There’s so many organizations out there that do a lot of good. The concept of a ministry, no matter what its application, should be to evangelize in multiple ways. Of course, with the Catholic Church, the primary evangelization is of God. Secondary to that, would be to educate others on the topic that the ministry is about, in this specific case gardening.

Gardening provides many gifts to the participants. The gift of creating, nurturing and growing; and the gift of harvesting and sharing the fruits of your labor with others.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church located in Tampa Florida, needed a tool to help them provide gardening education, ministry organization and of course beautification of a 10 acre property. The end result would be to empower volunteers to assist in this ministry on a monthly basis with the intended goal to eventually grow enough food to provide a bounty to others.

Sun Sign Designs, built Sacred Heart a simple, but effective website to accomplish educating others about gardening, providing a calendar of events and a place to share experiences in the gardening process.

Please check the site out at

If you are a resident of Tampa, come out and help them grow their garden.

In today’s digital age, creating a compelling online platform is essential for businesses to thrive and connect with their target audience effectively. One such platform that has recently caught the attention of many is In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at the journey of designing and launching this website, exploring the key elements that contribute to its success.

Understanding the Concept:
At the heart of lies a simple yet powerful idea: providing users with a seamless experience to discover and access exclusive deals and discounts from a variety of brands and retailers. The concept revolves around convenience, value, and accessibility, catering to the needs of modern consumers who seek ways to save money without compromising on quality.

Research and Planning Phase:
Before embarking on the website design process, thorough research and planning were paramount. The team behind conducted market research to identify the target audience, understand their preferences and behaviors, and assess the competitive landscape. This phase also involved outlining the website’s goals, features, and functionalities to ensure alignment with the overarching vision.

Designing the User Experience:
User experience (UX) design played a pivotal role in shaping into an intuitive and user-friendly platform. The design team focused on creating a clean and visually appealing interface that facilitates effortless navigation and encourages exploration. Emphasis was placed on optimizing the user journey, from browsing deals to redeeming offers, to ensure a seamless experience across devices.

Building a Responsive Website:
With the rise of mobile usage, building a responsive website was imperative for The development team leveraged the latest web technologies and frameworks to create a mobile-responsive design that adapts seamlessly to various screen sizes and devices. This approach ensures that users can access the website conveniently, whether they’re using a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer.

Integration of Cutting-edge Features:
To enhance the user experience and differentiate from competitors, the website incorporates a range of cutting-edge features. These include personalized deal recommendations based on user preferences, location-based offers, social sharing capabilities, and seamless integration with popular payment gateways for hassle-free transactions. By continually innovating and iterating on these features, the platform remains dynamic and relevant in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Content Strategy and Optimization:
Compelling content is essential for engaging users and driving traffic to the website. A robust content strategy was developed to ensure that offers value beyond just deals and discounts. This includes informative blog posts, expert tips on saving money, exclusive interviews with brands, and user-generated content to foster community engagement. Additionally, search engine optimization (SEO) techniques were employed to improve the website’s visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Testing and Iteration:
Prior to the official launch, extensive testing was conducted to identify and address any issues or inconsistencies. This involved usability testing, performance testing, compatibility testing across different browsers and devices, and gathering feedback from beta users. The insights gained from testing were instrumental in refining the website and ensuring a smooth and error-free experience for users.

Launch and Marketing Strategy:
The launch of was accompanied by a strategic marketing campaign aimed at generating buzz and driving traffic to the website. This encompassed various channels such as social media, email marketing, influencer partnerships, and targeted advertising. Leveraging a multi-channel approach helped maximize reach and engagement, attracting a diverse audience of deal-savvy consumers.

Post-launch Growth and Expansion:
Since its launch, has experienced steady growth and expansion, thanks to its compelling value proposition and continuous optimization efforts. The platform continues to evolve in response to user feedback and market trends, with plans to introduce new features, expand the partner network, and explore opportunities for international expansion.

In conclusion, designing and launching a successful website like requires careful planning, creativity, and attention to detail. By prioritizing user experience, integrating innovative features, and implementing effective marketing strategies, businesses can create an engaging online platform that resonates with their target audience and drives sustainable growth in the digital era.

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Is your content creation goal-driven or aimless? The content your business creates should be driven by what you want to achieve with your audience.

Content is used in a variety of ways depending on its purpose. It can inform people of new information, attempt to sell a product or service, attract people to read your articles or follow your social media, give your brand a personal feel, and more. Businesses can achieve quite a lot through content creation, but the question is: does your business know what it’s trying to achieve with its content?

Let’s go over the four types of content every business needs and the purpose of each.

Content to Entertain

Creating entertaining content is a great opportunity to connect with your audience in a basic human-to-human level. What is meant by “entertaining”? Something that entertains, or interests, your audience will appeal to their emotions and personality. For example, this content could use humor, nostalgia, or interactivity to spark amusement and engagement. This type of content is highly shareable and especially suited to get in touch with people who haven’t heard of your brand, products, or services.

Content to entertain helps break the ice, so to speak. It casually introduces your brand to your target audience and sparks brand awareness without pushing “salesy” copy. Establishing this “just like me” aspect of your business is important to building an initial connection and trust with your audience. Entertaining content could include:

  • Quizzes or polls
  • Competitions or contests
  • Sharing viral content
  • Games
  • Branded videos

Content to Educate

A majority of content marketing focuses on audience education and general helpfulness. It focuses less on entertaining your audience and more on helping your audience solve their challenges. Educational content is poised at the beginning of your sales funnel. It should be less about plugging your products or services and more about helping your audience identify a problem or a need and offering potential solutions.

What happens when someone becomes aware they have a problem or a need? They research for a solution. If your business wants to be seen as a potential solution or an authoritative source, then you need educational content to guide their research process. Educational content could include:

Content to Inspire

Like entertaining content, inspiring content similarly taps into your audience’s emotional response. Inspiring content aims to deeply resonate with your audience. This could be stories of success, triumph, self-improvement, and more uplifting themes. Content that inspires often takes the form of:

Content to Convert

Finally, content to convert is meant to nudge your audience to action, whether that is signing up for a newsletter or buying a product. Content to convert is sales focused. It is the last push your potential customers need to be convinced to try your brand, which includes answering final questions and addressing concerns. This content category uses facts, figures, and other rationale to promote your offerings. Content types focused on converting include:

Every business’s content strategy employs all four of these content types. What kinds of content does your business need more of? Contact Sun Sign Designs to discuss your content strategy and content creation today.

Want to read more about content creation? Read Creating Content for Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey or Resources That Optimize Your Website to the Buyer’s Journey next!

Digital accessibility is focused on designing or adapting digital spaces, content, and tools—like websites or apps—so people with disabilities can use them. Digital accessibility provides people with disabilities the opportunity to interact with digital content confidently and independently.

With more than 1 billion people around the world using assistive technology, such as text-to-speech software, there is an obvious need for websites to be accessible to all of their users. How accessible is your business’s website?

What is ADA Compliance?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) legally requires businesses to make accommodations for people with disabilities. Your business’s website falls under Title III of ADA and is considered a place of public accommodation. As a result, the website owner is solely responsible for developing a website that offers “reasonable accessibility.” Failure to meet ADA compliance can result in lawsuits, fines, and damage to your brand reputation—but most importantly, it prevents a portion of your audience from using your website.

What is WCAG?

Unlike ADA Compliance, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) isn’t a legal requirement. However, it is the most-referenced set of standards in website accessibility lawsuits and is widely considered the best way to achieve website accessibility. In fact, even certain court rulings have ordered businesses in breach of ADA to rebuild their websites with WCAG standards in mind. Even though WCAG isn’t mentioned specifically in ADA, it does provide the gold standard for website accessibility.

WCAG is a set of digital accessibility standards that focus on assisting individuals with visual, hearing, motor, or cognitive impairments. It is organized into four major categories: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust (POUR).

1. Perceivable

All content and website components must be presented in a way all users can perceive. This means every user who visits your website should have the means to perceive, or comprehend, information, such as your website’s text, images, or video. Users must be given the option to achieve this either directly or through alternative options, such as text alternatives like a text transcript or audio captions for a video.

2. Operable

User interface components and navigation must be operable for all users. This means all website users should have the ability to navigate your website and use its features. Users should not have an issue using main navigation, a search bar, or other tools. Websites can implement keyboard accessibility to allow users to navigate the site and find content via their keyboard.

3. Understandable

Your website, content, and digital operations must perform in a way and be accessed in a way that is easy to predict and understand. This means users must be able to understand the information and the basic operation of the website, being both readable and predictable.

4. Robust

Your website and content must be “robust” enough so they are compatible with assistive technologies and can be reliably interpreted by assistive technologies. Essentially, your website must provide all site visitors with the same experience.

WCAG Compliance Levels

WCAG Compliance has different levels of conformance depending on how much a website implements. Each level consists of higher adherence with more robust, comprehensive standards.

A: This is the most basic level. It is fairly easy to achieve with minimal impact to a website’s structure or design.

AA: This level is the most commonly referenced in legal proceedings. According to previous rulings, achieving AA standards of WCAG compliance makes a website acceptably accessible.

AAA: This is the most comprehensive standard for digital accessibility and includes a higher set of benchmarks in order to achieve it.

Digital Accessibility Benefits

Maintaining an ADA-compliant website helps protect your business against potential lawsuits and fines in addition to providing inclusive accommodations for all of your customers. ADA-compliant websites expand audience reach, enrich SEO efforts, improve brand reputation, enhance user experience, and offer businesses tax benefits.

By making a good-faith effort to achieve reasonable accessibility for people with disabilities, businesses can avoid potential fines, lawsuits, and losing valued customers.

Is Your Business ADA Compliant?

Does your business need help becoming ADA Compliant?

Sun Sign Designs offers a full suite of digital accessibility solutions to help your website meet ADA Compliance. There’s no need to overhaul your website and rewrite code—we will seamlessly integrate our AI-powered accessibility widget into your website. We offer a secure and easy compliance solution that doesn’t require reworking your entire site.

To find out more about ADA website compliance and how you can protect your business, contact Sun Sign Designs today!

If you want to improve your business’s sales in today’s online marketplace, your website must feature highly targeted content. Especially since your website is likely the first touch point a potential customer will have with your business. As a result, it must be optimized to the buyer’s journey to usher your leads from the beginning to the end of their purchasing process.

Is your website using these resources to nurture and convert leads?


The most commonly used resources used in the awareness stage are blogs or articles. Blogs are the perfect format to write purely informational copy that help answer common questions and solve problems. They are easy to understand and comprehensive enough to answer initial questions. Educational and informative blogs also showcase your business’s industry expertise and positions your business as a leader, demonstrating why customers should trust your business.

Your business can use blog posts for every stage of the buyer’s journey. However, the content and tone looks a little different for each stage. For buyers in the awareness stage, blogs should be free of sales-focused copy and unnecessary brand acknowledgements. Why? Because in the awareness stage, buyers are simply looking to educate themselves about their problem or need. They are not ready to be “sold” yet. In the consideration stage, blog posts should have more in-depth content on different solutions that can solve the buyer’s problem. In the decision stage, blog posts can become sales-focused and discuss why buyers should choose your business over competition.

Educational Guides & Infographics

Educational written guides and infographics are also ideal for the awareness stage because they are highly informative, easy to consume, and easy to share. Infographics in particular are visually engaging and relay information in a fun, interesting way. In addition, infographics do especially well on social media. Both the written guide and infographic should remain focused on providing educational content that matters to their audience, not on selling your products or services.

In the consideration stage, buyers have a more complete understanding of their problem or need, but they have not identified a specific solution. As a result, they need resources discussing the pros and cons of various solutions. After reading an educational blog or watching an explainer video, solution-focused guides, eBooks, and whitepapers that customers can freely download on your website are the perfect next step. You can even link these consideration stage resources in your awareness stage blog posts to gently usher your leads to the next buyer’s journey stage. .


Video is an incredibly popular format to consume content. Videos are visually engaging and deliver information in a fraction of the time it takes to read a blog. Like blogs, videos can deliver purely informational content to answer common questions and solve initial problems. How-to videos and Q&A videos are great types of content for the awareness stage while comparison videos (in which your products or services can be directly compared to your competition) work well in the consideration stage. However, in both the awareness stage and consideration stage, it is important to remain authentic and not salesy. These videos are not meant to be commercials or advertisements, but helpful resources for potential customers.

Product Photography & Product Demos

Custom photography allows customers to get a close-up look and accurate depiction of a business’s products. Product photography is especially important in the decision stage because the quality of the images will directly influence a buyer’s purchase decision. If your business features low-quality product images, buyers will directly correlate the image quality to the product quality. The opposite is true as well: high-quality images suggest high-quality products. Consequently, low-quality product imagery deters buyers from entering in your sales funnel.

For the consideration stage or the decision stage, product demo videos or live demonstration webinars allow your potential buyers to see how your product compares to your competitors. Buyers want to learn how to use your product and all of its features and see how it stacks up to the competition. Product demos and webinars allow your business to educate your audience about your products, show how your brand differs from competition, and give a sales pitch.

Case Studies

In the decision stage, buyers want to know why they should choose to purchase from a certain brand. As a result, they are most interested in seeing how your business has solved other people’s problems and met their needs. Case studies provide a great format to show your leads how your business has achieved positive results. In addition, case studies don’t always have to be written—they can also be done as videos.

Customer Testimonials & Reviews

In the decision stage, the buyer is finally ready to make a purchase. At this point, the buyer has completed extensive research, understands their problem or need, and has an ideal solution in mind. Now, they may seek additional information on why they should choose a particular brand.

Your business’s goal in the decision stage should be to answer final questions, address common customer concerns, and ultimately convince buyers to choose their brand over the competition. As a result, customer testimonials and reviews are essential additions to your website. Buyers will seek out customer reviews to evaluate a brand, select a product, and feel confident about committing to a purchase.

Let your clients tell the story. Every potential customer wants to know the experience others have had before committing to a brand. Whether it is a written review or a video testimonial, your customers can powerfully endorse your business and establish your credibility by sharing their personal experiences.

Tailor Your Content to the Buyer’s Journey

We will help you tailor your marketing strategies and content to hook your customers at each stage of their buyer’s journey. Contact Sun Sign Designs if your business is ready to create a compelling content experience that engages your audience and makes you stand out from the competition.

Content plays an essential role in moving people through the buyer’s journey and successfully through your sales funnel.

It helps your prospective customers learn about your business and gather relevant information about your products or services while learning more about their problem or need. In addition, content positions your business as an expert in your industry, earning customer trust.

Plus, content is much more than blogs. Businesses have endless content options these days, including: videos, podcasts, images, social media posts, educational guides, infographics, interviews, surveys, email newsletters, landing pages, and more.

However, your potential customers need the right content at the right time to move them through their buyer’s journey and motivate them to convert with your business. The buyer’s journey consists of three main stages: the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage. Let’s look at the best types of content needed for each stage.

Awareness Stage Content

In the awareness stage, the buyer becomes aware they have a problem or need. As a result, their awareness jumpstarts a research process for more information on their problem. The buyer will go to search engines to research their problem and educate themselves on a particular topic.

At this early stage in the buyer’s journey, content doesn’t need to be sales-focused. Buyers are not ready to make a final decision or purchase yet. People are looking for answers, resources, research data, opinions, and insight.

As a result, content in the awareness stage should be educational and informative as well as comprehensive and easy to understand. Content types that works well in the awareness stage includes: educational blogs, videos, social media posts, webinars, articles, infographics, and podcasts.

Consideration Stage Content

In the consideration stage, the buyer has a more complete understanding of their problem or need, but they are still not ready to buy yet. Instead, buyers evaluate potential solutions and look at their best options. Since buyers have a better understanding of their problem or need, the consideration stage introduces the research of specific types of products and services in more detail.

Content that is useful in this stage includes: free eBooks, downloadable guides, white papers, free trials, quizzes, and explainer videos. Blogs are still effective in this stage. However, the tone and topics used will differ from the awareness stage. For example, blogs in the consideration stage are more sales-focused, concentrating on the brand’s products and services in comparison to competition.

Decision Stage Content

After extensive research, the buyer is finally ready to make a purchase. At this point, the buyer has completed their research, understands their problem or need, and has an ideal solution in mind. Now, they may seek additional information on why they should choose a particular brand.

The business’s goal in the decision stage should be to answer final questions, address common customer concerns, and ultimately convince buyers to choose their brand over the competition. Content needed to convert customers in this stage includes: product demos, case studies, FAQs page, product landing pages, customer reviews, and customer testimonials.

Why Should You Create Content for the Buyer’s Journey Stages?

The prospects and leads attracted through your business’s marketing efforts usually don’t come to your website ready to buy. Though you have captured their interest, many are still gathering information. With the right types of content available, your business can give them the answers and solutions they are seeking and gently usher them to convert without overwhelming them with sales-focused copy or ads. As a result, content creation centered on the buyer’s journey allows your business to constantly nurture your prospects and convince them to convert.

Tailor Your Content to the Buyer’s Journey

We will help you tailor your marketing strategies and content to hook your customers at each stage of their buyer’s journey. Contact Sun Sign Designs if your business is ready to create a compelling content experience that engages your audience and makes you stand out from the competition.

Understanding the different stages of the buyer’s journey is crucial if your business wants capture potential customers and successfully propel them through your sales funnel. When you fully understand each stage of the buyer’s journey, your business has the opportunity to better position your products or services at each stage.

Becoming intimately familiar with who your buyer is, their pain points and needs, and what kind of journey they take on their path to purchasing is the most successful sales tactic in a day and age where buyers hold all the power.

What is the Buyer’s Journey?

The buyer’s journey describes each phase a buyer goes through on their pathway to purchasing. Buyers do not often purchase on a whim. Plus, even when customers do make impulsive purchases, it is difficult for businesses to track and market to spontaneous buyers with no clear purchasing patterns. These days, customers are flooded with options, so they take their time researching before making a commitment. This includes researching, evaluating, and weighing each option.

Understanding each stage of your customers’ buyer’s journey is incredibly valuable to businesses because they can clearly see how buyers progress from one stage to the next—which will be an important framework for crafting a successful marketing strategy. The three stages of the buyer’s journey are awareness, consideration, and decision.

Stage 1: Awareness

The first stage of the buyer’s journey is the buyer becoming aware that they have a problem or they are experiencing symptoms of a pain point. The buyer’s goal in the awareness stage is to clearly identify their problem and give their problem a name. As a result, buyer’s enter into an initial research phase (usually using a search engine) in which they may look for informational resources like white papers or blogs to clearly define and better understand their problem.

Example: Laura is experiencing itchy, red skin and rashes. She knows she has sensitive skin but hasn’t experienced this before. After researching her condition and reading many articles, she determines that she is most likely experiencing a reaction to her new laundry detergent.

Stage 2: Consideration

In the second stage of the buyer’s journey, the buyer has given a name to their problem and clearly defined their situation. In the consideration stage, the buyer enters into more rigorous research to understand all available methods or approaches to solving their problem.

Example: Laura is now interested in how she can solve her problem. After more research, Laura learns about many laundry detergent ingredients that could be causing her skin reaction and about skin lotions that could soothe her inflamed skin.

Stage 3: Decision

In the third and final stage of the buyer’s journey, the buyer has chosen and decided upon the method that will solve their problem. They will now search and make a list of businesses that align with their chosen method and make a final purchase decision with one of them.

Example: Laura decides to change her laundry detergent rather than buy a soothing lotion. She narrows down her list to businesses that have fragrance-free, hypoallergenic laundry detergents. After perusing each brand, she makes a purchase decision and buys a new laundry detergent.

Buyer’s Journey Insight

The common phases of the buyer’s journey show you that making a sale takes time. In fact, if your business zeroes in on prospects and tries to close the sales loop too early, you will most likely scare them off. Why? Because buyers want to trust your business before making a purchase with you.

As a result, businesses must tailor their content to build customer trust at each stage of the buyer’s journey. For example, if Laura saw educational content from a certain brand in the awareness stage and consideration stage, she is more likely to make a purchase with that brand in the decision stage. Brands that tailor their marketing to be solution-focused make their sales process more efficient and effective. Consequently, by the time a potential customer is at the end of their buyer’s journey, they recognize and trust your brand.

Tailor Your Marketing to the Buyer’s Journey

We will help you tailor your marketing strategies to hook your customers at each stage of their buyer’s journey. Contact Sun Sign Designs if your business is ready to use customer-focused digital marketing tactics that earn customer trust and loyalty.

Your business’s digital marketing decisions need to be backed by data. Otherwise, without objective analytics, your business risks throwing your time and marketing budget into strategies that don’t give you the desired results.

What is Marketing Analytics and Why is it Important?

Marketing analytics measure the performance of marketing efforts from multiple data sources. By studying the data gathered, businesses can find patterns between customer behaviors and conversion rates. The goal of marketing analytics is to use these findings to optimize future marketing strategies. As a result, businesses have data that improves marketing decision-making and helps them achieve a higher ROI.

Digital marketing analytics are crucial for assessing your progress and fine-tuning your approach for the best possible end results. By using analytic tools and techniques, your business can see which content performs well, where you’re reaching your target audience, which marketing channels have the best engagement, and the journey your target audience is taking before converting into paying customers. What else can marketing analytics do for your business?

Understand Your Target Customers

Every successful marketing strategy relies on the strong understanding of your target audience. Customer analytics are like cheat codes your business can use to better connect with your target consumer. These analytics closely examine customer information and customer behavior to uncover the characteristics that make your business’s most profitable customer.

Customer analytics create a single, accurate window into the best practices businesses can use to acquire and retain high-value customers. The better understanding businesses have of their ideal customer’s buying habits and lifestyle, the more specialized the customer experience can become. Successful businesses know the personalized messaging, ads, and content that resonate the most with their customers. Put simply, insightful customer analytics lead to more effective marketing campaigns and stronger results.

Find Areas That Need Growth

If you don’t know what’s broken, then you can’t fix it. Marketing analytics plainly show you where your business is performing well and which areas need improvement. For example, if your nurture emails are not driving engagement and leading customers down the sales funnel, then marketing analytics can help you pinpoint where the problem lies and why.

Metrics like open-rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates help businesses understand how engaged current email subscribers are. These metrics provide quantifiable answers to questions like: Why didn’t certain subscribers click the link with the special offer? Was the written call-to-action effective or not? Did my subject line follow best practices? Was the digital banner eye-catching enough for subscribers to pause and read it?

Discover New Opportunities

Sustained growth and profitability is never guaranteed. Businesses cannot remain static in their marketing approaches and expect exponential growth. There are always optimizations to be had and changes to be made. Data is central in providing fresh perspective and new approaches. It helps businesses find new, profitable angles to explore and experiment with.

Data unlocks discovery—your business can discover trends and patterns it has previously overlooked. For example, through a complementary product analysis, a business may find its customers typically purchase one product with another. As a result, the business may create an exclusive members-only bundle that leads to an increase of member sign-ups.

Fine-Tune Marketing Campaigns

With marketing analytics, your business doesn’t have to wait to see how your marketing campaign is doing until after it’s over. Analytics can help your business identify and solve problems in the midst of a campaign to improve your performance and maximize your results. Essentially, it takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out exactly where you are going wrong. Instead, the data shows you, and your business can take immediate action.

For example, a business may find its email marketing campaign to increase website visitors isn’t converting. Why aren’t people clicking the link to their website? Is their call-to-action ineffective? Is their digital banner unattractive? So they turn to the data to pinpoint the problem, and their analytic tools reveal that their email open rates are low.

Knowing this, the business now has several options to fine-tune their campaign. They may further segment their email list or personalize the email’s subject line to increase the email’s relevancy to the customer and, therefore, increase their chances of opening the email.

Leverage the Power of Marketing Analytics

Regardless of your business’s size, marketing analytics provide invaluable data that can help drive growth. Most likely, you know the wealth of benefits marketing analytics has to offer. However, like many businesses, you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of analyzing massive amounts of data. Sun Sign Designs has the solution to make marketing analytics far less daunting.

Marketing analytics software automatically collects, organizes, and correlates relevant data to unlock the constructive insights needed to improve your marketing performance. These analytic tools can report on the past, analyze the present, and predict the future. As a result, your business can understand and optimize every phase of a campaign lifecycle.

Interested in how marketing analytics software can improve your digital marketing strategy? Contact Sun Sign Designs today.

The truth about loyalty programs is that not all of them will work for your business. You need to find a program structure that aligns with your business’s needs and your target audience’s desires and behavior.

Once you have a good understanding of who your customers are and what motivates them, you can then begin designing an effective loyalty program. Let’s look at the 7 most common customer loyalty program structures.

Points Program

Point-based customer loyalty programs are among the most popular, common types of loyalty programs. They are incredibly useful because they offer low barriers of entry  and are low commitment. Customers can immediately start earning and redeeming points for credits toward their next purchase, discounted services, free shipping, and more. Customers can keep track of their points through an online account, mobile app, or loyalty card, keeping them continuously engaged, connected, and committed to benefiting from the brand’s added value.

Since points programs are so common, customers recognize the format and understand how to take advantage of the rewards, making for an uncomplicated experience. As a result, people don’t need to be “sold” to see the value of a points program. However, some downfalls of points programs are: they are purely transactional and acquisition-focused without much differentiation between members.

Tiered Program

Tiered loyalty programs are similar to points programs because they usually allow customers to gain points with their purchases. However, the key difference between the two programs is that tiered loyalty programs offer customers status. Tiered programs create an aura of exclusivity and competition among customers, generally motivating members in lower tiers to make an effort to get to the next level of spending and rewards. The more restricted the reward, the greater the appeal. Moving up the loyalty ladder is exciting and makes customers feel elite.

Unlike points programs, tiered loyalty programs work better for businesses that want high commitment and frequent purchases from their customers. Tier programs focus on creating high-value customers and reserve the best rewards exclusively for the best customers. However, tier programs also require a certain level of commitment from consumers, and the program will not be as attractive to lower-tier members who aren’t willing to spend to increase their status and rewards.

Game-Based Program

Who doesn’t love a fun game? Game-based loyalty programs play on human reward-seeking behavior, natural competitiveness, and the fear of missing out on something fun or valuable. Customers are motivated to earn virtual badges, accumulate points, or advance levels. Like a video game, they can then “trade” points for rewards or unlock new benefits when they earn new badges or advance into a new level. Gamified loyalty programs are vibrant and highly engaging (even addicting) to customers, encouraging them to frequently “play” and purchase with the brand.  However, before implementing gamification, businesses must determine if their audience is willing to engage in it and determine the right rewards to motivate them.

Coalition (Partnership) Program

Do you want to team up with another business? Coalition loyalty programs use strategic partnerships with other businesses to acquire new customers and grow. In these programs, customers can earn rewards more quickly and have more choice on where to use them. As a result, each business gets access to an expanded customer base. Another benefit is that the partnered businesses can split the operational costs of running a joint rewards program.

However, some downsides to coalition programs are: an inability to stand out and differentiate the loyalty program from the partner, no distinct competitive advantage, and the risk of customers redeeming points more so with partner brand. Coalition programs may work best as short-term solutions for businesses who want to quickly access a new customer base and gain increased brand awareness.

Fee-Based, Paid Program

More and more businesses are implementing paid loyalty programs. Whether it is an annual fee or monthly subscription, these programs require customers to pay upfront to unlock rewards and benefits. Paid loyalty programs offer customers instant gratification; customers do not have to wait to accumulate rewards.

However, premium paid loyalty programs are not for everyone. These programs create a high barrier of entry for the average customer and convincing customers to pay a membership fee can be challenging in the beginning.

Value-Based Program

Value-based customer loyalty programs are less about monetary rewards and more about connecting with your customers on a deeper level. It usually involves donating a percentage of purchases to charity or welfare programs your target audience is interested in helping. Although this program doesn’t actually reward customers with discounts or cash back, the donations hold emotional value for customers. Customers appreciate that  their purchase can benefit society.

Hybrid Program

There is no one right way to build a loyalty program. Many businesses will combine two or more loyalty programs until they have a structure that works for them. A common hybrid is one that involves points, tiers, and gamification. Picking out the loyalty strategies that best suit your business helps you customize and create a unique customer experience. This mix-and-match approach allows for increased personalization, control, and flexibility.

Which loyalty program is right for your brand?

Ready to Build a Unique Loyalty Program?

Just like other marketing efforts, there isn’t a one-shoe-fits-all solution. If you’re ready to craft a unique marketing strategy that builds loyalty while fitting your business’s needs and goals, contact Sun Sign Designs for a consultation. We love solving difficult marketing challenges.

A hard reality for businesses to swallow is this: customer satisfaction doesn’t always equal customer loyalty. A happy customer may contribute to a good review or two, but it doesn’t guarantee repeat business.

Satisfaction is fleeting. Loyalty is enduring.

A satisfied customer may enjoy your product, but they’re still interested in experimenting with different brands. A loyal customer is more than just temporarily satisfied—they are devoted to your product and your entire brand identity. They are not swayed by your competitors’ marketing efforts despite convenience or pricing.  They choose your business over and over again and encourage others to do so as well.

Loyal customers are high-value customers that sustain businesses and keep them growing. These types of customers are priceless. How do you create them?

What is a customer loyalty program?

A customer loyalty program is a consistent marketing effort designed to encourage repeat purchases and engagement with a certain business. At its most basic level, it is a continuous connection between a brand and a consumer. It is a long-term mutually-beneficial relationship, in which businesses are constantly nurturing their customer base and developing meaningful customer relationships.

These programs reward loyal purchasing behaviors by offering consumers increased value and spending power. The rewards could include: exclusive products or offers, special discounts or pricing, promotions, money rewards, and more.

These money-savings benefits motivate customers to return to the brand again and again. As a result, these customers not only feel valued and appreciated by the brand, they also implicitly trust the value of the business. Customer loyalty programs are most successful when businesses focus on building a consistent loyalty lifecycle. Customer loyalty programs fall short when businesses treat them as a short-term solution with one-off giveaways or promotions.

Loyal customers aren’t easy to come by, but they are worth investing in. Where should your business start?

What does your business want to achieve?

First, business’s need to understand and define the goals they wish to achieve by introducing a customer loyalty program. You want to create loyal customers, but what else? What is your business’s reason or need for creating a loyalty program? Does your business want to increase sales, boost website traffic, enhance brand experience, or all of the above? Whatever your business wants to achieve through the customer loyalty program, it’s important to understand these goals prior to developing a specific plan.

Who is your target audience?

Before starting any type of customer loyalty program, your business must know its target audience. Is your business attempting to engage a new audience or attract a segment of your current audience? If your target audience is too broad, your business runs the chance of creating a generic loyalty program that engages no one. The more segmented your target audience is, the more tailored and unique your customer loyalty program can be.

Study your customers’ behavior

Once you have locked in your target audience, you need to gauge their expectations and their willingness to participate. Analyzing your consumers’ behavior plays an important role in understanding what they want from your business and how your business can provide it. Whether you undergo a series of surveys, interviews, or rewards test-runs, businesses need to understand the purchasing behavior, needs, and wants of their target audience.

What actions do you want to reward? What rewards do you want to offer?

Actions businesses commonly reward include: making purchases over a certain dollar amount, buying a specific product, referring a new customer, leaving a review, or mentioning its product or brand on social media.

The actions a business incentivizes will determine what kinds of rewards are offered to its customers. Discounts and coupons are the bread-and-butter of customer loyalty programs, but they may not be the right fit for a business if its focus is on increasing website traffic and content engagement. For example, if a business wants to reward customer site engagement, they may offer experience-driven rewards like virtual badges, points, or advancing tiers. If a business wants to increase purchases over $50, they might offer free shipping once the purchasing threshold is achieved.

Choose a type of customer loyalty program

Find a structure that aligns with your business’s needs and your target audience’s desires. Do you want a “members only” mentality that creates an atmosphere of exclusivity with “insider” benefits? Or do you want to gamify your program with points, tiers, and badges for a fun customer experience?

There is no one right way to build a customer loyalty program. Check back with Sun Sign Designs as we continue exploring loyalty and how to build it.

Ready to Build a Unique Loyalty Program?

Just like other marketing efforts, there isn’t a one-shoe-fits-all solution. If you’re ready to craft a unique marketing strategy that builds loyalty while fitting your business’s needs and goals, contact Sun Sign Designs for a consultation. We love solving difficult marketing challenges.