For even more reach and engagement, brand ambassadors are your force multipliers. They form the backbone of your loyalty referral program. As independent third parties, they lend credibility to your program promotions and can provide a boost to enrollment.
Here are some ideas for operationalizing an ambassador program:
- Assuming you’ve already got a loyalty platform in place, consider tracking your ambassadors with assigned gift cards, trackable coupons, landing pages and the like. As an example: for every assigned “$5 Off Card” a customer redeems at your business, the ambassador gets $1 for any item of their choice.
- Another idea is using point multipliers. Try awarding successively larger amounts of value to an ambassador’s account for the more people they refer. This can be particularly effective during high-traffic periods, like holidays.
- Set goals tied to a referred value threshold that you can measure by revenue, customers or number of items purchased. Goals are the basis of gamification.
- Make sure your ambassadors have a resource center to go to for questions and feedback.
- Build the relationship. Genuinely thanking ambassadors when they send a new customer your way is vital to building referral relationships. Instant rewards are a great way to let your ambassadors know when their referrals are working.
- Measure program effectiveness by segmenting all of the tickets where an ambassador program discount has been applied. Remove the value of the discount you applied to your end user—e.g., that $5 off coupon—and then subtract the value of the reward you applied to your ambassador’s account on the same ticket. Divide the dollar value of the discounts you gave by the total revenue earned from referral-based revenues for the program’s percentage cost.
To recap: Keep your focus on using your loyalty program as a means to build stronger relationships with your customers. Analyze the available data on any interactions they have with your brand. Learn their preferences. Personalize your program to the preferences.
You’ll know it’s working when they tell you they feel valued, they’re in control, they’re being rewarded for their loyalty and they’re getting rewards to spend.
Don’t forget to keep the conversation going with loyal shoppers over time. Try conducting surveys or focus groups to confirm you’re on the right track. And if you have the right loyalty platform that integrates directly into your POS, ecommerce and analytics, you can track their loyalty program activity levels, spending and purchase habits to give you all the evidence you need.