Published on March 15, 2012 by Joel Milne
An example of incentive marketing is a paid referral program. Asking for referrals is always a good idea, and there are many articles and even entire books dedicated to how to build your business based on referrals. Now if you can generate a steady stream of referrals without offering incentives that is great, and affordable. But sometimes, especially if you are small, or have a relatively small base, or are competing in a niche market, it can really help to provide a direct incentive to potential referrers. The larger scale version of this that we see online is affiliate programs. But you can apply the same principle by offering a commission, or flat-rate fee to referrals in an offline marketing program as well.
You can also provide incentives in the form of smaller rewards, such as a discount coupon, account credit or free give-away. The key to setting something like this up is to be clear about what you want people to do for you. For instance if someone is on your website and they register to your newsletter, do you also want them to share the newsletter with 2 or 3 friends? If so, how can you communicate that, track it and reward it?
Making things specifically so you can give them away is also a possibility especially if you are a content creating business. For instance, you could write a whitepaper or short ebook on a relevant topic of interest to your customers. This is sometimes part of a trade for information. In this case the trade is for the email, name, phone number of the prospective customer. In exchange you give them something that has value to them.
What sort of incentives can you incorporate into your marketing programs?