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The Rise of Micro Rewards

You’ve heard of the jet-setting rewards, the big showy incentives and the treats that big business use but what’s available to the time poor or cash strapped SME? Introducing the biggest trend in rewards  – Micro Rewards.

These are the bite sized ways to say thank you that don’t take chunks out of your budget and come with smart analytical packages that pinpoint ROI where you need it most and smart, millennial proof delivery options.

We caught up with Jill Goldworn, co-founder of the company behind the SaaS Enterprise level platform, thefirstclub.com, the leading worldwide B2B digital Thank You Company who think rewards should be open to everyone so you can see if Micro Rewards are right for you.

 

What are micro rewards?

Micro Rewards are low cost, high value snackable rewards allowing Brands to say thank you easily and often to anyone. New customers can be rewarded with an instant download from the first purchase and high valued customers can be engaged throughout the relationship with Surprise and Delight digital rewards based on Brand goals, and employees for engaging in successful activities.

 

What types of business utilise micro rewards?

We have Clients such as Wells Fargo Bank and InterContinental Hotels Group who use our millions of choices of music, movies, games, e Books and eMagazines integrated into their respective loyalty program redemption choices. Other Clients such as FedEx use them to say thank you for completing surveys, watching videos or as an anniversary bonus; and yet others who understand that Customer Service is not a department but an attitude and thus reward customer service operators in call centers to encourage desired resolution of customer queries.

 

Are these internal or external, or both?  

Loyalty should be a cohesive strategy within an organization, we share with our Clients that their employees are their most important customers and they should be rewarded with the same loyalty program to both reward and help employees better understand the value proposition, and as such our platform is well suited to be used internally as part of the existing program or externally on thefirstclub.com as stand-alone solution.

 

What problems do you see in the reward and loyalty space ?

When we launched thefirstclub.com in 2009 it was to fit a need for Lightspeed Research a company who wanted to offer digital downloads as an incentive to inspire consumers to complete surveys. They had tried high end rewards, but as in most programs it takes the average user 2 ½-3years to earn enough points for a $300 airline reward, and a high value user 9months to -1 ½ years, so they suffered with a high degree of churn. With instant digital downloads their customer could be rewarded from the first survey and so the number of surveys completed rose a dramatic 50%. Over time we migrated Clients previously using physical rewards to adopt digital and added many more categories to the site to encourage repeat visits such as eBooks, games, eMagazines, software mobile apps and games and more recently movie streaming and next month gift cards so we now have compiled the most robust digital entertainment reward category in the industry delivering 60 million choices to most any device worldwide and translated into 14 languages. Now with the rise of mobile usage for purchasing, reward redemption and researching the competition becoming ubiquitous, it is even more important for Brands to institute engagement strategies to reward the customer from the very first purchase and nothing does that better than instant micro rewards.

 

What trends are you seeing in the space?

Our goal is to connect Brands to their customers passions and nothing does that better than entertainment content…music is still the most popular choice followed evenly by the top-selling PC games, streaming movies and current eMags. One of the important drivers is choice….from the latest content releases from all the major Labels to excite the Millennials and the classics for the Baby Boomers. And the fact that we share the redemption data with the Brands, thus allowing them to understand their customer’s passions in order to suggest more targeted offers to provide deeper engagement.

 

Are the same rules of reward still at play?

Yes – choice is key – we offer a wide range of what people want including millions of music tracks from all the major Labels, the top-selling games, the most popular eBooks, largest variety of eMagazines ( single download or subscription), mobile apps (free and paid) , productivity software, and popular movie streaming – all instantly redeemed onto most any device — PC, Mobile or Tablet

 

What have traditional rewards platforms overlooked?

One of the primary reasons people are not active in the loyalty programs they join is it takes too long to earn rewards and Brands tend to focus on the most valuable 20% of members. So what’s needed are strategies to help a new member embark on the journey to become a most valued member. We help by using digital entertainment to reward social media posting activity, gamification by giving random rewards and because our solution allows for redemption from the first purchase it’s a strong driver to hook a customer early and keep them active. Members in programs using our digital reward solution come back to the site an average of 17X per year to redeem rewards thus spending more and having that Brand become part of their every day lives and growing into a high value member.

Where are your energies going and what’s next for you?

We are looking to the future and are focused on the release of an improved interface of our customer service community, which will provide a more holistic view of user data, allowing for a better understanding of consumer behavior and passions to better engage with them on a deeper level.

The implementation of the first AI (augmented intelligence) features will be added to our Core customer service tool to allow the Client to see the customer in a wholistic way and cool features to thefirstclub.com to recommend the most suitable rewards based on customer desires. We will continue to expand our catalog with more desired content such as gift cards, and enhancing the mobile experience to engage our Clients customer even further.