Hey everyone! I hope you’re enjoying your holiday season! In my last blog post, “Best Practices for Loyalty Marketing & Incentive Program Communications,” I wrote about how you could use your loyalty program as a source of loyalty marketing data.
Participant surveys are a chance to collect demographic, firmographic, market, and contact data from your customers. And since you’ll be rewarding customers for providing that information, they will be more motivated to do so.
In fact, collecting this loyalty marketing data is something we do internally to make sure we’re providing a consistently excellent customer value proposition to our clients’ participants. Every year, we hold our Voice of the Participant Survey, where we survey all of our clients’ participants (with their permission, of course). This a chance for us to see what their interests are, to monitor the performance of our customer support, and to get a big picture view of trends that will guide our product development.
2019 Voice of the Participant Survey [Infographic]
So without further ado, here is what we found by asking thousands of incentive program participants to tell us a little bit more about themselves and their experiences… As you look through this data, make sure to ask yourself, “What could my company do if we were armed with this sort of loyalty marketing data?!”
Data Collection Goals: What the 2019 Voice of the Participant Survey Means to Us
Before we start interpreting the results, it’s important to understand why we asked the questions we did and what we plan to do with this information. Obviously, if you’re thinking of ways to use your own incentive program as a source of loyalty marketing data, you will have a different set of data points you would want to collect, based on your own unique goals. Think of this as a proof of concept!
We have several KPI-based goals we used to structure our annual Voice of the Participant Survey.
- Delivering excellent participant support.
Unlike many incentive program providers, we have a full in-house customer support team to make sure that our reward program participants have a smooth, seamless, and friendly reward redemption experience.
- Providing a great UX and reward catalog experience.
Our goal is to provide a reward catalog experience that rivals B2C ecommerce sites, where participants can easily navigate their incentive program website, shop for rewards, create wish lists, track their progress, and stay informed about the latest promotions.
- Testing our email marketing metrics.
This is a KPI that’s near and dear to my heart. The email campaign for this survey allows me to A/B test different design decisions that I can use to improve the email marketing campaigns I create for our clients. These include deliverability rates, open rates, click-though rates, and overall response rates. Chances are this will definitely be a KPI you would want to track for your own program.
- Gathering demographic, interest, and personality data.
This is an extremely important loyalty marketing data point that we use to inform our design decisions and product development. After all, to effectively motivate and inspire your audience, you have to understand what makes them tick!
Understanding Results: Loyalty Marketing Data Break Down
So, what did we learn and how do we plan to use the loyalty marketing data we were able to gather?
Our metrics for participant support, customer service, and reward catalog user experience were strong overall, with plenty of room for improvement. On average participants agreed (over 4 on a scale of 1 to 5) with the following statements:
- The reward catalog is easy to navigate.
- The catalog offers an expansive selection of rewards.
- The selections in the reward catalog are high quality.
- The customer service and participant support provided for reward redemption are exceptional.
- Email communications keep the program top of mind.
The overall satisfaction rate with the rewards program was 86%. This number is actually pretty disappointing for us. Our client satisfaction rate this past summer was 92.7% – and we expect to provide A+ levels of customer service. Over the past few months, we’ve doubled the size of our Participant Services Department. And we’ve released UX upgrades to our loyalty program software. Both of these will help us improve this metric (but just wait till you see what we have in product development!). We’ll be very surprised if this metric isn’t higher next year.
But data is power. We would much rather deal with the harsh reality that participants aren’t 100% happy with every aspect of our program and customer service, and take steps to improve, instead of assuming that everything is great.
Are you collecting customer satisfaction metrics from your channel partners and end-users? There might be gaps in your sales enablement, communication, and customer support that you don’t even know you have – but which jeopardize your long-term channel loyalty.
Testing Out Your Email Marketing Performance
As Marketing Communications Specialist, our email marketing and communications benchmarks are a huge part of how I’m graded on my performance and how I make design decisions for our loyalty marketing campaigns.
One of the cool things about marketing through a rewards program is that the value proposition is already built in. (If you’re not using your rewards program to market new products and promotions to your audience, you should be!). Our benchmarks are email generally extremely high – and as we work to improve on our own metrics, they are only getting higher.
Our 2019 Voice of the Participant Campaign resulted in:
- 4% deliverability.
- A 52.9% open rate.
- A 28.6% click-through rate.
For email marketing, those numbers are huge! For reference, our open rates were 204.37% higher than overall marketing email benchmarks, and our click-through rates were 1,301.96% higher! Our overall response rate was 21% – up 4.5% from last year, which is pretty good considering we surveyed thousands of participants and this survey was completely voluntarily. For your own reward program surveys, you can offer limited time points bonuses to incentivize an even higher response and build out true end-to-end marketing campaigns with multiple touchpoints!
Gathering Demographic, Interest, and Personality Data
For companies considering using incentives as part of their business and marketing intelligence strategy, collecting demographic, interest, and personality data is huge. This is especially true in B2B and channel sales, where information further down the distribution channel can be extremely hard to come by. In a different context, most recipients flat out would not supply this kind of information to a marketing email. But, like I mentioned earlier, a rewards program consistently gives them value, building emotional capital and trust.
This loyalty marketing data was 100% voluntary. But it’s extremely powerful. For us, we can use these data points to shape our communications strategy, improve personalization, and make sure we’re stocking our rewards catalog with items that strongly appeal to our clients’ target audience.
Imagine what you could do differently if you knew what your channel partners’ lifestyle looked like, what they were interested in, and how they saw themselves!
Are You Interested in Creating Your Own Data-driven Loyalty Marketing Campaign?
If you’re interest in collecting better loyalty marketing data and using that data to create personalized and effective marketing campaigns, don’t hesitate to reach out. And make sure to ask for Stevie Petri!