3 Ways to Give Back with Loyalty Programs

The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, has been around for much longer than you might think (if you’re interested in the history, read this). CSR as a business strategy, however, only truly developed in the 21st century. In the past 10 years in particular, we have seen an increase in cause marketing. And with the growing pressures and expectations of consumers worldwide, brands are pushed to think about their impact. Naturally, they are trying to commercialise the opportunity.

 

This is why we are bringing you a guide on how to simply and effectively introduce CSR in customer loyalty programs. Digital loyalty schemes are important strategies for many consumer companies and should be taken seriously. But they are also a prime way to communicate what your brand is about. By adding an element of giving back to your loyalty scheme, you increase your chances of developing a strong emotional bond with your customers. This is the holy grail of customer loyalty, which is why it’s an important consideration.

 

Thus, here’s a few ways you can include charities into your loyalty efforts.

 

  1. Offer charity donations as a reward

The easiest way to give back with loyalty programs is to have charitable rewards in your scheme. This is the most straightforward and common example of brands showcasing their CSR values through a loyalty program. The principle is simple: customers earn points as usual but get the chance to spend their points on a charitable donation rather than a self-gratifying reward.

 

The reason why this is a preferred way of incorporating a giving back proposition into loyalty is because it gives the ultimate power and gratification directly into the consumer’s hands. The program user has the option to choose to donate his points, which makes them feel empowered and charitable even though the company is the one making the donation.

donate your loyalty points

There are many examples of companies offering charitable rewards – you can find a handy list here.

 

  1. Donate for every loyalty purchase or customer

Another easy way to give back with loyalty programs includes a very simple premise; for every purchase made by a loyalty program user, the company will donate to a selected charity. Alternatively, you can also donate per loyal customer instead. The beauty of such a proposition is that it is straightforward, simple on execution and extremely flexible.

 

Some brands have such an offer for all their sales implemented as part of their CSR program. If this is not an option for you or it doesn’t sound as appealing, you might consider the above instead. By connecting the donations to the loyalty program exclusively, you give the loyalty proposition an additional layer of perceived value, which makes it more appealing.

As mentioned, a big advantage of such an offering is that it is really simple to act on and keep on top of for your team. With the right loyalty technology, you should be able to easily see how many purchases were made by loyal customers in a given month (or how many users joined) and then donate the appropriate sum to your charity of choice. Your finance department will surely appreciate the straightforward nature of such an expense too.

 

  1. Showcase your green marketing

Finally, we have an option for those that already have an elaborate existing CSR program in place. If this is the case then naturally, you shouldn’t have to distinguish between your general charitable program and your loyalty program.

CSR and loyalty programs

If you have an existing charitable CSR activities structured, just make sure that you showcase your green marketing program. That is, clarify to your customers that by supporting the brand (through a loyalty program), the customer also supports the charities and causes that the company has chosen. These can include anything from being carbon neutral or negative, all the way to planting trees for purchases or having your employees support local charities in person. By showcasing your green marketing, you have the best chance of making most of your investments and seeing some ROI.

If you want to find out more about the power of green marketing, read our dedicated article

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