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Reward your customers: a rewards program accelerates growth and increases customer loyalty.

Do you want to increase customer loyalty and motivate your customers to buy more frames more often? If so, starting a frequent framers club can help you do it. A frequent framers club is a rewards program for your customers that tightens the bonds of loyalty. I like to think of it as "guerrilla glue"; it holds your customers tight and keeps them coming back by rewarding them for their loyalty.

A frequent framers club is similar to the rewards programs that airlines, hotels, and many other industries offer. The difference is that the program is for framers' customers, and it directly addresses two of framers' biggest business challenges: getting customers to buy more frames and getting them to do it within a specified time.

Those in the framing industry are fortunate because their customers tend to be fairly loyal, but a bit of extra glue can't hurt. Your frequent framers club boosts not only loyalty but also sales by giving your customers an incentive to buy more frames more often.

One of the keys to a successful rewards program is to make the reward attainable by setting the bar low enough that most of your customers can visualize themselves cashing in. Many rewards programs tend to benefit only the business, but those that fairly reward customers will benefit the business owner a lot more in the end.

A pizza shop near my home has a rewards program, but it's not very good, in my opinion. You need to buy 25 pizzas before you get a free medium cheese pizza. I love pizza, but if I have to buy 25 of them, the prize needs to be bigger--a lot bigger. Say, for example, free heart bypass surgery. When the goal line is so far away that it's almost invisible, customers won't care and won't be motivated to spend.

In a program with an attainable goal, almost all customers should feel like they can reach the goal line; otherwise, they won't bother to try. If the pizza-shop owner were to set the reward bar lower--perhaps requiring the purchase of 10 or 15 pizzas--and make the prize a large pizza to provide greater incentive, the program would be more attractive to the customers. In turn, the business would benefit more, despite the fact that it would be giving away more free pizzas.

In addition to providing incentive and attainability, you also have to create a sense of urgency. This tactic will bring in customers more frequently and within a shorter timeframe in order to attain the reward. This accomplishment is especially significant for a framing business, in which getting customers to purchase more frequently is a constant challenge.

To create urgency, give customers a limited yet reasonable amount of time--I recommend two years--to reach the goal line. You want to encourage customers to think of custom framing as something that is not just for decorating, but also for gift-giving at weddings, birthdays, graduations, and more.

With these goals and requirements in mind, consider the structure and rules of a frequent framers club that will help increase sales from your customers at minimal cost. The basic structure of your frequent framers club will stipulate that if a customer buys five frames within a two-year period, the sixth one will be free.

You should calculate the allowed amount on the free frame on an average of the five previously purchased frames. This strategy prevents customers from framing five 8-by-10-inch pieces and then bringing in a 48-by-96-inch wall mural for free framing.

Now, consider the math so you'll fully understand what you're offering and what the customer will receive. On the surface, it appears that you are offering a 16.7 percent discount to customers who purchase six frames. In reality, the discount is always somewhat smaller, unless all six pictures are the same size and are framed exactly alike. Some customers, despite their effort and good intentions, will not reach the goal in the allotted time, further reducing the discount.

In evaluating whether this rewards program is something you should do, first ask yourself: Would you accommodate a customer who asked for a 16.7 percent discount on six items to frame?

I would, and I would encourage you to do so also. If many of your customers bought six frames from you over the next two years, even at a 17.5 percent discount, your net profit would be almost certain to improve substantially. Consider how many of your current customers have purchased six or more frames in the last two years. I doubt you would be pleased with what you find.

If you want to increase sales--and who doesn't?--a frequent framers club is a great way to maximize sales from your customers and give them something back as a reward for their continued patronage.

Paul Cascio is the lead instructor for The American Picture Framing Academy (pictureframingschool.com). Cascio also provides business and sales training and consulting. Contact Cascio at pdc@pictureframingschool.com.

Reasons to love the frequent framer program

It increases existing customers' frequency of purchases, especially if you send them email reminders pointing out how close they are to earning a free frame and reminding them that the clock is ticking. This tactic also gives you a good excuse to email your customers.

Free membership in the frequent framers club helps strengthen the bond of loyalty your customers have to your business.

Customers tend to make their next purchase more quickly when they are trying to reach a rewards goal.

The next time your customers need to purchase a gift, they'll be more likely to think of custom framing, since that purchase will get them one step closer to a free frame.
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Title Annotation:THE GUERRILLA FRAMER
Comment:Reward your customers: a rewards program accelerates growth and increases customer loyalty.(THE GUERRILLA FRAMER)
Author:Cascio, Paul
Publication:Art Business News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2016
Words:953
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