Our Mission

Learn who we are and how we serve our community


Meet our leaders, trustees and team


Developing the next generation of talent


Covering the latest news and trends in the marketplaces industry

Industry Insights

Check out wide-ranging resources that educate and inspire

Government Relations & Public Policy

Learn about the governmental initiatives we support


Connect with other professionals at a local, regional or national event

Virtual Series

Find webinars from industry experts on the latest topics and trends

Professional Development

Grow your skills online, in a class or at an event with expert guidance

Find Members

Access our Member Directory and connect with colleagues

ICSC Networking Platform

Get recommended matches for new business partners

Student Resources

Find tools to support your education and professional development

Become a Member

Learn about how to join ICSC and the benefits of membership

Renew Membership

Stay connected with ICSC and continue to receive membership benefits

Small Business Center

Use Your Loyalty Program to Increase Sales and Build Goodwill During the Holiday Season

February 17, 2022

By Angel Cicerone, Tenant Mentorship

If your loyalty program is feeling a little stale, breath some life into it with these two twists, perfect for the holiday season.

Points for Charity

During the holidays, we are bombarded with requests for charitable giving. You can break through that clutter by offering your loyalty members an easy way to be altruistic while getting them reinvested in your program. Simply invite them to donate their points to charity. This one simple promotion can get rewards points off your books and create a ton of goodwill with your customers and your community. 

Determine a monetary value for reward points. Decide what are you ultimately are willing to and able to contribute through this program. Then determine how much your points should be worth. It doesn’t have to be the same as the rewards ratio you give away — i.e., $1 per point. Rather than focusing on straight dollar-for-point value, I think it’s better to work with a local charity to create a more tangible and heartfelt gift, like “Feed a family of four Thanksgiving dinner” for every 100 points redeemed. Or “For every 100 points you donate, we’ll give a bag of pet food to the local shelter.”

Choose the length of time for the promotion. Will it run for a day, week or the entire holiday season?

Select a local charity. Work with that charity to create an offer as described above and determine what your contribution will look like.

Work out the logistics with your point-of-sale system, and train your staff. Make sure all your technology for redemption is seamless and your staff is meticulously trained in processing the promotion — and talking it up with customers.

Promote. Use all your assets to get the word out: website, email, social media, flyers, in-store signage. Also incorporate it into any traditional advertising you may be doing. Ask your charitable partner to help you promote.

Don’t forget the follow-up. Send thank you notes to participating program members. Acknowledge and thank participating loyalty members on social media, in-store and on your website. Take photos of the check presentation to the charity for use in your marketing, as well as in a press release for local media.

Add a few twists, if you like. Add double points opportunities on certain days to encourage program sign up and additional sales from existing customers.

Give the program a catchy name and create a promotional graphic. Make it the centerpiece of your holiday marketing strategy.

Points to Enter

This idea gives loyalty members the opportunity to redeem points to enter a contest — for example, Receive one entry for every 100 points redeemed. Now, the key here is the prize has to be significant and buzzworthy! It can be merchandise from your store, or you can work with your retail and restaurant neighbors to create a package of prizes that will appeal to your target market. For example, if you own a women’s boutique, create a makeover package that include clothes, hair, nails, spa, etc., worth $1,000. Think about your customer avatar and what’s important to them. A vacation? A room makeover? A luxury car rental for a week? Don’t be ordinary! A promotion like this should run longer with lots of promotion from you and any partner companies you are working with. It will spark interest in your loyalty program and encourage membership, especially with the promise of holding these types of contests on a regular basis.

Inventive use of points as a marketing tool doesn’t cost much and is suitable for every type of retail and restaurant, so break out of the mold and use your loyalty program as an additional way to surprise and delight your customers — and gain new ones!

This article was originally published at www.angelcicerone.com.

Small Business Center

ICSC champions small and emerging businesses in getting from business plan to brick-and-mortar.

Learn more