Is direct mail marketing what you’re missing in your loyalty program?

According to the 2013 Maritz Loyalty Report: US Edition, which surveyed more than 6,000 U.S. consumers to determine how they respond and interact with loyalty programs, communication is an important part of the brand relationship.

The study found that more than 9 out of 10 members want to receive communications from the loyalty programs in which they participate. But they also want those communications to be relevant to their interests.

Despite the fact that on average loyalty members are enrolled in roughly seven programs, they only engage with a little more than half of them.

Even more disheartening is that 47 percent of members stopped participating in one or more programs in the past year. Since most respondents find loyalty programs to be a positive aspect of brand communication and nearly 60 percent willing to modify their buying habits to participate, marketers need to identify ways to keep these consumers engaged.

“Marketers can’t afford to outspend each other,” Scott Robinson, Maritz Loyalty Marketing senior director of loyalty said in an article by Phil Britt on Direct Marketing News. “They can’t rely on enrollment discounts to maintain engagement. They need to focus on creating an experience.”

Based on customer satisfaction scores from the report, the top three companies with the best loyalty programs include:

Chase Ultimate Rewards, (84 percent) financial services
Kroger Rewards (83 percent), grocery
Carmike Cinemas Rewards (79 percent), entertainment

Along with program fees, irrelevance was one of the top reasons members dropped off from programs they were enrolled in over the last year.

Other findings from the study show that a line that can be crossed when it comes to sharing and using a consumer’s personal information. Consumers are OK with personalized discounts and offers based on purchasing habits and customer preferences, but more than 50 percent of the consumers surveyed were turned off when these offers were based on their friends’ status updates and photos, as well as personal information (like personal income, household composition, etc.).

Engaging your most loyal consumers and brand advocates begins with valued and relevant communication that creates an experience.

So, how are you getting noticed?