Loyalty trends and best practices

Importance of an Effective Trigger-Based Communication Strategy

by Julia Leyrer
January 15, 2015
Importance of an Effective Trigger-Based Communication Strategy

Once you implement a loyalty program, you are not yet finished with your loyalty strategy. In fact, there is a good chance that a loyalty program is set to be ineffective if it does not have an ongoing and robust communication element in place. Successful loyalty programs initiate a behavior out of your customers that they would not otherwise have done, and whatever the initiatives may be, they need to be communicated properly and clearly to be effective and drive results.

This is apparent for many of our consulting engagements, that companies are not making the most out of their current programs because they are lacking simple communications--and many do not even realize they are doing it. They are letting members become inactive because they are assuming the customer has all of the information they need about the program. This may be due to the fact that it is easy for the customer to look up the information on the website or initial signup message. But the truth is that the average customer is unlikely to stay on top of this information in a way to consistently change their purchasing behavior. These customers need a little push in the right direction, and when doing so through trigger-based messages, there are two important aspects to keep in mind:


Customers dislike being bombarded with general messages that do not seem to apply to them. It is impersonal and makes them feel they are being spammed, which no one gives a second thought to. By sending personalized trigger-based messages to individuals in real time, you are recognizing them for their immediate actions or status. It is saying, “Congratulations on earning 75 points--you are now only 25 points away from reaching your next highest reward.” Or you can even say, “We see you looked at this product and think you may enjoy these similar ones...”

These messages do not only apply to when the customer needs to perform an action, but also recognizes them for their positive actions completed. Thank them for choosing your company, for purchasing that product, and for being a loyal customer and reaching that membership tier. They will feel more connected to the company and that they individually are valued.

Sense of urgency

In addition to personalizing your messages, trigger-based messages create a sense of urgency to perform a certain action as soon as possible. If you send a notification for an expiration date approaching, whether it be for points or membership tier, the customer is motivated to perform the action before that date comes. In an example of saying to a member, “You have been inactive for 156 days today, and we are letting you know that you have only 24 days days left until your gold-level membership tier expires,” remind them of what they are capable of receiving in that gold-level tier, and influence them to not want to lose that status in a few weeks. If you do not currently have deadlines, setting some (with effective communication) is a big win for increased incremental purchases and creating a sense of urgency.

Through effective communications, you will build upon your individual relationships with your customers while keeping your brand on the top of their minds. The customer will know exactly where they stand and what they need to do, and the resulting influence on customer behavior will have a huge financial impact.

For more information about how to make the most of your loyalty program, or how to start your own,


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