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Making ‘rewards’ rewarding

Done well, rewards schemes help boost engagement and subscriber retention.

By James Evelegh

Making ‘rewards’ rewarding
On the webinar: James Evelegh and Debbie Stevens.

Yesterday, I hosted a webinar entitled, ‘Loyalty has its rewards: How The Telegraph goes the extra mile to build engagement’.

The webinar, which was sponsored by Clock, a loyalty and membership solutions provider, involved an interview and lively Q&A with Debbie Stevens, head of marketing for subscriber retention at Telegraph Media Group.

Having listened to Debbie, these are my top tips for creating a successful rewards scheme:

  1. Make the rewards special: rewards schemes are everywhere, so go for best-in-market offers to make yours stand out.
  2. Have an experiential element. There is obviously a limit to the reach you can achieve with experiential but the quality of the engagement is off the chart. For some members, knowing the experiential dimension is there heightens the value of the offering, even if they don’t actually ever book them.
  3. Make it easy to use. Your rewards platform should have great UX. If it’s poorly designed and thought through, fiddly and counter-intuitive, then members will lose patience and stop using it.
  4. Shout about it. If you’ve gone to the trouble of setting it up, then you’ve got to make people aware of it. Email is an obvious channel, but clear links need to be added to your website and app. A spot on the nav bar is the holy grail…
  5. Survey regularly, especially after any in-person event. You might have thought it was a rip-roaring success, but did they?
  6. Rewards can make money too! Primarily, an investment to increase engagement and boost retention, but those costs can be offset by cross-selling activities, hosting occasional chargeable events, and through fees and commissions charged to partner organisations and brands looking to reach your members.
  7. Ensure a healthy turnover of offers. It’s a balance. Avoid having too few, certainly, but best not to swamp them either. One thing for certain though, never leave an offer that is gaining no traction up for long – take it down.
  8. Don’t forget to throw in the occasional ‘surprise & delight’ activity.
  9. Build strong relationships. Central to the success of any rewards scheme is the relationships you develop with the people and organisations in the rewards ecosystem. A good relationship will often allow you to carve out that extra bit of value that will set your rewards scheme apart.

If you registered for the webinar, you will receive a link to the recording this afternoon.

If you didn’t but would like to hear what Debbie had to say, then if you register here, you will be taken to the recording.

(Finally, we’re finalising the mailing list for the May/June issue of InPublishing magazine, which includes our first AI Special. To join the free mailing list, please register here.)

You can catch James Evelegh’s regular column in the InPubWeekly newsletter, which you can register to receive here.