Member Benefits: The Best Way To Say “Thank You”
Do you provide a Member Benefits program for your special customers?
Unfortunately, most business owners are sales driven and focus on special promotions rather than building a suitable Member Benefits program for building long term relationships with their customers.
Even with a glossy presentation which refers to add-ons as “benefits, they are almost always sales-oriented focused on a mindset of “get a sale today” rather than building long term relationships.
This applies to dime sales, firesales, use of coupons, and discounted prices utilizing countdown clocks till expiry. They are generally up-sells rather than a way of saying “thank you”.
Another so-called “benefit” many use is automatic status as an Affiliate. Now this is a good way to build an army of re-sellers but the reality is that possibly 80% of your buyers are not Internet Marketers and so giving them something they may never use doesn’t make it a “benefit”.
Network marketing isn’t too different in terms of converting everyone into a re-seller.
Yes, you have your diehard network marketers who know and understand how binary systems work and the benefits which flow. However, there are also many people who join some network marketing programs – e.g. Herbalife and Avon – simply because they want the products for personal use. These people have no intention of building a down line.
True “Benefit” Programs are different …
I spent quite a few years in the 1990’s providing “loyalty–related” consulting services to some of Australia’s biggest companies – for their discount, points-based rewards, and travel programs and even programs which involved professional services (e.g. medical repatriation, car breakdown, etc).
With these programs, the “benefit” is not linked to a specific purchase as is the case with sales-oriented discounts and bonuses. Rather it is ongoing and applicable to all available benefits simply by being a customer.
The success of benefit programs varies. Those which provide “instant” benefits are generally the most successful … and often people are willing to pay for access (e.g. dining cards, movie theater passes, travel clubs, etc).
No matter what the benefit, the underlying principle behind every benefits program should always be that it is a way of saying “Thank You” to your clients … by giving them something extra.
Building the RIGHT Benefits Program For Your Business
This takes time as there must be something different about your program to ensure it offers VALUE to your customers.
I first decided to put together our Buyers Advantage program two years ago. However, there were some elements missing and so it has taken till just recently before I actually launched it.
As a Guide for building your own Benefits Program, here are the important elements I wanted (and now have) in this program:
1.) Simple Processes
Many of our customers purchase 2 or more products from our portfolio … and these are the people I most wanted to cater for with a benefits program by rewarding them for their support
Prior to launching Buyers Advantage, the only way to get a product at a lower price was to wait for a special promotion or purchase as an Affiliate and wait for a rebate on your purchase. This no longer applies – buyers can purchase through special links in their Member Area and get an instant benefit (i.e. buy at a lower price) 24/7, 365 days of the year.
2.) Choice / Product Depth
A program which offers benefits (e.g. discounts) on 3 or 4 products is not enough. It was not until I reached 20 products that I felt there was sufficient depth to make the program worthwhile.
3.) Limited Access Points
To engender a commitment to our business, it had to be linked to those products which are exclusive / only available through our company. Yes, this does provide further differentiation for our products although for me, it’s my way of saying “thank you” for choosing one of our unique products.
4.) Stand Alone Value – Without Being Stand Alone:
Many companies provide access to products like Buyers Advantage on a monthly or annual subscription basis. Even if this was kept at a low $10 per month, this would run at $120 per annum. Rather than adopting a stand-alone approach like this, I wanted to link this to existing products – i.e. keep it as a benefit rather than making it a product.
Those looking at our products will hopefully be savvy enough to appreciate the “extra value” this add-on provides.
5.) More Than A Benefits Program:
Whilst the objective is to keep things simple by providing separate order links accessible through Member Areas, it also gives those who want to market several of our products online the ability to do so using Affiliate Marketing techniques. Progressively, we will be making some of our products available through 3rd party networks to cater for Affiliate Marketers.
An Extra Bonus For Our Customers
As I mentioned above,building a decent benefits program takes time and ideally provides access to multiple benefits, not just a handful.
As many people do not have the time to devote to build an appropriate program, we have structured Buyers Advantage in a way whereby you can easily use it as “instant content” in an existing membership program and / or use it as a base for developing a new membership program. With 20+ products, it gives you a running start.
To cater for this, we allow Buyers Advantage users to take an order directly through their own programs and then purchase the product on behalf of their clients. There is no Affiliate Program involved, you can set your own price, use a product as a value-add, and much more.
You can do all this offline although, if you prefer, you can also market online.
Typically, programs require you to pre-purchase products for on-selling. There is no such need with this program. You buy when you have a need.
Click here to learn more about Buyers Advantage.