Creating Loyalty Programs Everyone Wants to Join

loyalty program

How does your client’s loyalty program compare to their competitors’? Or if they don’t have one already, should they invest in the creation of one? These are the questions Clarus Commerce sought answers to in their study How to Keep Your Customers Engaged When Loyalty Standards are High. Here are a few key findings.

The Truth About Customer Loyalty Programs

Do Your Clients Need One?

Yes. According to Clarus, “77% of non-​premium loyalty members in 2022 indicated a willingness to join a premium loyalty program if their favorite brands offered them and the benefits were valuable to them.” What’s the difference between a premium loyalty program and a traditional one? Clarus says:

  • Traditional: A program that is free to join and offers rewards that are accumulated over time as members make purchases
  • Premium: In exchange for a membership fee, members receive benefits immediately

And if the majority of non-​loyalty program members are jonesing for premium loyalty programs, that indicates that they’d also be a fan of traditional offerings, as well.

31% of consumers say their favorite brands don’t offer premium loyalty programs,” says Clarus. This means that, if your clients aren’t offering these programs, they’re missing out on not only the chance to increase customer loyalty, but also to make more sales! That’s not all. Here are additional benefits Clarus lists for brands with premium loyalty programs:

  • 91% of premium loyalty members are more likely to choose the program’s brand over a competitor that is offering a lower price if the benefits of the program are satisfactory
  • 91% of members of programs with benefits that they find valuable are likely to recommend the program’s brand to friends and family
  • 71% of members shop at the brands with programs they’re a part of at least once every week

Traditional loyalty programs also drive sales, with 73% of members saying that they used around 50% of their memberships at least once per month in 2021.

Making a Premium Program Desirable


First off, how much is too much for a premium loyalty program? According to Clarus, consumers are willing to pay annual fees of:

  • Under $50: 46% of consumers
  • Between $50 and $100: 22%
  • Over $100: 10%

So, your client’s best bet is to keep their program’s annual membership fees at $50 or less to attract the most members.


Now let’s talk benefits. When a consumer pays to be a part of a premium loyalty program, they expect to get their money’s worth. To many consumers, that includes:

  • Free shipping: 69% of consumers agree
  • Instant discounts: 63%
  • Free giveaways: 59%
  • Surprise rewards: 43%
  • Faster shipping: 40%
  • Exclusive deals: 37%
  • Holiday discounts: 32%
  • Personalized offers: 28%

The more benefits your client offers, especially from the top categories, the more likely their customers will be to sign up.

Get the Word Out There

Even if potential customers don’t sign up for your client’s loyalty program (be it traditional or premium) right away, there are still plenty of chances to win them over. Clarus recommends engaging with consumers via social media by offering consumers incentives for interaction. For example, following your client’s social media pages could be an incentive for a small discount on a consumer’s upcoming purchase. 42% of consumers have followed a brand’s social channels in exchange for incentives, says Clarus.

Your clients can also make posts about random drawings for giveaways for consumers who follow the brand’s social page, tag friends in the comments, share the post, etc. That way, your client will get engagement from the consumer who initially sees the post and potentially more from the friends they tag and share the post with.

What are other ways you can promote your client’s loyalty program to the masses? Take a look at their target audience’s profile on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel to find out.

Photo by Brooke Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel writes about marketing and media sales for SalesFuel. She holds a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University.