5 Tips to build and excel at a customer loyalty program

customer loyalty

“Just need to swing past Mecca to pick up my Beauty Loop Box for this month,” said every woman ever.

Perhaps you’ve thought, “If I spend $100 more at Sephora, I will have enough points for the $40 mascara I’ve been wanting – totally worth it, isn’t it?”

You would most certainly have been asked at a check-out “Are you a member with us?”  This could be at Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, Chemist King etc.

We all encounter loyalty programs regularly, offering us points, discounts, bonuses and rewards for our loyalty to brands and businesses….. but have you ever considered creating something similar for your own business – big or small?

Loyalty programs can include a range of marketing incentives to entice customers to purchase and form long-lasting relationships through earning points, gifts, discounts and more. When effective, loyalty programs will enhance customer loyalty.

But how do you build and maximise your loyalty program? The Purple Giraffe Tower can help you out with five proven strategies below!

Know your Audience

Think about your current customers and don’t forget about potential new customers. Identify their preferences, habits and pain points. Ensure the loyalty program will address their needs and promote growth and develop value for customers.

Ask yourself “What type of loyalty program would your customers benefit from the most?” If they’re an older demographic, can you leverage physical cards with benefits? If they’re a younger demographic a digital option will be convenient and easily accessible.

What Program Will Suit my Business Best?

Loyalty programs can include;

  • Punch System: Where the customer is provided with a small business card that gets punched after each purchase, this is great for smaller businesses.


  • Points-Based System: Where a value per dollar spent is earnt, then customers can put this toward something valuable. Sephora does this well with their Beauty Pass rewards!


  • Loyalty/VIP Exclusive Discounts: Where customers sign up for a membership (paid or free) and receive special exclusive offers and discounted prices. Dan Murphy’s do this well with their My Dans Membership!


  • Mission-Driven Programs: Provide the customer with a feeling as though their purchase is helping the wider community through a donation per purchase. Zambrero’s do this effectively with their Plate 4 Plate initiative!


  • Tier-Based Program: Customers unlock different tiers depending on how much they spend, unlocking higher benefit levels. Cosmetic brand Mecca ace this with their Beauty Loop Boxes!


  • Refer a Friend Program: Offer customers a discount or voucher to refer friends, this will help build light buyers. Uber Eats offer $20 off your first order through a referral code!

Where do I start?

When deciding what program will suit your business it is best to think about your customers first, resist trying to compete with competitors. If your program isn’t relevant and interesting, customers might sign up, but you won’t hear from them again. Or perhaps they won’t even sign up to start with.

This isn’t ideal….

What you want is a program that is still profitable for your business whilst providing value to your customer base. You may want to think about the deeper meaning behind your business and how this can connect to a loyalty program.

Find a Name for your Loyalty Program

Get creative!

You don’t want your name to blend in with other competitors and businesses. You want it to be easy to distinguish it’s your business. Be sure to include features of your branding when considering this, it acts as a marketing tool for your business!

Try to make it catchy. Catchy names will help customers recall the program name, differentiate between competitors and build a sense of community. Which can then act as a source of word-of-mouth marketing.

Provide Many Different Opportunities to Join

When you have your loyalty program and catchy name sorted, you need to make it easy for customers to join the program. Include a link to join on your website, social media pages and email marketing. Display signage with QR codes in-store. And absolutely train your staff with scripting to invite your customers to join and enjoy the benefits!! This will make the process seamless and easy to join!

No matter your business size, big or small, it’s a good idea to reward those who sign up with a welcome offer, whether it be a discount, voucher or gift with purchase or free-shipping for online purchases.

Entice Customers to Make it a Challenge

Now you have your program, a catchy name and many ways to join how can you make your loyalty program even better?

We recommend adding a challenge aspect to your loyalty program. If it’s a points balance, can you create certain tiers or milestones to aspire to?  Or add a feature to add and compete with friends and family members? Or even provide photo examples online of products they can redeem when they make it to the next points milestone.

If you’ve decided on a rewards program with a gift bag after a certain amount spent, make it aesthetic and appealing. Customers will be more inclined to share this on their social media stories or post about your business.

If you have a mission-driven program, could you send an email for each donation milestone they meet, with an option to share to socials?

Software to Help, or can you Facilitate Internally

If you have a smaller business, a manually operated loyalty system is an option. If your business is growing it is important to consider an automated customer loyalty software, like Kangaroo, Smile.io, Yotpo or Five Stars to make it easier to manage.

Yotpo powers some of Australia’s fastest growing brands like Princess Polly, Steve Madden, LKSD, Billabong and more!

Automating your customer loyalty program to keep contact information on file, track customer actions, automate the process of awarding points/discounts, track programs success and communicate with customers is critical to its success.


Whilst there are many benefits to developing and implementing a loyalty program, like most marketing tactics it won’t magically solve all your issues and skyrocket your business’s profit. It is a valuable tool in your overall marketing strategy.

If you’re look to engage with and delight your customers and keep them coming back, these 5 tips are a great place to start when getting your loyalty program off the ground. Of course, we invite you to reach out to the team at Purple Giraffe and tap into our experienced team to help you more!

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Picture of Olivia Massey

Olivia Massey

Olivia is currently in her final year of studying a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Marketing and Sport and Recreation Management at the University of South Australia. Olivia is undertaking an internship here at the Tower to gain a range of hands-on experience! She has a strong interest in the social media and copywriting space, however, is looking forward to gaining experience and expanding her skills across all areas of marketing.

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