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Leveraging loyalty programs without breaking the bank

(Business Marketing) Loyalty programs for small businesses are a slam dunk way to get existing customers to come back and spread the word about your offering.

loyalty programs

loyalty programs

Improve your bottom line by rewarding customers

While much of the world frets over getting new customers, you probably know the value of keeping existing customers so happy that they tell everyone they know how much they love your product or service.

Offering superior customer service and a quality product keep your doors open, but an often underutilized way to grow brands is through loyalty programs, but that can be intimidating for a first timer.

To dive into leveraging loyalty programs without breaking the bank or losing your mind, we tapped into the wisdom of Greg Garrick, VP of Marketing at Huzzah Media. Garrick specializes in driving B2B/B2C revenue through aggressive experimentation, and prior to Huzzah, he was an exec at, a web community devoted to small business – so he’s speaking your language.

In his own words below, Garrick offers insight into getting started with effectively attracting customers and giving them reasons to come back over and over again:

Why you actually need a rewards program

Many business owners feel they already have a strong core of loyal customers and therefore don’t need a rewards program. That’s great, of course, but the fact of the matter is that your customers want to feel appreciated. They are showing you that they are willing to be loyal to you now, so why not give them even more reason? Can you imagine how loyal your already happy customers will be once you start rewarding them?

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And, can you imagine how great it’s going to be once you gain even more of these loyal customers’ friends based on your rewards program?

Another factor to consider:

What happens if one of your competitors finds a way to show your customers how much he appreciates their business? You could possibly have created an opportunity for him to move in on your revenue if he beats you to the punch.

If your top priorities are word of mouth and repeat customers, a loyalty program directly and positively affects both of those for your business. Businesses with loyalty programs are more profitable, and loyalty customers are 70 percent more likely to make repeat visits.

But where is a small business owner to start?

Implementing any new program can certainly be intimidating and overwhelming for a startup or young business on a limited budget. However, there are options available today that can significantly reduce costs and be up and running very quickly. For example, companies, like Huzzah Media, offer all-inclusive, ready-to-go packages for less than $100 per month. For a minimal investment with a high ROI, you can easily be leveraging the power of loyalty rewards and word of mouth to compete in the marketplace.

Often small business owners fear trying something new. Based on anxiety and worry, you’ll often justify not doing something with excuses like “it’ll be too expensive,” or “it won’t drive sales enough.” But the simple truth remains, it always pays to build a strong repeat customer base, regardless of the industry you’re in.

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It may take a bit of trial and error to find the right reward offerings but by choosing a seasoned company to help you implement your program, you can build from the experience of others and you’ll be getting the benefit of experience even if you don’t have it for yourself. That said, don’t be afraid to offer aggressive rewards at first, especially if you’re a new business looking to get initial traffic.

And the final ingredient

Be sure to keep accurate records of what rewards you’ve run and how they performed. This will be a key component measuring your program’s success. Again, many of the options available today include tools and guidance to help make this step easier. You can expect to see steady improvements in repeat and referral traffic over the life of your program. You’ll learn what brings customers back for more and when to offer something more compelling.

The bottom line is this: loyalty programs work. They aren’t intimidating when you’ve got the right tools.

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The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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