October 29, 2020
Inside: Get creative with your loyalty rewards program to get more people enrolled and eager to participate.
You can do so much more with your loyalty rewards program than just the earn-points-get-reward system. With a loyalty program, you can improve your pharmacy’s reputation, because patients feel like they are getting something back by shopping at your store, and you can increase foot traffic and sales because those patients are more engaged.
But for your loyalty program to succeed, you have to nurture and promote it. Here are 15 ideas for how you can promote your pharmacy loyalty program.
For the patients who aren’t yet a member of your loyalty program, make sure they know what they are missing out on by advertising the rewards and incentives. Post signs around the store that say, “When you buy this item, you earn 500 points,” or “Get 25 percent off your first purchase after signing up for our loyalty program.” When they know exactly what the perks are, patients will be more likely to join.
People who have recently moved to the area provide a unique opportunity for your pharmacy. They probably haven’t committed to a pharmacy yet, so if you win them over early, you might win them over for life.
Use direct mail lists to find who has recently moved and reach out to them with a special offer. If it’s enticing enough, they’ll come to visit you and you can get them on the hook by helping them sign up for your loyalty program.
Social media, direct mail, and email marketing are great ways to get the word out about your loyalty program, but don’t forget to pitch the program to patients in-store. Part of the appeal of an independent pharmacy is the personal touch, and when you speak with patients face-to-face about your loyalty program, you can explain how it will help them individually.
After you’ve talked up your loyalty program to your patients, be sure they aren’t deterred by the signup process. Too many questions or multi-part forms may prevent people who are genuinely interested in the program from signing up because the process is too time-consuming or confusing.
There’s nothing quite like the power of instant gratification. Entice patients to your loyalty program by offering a welcome reward they will receive as soon as they sign up. It doesn’t have to be anything big. A physical gift, like a pill organizer branded with your pharmacy logo, or a financial gift, like $5 off a $25 purchase, can be enough to sell patients on the program as they are checking out.
Once you have patients enrolled in your program, you can’t just assume they will be active, loyal visitors to your pharmacy. Keep your loyalty members up to date on all the products you offer and the perks they can get for purchasing them by sending out regular marketing emails, or even text messages, which have a 98 percent open rate.
Show your patients that you are paying attention to their needs by offering loyalty rewards that they actually want. Points are great, but patients need to know what those points add up to in order for them to get excited.
You could use the REI Co-op’s loyalty model and pay “dividends” in the form of store credit, or you can skip the points altogether and offer exclusive deals and physical prizes to your loyalty members.
Patients themselves can be a powerful tool to promote your loyalty program. Encourage them to tell their friends with a referral program. Offer a discount every time they convince someone to sign up. You can even host a referral contest, with the patient who refers the greatest number of new people to the loyalty program winning a tempting grand prize, like a $100 gift card.
Make patients feel special by remembering their special day. Emails offering birthday rewards have a higher open rate than most other marketing emails, so your message can make a greater impact when it’s delivered on or around your patients’ birthdays.
Birthday rewards can range from a few dollars off a purchase to extra points to a physical goodie bag with items that will help patients maintain their good health throughout the next year.
Senior citizens are some of your most consistent and valuable pharmacy patients, so let them know that you value them by hosting a senior citizens’ day, where they get double loyalty when they visit.
If you’ve reserved specific hours for senior shopping during the coronavirus pandemic, extend that special double points offer then, as well. By rewarding seniors for showing up, you can drive more foot traffic to your pharmacy.
Patients are already in the mood to do some shopping around major holidays, and you can take advantage of this by publicizing special offers only for members of your loyalty program.
You’re going to see an uptick in traffic around Christmas no matter what, so offer deals on decor or double points the week before the holiday. Or, offer loyalty members a first glance at your most exciting seasonal products.
Hold a member appreciation day where loyalty members receive a special discount or free item.
These events encourage members to come in on a day they might not have been planning on visiting the pharmacy, and it will make them feel like they are part of an exclusive club.
During a slow month, offer a promotion on certain items that you want to move in your front end, like 10 percent off a line of vitamins. Stipulate that only members of your loyalty program can receive the discount.
People who aren’t yet members will want to take advantage of the promotion, too, and it will entice them to join.
Every so often, take a look at your database and determine if you have customers who haven’t come in to your pharmacy in a while. Send them a personalized message encouraging them to visit the pharmacy, and convince them with a special promotion that’s too good to resist.
Use your social media accounts to advertise your loyalty program. Let followers know what kinds of rewards they could be getting, and include a link if you have an online signup.
You can even give your social followers a special offer if they come in to the pharmacy and sign up for the loyalty rewards program. Let them know that they need to mention that they follow you on social media to receive the offer.
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The company is a member-owned organization that serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, distribution services, and more.
PBA Health, an HDA member, operates its own NABP-accredited (formerly VAWD) warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
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