Rebates can offer instant benefits; with increases in short-term sales, inventory control, and product trial. They are so good at producing instant results, many marketers fail to look beyond their immediate gain.
As I am not a logistics professional, I won’t speak to the value of moving lagged inventory or making space for more profitable products, however I will pose some thoughts on the short-term gain and long-term gap in rebates.
The short-term rebate strategy should seem obvious. You incentivize customers to test new products, acquire the full payment, and provide cash-back to a select few who claim their rebate. This model allows you to offer enough of a deal to encourage a purchase, without losing money on immediate discounts.
These short-term financial gains often come with short-term customer interactions; as many rebate programs end the communication at the point a rebate is granted. Rebate promotions are therefore gaining customer insight regarding name, address, and method of payment, but let the customer go without learning more.
This is the long-term gap.
What if there was a better way to deliver rebates that helped you develop a tighter bond and relationship with your new consumer?
What if developing that relationship could increase your conversion rates?
What if you could have short-term AND long-term gains?
I’m here to tell you it is possible, and it is simply a matter of choice.
Give your customers a choice.
Not all of your customers will want a cash back rebate, if given the option. When you provide alternatives, it lets you gain customer insight to determine what kind of rewards they are looking for; whether it be prizes, products, or trips.
To conduct rebate programs with a long-term strategy, it is as simple as having your customers register online, provide information, and earn points. These points can be used to receive the cash back rebate or exchanged for other rewards.
Most likely, a majority will choose the cash back option, providing insight that your base is motivated by cash. Furthermore, you can give those customers an email opt-in to engage in future communications and extend your relationship past the point of transaction.
The customers that choose to redeem their points in other ways will provide you with information in virtue of their choice. You will learn what they love and how they want to be rewarded, whether it is travel, tech, spas, restaurants, or store credit.
You will be well on your way to developing a long-term relationship with your customer, based on the knowledge you have gained from their choice of rebate. This will help you speak more effectively to customers and determine the best choice for your next loyalty program.
After all, the goal of a rebate is loyalty, right?
Have opinions on 'choice' rebates?
I’m the VP of Sales at IC Group and a loyalty program strategist.
To talk more, give me a call, or you can email me at email@example.com