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Creating a best-in-class beauty loyalty program
Creating a best-in-class beauty loyalty program

Our top tips for optimizing your beauty loyalty program.

Harriet Bingham avatar
Written by Harriet Bingham
Updated over a week ago

Looking to optimize your beauty loyalty program? We’ve got the perfect blueprint for you to follow. A typical best-in-class beauty loyalty program includes:

Loyalty tiers

Let’s start with loyalty tiers. Tiers are a fundamental part of any beauty loyalty program because:

  • Tiers motivate customers to engage with the program more regularly in order to unlock bigger and better perks

  • Customers in higher tiers typically purchase more frequently and have a higher average order value

  • Tiers can be used to reward your most valuable customers with experiential rewards that are perceived to be of very high value.

A best-in-class beauty loyalty program should have no more than three tiers, and the rewards available should become progressively more exclusive as a customer moves through the levels. For example, you may give customers in your lower tier rewards such as early access to sales, while customers in higher tiers also get early access to new products as they launch. You may also give customers in your higher tiers more VIP rewards such as invitations to exclusive events or webinars, or the ability to join a focus group.

Typical rewards that we see in loyalty program tiers include:

  • Free shipping

  • Double points days

  • Early access to sales

  • Early access to product launches

  • Event and webinar invitations

  • Free products

  • Birthday gifts

  • Invitations to join focus groups

We recommend that you brand your loyalty tiers in a way that aligns with your loyalty program. For example, if LoyaltyLion were to launch the Pride Points loyalty program, we might have a Cub tier and a Lion tier.

Loyalty program tiers are a great way to encourage increased program engagement and participation, but they also provide a more rewarding experience for members.

Find out how to set up tiers.

Free product rewards

Best-in-class beauty loyalty programs often include free product rewards. We recommend using free product rewards because:

  • Products provide a more exciting and compelling reward for members than discounts, increasing the likelihood of redemption

  • Product rewards provide another way to clear excess inventory

  • Product rewards enable you to introduce customers to more of your product range.

The most innovative beauty loyalty programs include free product rewards that customers can redeem in exchange for their points. For example, you may offer customers with 100 points the opportunity to add a free product to their basket with their next order.

Typical free product rewards that we see in a loyalty program include:

  • Tester or sample-size products

  • Branded merchandise, for example tote bags

We recommend that you use free product rewards in a way that aligns with your product strategy. For example, if you are launching a new product that you want as many of your customers as possible to try, include a sample-size version as a free product reward. If customers like the sample they will then return to but the product at full-size. You can also use free product rewards to clear excess inventory of products that didn’t sell as anticipated.

Find out how to set up free product vouchers.

Zero-party data collection

Best-in-class loyalty programs incorporate opportunities to collect zero-party data that can be used to personalize customer experiences. This zero-party data collection is increasingly important as we lose the ability to collect data via cookies.

A best-in-class beauty loyalty program incorporates zero-party data collection because:

  • The zero-party data collected by the loyalty program can then be used to personalize customer communications such as emails and SMS

  • The zero-party data collected by the loyalty program can also be used to make personalized product recommendations

  • When zero-party data is collected and used responsibly, a greater level of trust is established, and 40% of shoppers will pay more for products from a brand they trust.

The most effective way to collect zero-party data via a loyalty program is to offer members points in exchange for sharing their information.

Typical ways that we see brands incentivize data sharing include:

  • Awarding points in exchange for sharing birthday information

  • Awarding points in exchange for completing a profile

  • Awarding points in exchange for taking a quiz

We recommend being explicit and targeted about the information you are collecting to further increase trust. For example, if you want to personalize marketing materials around skin products, then launch a specific skincare quiz that helps customers to identify which skin type they have and what products would suit them. Then use that data to send relevant emails that demonstrate responsible data usage.

Personalized loyalty experiences are proven to increase program performance as customers feel recognized as individuals. However, the increased trust associated with responsible data usage is also hugely valuable in securing customer loyalty.

Find out how to set up custom activity rules such as quizzes here.

Bonus point promotions

Best-in-class loyalty programs help brands to reduce their reliance on discounting. Bonus point promotions are an extremely effective way of re-engaging loyalty program members without an immediate financial incentive.

We recommend beauty brands use bonus point promotions because:

  • Bonus point promotions help members to build up their points balance and unlock their next reward faster. This then speeds up the time to their next purchase

  • Bonus point promotions can be used during sales events as an alternative to discounts, helping you protect your profit margins

  • Bonus point promotions can be designed to align with your wider marketing calendar - for example, running a double points day on Earth Day if you’re a sustainable beauty brand.

Typical ways that we see brands using bonus point promotions include:

  • Running bonus point promotions on newly launched products to increase exposure

  • Running bonus point promotions on high margin products to incentivize sales on the products that generate the most revenue

  • Running bonus point promotions on all products for all members across a limited timeframe to create a sense of exclusivity and bring back returning customers.

We recommend promoting your bonus points promotions across email and SMS. We also recommend posting about them on social media so that non-members can see what they’re missing out on.

When it comes to your loyal customers, bonus point promotions can be just as effective in driving a sale as discounts. They also work more effectively in the long-term as they help members unlock rewards that they return to redeem sooner.

Find out how to set up bonus points promotions here.

Custom rewards

Many best-in-class beauty loyalty programs incorporate custom rewards, because they enable brands to bring their values to life and demonstrate to members that they share the same values.

Custom rewards help you to emotionally connect with customers because:

  • They help you tell your brand story and share the history behind your brand and it’s values

  • They show customers that you are genuine and not greenwashing

  • They help you to differentiate from your competitors

The most innovative loyalty programs include custom rewards that enable members to redeem their rewards in a way that supports the causes they care about. For example, a customer who has earned 50 points could redeem a reward that enables them to plant 5 trees rather than collect a financial incentive.

Typical custom rewards that we see in loyalty program tiers include:

  • Tree planting

  • Donations to relevant charities

We recommend that you design custom rewards in a way that aligns with your brand and the products you sell. This ensures that customers see them as authentic and genuine rather than as token gestures.

Custom rewards are a fantastic way to differentiate your brand and form a longer-term connection with your loyalty program members. They also provide an innovative way of bringing your brand values to life through your loyalty program.

Find out how to set up custom rewards here.

Do you need help creating a best-in-class beauty loyalty program?

Need a hand setting up any of these tactics within your beauty loyalty program? We’re here to help - just contact

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