So you have a digital loyalty program. Now what? Just putting a program in place is not going to get your customers walking into the store to rack up their points. It is time to do something really exciting in your store. Make it easy is for new customers to find your business and your loyalty program. Make sure that your existing customers know that you are putting in an effort to make improvements to their experience. Working with our merchant partners, we have realized one thing. There's never a shortage of effort to improve — but often the hardest part is knowing where to start.

Below are 4 best practices to give you some direction and help you reach new heights with your digital loyalty program in 2016!

1. Give customers a reason to visit your store
Holding an event — especially if marketed and executed correctly — is a great opportunity to build relationships with both new and existing customers, and to showcase your digital loyalty program. Work to promote the event to your customers well in advance (up to a month before, depending on the scale of the event). If you have a larger space, collaborate with other local businesses by inviting them to exhibit at your store and represent their product or service offering. Partnering with other businesses will bring in new faces and strengthen the bond of your shared community. You can add an extra buying incentive by including a coupon or special offer to check-ins made at the event. Spice things up with a raffle or giveaway — asking customers to check-in through your loyalty program to be entered to win. Grow your customer list!

2. Show customers you care by asking for feedback
Your customers want to feel special, and nothing makes them feel more special than you taking a moment to ask them for their opinions. Sending your customers a regular communication to encourage their feedback is critical to your evolving business success. It serves to remind them of your business, and you can use their feedback to optimize your business strategy. Most customers react positively to an engagement seeking their insights, and a reach out for feedback could be the spark that rekindles an otherwise inactive customer relationship. Capitalize on the opportunity to ask them questions about their last experience, your customer service, your product or suite of offerings, your store layout, location and accessibility, pricing, etc and in the process remind them again about your loyalty program. It’s important to remain in touch with your customer needs throughout the lifecycle of your business, and your digital loyalty platform provides you with creative ways to gain insights into how you could make changes for the better.

3. Use social to sell your loyalty program
Market your digital loyalty through your social media presence with visuals that represent the simplicity of your program and the inherent incentives that you offer.  Making sure that you have nice pinnable pictures that capture your loyalty offering can build a repository of your products on Pinterest. Add descriptive captions to all your photos, along with a link (when applicable) to the location of your business.

4. Make it easy for your loyalty program to be found online
Invest actively in a local marketing strategy and make sure that your website and email marketing are both mobile friendly. Make it easy for those searching for your business to find out that you have a loyalty program. Make sure your loyalty program is prominently mentioned in your listing on online local services, including Facebook Place Tips, Bing Places and Google My Business. You should also ask your customers to mention your loyalty offering in their online reviews. Listings and positive reviews will drive traffic and awareness to your loyalty program, and in turn, into your store. At AirLoop, we are committed to making 2016 your busiest and most successful year yet. Our custom digital loyalty platform can help you establish clear marketing goals through a streamlined workflow. Making your loyalty offering a core part of your marketing strategy will definitely help you raise your foot traffic!