"The long-term goal for most marketers out there is to gain customers and successfully keep them coming back for more," writes Kristen Gregory at the Bronto blog.

So how do you encourage their ongoing patronage, and invite them to explore additional products or services?

That's where loyalty programs come into play—and for email marketers, they fall into two general categories:

Granting VIP status at a certain spending level. This type of program rewards loyal customers with exclusive perks, private sales, and special gifts. Sephora, for instance, bestows an array of discounts, gift cards, and pre-launch sneak-peeks to customers who spend at least $350 in a calendar year. "You can ... even target folks who are near or on their way toward that VIP amount," Gregory notes, "reminding them of the benefits via automated triggers."

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