Loyalty & Reward Programmes
February 27, 2024

How to Increase Loyalty Programme Sign-Up

Loyalty Program Sign Up

This comprehensive guide explores proven strategies for increasing loyalty programme sign-up, from simplifying the sign-up process and leveraging mobile apps to fostering a sense of exclusivity and maintaining customer interaction.




Key Takeaways

  • Align your loyalty programme with your brand identity to create an authentic experience

  • Offer enticing sign-up incentives like rewards, a tier programme, and brand partnerships

  • Simplify the sign-up process with streamlined forms and multiple sign-up options

  • Promote your programme through in-store signage, website pages, and employee advocacy

  • Leverage social media by sharing engaging content and encouraging customer participation

  • Utilise targeted email marketing campaigns and segmented lists to reach potential members

  • Create memorable experiences with gamification, personalised offers, and tailored communications

  • Launch a mobile app for a seamless user experience and mobile-exclusive features

  • Foster community and exclusivity through tiered memberships and exclusive benefits

  • Maintain customer interaction with regular communication, rewards, and continuous feedback

  • Measure and optimise your programme by tracking sign-up rates, redemption rates, and retention rates

  • Leverage Propello Cloud's loyalty platform for powerful tools and expert support to drive long-term engagement and growth

Odds are, you've heard about how a reward programme can help you grow your business. You might have come across studies describing how this customer retention strategy can boost sales for your bottom line.

Indeed, one Bain Company report cited that a 5% increase in customer retention could generate a 25-95% increase in profits. This is the loyalty kickback. 

But how do you convince them to sign up for your loyalty programme in the first place?

This guide shows you how to attract new sign-ups to your loyalty scheme. Discover how to use mobile apps, gamification techniques, and more to create rewarding customer experiences and attract new business.


The Importance of Loyalty Programmes in Customer Retention and Engagement

Studies have shown that modern consumers are big fans of loyalty programmes

One KPMG study found that 81% of Millennials claimed that they’d be more inclined to spend with a brand if they were members of its proprietary loyalty programme.

This offers huge potential for business owners looking to encourage customer loyalty today. But how exactly do loyalty programmes drive retention and engagement?


  • Encourage repeat business: the core promise of loyalty programmes is that they give consumers a reason to return. A global study by Bond Brand Loyalty found that 66% of consumers change their shopping behaviour to be able to collect the full benefits of a loyalty programme. 

  • Increase customer lifetime value: A happy client will spend more in the long run. Loyalty programme members, on average, spend 12-18% more than non-members each year. 

  • Enhance customer satisfaction: The brand experience is more gratifying when a cusomer receives rewards for their loyalty. A study by Invesp discovered that 69% of consumers state that their loyalty is influenced by a positive programme experience. 

  • Generate more word-of-mouth: Satisfied, happy customers recommend your brand to their friends and family. Loyalty programme members who refer customers have a 37% higher retention rate than other customers. 

  • Drive emotional engagement: Your loyalty platform brings your customers closer to your brand. Emotional engagement drives increased spend; on average, customers with above-average emotional engagement spend 60-70% more than those with below-average emotional engagement. 

So, exactly how can you harness the power of a loyalty programme to promote retention and engagement among customers? By creating a programme that they are actually interested in.

I’ll examine some best practices for boosting loyalty programme sign-ups as well as how to maximise your loyalty programme efforts in the next section.


New call-to-action


Back to top



Strategies for Increasing Loyalty Programme Sign-Ups

Here are some ways to increase the number of sign-ups for your loyalty programme.


1. Align your programme with your brand identity

Your programme should be an immersive, extended brand experience where your customers can feel an organic, integrated extension of your brand, and not some cobbled-on afterthought.

When you interact with programmes like Starbucks Rewards or Nike Membership, whether it's earning stars for your morning latte or unlocking exclusive access to the latest sneaker drop with your loyalty card, it feels true to the brand. 

It feels like something that enriches your overall experience as a consumer rather than just something to get you to spend more money.

To form this emotional bond with your target audience, ask yourself a few questions: What are your brand values and personality? And what makes you stand out from your competitors? What are those qualities and attributes that you can convert into unique loyalty programme features that naturally fit with your brand?

The more authentic and true-to-brand you can make it, the more likely people will sign up.



2. Offer enticing sign-up incentives

One of the easiest ways to get people to sign up is to give them some freebies when they do. And let me tell you, there are plenty of ways to do this that can really move the needle on your sign-up rates.

Tempting signup reward: Examples of this kind of reward include gift cards, bonus points, or a discount on the first purchase as a club member.

Tiers: A tiered rewards system based on spending or point accumulation can also be an excellent form of customer appreciation, encouraging them to purchase from you more frequently and spend more over time.

Brand partnerships: Last but not least, don’t overlook brand partnerships. Collaborating with other brands on experiences for your loyalty members can be a powerful lever for driving value in your programme; partnering with businesses whose products complement, but don’t overlap with, your own will ensure that your members have the kind of experiences that are bound to delight them. 



3. Simplify the sign-up process 

Of course, even the most intriguing sign-up gifts won’t do you much good if sign-ups are a nightmare. That’s why the process needs to be as easy and seamless as possible.

Streamline sign-up forms: If your sign-up form is too long, or too confusing, or asks for information you don’t really need, you’re going to end up with a lot fewer new customers—for that exact reason! So go take a look at your sign-up page and see what you can do to make it shorter, simpler, and easier.

For example, do you really need information on credit cards, addresses, and phone numbers up front, or do you only need their email and can ask them for the rest later? Do you allow social sign-on options with Facebook or Google to make it even faster and easier?

Ultimately, the idea is to design the process in such a way that it feels like a no-brainer for your customer to sign up.


Back to top


4. Promote your loyalty programme effectively 

If you have a great loyalty programme but don’t promote it well, your customers won’t know about it. And if your customers don’t know about it, does it really matter how great your rewards and benefits are? The short answer is no.

You have a wide range of options to promote your programme:

In store: Make sure you display signage and programme information at checkout, in product displays, and throughout the store. Benefits of joining the programme and a clear call to action should be visible to potential customers.

Dedicated website: Another place to feature your loyalty programme is your own website. Specifically, you can use a landing page that lists the benefits, the sign-up process, and so on. Try to make the page easy to find and navigate, and use catchy images and copy to make the programme look fun and valuable.

Employee advocacy: Don’t underestimate the power of employee advocacy. Encourage your sales assistants and other front-of-house staff to share programme information with customers wherever possible. You can make it a competitive game to see who can sign up the most new members each week or month.



5. Leverage social media to spread the word 

You can promote your programme on social media to create some buzz and attract new members.

Share content: Post about your rewards programme on your social channels. Your content could be customer success stories, testimonials, behind-the-scenes looks at how your programme works, etc. 

Encourage customer participation and sharing: Another good use of social media is to run promotions and contests that encourage customers to participate and share their experiences with your brand and your loyalty programme. Design a branded hashtag for easy participation.

Activate referrals: Refer-a-friend programmes are another strong form of social proof. Reward customers with bonus points or other incentives when they refer their friends and family to your loyalty programme. 


6. Utilise email marketing to reach potential members 

Chances are that many of the names on your email list have already expressed interest in your brand: they are the customers you want to be signing up for your loyalty programme, so make sure to use that information.

Create a targeted email campaign: Let it be just for promoting your newly launched loyalty programme. Use engaging images and copy to highlight the benefits and rewards of joining and provide a simple, easy way to join.

Segment: But don't just blast the same message to your entire list. Take the time to segment your email list based on customer behaviour and preferences. For example, an elite segment of high-potential customers who have purchased something more than once at your site before might be interested in signing up for a loyalty programme. 

Be sure to also always include an obvious call-to-action in every email: a button for subscribers to sign up or learn more about the programme, or a link to a page where they can join the community.

Back to top


7. Create memorable loyalty programme experiences

Creating memorable experiences is a very effective way to boost your sign ups, and there are several great ideas to consider.

Gamification: Who doesn’t love games? The idea of designing your loyalty programme to mimic game mechanics including earning badges, unlocking accomplishments, competing with other gamers in challenges and hitting your targets on progress bars with coloured achievement bars, is all the rage now.

Case studies found that gamifying marketing increased customer engagement by 60%

The idea behind gamification is that your loyalty programme feels less like a transactional rewards scheme. By harnessing human instinctive desires to compete, succeed, and socialise within your programme, you can create a programme that attracts new members.

Use customer data: You can use data to personalise your communications and offers. Collecting data on customer preferences and behaviour allows you to create personalised experiences that align with their likes and needs. 

This could range from conditional rewards to product recommendations based on past purchases, including emailing them unique deals and discounts on their birthday or anniversary.


8. Foster a sense of community and exclusivity

Another key strategy for encouraging sign-ups is to promote a sense of community and exclusivity through your programme.

A simple way to achieve this would be to introduce a tiered membership scheme, whereby customers move up the levels and accrue more status and rewards as their engagement and spending increases. You might have a basic ‘bronze’, a mid-range ‘silver’ and a high ranks ‘platinum’ level.

By providing extra value to higher tiers, you can incentivise your members to interact more meaningfully and frequently with your brand: think early access to sales and new product launches, VIP events and/or tailored customer support.

The secret is to make signing up feel and look like joining a community, where participants are valued and linked both to your brand and to each other.


Back to top


9. Launch a mobile app for a seamless user experience

We live in the age of mobile. This is the very reason a mobile loyalty programme would be a powerful game-changer.

A mobile app can simplify the sign-up process by offering social media log-in and mobile number verification in addition to—or instead of—traditional sign-up methods, allowing customers to join and start earning straight away.

Another popular functionality of mobile apps is the use of push notifications to send personalised offers and updates in real time. Keeping your rewards programme at their fingertips is a way to keep your brand top-of-mind and keep app users engaged.

Mobile-exclusive features, such as QR code scanning and location-based offers, can also be employed to enhance the experience for your programme members. For instance, you can incentivise members to scan a QR code in-store by providing reward points or unlocking a special discount only when a member steps into a particular location.

Include all these features in your programme, and you can make a strong case for savvy, modern consumers to sign up.



10. Maintain customer interaction 

Send out monthly newsletters highlighting new rewards or emails tailored to the milestones of the programme, such as ‘Congratulations on saving so much’ or even a happy birthday.

Surprise and delight rewards are another effective way to keep your members engaged and excited about your programme. This could be extra bonus points or discounts, free gifts, or access to exclusive experiences.

Lastly, make sure that you continuously gather feedback and refine your loyalty programme based on what you hear. 

Survey your existing members to learn why they joined or what might have made them join earlier, and use this data to improve your sign-up processes.


Back to top


Measuring and Optimising Your Loyalty Programme

Understanding how well your programme is doing will help you fix any issues and maximise your ROI going forward. You will then be able to use the information gathered to improve sign-ups and engagement over time.

And then you watch the dials, track the right metrics, listen to customer feedback, and build up a picture of what works and where the changes need to be made.


Track key performance indicators (KPIs)

Sign-up rates

This tells you how many customers sign up for your loyalty programme in any given period. Tracking your sign-up rate enables you to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and, importantly, to understand where you should refine your message and/or your proposition.

Redemption rates

This tracks how often your customers are redeeming these rewards in your loyalty programme. A high redemption percentage would indicate your rewards are very valuable and desirable to your customers. A low value would indicate your rewards may not be worth the effort.

Customer retention rate 

This is also useful to track, because the higher your retention rates, the better you’re keeping your customers engaged with your loyalty programme. Over time, if retention should drop, then it’s a sure sign that something’s gone wrong with your programme.


Monitor social media sentiment

Social media sentiment is another valuable source of customer feedback to monitor. By tracking mentions of your loyalty programme on social media platforms, you can get a pulse on how customers are feeling about your brand and identify potential issues or opportunities for improving sign-ups.


Back to top


Build an Engaging Programme 

I’ve covered several strategies and best practices you can follow to increase loyalty programme sign-ups and create a lasting impression on your customers.

However, for loyalty programmes to be successful, they must be carefully crafted, well executed, and, crucially, driven by a customer-centred culture. 

New call-to-action




Q1. How can a loyalty programme enhance customer retention?
A loyalty programme rewards customers for their repeat business, fostering a sense of appreciation and incentivising continued patronage. By offering exclusive benefits, loyalty programmes encourage customers to stay engaged with the brand, ultimately enhancing customer retention and lifetime value.

Q2. What are the key features of an effective loyalty scheme?
An effective loyalty scheme offers a combination of exclusive benefits, tiered membership statuses, and a points programme that delivers real value. These features work together to create a compelling and engaging experience that encourages customers to sign up, participate, and remain loyal to the brand.

Q3. How can businesses encourage customers to sign up for a loyalty club?
Businesses can offer enticing incentives such as bonus points upon sign-up, clearly communicate the programme's value and benefits, and ensure a seamless sign-up process through a mobile app or website. Additionally, showcasing member success stories and leveraging social proof can further motivate customers to join. 

Q4. Can a mobile app improve loyalty programme sign-ups?
Yes, a well-designed mobile app can significantly improve loyalty programme sign-ups by offering a convenient and user-friendly platform for customers to join, track and redeem points, and access exclusive benefits. By streamlining the sign-up process, mobile apps enhance customer engagement. 

Q5. How does gamification contribute to a rewards programme's success?
By introducing engaging and competitive elements into the programme, it motivates customers to earn points and interact more frequently with the brand. Tapping into customers' intrinsic desires for achievement and recognition, significantly boosts participation and overall programme success. 

Q6. What are the advantages of a referral programme within a loyalty scheme?
A referral programme within a loyalty scheme drives up conversion rates by incentivising existing members to invite new participants. By offering attractive rewards, such as bonus points or exclusive perks, for successful referrals, a referral programme expands the loyalty club's membership base. 

Q7. How can social media be used to boost loyalty programme membership?
Social media platforms offer an excellent opportunity to promote a loyalty programme, showcase member benefits, share customer success stories, and run exclusive sign-up campaigns. By leveraging the reach and engagement potential of social media, businesses increase programme visibility to get more members. 

Q8. What's the difference between a paid programme and a mission-based programme?
In paid programmes, customers make a purchase or pay a fee to get rewards, while a mission-based programme rewards customers for completing specific actions. Paid programmes work best for offering immediate value, while mission-based programmes build long-term relationships with customers. 

Q9. How can businesses use their email list to increase loyalty programme sign-ups?
Businesses can leverage their email list to send targeted invitations that highlight the programme's unique benefits, share member success stories, and provide a seamless sign-up process through direct links. Segmenting email lists and crafting compelling messages encourages more customers to join the loyalty club.



Author Bio, Written By: 

Mark Camp | CEO & Founder at PropelloCloud.com | LinkedIn

Mark is the Founder and CEO of Propello Cloud, an innovative SaaS platform for loyalty and customer engagement. With over 20 years of marketing experience, he is passionate about helping brands boost retention and acquisition with scalable loyalty solutions.

Mark is an expert in loyalty and engagement strategy, having worked with major enterprise clients across industries to drive growth through rewards programmes. He leads Propello Cloud's mission to deliver versatile platforms that help organisations attract, engage and retain customers.


Related article

April 9, 2019

In order to build a strong brand, businesses need a great product along with excellent customer...

Start your customised Propello journey today

Explore the platform's scalability, features and customisation options and get answers to your unique questions.

Request a demo >