Thousands of small businesses use AutoPilot, our automated messaging service that sends targeted promotions, deals, and rewards to loyalty program members depending on their visit and purchase behavior.
When implemented well, these rewards or deals, which you as a business owner create and manage, drive significant business back through the door, and more often. Even better, AutoPilot’s known for saving “lost” customers – You know, those who haven’t been around in quite a while – Ouch, but hey, it happens (90% of the time!).
With the right rewards, AutoPilot brings back new customers, “lost” customers you haven’t seen in 30, 90, 180, 270 or even 360 days, and encourages regular customers to spend more. As robust, and dare we say, awesome as AutoPilot is, any old reward just won’t do to drive that traffic back. Loyalty rewards need to be enticing, intriguing and suited for the right audience. So what exactly are the right rewards or deals you should offer?
We dug through the data and thousands of AutoPilot rewards to discover the most popular, effective and redeemed rewards that have brought back or even saved customers. From our findings, here are the top 10 best and most redeemed AutoPilot reward types ranked in reverse order:
10. Free upgrades
Looking for an affordable way to reward good customers or to save those at risk of never coming back? Size upgrades like “get a large for the price of a medium” or “get 30 additional minutes free on your next massage” work wonders. One of our businesses sent 11,000 customers who hadn’t come back in a month a free size upgrade on their tea and got 2,000 customers back in the door!
9. VIP status or membership discounts
Your loyalty program can also include tiered loyal customer levels, like a VIP status. If you’re a service-based business like a salon, you may offer monthly or yearly memberships. Sending rewards to achieve a new loyalty level or to gain access to a free membership does well. A few of our businesses this year sent out 26,000 membership upgrades and received more 1,000 opt-ins.
8. Seasonal or new item discounts
Offering a discount on seasonal or new items happily encourages customers to get out of their purchasing comfort zones and increases visits. For example, let’s say you have new holiday items in like spiced cider or wool sweaters – offer these at a smaller percentage discount (10-15% off). Last year, small businesses sent 23,000 seasonal or new item rewards and drove 1,100 customers to buy something new.
7. Complete your purchase items
A free side with the purchase of an entree, 50% off e-juice with a mod purchase, or 45% off earrings with a dress purchase – any of these “complete your purchase” offers can help drive up average ticket value and customer visit frequency. Over 10,000 customers received a free side with meal offer and 700 redeemed it within 7 days.
6. Buy one get one (BOGO)
Buy one get one campaigns are less about saving customers and more about driving referrals. Send these offers to regulars or new visitors and turn your best customers into evangelists. Last year, 2.4 million BOGO offers went out and brought in 163,000 customers. Let’s assume half of those people actually brought in a friend – that’s a lot of referral traffic.
5. Percentage off
This one is pretty self explanatory, but we do want to point out that percentage off works best for “growth” campaigns specifically. Growth campaigns are sent to your regular customers, and its focus encourages regulars to spend a little more each time they visit.
Obviously, free up-sell items (like a free pastry with your coffee) work great since they’re easy to visualize, but percent off discounts can have a huge impact, too. Our businesses have sent 3.6 million “10% off” rewards to their regulars and drove more than 335,000 visits – percentage off discounts work.
4. Single item markdown
If you don’t want to commit to giving something away completely for free, this is a great alternative. One of our coffee shops offered a cup of coffee for $1 to 13,000 customers who hadn’t been back in a month and 1,000 of them returned!
3. Dollars off
Give a few bucks off a purchase, and you’ll get sales. If you need to save some cash, you can use this for single items, for example: $5 off games. In the last year, some of our small businesses rewarded more than 6,000 $5 dollar discounts and got 1,100 customers to return.
2. Bonus points
This one surprised us, but the numbers don’t lie. Give a customer 2-10 bonus points and watch them walk through your door. Over 33,000 bonus points were offered, and they brought back 6,000 customers.
1. Free item
If you offer a free item, people come in – Pretty simple, and it’s the most redeemed offer of them all. The interesting part is that the free item doesn’t have to be that expensive to garner this response. For example, over the last year, almost 700,000 free cookies have been offered and “saved” or brought back a total of 83,000 customers!
If you haven’t implemented any of these rewards into your AutoPilot campaigns, head to your dashboard and change at least one to any of the above. The world could be a better place if more people gave out free cookies, right?
Don’t have AutoPilot? Fill out this form and we’ll get back to you with details.