Everyone wants to save money, and that includes your customers. In fact, 92% of consumers cite price and value as the most important drivers behind brand loyalty. From price shopping to couponing, it’s not uncommon to see shoppers going above and beyond to get a great deal. Companies that can’t keep up risk losing business to the competition, especially when there are few notable qualities that differentiate one retailer from another.
As such, rebate programs, also known as consumer incentive programs, have long been a popular marketing strategy, giving incentive to customers for their investment and providing an instant – or near-instant – way to save on an essential purchase. With mail-in options dating back decades and the growing popularity of instant opportunities, a successful consumer incentive program can help you grow your business, build loyalty, and see an increase in sales.
Creating a Consumer Incentive Program That Works
There’s a difference between any old rebate program and a great program deserving of notice. With these tricks and techniques, you can maximize the benefits provided by your consumer incentive program, creating significant advantages for your business. With a proper perspective on what a well-operated strategy can offer, it’s possible to go beyond a simple bump in sales.
Market to Your Existing Customers
Many businesses anticipate that incentives will draw in new shoppers, but that’s not the only place you can shine. By targeting existing customers, you’re far more likely to foster loyalty and see continued sales, putting the money saved through a consumer incentive program back into your pockets.
When offering rebate incentives, consider utilizing other promotions, like sales or future savings opportunities, so that customers are motivated to spend their incentive dollars with you – not somewhere else. Whether you provide a prepaid store card, a check, or physical branded bonus items, your business will be best served by an approach that fosters future spending.
Incentives can certainly make a difference for an untapped market, but when it comes to seeing long-term growth, your existing customers are far more likely to help you get there.
Make Good Use of CRM Data
A rebate isn’t like a coupon that just anyone can use. Instead, customers will need to meet specific criteria and provide personal information, like names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses, to receive their incentives. What you do with this information, however, is up to you.
Instead of simply allowing your incentive processor to use any information gathered for their own purposes, take advantage of the opportunity to collect – and utilize – customer data to promote your in-house marketing efforts. For example, urging customers to opt in to E-mail marketing campaigns and social media subscriptions can help you easily expand your marketing reach to a proven audience.
The more information you have on your customers, the better. An effective consumer incentive program provides a chance for you to capitalize on this, successfully driving sales while building a better foundation for future marketing.
Utilize Customer Feedback
Do customers like your incentive options? What about your sales and promotions? Your email messages? Instead of assuming they do, take time now to ask them.
The rebate process requires collecting information anyway, so most customers aren’t bothered by a few more questions at the end of the sign-up process, especially ones with fast and easy multiple choice options. Rather than collecting the bare minimum and moving on, take time to develop insightful, valuable questions that can shed light on your marketing efforts. Consider soliciting opinions on:
- Other products purchased
- Email content
- Product feedback
- Favorite promotions or sales
- Feedback on upcoming products
When looking for feedback, try to avoid polar questions with solely yes or no answers, multi-part questions, and overly complex queries to increase the odds of yielding beneficial results. Our experts at Incentive Insights will help you formulate the best questions for you.
Incentives Program Auto-Enrollment
Your loyalty program likely requires the same details as your consumer incentive program, so why not kill two birds with one stone?
Requesting information from incentive enrollees doesn’t have to stop with your rebate program. Instead, give customers an option to enroll in your loyalty program as well. Opting in can be as simple as providing a checkbox on a paper or digital form, effectively funneling shoppers into a deeper level of engagement with your business.
With the high quantity of marketing emails many businesses send, customers may be hesitant to add themselves to even more distribution lists. In order to assuage any concerns, consider providing limited details about the benefits available to members, like discounts and sales announcements, as well as the number of messages participants can expect to incentivize the sign-up process.
Provide Instant Validation
Consumer incentive programs have long involved mail-in cards, whether provided at checkout or distributed at the end of a rebate period. While ultimately effective, delayed gratification can dissuade customers, pushing them to look elsewhere instead of taking advantage of your savings opportunities.
With modern technology, however, it’s possible to speed up the process. Smartphone apps, tablet POS systems, and other web-based tools can allow customers to enroll immediately for instant validation.
As research shows, customers greatly appreciate an immediate response. In fact, one survey found that 57% of consumers prefer smartphone redemptions, making it more likely that they’ll shop with you over a competitor offering old-school paper options. Online enrollment benefits your business as well, providing instant access to the customer information you need to keep your business moving forward.
Making Incentives Work for You
Rebate programs do wonders for sales on a stand-alone basis, convincing shoppers to spend with you in order to save big. However, with a little strategizing, it’s possible to do so much more for the benefit of your business. Your consumer incentive program can play a sizable role in your marketing efforts, providing a simple way to increase enrollment in loyalty programs, utilize customer data, collect feedback, and so much more. With a little creativity and the right processor, you can turn simple savings into amazing advantages.
Want to learn more? Get in touch with us today to start your own winning approach to incentives!