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5 Ways to Use Loyalty, Referrals, and Rewards During the Holiday Season

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Referral, loyalty and rewards programs are an important part of a year-round growth strategy to get your audience engaged and build community around your brand.

When the holiday season rolls around, consumer spending habits change, users have different motivators, and you have the chance to show your appreciation to your advocates as the year comes to a close - the perfect opportunity to put a seasonal spin on your rewards programs!

Plus, as more and more shopping takes place online, the holiday season becomes one of the most competitive (and therefore expensive) times of the year to be running digital ads, making your rewards programs an even more valuable marketing channel.

From advent calendars, giveaways, and charitable donations, here are five ways that brands are using loyalty, referrals, and rewards throughout the holiday season. Keep reading for inspiration for your next holiday campaign!

1 - Get interactive with a giveaway

With the rise in popularity and success of Instagram giveaways and contests, brands are leveraging this concept on LinkedIn to engage their followers during the holiday season.

For example, revenue intelligence platform Gong ran a series of festive giveaway posts on their LinkedIn feed that aimed not only to reward their followers, but educate their target audience with relevant industry data and boost brand awareness. In the example below, the company asks users to follow their page, and answer the question and tag a friend in the comments to enter to win. To find the correct answer, participants are directed to check out a Gong whitepaper.

As a result, Gong is able to increase excitement around their brand, gain new followers from each person tagged in the comments, and easily share more of their content.

Check out this article for more tips on running a LinkedIn giveaway.

Depending on where your audience is, giveaways are also popular engagement tools on Instagram and Facebook.

2 - Give your advocates an extra helping hand

Finances and spending can be a concern for many over the holiday season. Your advocates might be extra receptive to ways to save a bit of cash or make a bit of extra income, and your referral program can be the perfect avenue. Whether you’re launching a special edition of your referral program or keeping it the same, the holidays are a great time to get your advocates more involved and help you bring in new business while also getting rewarded.

For example, video editing software Viddyoze put a festive spin on their referral program to help advocates make more successful referrals throughout the holiday season. The company launched a special holiday offer for a 12-day $1 trial of Viddyoze for new referred customers, and put together a collection of resources, guides, and assets to help advocates promote it.

The resources were revealed in a fun advent calendar style over the course of 12 days. Assets included guides and videos to help promote Viddyoze, and how to keep your referral momentum going.


3 - Embrace the spirit of giving

The spirit of giving is more prominent than ever around the holidays, and you and your brand can use your referral program to not only encourage more referrals, but show your support for local charities and nonprofits.

Consider adding a charitable donation to your referral rewards, either to a cause of your choice or from the customer’s selection. It’s common for the donation to be added on top of the regular reward throughout the holiday season (instead of replacing the regular reward), and can increase your advocates’ willingness to participate in the program if it means they can do a bit of good.

Keep in mind that you must be upfront and explicit about where the donation is going, and how much will be donated and when. Customers may not trust a vague message, and would instead appreciate details on who will benefit.


4 - Increase the rewards

We’ve seen many top brands increase the value of their referral and loyalty reward values for limited periods of time - either to boost sales during a slow season, promote a special event or product launch, or to celebrate the holidays!

Show your appreciation to your loyal customers by giving them an extra bonus for each referral just like fintech app MetalPay did, pictured below. This can also be applied to your regular loyalty program offerings such as by doubling points, adding in a bonus reward, or entering advocates into a grand prize raffle.

Time-sensitive rewards and offers can also motivate action from many customer segments such as those who haven’t bought in a while, or those who are debating upgrading to a paid plan, as they won’t want to miss out on the opportunity.


5 - Add a bit of fun and games

The holidays are the perfect time to get creative with your rewards and how they are earned. Consider a limited-time engaging campaign like a virtual scavenger hunt, board game, or new set of activities to earn points.

Starbucks is well-known for taking their loyalty and rewards programs to a new level during the holidays with Starbucks for Life - an interactive game that lets participants earn points from making purchases and completing challenges. With enough matching game pieces earned, customers can win free points, swag, drinks, and the ultimate goal: free Starbucks for life!

While you don’t need to allocate all of your development resources to building a new app, consider something simple like hiding clues on your website or a daily trivia game.


That wraps up our examples of brands using rewards programs during the holidays season!  Is your brand creating something special for the holidays? Tweet us and let us know!