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Referral & Loyalty Program for All Types of Businesses
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A customer rewards program can increase sales, improve customer retention, and lower marketing costs. Interested? In this guide, we’ll share actionable strategies, with Friendbuy’s proven expertise, to empower brands of all scales with a customer rewards program. 

What Is A Customer Rewards Program?

A customer rewards program is a marketing initiative that involves providing your customers with something they consider valuable in exchange for specific actions. Brands often reward customers who make repeat purchases, refer new customers, or take other actions beneficial to the company. It’s a way to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business by providing value to the customers, typically in the form of discounts, points, or exclusive benefits.

What Is The Purpose Of A Customer Rewards Program? 

The core purpose of a customer rewards program is to build lasting brand loyalty and increase revenue by incentivizing repeat business and encouraging brand engagement. 

Here are the main benefits of a loyalty program:

  • Drive More Sales: Rewards programs incentivize repeat purchases, directly boosting sales.
  • Increase Brand Stickiness: Offering appealing rewards enhances brand engagement and loyalty.
  • Create Brand Ambassadors: Satisfied customers become brand advocates, promoting the brand by word-of-mouth.
  • Lower Marketing Costs: Leveraging customer advocacy reduces the need for extensive marketing campaigns.
  • Enhance Customer Relationship Management: Establish a mutually beneficial relationship between your brand and your customers, building customer loyalty and trust.
  • Elevate Customer Lifetime Value (LTV): Friendbuy’s approach exemplifies how rewards programs can significantly enhance LTV by fostering long-term customer relationships.
  • Increase Customer Retention: By offering value through rewards, customers are more likely to return and engage with the brand, reducing churn and fostering a stable customer base.

Integrating a well-structured rewards program is not just a marketing strategy; it’s a comprehensive approach to enriching customer experiences and building a community of brand advocates, leading to sustained business growth. Ready to create a customer loyalty program? Contact Friendbuy to get started.

Types Of Customer Rewards Program

Rewards programs are primarily categorized into two main types: Referral Programs and Loyalty Programs. Each type serves a unique purpose and employs different mechanisms to incentivize customers, fostering a sense of value and appreciation. Let’s review what each of these can offer to your business.

Referral Program (They Refer Friends)

Referral programs are straightforward—your current customers bring in new ones, and they get rewarded for it. It’s like having your own existing customers double as your marketing team. Friendbuy emphasizes creating referral programs that are easy to share and understand, ensuring everyone wins. It’s about keeping it simple, making the rewards attractive, and spreading the word effectively. 

Read more about how to build a referral program for more details on how to launch one for your brand.

Customer Loyalty Program (They Get Something The More They Do)

Customer loyalty programs are a way for your customers to engage with your brand in a meaningful way. They come in various shapes and sizes, each catering to what your customers value the most. Many brands choose to run multiple loyalty programs simultaneously to take advantage of all of the ways to encourage customers to engage with the brand.

Here’s a quick rundown of the types of loyalty programs you can consider:

  • Points-based loyalty programs: Customers earn and redeem points for discounts—great for frequent shoppers.
  • Tiered loyalty programs: Tiered loyalty programs unlock more rewards as you spend more—ideal for varying customer spending levels. Friendbuy customer MZ Wallace has increasingly attractive awards the higher the tier.

mz wallace loyalty program landing page tiered rewards (1)

  • Paid loyalty programs: In a paid loyalty program, loyalty members pay to join, enjoy the perks—suitable for exclusive brands. 
  • Value-based loyalty programs: Align rewards with values, like charitable donations—perfect for brands with a cause.
  • Subscription-based loyalty programs: Regular perks for subscribers—excellent for consistent customer engagement. Friendbuy customer Annmarie Skin Care has exclusive rewards for customers who join their Insider program.

annmarie loyalty program reward levels

  • VIP membership loyalty programs: Customers pay to join and get special benefits. Premium pay, premium benefits—best for offering exclusivity.

Each of these types of loyalty programs rewards specific customer behavior that supports your business. The more opportunities for your existing customers to earn rewards, the more they support your business.

With Friendbuy’s customer rewards software, you can totally customize earning events that fit into your marketing plans. This means that you can reward customers for anything, from referring friends to uploading photos with a review.

refer a friend earning event in loyalty program (1)

The Options For Creating A Customer Rewards Program

Creating a successful loyalty program requires a lot of moving parts and consideration. Here are your options, each tailored to different needs and scales:

  1. Build it Yourself: Ideal for smaller brands with fewer customers; gives full control but demands more time, effort, and in-house resources.
  2. Use Specialized Software: Suitable for those preferring a self-serve, easy-to-launch solution; specifically designed for rewards programs, but you’ll need to analyze the data to understand what works for your business.
  3. Partner with an Experienced Provider (Friendbuy): Optimal for enterprise clients seeking a comprehensive approach; offers a white-glove experience with proven strategies for high conversion from the start, justifying the investment.

Evaluate your brand’s needs, resources, and goals to choose the right option. Contact Friendbuy for a proven, optimized approach to build customer loyalty.

The Essential Elements Of A Customer Reward Program

A well-structured customer reward program can significantly enhance customer engagement and customer retention. Here are a few essential elements to consider:

  • Regular Drumbeat Of Communication: Regular communication is pivotal in keeping the customers informed about the rewards program, ensuring that they are aware of the ongoing and upcoming rewards and enhancing their engagement with the program. Friendbuy recommends sending quarterly customer loyalty program emails, plus automated loyalty program emails that fit within the customer journey (i.e. post-purchase emails).
  • Unique Campaigns: Offering unique and diverse campaigns keeps the reward program exciting and enticing, encouraging active participation and fostering a sense of exclusivity and appreciation.
  • Friendly, Personalized Language: Utilizing friendly and personalized language makes the communication more relatable and appealing, making the customers feel valued and understood. Friendbuy's industry-leading experts know exactly what language and positioning converts well with your customers and will guide you during your onboarding.
  • Your Company Branding And Designs: Incorporating your company’s branding and designs makes the reward program more recognizable and trustworthy, ensuring consistency across all communications. Friendbuy helps our customers create branded customer loyalty program assets that convert so that all you have to do is manage the influx of business once your loyalty program goes live.
  • Valuable Information For The User: Whether it's your rewards program landing page or a loyalty program email, all necessary information for participating in the rewards program should be included in your communication with customers.
  • Strong CTAs: Strong and clear Call-To-Actions (CTAs) guide the customers on what steps to take next. These CTA examples can offer insights into creating compelling and effective CTAs.
  • Easily Available Metrics: Making metrics easily available enables customers to track their progress and status in the reward program, fostering transparency and allowing customers to set and achieve their goals. Friendbuy's rewards program software makes it easy to display rewards points and progress to loyalty members right on your ecommerce shop when users are logged in.

  • Information Regarding Program Advancement: Providing information on program advancement keeps the customers motivated and engaged, allowing them to understand the milestones and the rewards associated, enhancing their participation.
  • Omnichannel Presence: Having an omnichannel presence ensures that the rewards program is accessible and consistent across various platforms, offering flexibility and convenience to the users.
  • Widgets, Landing Pages, And Popups: Integrating widgets, creating dedicated landing pages, and utilizing pop ups are effective ways to promote the rewards program. These loyalty program landing pages can provide valuable insights into optimizing these elements for maximum impact.

How To Create A Customer Reward Program Step-By-Step

Creating a customer reward program is a strategic process that involves understanding your audience, offering relevant rewards, and maintaining brand cohesion throughout. It’s about making your customers feel valued while ensuring the program aligns with your brand values and business goals. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through the creation of a successful customer loyalty program:

  1. Identify Your Audiences: Start by understanding the different types of loyal customers. Knowing your audience is the foundation of creating a program that resonates. Learn more about types of loyal customers.

Customer Loyalty Statistics - Convenience, Trust, and Customer Loyalty (1)

  1. Choose Rewards That Speak To Those Audiences: Select rewards that are appealing and relevant to your identified audiences. The right incentives can significantly enhance participation in the program. Explore different types of rewards and incentives.
  2. Drive Awareness Of Your Programs: Actively promote your rewards program through regular email communication, social media, and other ways you connect with your customers to remind them of your loyalty program and how they can be a part of it. 

mz wallace post purchase loyalty email (1)

  1. Ensure Branding Cohesion: Maintain a consistent brand image and message across all elements of your rewards program to build trust and recognition.
  2. Run Multiple Campaigns: Implement various campaigns to keep the program exciting and engaging. Discover innovative rewards program ideas.
  3. Test Campaign Messages: Optimize your program by testing different messages to see what resonates best with your audience. Understand the best practices for A/B testing.
  4. Track Results And Iterate: Monitor the performance of your program using key performance indicators and make necessary adjustments to enhance its effectiveness. Learn about tracking the right KPIs.

By following these steps and continuously optimizing, you can create a customer experience and reward program that not only delights your customers but also drives sustainable growth for your business.

Want more details? Review our guide to creating a loyalty program strategy for insights on how to choose rewards that your customers will love. See these referral program ideas for even more ways to reward your customers.


Identifying what resonates with your customers and then streamlining all of your rewards program communication are the two core tasks in setting up a customer loyalty program. Follow these best practices outlined in this post for a successful customer loyalty program.

Ready to reward your existing customers for shopping with your brand? Contact Friendbuy to see how our loyalty program software can grow your business.