8 Things Website Owners Can Learn from Customer Loyalty Programmes
The key to a successful business is repeat customers, people who love your products and services, can’t have enough of them and rave about them. Airline companies were the first to understand the need to grow and retain their customer base, implementing the hugely successful Frequent Flyers programme, with retailers following suit with their own brand of incentives.
It turns out running a website or a blog is like running an airline or a hotel. Let’s take a look at some tricks you can learn from customer loyalty programmes.
The act of writing an article and posting it on your website is not an act of communication. The real interaction with your readers begins once the post has been published. Create a newsletter if you do not have one and alert your readers about the new content on the website. If your blog is constantly updated, suggest followers to subscribe to your RSS feed. The conversation with yiur readers can happen on other platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and online forums. Engage with your readers and you will see them coming back to your website.
Good retailers will try and ensure customers are happy with the products they have purchased. Good bloggers will monitor readers’ reactions to their content. Make sure to read all the comments left on your blog posts and answer them. If there is a question that needs a more detailed answer, why not make it the subject of your next post? Your readers will feel listened and valued which will make them more likely to return.
Employee Loyalty and Training
This method applies to group blogs. You need to ensure that all contributors are happy as they will pass this feeling on to their followers. If you are the community’s customer service champion, you will need to share your techniques with your fellow contributors and train them in the manner you want them to interact with readers.
Predict the Future
Identify the key behaviours that indicate reader’s dissatisfaction: a slum in the traffic, less comments or a surge in critics and negative comments… All are indicators of readers or subscribers who are not happy with your content. Be proactive: use Technorati or Digg to find out what the blogosphere is talking about and use it as an inspiration for new posts. Reach out to those readers/subscribers who were the most active and nudge them to come back check this new content.
As a blogger, you must receive some freebies: why not give them away to your readers? Organise regular contests and competitions where they can win exclusive products sent out to you by your sponsors. And incentives do not have to be material: if some of your readers are bloggers themselves, invite them to contribute to your blog as guests. You will flatter them and encourage them to talk about you to their own followers.
Know which ones of your posts are the most popular with your readers and give them more of the same. Regularly dig into your archives and feature old favourite posts into lists. This works particularly well when news is slow.
If you announce that you are going to blog every day, then blog every day. Be reliable. If you cannot publish new content for a certain period of time, let your readers know immediately. Do not let them hang out dry. Refer them to overlooked content or other sections of your blog/website that will keep them entertained while you are away.
As a blogger or website owner, you have defined an editorial line and stick to it. But it can sometimes be a good thing to be flexible and delve into subjects that do not seemingly with fit with your content but that will surely resonate with your readers. Find ways to include topical subjects (elections, news headlines) into your posts by approaching them from a specific angle. The variety of your content will keep your readers on their toes.
This is a guest post by ICLP, which provides loyalty marketing solutions to help businesses create, retain & grow profitable relationships.