Category: News from Our Clients

Sodexo Partners with the first club to Expand Offering Worldwide

London – 5th, November 2013the first club™ a global leader in digital rewards and loyalty solutions, is expanding their partnership with Sodexo Benefits and Reward Services for their new reward platform. This partnership will provide Sodexo’s clients across the globe the ability to add millions of choices of instant digital rewards to their corporate reward and incentive offering.
Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services provide access to a wide range of customized and innovative services that improve the quality of life of beneficiaries, including employees, students and public benefits recipients. Because they improve daily life, promote work-life balance and recognize effort, these solutions have a positive effect on employee motivation and contribute to improving the performance of companies and organizations. Instantly rewarding users with their favourite music, eBooks, audio books, apps, games, software and movies will further deepen their engagement and boost their motivation.
Denis Huré, Co-founder and CEO of the first club™ states, “We look forward to providing Sodexo clients to opportunity to add digital rewards to their incentive programs. We think it will improve the customer’s journey and deepen their engagement with the program by enabling them to access rewards instantly.”
Frederic Woitrin, International Catalogue Manager for Sodexo states, “adding digital rewards to our offer reinforces Sodexo’s capacity to provide attractive gifts to the users of our clients’ incentive and recognition programs worldwide. Digital rewards will add a new, modern user experience to Sodexo’s global capacity to manage worldwide incentive and recognition programs by allowing users to access their reward instantly.”

As more companies turn to digital rewards to reward top employees, the first club™ is privileged to have worked with some of the world’s most prestigious brands. The rewards industry is constantly changing in response to an evolving consumer market, and the first club™ is excited to stay on the cutting edge of instant rewards by adapting to consumer trends.

IHG commits to free internet for all loyalty members worldwide; renaming Priority Club Rewards to IHG Rewards Club

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has announced that it will be providing free internet to all its 71m loyalty program members, worldwide. The announcement comes as IHG reveals the results of a global online survey which show that nearly half of adults (43%) would choose not to stay in a hotel that charged for internet.

IHG will offer free internet in all hotels to all loyalty program members, globally – whether they stay the night or come in for a coffee or an impromptu meeting. It will benefit millions of guests globally as IHG has the most rooms and is in more countries than any one of the other four largest hotel companies in the world. This will start from July 2013 for Elite members and extend to all members during 2014.

The move comes as IHG announces that it will be enhancing and renaming its industry-leading loyalty program Priority Club Rewards as IHG Rewards Club in July and introducing a range of new benefits for members.

Internet access is increasingly important to hotel guests and a key consideration when planning their hotel stays. New research commissioned by IHG reveals that:

  • 43% of adults surveyed said that they would choose not to stay in a hotel that charged for internet.
  • 23% of respondents said that free internet in rooms and throughout the hotel is the most important amenity when staying in a hotel for business, compared to 7% who chose room service.
  • Travellers from China placed the most importance on online connectivity – with nearly half (47%) listing it as the most important thing to them when staying in a hotel for business, followed by those from Russia (26%), the US (23%) and India (22%).
  • Travellers from the UK (18%) and the US (14%) both listed paying for internet as the second most annoying thing when staying at a hotel after noisy guests (22% and 24% respectively).
  • Globally, more female respondents (14%) say free internet throughout the hotel is most important to them when staying for leisure, compared to 2% who listed having an in-room hairdryer.

From July, new benefits will include:

  • free internet to all Elite status members from July 2013 and extending to all members during 2014;
  • the ability to earn Elite status faster by staying in three or more of IHG’s hotel brands;
  • Reward Nights will count toward earning Elite status; and
  • Platinum Elite members’ “extra” nights will roll over toward maintaining their status in their next membership year

Original document from Colloquy.

the first club™ launches worldwide roll-out of Film and Television content rewards through a VOD Partnership with CANALPLAY for the French Market

London and Paris – 25th, September 2012 – the first club™ (TFC), a global leader in digital rewards and loyalty solutions today announced expansion of its digital content portfolio by a new video-on-demand partnership with CANALPLAY.  This partnership will add more than 5,000 French and English language film and television choices across 23 different categories includes comedies, horror, action, adventure, and family.

The customer experience allows all members of each loyalty program powered by the first club™ solution will have access to this very large  film and television content catalogue of recent hits and cult films from CANALPLAY in France under the Film section of site using any Program currency.  This content is added to the millions of choices of digital media available through the first club™‘s digital rewards solution including its B2C site, as well as brand specific loyalty programs, and will be the first film catalog launched as part of the TFC overall film content strategy to work with the top VOD providers in all markets.

Denis Huré, Co-founder and CEO of the first club™ states “This partnership  with Canal+ is the first in a our planned worldwide film roll-out strategy thus continually providing the best content and value to all our Clients’ reward members.  We strive to provide diverse content which continues to be a tremendous benefit in expanding our loyalty and rewards solution across the world, and comes at a critical time when loyalty programs are looking to differentiate themselves.”

One of the biggest shifts taking place in the loyalty world today is the digitization of rewards and loyalty programs, as evidenced by a report released by the company earlier this year called Loyalty: Looking Forward. the first club™ believes that 2013 will see downloadable digital content increasingly being used by companies to promote brand loyalty and to incentivize customers to instantly redeem their rewards from any device, and any time.

the first club announced as one of the Top 10 Must-Dos for Loyalty Programs By Chief Marketer

The full article can be viewed here.

The excerpt highlighting digital rewards can be found below:

6. Instant Rewards: InterContinental Hotels Group incorporated a new redemption category, digital instant rewards, that it hopes will encourage new members and light users to see value in its loyalty program and stay dedicated to the brand. Its 65 million Priority Club members now have access to download music with as few as 300 points, 800 points earns popular games once more than 1,200 points have been earned, software for the home office, foreign language education and multimedia tools are available. The idea to offer instant rewards came from member research.

Priority Club Rewards

Priority Club Rewards adds Digital Rewards

InterContinental Hotels Group is to offer its 65 million Priority Club Rewards members a new way to redeem Priority Club points: Digital Rewards. From the first club™, a global provider of instant digital rewards, Digital Rewards is designed to provide members with the latest in downloadable content including music, games, and software. According to a Mintel survey, members are motivated by loyalty programmes that provide instant and easy ways to redeem.

The Digital Rewards offers have been integrated with Priority Club’s existing point redemption choices. Examples of the new offers include well known songs from popular artists across genres including pop, country, alternative rock, R&B, and oldies, starting at 300 points. Popular games such as sports, action/adventure and puzzles are available from 800 points. Software for members’ home offices, foreign language education and multimedia tools are also available, starting at some 1,100 points.

Original Document from The Wise Marketer.

IHG Adds Instant Rewards to Encourage “Light User” Loyalty

For the average consumer who travels a couple of times a year, at best, earning enough points as a hotel loyal member to redeem for a free night’s stay, car rental or another high-point reward can seem almost an impossible task. One hotel, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), has debuted a new redemption category that it hopes will encourage new members and light users to see value in its loyalty program and stay dedicated to the brand.

The category—digital, instant rewards—is a shift toward value during a time of economic uncertainty that has greatly affected hotel loyalty programs. With approximately $16 billion dollars in loyalty points that went unredeemed in 2011, hotels are focused on reaching low threshold members, with relevant rewards.

IHG is offering the rewards, developed by the first club™, a provider of digital rewards, to its 65 million Priority Club members. With as few as 300 points, members can download music; 800 points earns popular games themed in sports, action and adventure, magazines and puzzles, and once more than 1,200 points have been earned, software for the home office, foreign language education and multimedia tools are available.

“Our primary goal is to engage light users and new members who have not built up point balances and who don’t realize the value yet,” Don Berg, vice president, loyalty program, IHG, said. “Instead of waiting for three or four more stays, they can redeem quickly and be more engaged early on. They will realize this thing has value and continue to seek out our hotels. There’s a stickiness to the rewards program when you can get people to experience what the value proposition is, which is of course, redeeming points. If you can get your members to be engaged with what your product is they will naturally give you more business.”

IHG, which surveys its loyalty members on a regular basis, used surveys to determine what members liked or didn’t like about the program, what they wanted and how it could be improved. Instant rewards came out of that research and the concept was then tested with about 300 members.

“We wanted to have a full understanding of how it would perform before we put it out in the marketplace,” he said. “We know through the surveys that these programs are influential and impact member behavior.”

An extensive network of electronic communications delivers messaging about the new digital rewards category, including email, e-newsletters, bloggers and the Priority Club website.

IHG does in the range of $200 million in redemption value per year.

“That’s a lot of value being redeemed by our members and a lot of interest in the program,” Berg said. “It doesn’t take long for members to find out about these things, because there’s a pretty strong viral component to these announcements.”

He said IHG was the first hotel chain to offer a loyal program in 1983 and that it still has 50,000 original members actively earning points.

“Loyalty is exploding in the marketplace because customers are price conscious,” he said. “If you can build a relationship with a customer, especially one that is less price sensitive, you can avoid discounting and move yourself ahead of the competition.

Research by Colloquy has shown that 32% of respondents said the recession has influenced their participation in loyalty programs. IHG hopes instant rewards will encourage more frequent participation.

“The whole idea is to keep people engaged everyday,” Jill Goldworn, president and co-founder of the first club™, said.

Original Document from Chief Marketer.

the first club™ and IHG Partner to Offer Priority Club Digital Rewards Program

priority club rewards

First-in-kind program introduces instant point redemption for Internet and mobile downloads

LOS ANGELES and ATLANTA, May 30, 2012 – Starting this month, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), which manages the world’s largest hotel loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards, will offer its 65 million members worldwide yet another fast and flexible way to redeem Priority Club points. Digital Rewards™ from the first club™, a global provider of instant digital rewards, is designed to engage consumers with the latest in downloadable content including music, games, and software.

The first hotel loyalty program to offer comprehensive digital rewards, IHG illustrates the industry’s move toward relevant rewards that keep guests engaged, regardless of their point accumulation. According to a Mintel survey, members were motivated by loyalty programs that provided instant and easy to redeem opportunities.

“We are a hotel loyalty program with many firsts and the new Digital Rewards offering continues this tradition,” said Don Berg, vice president, loyalty programs and partnerships, IHG. “Our innovation and partnerships are driven by recognizing what our members value most, and making it available through Priority Club Rewards before other loyalty programs.”

The Digital Rewards program has been designed by the first club™ to be readily accessible and visible through, particularly to members whose past point redemption preferences indicate a likely interest in the new offering.

“We’re very excited to have developed IHG’s digital rewards redemption offering. They have embraced digital rewards as a new phase in loyalty and customer engagement, and we’re ready to help expand their existing successful rewards program to a new level,” said Jill Goldworn, President and co-founder of the first club™.

Leisure travelers, particularly families, want value from their hotel loyalty programs. Digital Rewards is a flexible option to help those with low point accumulations find an alternative point redemption option. And, all members will benefit from the fact that the Digital Rewards offers have been easily integrated with Priority Club’s existing point redemption choices.  Through the first club™’s global licensing agreements, members will have access to the most current and largest library of digital content available on the reward program market.

Some examples of the new Digital Rewards point redemption offerings include:

  • Well known songs from popular artists across genres including pop, country, alternative rock, R&B, and oldies – starting at 300 points
  • Popular games such as sports, action/adventure and puzzles – available from 800 points
  • Software for your home office, foreign language education and multimedia tools are available – starting at just over 1,100 points

By providing millions of titles of branded digital content such as eBooks, games, music and software, the first club™ creates  relevant rewards by satisfying consumers’ desire to get a product when, where and how they want it. Furthermore, research by Colloquy¹ has shown that 32 percent of respondents said the recession has influenced their participation in rewards programs.

Visit IHG’s Digital Rewards Page to browse the full catalog of music, games and more. If you are not yet a Priority Club Rewards member, the program is always free to join by calling 1-888-211-9874 or downloading our mobile app.  Start experiencing great benefits like No Point Expiration and No Blackout Dates for booking Reward Night stays, when you earn through easy, unique ways such as the Priority Club® Select VISA card.

How Red Letter Days strengthened its affiliate programme


Gift experience retailer Red Letter Days has been running an affiliate programme for five years. The affiliate channel has been a major focus for the organisation over the past few years and significant effort has been invested in growing this channel. In 2008 the programme was expanded to a second network, thereby increasing the overall presence of the Red Letter Days brand across the affiliate industry as a whole.

For Red Letter Days one of the main aims was to focus on consolidating affiliate relationships, and to continue to motivate affiliates to promote the Red Letter Days programme by engaging with them on an individual basis. The overall objective was to increase affiliate sales turnover by 15% in 2010.


In the last few years Red Letter Days has seen its affiliate programme go from strength to strength; from a channel that only contributed 12% of total online sales, it has grown to a programme that now accounts for 30% of all its online sales.

Red Letter Days felt it was important not to neglect the foundation their success had been built on, or the affiliates who helped them achieve this. So its strategy focused on forging closer than ever relationships with its affiliate partners – both by getting out to meet them in face-to-face meetings and by building on its already thriving its incentive scheme to encourage greater than ever affiliate activity.


In 2010 Red Letter Days hosted its first official affiliate day. The day was designed to bring Red Letter Days closer to their affiliates and to give them a chance to get closer to the brand by trying out some of the experiences offered by Red Letter Days.

It also set out to meet as many affiliate partners throughout the year. These were not necessarily the top performers but affiliates that Red Letter Days had considered significant contributors to their success. Meeting their affiliates would give the retailer a better understanding the challenges they faced and find out what could be done to improve the performance of their programme.

Red Letter Days had already been running a quarterly incentive scheme since 2009, giving affiliates the opportunity to push themselves through sales tiers to receive their desired prize. As the quarterly incentive scheme had been running for a couple of years, Red Letter Days had to ensure that it had an even more attractive proposal for their main Q4 Christmas campaign.

For Q4 2010, Red Letter Days offered affiliates the chance to win a trip to South Africa. The holiday was determined by a prize draw, but with a twist. Affiliates earned tickets into the draw in return for fulfilling certain criteria e.g. uploading a particular type of creative, or selling a particular product, rather than the traditional model of rewarding revenue generation alone.

Red Letter Days announced new ways to earn extra tickets into the draw on a weekly basis from October to December, to keeping affiliates continually engaged with the Christmas campaign. The winner was announced on YouTube in the form of a video showing the final draw.

Meanwhile Red Letter Days also honed its voucher code offering. The use of voucher codes has always been an issue at the forefront of the affiliate industry. Red Letter Days tackled this by developing a solution that displayed or hid the basket promo code box based on the type of referring affiliate. This ensured that customers driven from non-voucher code sites would not see the box (and therefore not be prompted to search for a voucher code), whereas visitors from a voucher code site would see the box.

The next stage of this development incorporated the embedding of a “deal id” in the inbound URL, allowing Red Letter Days to create bespoke deals for individual affiliates. The “deal id” was associated with the affiliate id therefore making it impossible for another affiliate to replicate the offer. Deals can only be obtained by clicking through from the relevant affiliate site, therefore giving the affiliate’s customer a higher call to action and ensuring that the customer returns to the affiliate site to activate the deal; creating stickiness and loyalty.


Through strong communication and close partnerships the Red Letter Days programme continues to grow; the number of active affiliates contributing to this success has increased by 300%.

Between 2009 and 2010 online sales through the affiliate channel grew by 20%. In 2010 the average affiliate basket size grew by 20%, from £90 to £108. URL based deals has driven an increase of 212% in traffic and 68% in revenue from content sites.

Original document from Ulta Marketing.

Red Letter Days Launches the first club™ Digital Rewards Solution for Members

red letter days lifestyle with the first club

LONDON, June 3, 2011 – Starting this week, in partnership with the first club™, experiences specialist Red Letter Days will be offering its customers digital rewards.  the first club™ is a global provider of instant digital rewards, designed to engage consumers with millions of options of the latest in downloadable content including music, games, mobile apps, eBooks, and software offered instantly worldwide.

“We’re very excited to be expanding Red Letter Days’ offering to include digital rewards. They have embraced digital rewards as a new phase in customer engagement, and we’re ready to help enhance their programme of voucher options with additional redemption possibilities,”  said Denis Huré, CEO and co-founder of the first club™.

Relevant Rewards for today’s Digitized Consumers

In a report called Loyalty Looking Forward released earlier this year, the first club™ found that 48% percent of customers spend more with a company that offers products relevant to them.  A “relevant reward” is a product available at a time and place of the customer’s choosing, one that the customer intends to buy anyway—a current “want.” In other words: Time, Place, and Demand.  By providing millions of titles of branded digital content such as eBooks, games, music and software, the first club™ satisfies all relevant reward logistics.

Digital rewards offer Red Letter Days a flexible reward alternative to integrate into its existing offering.  Because there is no “physical” requirement, the first club™’s digital rewards can be instantly implemented into existing programme elements; adjusted to reach new targets; and measured using any existing CRM process.

According to Andy Ling, Head of Product Development at Red Letter Days, “That’s one of the most important factors about the first club™’s digital rewards. Their program is easy to implement into our existing programme, giving us a flexible cost-effective solution. Add to that, the concepts of relevancy, straight-forwardness, and attainability, and digital rewards promise to keep customers coming back to Red Letter Days.”

the first club™ currently provides the latest in digital content to brands all over the world, and its licensing agreements with music companies, publishers and game developers means that Red Letter Days members will have access to the most current and largest library of digital content that is available in the reward programme market.

To learn more about the digital rewards programme being implemented by Red Letter Days, or to speak with Denis Huré, CEO and co-founder of the first club™, please email or for press inquiries, please contact Vanessa Horwell at

Case Study: Digital Rewards for Loyal Tech Customers

Sapphire Technology added digital rewards, in the form of ClubCoins vouchers, to its loyalty program in order to acquire new members.

Challenge: Acquire loyalty club members.
 Add a layer of non-proprietary online rewards to facilitate instant redemptions.
 Since complementary program implementation, 25 percent of the instant online rewards redemptions have been from new members.It may seem intuitive that Sapphire Technology, a manufacturer and supplier of graphics cards and mainboards, would offer its loyalty club members digital rewards. After all, it has a severe-looking, cross-armed female avatar staring down anyone daring to visit the rewards page. But it did take Sapphire a few months to offer that aspect of instant gratification to its Sapphire Select Club (SSC) members.

The Hong Kong-based company with a Canadian office in Markham, Ont., launched its loyalty club in October 2009 by offering members exclusive product information, access to events and contest prizes ranging from Honda scooters to iPads. But by summer 2010, the company decided it was time to offer Sapphire’s tech-savvy customers instant online rewards, says Adrian Thompson , Sapphire’s vice president of marketing and loyalty.

In June 2010, Sapphire tapped Santa Ynez, Calif.-based online instant rewards and incentive service the first club™ to offer loyalty club members digital prizes.

SSC members who purchase products from Sapphire are eligible for online currency that can be redeemed for downloadable music, games, software, mobile applications, audio books and eBooks. Movies may also soon be available.

Thompson says Sapphire placed online advertisements and sent emails to its loyalty club members to alert them to the new rewards. Information also appeared on the website, in newsletters and on social networks.

These new rewards also meant adding a membership tier. SSC Silver membership provided the old rewards. SSC Gold membership added in the digital rewards, as long as Gold members completed a form requesting their graphics card serial numbers in addition to the data the overall membership form requests—name, email address, and more specific information such as birth date, gender, areas of interest, product interest and opt-in possibilities for Sapphire’s email list and “screened third party” marketing.

Depending on the purchase, Gold members receive vouchers for 25, 50 or 100 “ClubCoins,” which they can redeem for digital rewards, Thompson says. Since including the digital prizes in the SSC, Sapphire’s run six separate rewards campaigns.

Original Document from Target Marketing Mag.