5 Easy Ways to Create an Incentive Program that Will Make You Successful

BY Lucy Fang
Jun 13, 2016
Incentive, programs, customer, engagement

Incentive programs are driving the current consumer market. No matter what industry it is, customer incentives engage customers by creating a relationship with brands worldwide. According to statistics, engaged customers are four times more likely to say they “appreciate when this brand reaches out to me” and seven times more likely to “always respond to this brand’s promotional offers.” (Rosetta) We all strive for success in the business world, and when you combine that desire with an incentive program that creates customer engagement for your brand, it is a win/win for everyone.

Here are five ways to create the perfect Incentive program:

Make sure to engage your customers, and help them be the decision-makers. Offering a direct reward for a qualifying behavior will help you gain and maintain a long-term relationship.  Allowing your client to log into a reward site and pick their prize from among many gives a sense of empowerment.

Structure your plan ahead of time with proper processes because even the most expensive reward is belittled if the system to redeem it is too complex and convoluted. Key stakeholders’ well-designed incentive plan should offer products and services enticing enough to impact behavior and be structured to have a delivery system that meets budgetary and client expectations.  The wrong incentive marketing agency will be long on innovative redemption processes, creating frustration and impacting the long-term relationship with your customer.

Do not focus solely on cost per incentive but use a professional incentive marketing agency that can alter the costs.  Many decision-makers focus too much on the cost per incentive when evaluating an incentive program.  However, one must take into consideration that incentive marketing agencies only pay for the rewards redeemed.  This fact reduces hard costs and makes the decision to work with an agency invaluable.

Use promotional items correctly.  In general, incentives fall into two categories: promotional and corporate.  There is a distinction between the two incentive types; it is not the reward but the redemption process.  Promotional incentives offer a high perceived value at a lower cost.  Promotions are proven to work with a gift with purchase as appointment setters and retail traffic generators.  Corporate incentives directly reward a qualifying behavior for gaining long-term benefits.   So, it is important to know your users to choose which incentive program to utilize.

Focus on distributing rewards only to recipients who value the reward.  Incentives earned result from the recipient completing a qualifying behavior; be it meeting workplace safety goals, making a purchase, or taking a survey.  Distributing the reward to these recipients is often a waste of money.  But by creating one simple additional step in the redemption process, you can ensure that the rewards are going to qualified recipients who were motivated by and place value on the incentive.  For example, you can have your employees log in their information for products sold, then another login to select their reward.