Loyalty Program Email Examples - Learn From the Best
Email plays a significant role in digital business. So it should come as no surprise that retail stores are catching up on the trend as well.
Email marketing is growing in popularity with the increase of online purchases. And 2020 has certainly expedited the growth of this. The emails companies send to their customers are usually personalized and aim to increase engagement as well as repeat purchases.
With more than half of consumers joining loyalty programs through email marketing, now may be a good time to setup your strategy. In this guide, we show the basics of email marketing for retail and discuss some of the best loyalty program email examples. After reading this post, you should be able to understand how to structure your emails, and where to pay attention to.
Loyalty Program Email Examples
The best way to start your email marketing efforts is by looking what other companies do successfully. Let’s delve into some popular example and see what we can learn from them.
Example #1 - Eve’s Loyalty Program Welcome Email
A “welcome email” is the first message your subscriber receives when signing up to your newsletter. While this is not necessarily tied to your loyalty program, it sets the stage for the relationship, and determines whether consumers will show interest in taking things one step further.
Eve’s welcome email is a great example of a well-structured and value-packed message. The email starts with “why” they do what they do (we believe everyone deserves a perfect start) and only then continue with the “how” they achieve this (so we created the world’s best mattress). This technique shows the true identity of a brand and helps consumers see more than just a product. Simon Sinek explains this in further depth in his video:
After introducing their values, Eve’s proceeds by creating a “compact” collection of CTAs to help the new subscriber better navigate around their platform. By doing so, they:
- Offer subscribers the possibility to choose what matters most to them
- They can track what the majority of users click on to improve their emails (through UTM parameters).
- Naturally, those that show interest in their referral program (second CTA) will be great candidates for their loyalty program as well.
What we can learn from Eve:
- The ability to structure a great welcome email can play a significant role and the actions your subscribers take in the future (including them signing up to your loyalty program).
- Adding multiple CTAs will help you create a preliminary segment that indicates what your audience is interested in most. This can then be used as a hint when building out your actual loyalty-related email sequence.
Example #2 - Loyalty Program Introduction (HEADSTARTSHOP)
After you build up a list of potential customers, you may want to create emails that incentivize their introduction to your loyalty program. After all, why would anyone do something for free?
For most retail companies, this is very easy to do (and cost effective too). HEADSTARTSHOP rewards customers with free points to make them explore the perks of their loyalty program. This type of email can be triggered by any of the following actions:
- When subscribers make their first purchase from your website
- When trying to promote your new loyalty program
- If you notice a subscriber’s inactivity for a longer period of time
The email above makes a great example as it also illustrates how easy it is to start earning points. By indicating the simplicity of the program and the rewards that subscribers can receive through them, brands increase the odds of customers signing up.
What we can learn from HEADSTARTSHOP:
- When incentivizing your customers upfront, you intrigue them to explore your offer further. This, in turn, increases the impressions that your program gets and, as a result, participation tends to increase
- A customer only has a limited amount of time to spend on activities of loyalty programs. Pointing out the simplicity of these actions can further increase the odds of signups
Example #3 - Nurturing Loyalty Program Emails (DSW)
As soon as a subscriber starts to make use of the loyalty program, there are certain things you should keep in mind:
- Their inbox is probably overflowed with emails similar to yours (offers, discount, promotions)
- Top of mind brand awareness is hard to maintain due to the bulk of emails and information
- It is important to keep reminding your audience that they are close to an achievement
This is where nurturing emails come into play. Their main purpose is to remind the customers of your brand and invite them to take action (engage in a specific way). When it comes to loyalty programs, these emails should be all about rewards (the achievement). DSW achieves three things through their newsletter:
- They remind subscribers of the loyalty program’s perks (double points)
- They improve top of brand awareness through increased personalization (name on shoebox)
- Through inducing a feeling of “missing out” on an offer, they invite people to make a purchase (earn a $10 certificate)
This type of email is great for inactive subscribers and new promotional campaigns. But be careful: sending these types of emails too often could make your audience feel as if you’re spamming them. So, how do you market loyalty programs instead? The answers can be found in the next example.
Meanwhile, here's we can learn from DSW:
- Top-of-mind awareness (for a loyalty program) is important, as customers are likely part of multiple other programs too
- Personalization is a great strategy to increase click-through rates
Example #4 - Mixing welcome emails with loyalty program perks (Sephora)
We chose Sephora due to their ability to effectively mix a welcome email (like Eve’s), with an introduction to the perks of their loyalty program (like HEADSTARTSHOP). This strategy tends to work great for Sephora, who tries to keep their emails simple, visually appealing, and value packed.
In their email, users have the ability to navigate the website (header), understand what they should expect in the future (we’ll be here for the next few emails), and get a brief overview of what their loyalty program entails. By doing so, the brand puts a heavier emphasis on the importance of their loyalty program.
What we can learn from Sephora’s “email marketing made easy” approach:
- A great way to introduce your loyalty program is by placing it into the welcome email. This makes it part of the brand’s identity and shows users what they can expect moving forward.
- A generic indication of what the subscriber can expect in terms of email frequency can help avoid the spam box.
Example #5 - Thank your subscribers occasionally (TOPSHOP)
You can also setup particular “email marketing packages” that are automatically send on a specific occasion (e.g. on birthdays). Then, you can use this opportunity to promote the perks of your loyalty program even further (if you sign up to our program your next birthday gift is free).
TOPSHOP mainly sends emails like the above for brand awareness. This is why they indicate their free shipping and returns before actually going to the point, which is the birthday wish. By checking such nurturing emails, you can understand what a good foundation looks like, and use them as a loyalty program email examples to craft you unique offer.
In our opinion, here is how you should “restructure” the email example shown above:
- Once again, start with your “why”, which in this case is the birthday. Wish a happy birthday to your subscriber before anything else. If possible, personalize the email by adding the reader’s name as well.
- As soon as that is done, inform them of their reward and point out how the gift could be more valuable if they join your loyalty program (discount vs free gift).
- Only then you should start mentioning brand perks, like free shipping and free returns.
Although this is out personal opinion, we do believe that this approach could form an excellent tactic to increase participation for your loyalty program. So make sure you test it and let us know if it works for your brand.
What we can learn from TOPSHOP:
- Without realising it, many brands structure emails in a way that makes the subscriber feel like one more customer. By putting the perks of your company before the purpose of your email, you play a risky game. Instead, start with what matters most.
- Offering a discount is a great way to grab attention. But combining this with an introduction to your loyalty program (like HEADSTARTSHOP) could be even more beneficial.
How do I get people to join my loyalty program through email?
After seeing these loyalty program email examples, you should be ready to start crafting your own email marketing campaign. Here are a few ways to help you turn active subscribers into loyalty program members:
- Give new customers a welcome gift. Consider paying your customers upfront to increase your returns at a later point in time. Offer a small welcome gift, or the initial points to participate in your loyalty program.
- Give customers time-bound discounts. For subscribers who haven’t signed up yet, you can create an email offering a discount for signing up for your loyalty program. If you include time constraints on the deal, this could induce FOMO and more signups.
- Offer free shipping for joining your loyalty program. While most companies could already be doing this even without signing up to a loyalty program, it could be a great strategy for lower-priced brands.
The loyalty program emails we reviewed above are focused on three things:
- Introducing the customer to the program
- Nurturing (inactive) subscribers to use the program
- Sending promotional material or discounts to illustrate the importance of the program
By using the key takeaways shared in the loyalty program email examples above, you should be able to structure engaging, actionable and, above all, valuable emails for your audience. To learn more about the importance of email marketing for your store, make sure your check out why it makes the best medium of communication in retail.
And, if you wish to improve your email marketing knowledge, make sure to check out the following resources. Their knowledge area will help you become an expert in no time: