelopeYou’ve probably heard the statistics about how it is easier to keep an existing customer than trying to attract a new customer.

It costs 5-10 times more to acquire a new customer than maintain an existing one.

Current customers spend 67% more than new customers. Because of that, 65% of marketers have implemented some sort of loyalty program.

At first I thought the loyalty program numbers might be high until I thought about how many loyalty programs I personally am a member of. Just yesterday I stopped at three retail establishments and I had a membership card for all three. Not only do I have a membership card, but I see the value in the card and used them at all three locations. Let’s take a look at my shopping trip.

First Stop – Lunch. The eating establishment I stopped at had me scan my plastic membership card and the person assisting me added a reminder that I only needed to purchase two more entrees before I get one free. Woo hoo! When I first signed up they gave me a free appetizer, and now I receive occasional promotional offers that I have to admit have convinced me to visit their location on more occasions.

Second Stop – Clothing Store. Looking for a new outfit for the changing seasons drew me to this location. When I was purchasing my clothing choices the cashier scanned my membership card and informed me that not only was I receiving 30% off my purchase, but because it was my birthday month I received an extra $5 off. I knew about the 30% off, but the extra discount was a welcomed surprise. Success! (Imagine how much better this would have been if they would have sent me an email or other reminder of this perk!)

Third Stop – Retail Store. Needing to pick up some household supplies required this stop. After grabbing my necessities, I scanned my membership card and surprise – I received $10 off my purchase because it was my birthday month. Bonus! (Again - where was that email reminding me of this? I would have come in sooner!)

I’ll admit not every shopping trip is filled with so many membership benefits. My birthday might have something to do with the success of this particular trip, but I’ve seen enough value from the memberships to continue using the cards.

I’m a regular customer at each of these locations and they see the value in keeping me around. I definitely purchase items and make it worth their while to offer me a free meal or $5 off every so often. It keeps me loyal and happy. And I’m guessing it makes them happy too. Plastic membership cards have value. How many membership cards do you have and use? Creating customer loyalty with plastic cards is possible.

Tom Murphy
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