“Should I do a Rebate Program or a Loyalty Program?” Yes.

So you’re implementing a loyalty program…let the fun begin.  Should you have cards or no cards?  What about keychain cards?  Is it a points program or a cash program or both?  And what are you even going to call your program to gain mindshare?

Building a successful loyalty program takes careful planning, and as a result often pushes other promotional marketing efforts to the back of the queue because it’s easy to get so focused on the traditional tenets of loyalty programs.  Unfortunately, rebates often fall into the category of “that doesn’t fit into our loyalty strategy”, and loyalty program participation suffers as a result.

Getting consumers into your program can be a difficult task, and even when they do sign up, you have to worry about how accurate their information is (sorry, retailers, but Austin “Danger” Powers has signed up for many programs on my behalf).  Rebates can not only help drive increased membership, but also ensure you’re collecting accurate contact and demographic information to help power your marketing efforts:

  • Customers can automatically be enrolled in your program as part of the registration process when they go online to submit information for their rebate payment.
  • Because you’re using email address to let them know if they’re approved, and street address to mail the payment, consumers typically provide very accurate contact information.
  • Rebates can be paid to prepaid cards that are reloadable and that can contain several account structures, so your rebate payment can act as your loyalty membership card and eliminate the need to manage a separate distribution process for cards.

So use all the tools at your disposal, but use them thoughtfully.  Your promotional programs can and should work together to achieve your goals, and the customer experience should be seamless to increase conversion and engagement.  Be dynamic, be consistent, and reap the benefits of an integrated promotion strategy.

Posted in: Industry Commentary, Why Ohana?

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