Best practices for attracting loyalty club members

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With large portions of the marketing budget dedicated to acquisition tactics such as search marketing and social media, customer retention often takes a back seat.

But one strategy has bucked the trend and caught on: loyalty or free shipping clubs — paid membership programs that offer participants exclusive benefits, starting with discounted or free shipping. There’s a reason these programs are increasingly commonplace: they’re proven to drive repeat business.

According to industry researcher Forrester, participation in free shipping clubs grew by a third from 2010 to 2011 — from 9% to 12% of U.S. online consumers. And of those participants, 66% say they plan to shop more with the brand whose club they’ve joined.

Research  /></a></p><p>If your brand doesn’t yet offer an online loyalty club, now is the time to consider adding one — it’s a big investment, but one with the potential to pay off handsomely.  If you already have a program in place, maximize its effectiveness and profitability with these best practices:</p><p><strong>Put shipping front and center — but play it smart.</strong> Shipping costs remain the top reason consumers abandon online shopping carts, so giving loyalty club members a shipping price break makes sense. To offer value while maintaining margins, consider these tactics:</p><p>Page 1 of 3 | <a href='/2012/04/04/best-practices-for-attracting-loyalty-club-members/?wpmp_switcher=mobile&wpmp_tp=1'>Next page</a></p><div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-29443038-569-56be1cccac713' data-src='//' data-name='like-post-frame-29443038-569-56be1cccac713'><h3 class='sd-title'>Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height:55px'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class=Loading...