As consumers, we’ve come to expect receiving offers, discounts and promotions from the loyalty programs and brands we follow for pretty much every holiday. We also expect a discount or offer in celebration of our birthday. And, even another offer right after we’ve made a large purchase, to try and get us to shop again. There’s usually no lack of offers or promotions when it comes to loyalty programs. While some of these loyalty engagement tactics do work, they’re also expected and anticipated. They also don’t necessarily make customers feel valued, appreciated, respected or grateful- which are four of the six positive emotions that drive loyalty, according to Forrester Research.
Earlier this year, Amazon announced it has more than 100 million Prime members and ever since, there’s been a lot of chatter in the market about paid subscription loyalty programs. The lines between loyalty and subscriptions have increasingly blurred over the past few years as consumers now value convenience and time savings as much (or even more than in some cases) as money savings. To add, companies’ eyes have dollar signs on them knowing margins may improve with the potential incremental revenue subscription programs can drive. However, before plunging into a subscription-based loyalty model, marketers need to take a step back and evaluate if subscription models are best for their brand and its customers.