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Loyalty Programs

How to Create a Loyalty Program with a Limited Budget

Written by 
Guest Writer
June 27, 2019

Engaged customers are the stepping stone to long-term success and the lifeblood of any business that strives to grow. Without loyal people coming back to your brand, how could you possibly expect to build a long-lasting reputation, let alone a legacy?

With that in mind, many modern business owners have started implementing diverse loyalty programs. However, since some smaller, growing companies struggle with budget allocation, it pays to know some more affordable ways to keep your customers happy. Alternatively, how you cut existing costs may also help you allocate more of your profits towards developing loyalty programs.

You need to use your imagination, get to know your target audience, and finally, adapt the tried-and-tested loyalty programs to suit your own ideal customer. If you’re a brand-new company doing its best to inspire people to trust your brand, or a veteran company in need of fresh ideas, here are a few methods you can use to infuse loyalty into your culture with the right programs for your target demographic.

Loyalty starts with customer service

Customers being appreciated

How well do you understand what your customers need, love, and what they are interested in? Although you certainly know so much about your market and your audience, there are certain details and behaviors that reflect that knowledge you have on your customers. It’s easily seen in your efforts to be present on the networks which they prefer, to use the language that will appeal to them, and to respond in a timely manner to any of their queries.

If you still haven’t mastered those little essentials, and you treat your customers as mere numbers, then chances are that you cannot really meet their needs.

Invest in an omnichannel customer service system that will help you increase the number of customer touchpoints as well as the quality of interactions you have with them. Use a set of guidelines and train each new employee to make sure that your brand voice is consistent through every single one of those channels. This would be the first and primary step towards greater customer loyalty.

Master the art of budget allocation


Building customer loyalty takes time, creativity, and funds. Now, since you need to be very careful with your budgeting decisions, you need to conduct a comprehensive analysis of your current financial status. That will give you a better idea of where you can cut certain expenses and reallocate towards your loyalty schemes.

Here are some examples ideas on how to cut down on expenses:

- Work with freelancers instead of hiring internally for every single position you need, especially if a role is needed only for a limited timeframe.

- If applicable, you could also check if your teams would enjoy moving to a coworking space and let them create a more flexible schedule, as long as they deliver on their tasks. Pair that with letting them use their own laptops, and you have already eliminated a major budget leak.

- Use free marketing and advertising tools and platforms such as social media instead of heavily investing in paid advertising.

All of these and other budget cuts require balance, so make sure you remove the costs that make sense for your business.

Find a common goal

Customer participation

We’re well past those traditional coupon rewards that help to inspire a second or a third purchase. In this day and age, you need to look outside that traditional box. Look to your values – is there anything that you share with your customers that could benefit your community or the world in general? For example, if you’re striving to help the environment, and you know that your customers are big on that as well, why not reward them with something that will resonate with the entire community?

Some companies promise to plant a tree in the name of each customer who continues to purchase with them, by collecting reward points. Others, like Skyline, donate a product every time one is sold, effectively inspiring their customers to purchase from them. Then there are those who donate dog food to shelters for every fifth or tenth purchase a customer makes, making a portion of their profits work in favor of your common values.  

Personalize your efforts


Some loyalty schemes can cost a fortune and still have nothing memorable about them. That is why imaginative, personalized efforts have a much greater value than the price tag they carry. So, don’t be alarmed if your limited budget is preventing you from using those luxurious rewards and expensive gifts to treat your repeat customers and inspire them to stay loyal.

Instead, use your creativity and your digital tools to look for information that can help you personalize every loyalty effort you make. Send them a birthday coupon, and if you’re a local company, a hand-written card with it. From the first order, send them a personalized gift as a token of appreciation. Whatever it may be, it doesn’t have to be expensive to help your customers appreciate your business more.

Since the number of competitors your business is facing continues to grow, you need a way to keep your customers inspired to stay loyal. Use these suggestions to inspire greater loyalty, and your brand will grow with happy, engaged customers!

How to create a loyalty program with a small budget

Rewards Programs

The quickest and easiest way to for business implement a digital loyalty program is to use a loyalty app provider, like Stamp Me.

Most small businesses, like independent retailers or cafes/restaurants, simply don’t have the budget, need or business size to invest capital into building and maintaining their own custom app, like a large organisation or enterprise. Therefore using a loyalty app provider usually makes the most sense.

The ongoing cost of a loyalty card app varies between each provider, however it is generally very affordable. As an example, the Stamp Me Loyalty App that we offer to merchants typically costs between $43 and $74 per month.

You can find out the exact pricing of our loyalty app here.


Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for

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