Five tips for growing your loyalty scheme with ad-hoc rewards

Written by Katie Bryant

23rd April 2024

Hospitality loyalty programmes drive customer retention, which can help organisations generate revenue, increase referrals and achieve overall growth. And in the current climate, it’s becoming increasingly clear that loyalty schemes are becoming more and more popular amongst cost-conscious customers prioritising value.

The majority of loyalty schemes have a base programme which converts customer spend into currency or rewards. However, a lot of schemes are missing out on key engagement by not utilising ad-hoc rewards.

What are ad-hoc rewards?

Ad-hoc rewards sit on top of the base programme to provide further value for customers. They’re great for encouraging new customers into the loyalty scheme, as well as increasing footfall in quieter periods.

Let’s take a look at an example:

Base programme: Convert £ spend to points (e.g. £1 spent = 1 point)
When the customer gains enough points, they are given something for free e.g. 100 points = free starter, 200 points = free main.

This is a great way to encourage customers to spend more! However, it doesn’t appeal to all audiences and as a standalone offering isn’t that powerful.

Zonal’s Customer Success team have recommended some ad-hoc rewards you can incorporate into your current loyalty scheme to increase customer spend and drive repeat visits.

1. Registration rewards

Example: £5 Currency for enrolling into the loyalty scheme. This is applied to the customer’s loyalty account the following day after registration

Registration rewards are extremely effective for motivating sign-ups. It can be set up so the customer doesn’t receive the reward until the following day, meaning they will need to return within the defined expiry period to redeem it. From our experience, offering a cash incentive has been the most successful tactic in getting customers to sign up to a loyalty programme. This works best when it is offered for a limited time.

2. % off food on specific days

Example 1: Offering 25% off all food products, all day on a Monday, throughout March

This reward is designed to increase footfall on quieter days. Additionally, the reward is advertised as a limited time offer so that customers are encouraged to visit the business sooner than they may have intended. Using discounts as well as points within a loyalty scheme helps reach a wider audience.

Example 2: In January 25% off Food Monday – Wednesday

A % off food reward should vary on days and % amount between months/seasons. Additionally, it’s advised that it doesn’t run at all times, so it is seen as “surprise and delight”.

3. The classic Birthday reward

Example: A “free glass of Fizz” for a customer’s birthday. Available 14 days prior and post the birth date

Making a customer feel special on their birthday, encouraging them to visit the business over a competitor that otherwise does not offer an incentive. What’s more, including this within an extended timeframe around their birthday can entice them in to your venue for an extra visit – even if they did choose to go elsewhere on the day itself.

4. Products for reduced price on specific days/times

Example: £5 cocktail Fridays. Only available Friday 4pm – 7pm on selected cocktails

​​​This offer can be used to target a specific audience. This example is targeting after-work drinkers who may normally visit competitors.

5. Why these ad-hoc rewards should be exclusively for loyalty customers only

All the above rewards should only be available to those who are part of your loyalty scheme. This is to give them a sense of feeling valued and encourages the “Regulars” mind set. Additionally, your loyalty scheme captures personal details. This data is extremely valuable, it allows businesses to strategically target customers and understand spending habits. By using a birthday reward, for example, date of birth needs to be captured so provides insight into the business’s age demographics, helping you to build a more and more detailed picture of who is visiting your business as guests engage with your promotions – and the effectiveness only increases when integrated with a CRM, such as Airship.

Find out more about Zonal’s Loyalty solutions

There are many more rewards that can be used to personalise and make your loyalty scheme more engaging. Get in touch with us today to find out how our technology can help you drive loyalty and increase guest spend in your business!

If you’re already an existing user of Zonal’s Loyalty platform, you can start making use of this functionality immediately! Simply get in touch with your Account Manager to find out more.

By Katie Bryant

Customer Success Consultant at Zonal

Katie is part of the Customer Success Team working closely with multiple departments within Zonal to ensure customers are using our technology to drive retention and revenue into their business. Katie’s background is working within the hospitality industry, with a keen focus on Marketing.

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