The Partnership Effect – Improving member engagement and retention
A winning membership engagement strategy starts with careful planning. While all engagement strategies aim for a long-term goal of higher retention rate, starting off with short-term goals is the key to build it.
Members are the backbone of any loyalty club, particularly the membership-based travel club. The partnership marketing team is responsible for building, nurturing and managing relationships with the members to ensure their needs are met. When done right, it can be incredibly rewarding and add tremendous value to the members. That being said, what exactly is the need for engagement, you might wonder? Michael J. Brennan offers a simple equation to understand engagement
Engagement = Relationship + Action
By leveraging the engagement touchpoints, the partnership marketing team can invent new ways to bring value to the members/ merchant partners. As a result, the entire experience becomes seamless for the members in measurable ways that benefit the higher goal of the loyalty program.
Let us see how engagement facilitates networking and growth for a travel loyalty program –
- Active participation
Engagement will build strongly when the member participation is maximized. To maximize participation and foster loyalty, networking is a useful key. The partnership marketing team should engage the members through various channels and mediums such as social media, events, seminars, conferences, newsletters etc. The active members are more likely to use/purchase services than the non-engaged ones.
- Network building
The engagement is all about making conversations to gain trust of the members. The members should be able to establish their trust in the travel club and its brand offerings so as to grow together. The marketing team should focus on advancing innovations by educating the members about new services/products so that they should be excited to join. These sustainable associations add value via networking and generate revenue for the organization.
- New member acquisition
The price of acquiring a new member is usually higher than the cost of engaging with an existing member yet it is required to drive growth. A simple word of mouth from existing members can do wonders to the growth of loyalty club and help in reaching out to new prospects efficiently. The marketing team can make this possible by ensuring member satisfaction and loyalty. Increased membership will help in creating referrals – the strongest path to new member acquisition.
- Higher retention rates
Members can enjoy bespoke discounts and rewards on their purchases facilitating higher engagement rates. Engagement will lead to a member’s willingness to spend time and money on the loyalty program in exchange for value.
- Member loyalty
Increased retention rate strategies eventually lead to enhanced member loyalty. The partnership marketing team can drive loyalty by utilizing a well-executed engagement strategy at different levels of communication. For instance, 24X7 assistance should be offered to the valued members over varied mediums of communication namely the website, chat, email or phone. This complements an organization’s membership communication efforts to drive lifelong loyalty from the members.
- Qualitative and quantitative growth
In the pursuit of a bigger goal for the success of loyalty program, it is important that marketing team sought out deals for all kind of customers of all types and sizes. Engaging different types of members in tiered loyalty program will translate to increased service utilization. The marketing team should focus on offering services with the broadest appeal to make sure that members go nowhere else. The focus on quality and quantity of services will enhance lifetime member value and drive indispensable growth.
By deepening and broadening engagement strategies, the loyalty club can champion the roadmap to growth. Interactions and member-action are a two-way relationship and if done correctly, can make any loyalty program successful.