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Thanks for reaching out! While you wait for confirmation from an Apptentive team member, you may find these free resources to be of interest:

Guide

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Guide

7 Steps to Product Roadmap Success

Learn how to fight feature creep, deliver the right value, and translate vision into action. Let us help you revitalize your product roadmap today, and help make 2021 your year.

Download Now

Loyalty & Retention

How to Create a Loyalty Program for Your App

Madeleine Wilson  //  January 12, 2021  //  5 min read

It’s common knowledge that loyalty programs work wonders to keep customers coming back time and time again.

So, why is this? Mobile loyalty programs work because they:

  1. Retain and engage customers better: Gamification through points and achievements keeps people coming back to the app time and time again. Ultimately, when people are more engaged beyond the point of purchase, they’re more likely to stick around.
  2. Save money and resources: It costs far more for companies to acquire new customers than it does to sell to an existing one. Brands save money by increasing retention and activating their current customers for repeat purchases.
  3. Increase the number of referrals: Killing two birds with one stone, companies can reward customers for referring friends. This keeps the current customer happy and engaged while the brands gain a new customer at a much lower cost.

If you’re ready to get started building your loyalty program, keep reading!

How to create a mobile loyalty program

Create a business case

Here are the questions you should ask yourself before building a loyalty program:

  • What are my long-term objectives?
  • How does this tie into any existing loyalty programs our business offers?
  • What channels do I want to offer this program through (mobile, kiosk, web, etc.)
  • How do we plan to go to market? How will we convert regular customers into loyalty members?
  • How do we measure success?
  • How do we plan to gather feedback from our loyalty members?

Design and develop

Once you’re done concepting and building out a business case for your mobile loyalty program, it’s time to turn words into action and start building a loyalty program. You’ll want to be cognizant of whether or not this will be an in-app loyalty program only or if it will exist across various channels since that will heavily influence decision making.

Invite existing customers to join a beta program

When it’s time to launch your loyalty program, try to test on people who will be more inclined to provide useful feedback. This is your first opportunity to get direct feedback from real customers before your mobile loyalty program is released to the general public – don’t waste it. Use a real-time feedback tool such as Apptentive to quickly identify bugs, receive validation on core features, and inform your product roadmap. Once you make changes requested by these beta customers, make sure you close the loop to let them know you’ve heard them and made changes to your loyalty program based on their feedback. This will help create fans and increase retention as well.

Launch your loyalty program

The steps to launch a loyalty program are very similar to the steps to launch an app. We’ve written extensively about how to successfully accomplish this, but the biggest takeaway is this: Benchmark before launch and proactively gather mobile customer feedback during and after launch. This is absolutely essential.

The first step is to ask yourself, what is “normal” for an app in your category? We highly recommend reading through our 2020 Mobile App Benchmark Report to see data from 5,000+ active users across 800+ mobile apps. This will help you understand how your app currently stacks up against the competition, and quickly identify areas for improvement. (Shameless plug, our 2021 Mobile App Benchmark Report launches in March, so stay tuned for that!)

Another important step here is to make sure you have the correct technology in place to track these metrics over time such as Apptentive plus these other fantastic mobile app feedback tools.

Want to see an example of a fantastic loyalty program? Watch this webinar and learn about Pilot Flying J’s “Push for Points” program. You won’t want to miss it! 

Promote

A big struggle of launching a mobile loyalty program for the first time is getting loyalty customers in the first place. It’s also important to think about marketing your loyalty program at all stages of the customer journey.

  • How will you convert existing customers into loyalty members? What incentives will you offer them?
  • How will you acquire new customers and app downloads solely based on the draw of your loyalty program?
  • How do you plan on onboarding loyalty members and educating them on all of the features you just built out?
  • What will keep people coming back time and time again? What’s the retention strategy for your loyalty program?

A big part of promoting your loyalty program comes back to app store optimization. The app stores (both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store) are obviously one of the first places customers will encounter your app, so you want to communicate the value of your loyalty program right away. It’s imperative to make sure your app ranks highly in these search results. A comprehensive app store optimization strategy will include the following:

  • Target keywords. Very similar to SEO, ASO relies heavily on keywords and phrasing to understand how to rank apps in search results.
  • Screenshots. They say a picture says a thousand words. This is true in the app stores as well. Make sure your screenshots clearly illustrate the unique benefits of your app. This is also a great opportunity to visually communicate the value of your loyalty program and/or how it translates to in-person visits.
  • Descriptions. Brevity wins the day here. Quickly and concisely explain your unique value proposition in your summary.

Iterate

Getting your app loyalty program up and running is only half the battle. What comes next is equally as important. How do you determine what is and isn’t working? How do you know what your customers need and want?

→Watch the Webinar: Your Product Launched. Now What?

Essentially, proactively seeking feedback from customers post-launch is incredibly important. For one, your customers need to know that you value their voice and feedback. You need to put in-app mobile feedback tools in place so you can identify issues in real-time and quickly communicate when changes have been made.

Connect with people who are having a great experience within your app, and encourage them to share it in the app stores. Ask those who don’t love your app to leave feedback or fill out a short survey or connect with your team directly.


Ultimately, you need to be continuously innovating and adapting your app. Use mobile customer feedback and tools like Apptentive to create the best mobile customer experience, increase loyalty and retention, drive new customer acquisition, and inform your product roadmap with real-time data.

Ready to get started? Request a demo of Apptentive today, and we’ll help your mobile loyalty program become a booming success.

About Madeleine Wilson

Madeleine Wilson is the Content Marketing Manager for Apptentive. No stranger to B2B tech, Madeleine enjoys translating complex concepts into easy-to-digest pieces of content.
View all posts by Madeleine Wilson >

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