Marketing an incentive program is vital to program success. Sometimes a “lack of participation” challenge can actually be a “lack of participants” challenge. An overall reward program strategy should always include a continued plan for onboarding velocity; that is, an excellent marketing strategy focused on recruiting more new users for your exciting programs.
Before thinking too far down the road of intricate program optimization, it’s imperative to ensure an effective marketing plan and who the target audiences will be. Otherwise, you risk optimizing performance of a program when the core issue lies in how that program is being communicated. This leaves a lot of great value on the table.
Make It Attractive
A simple way of helping to enable audience enrollment is making the program attractive enough to stand out. By offering the audience attractive programs that they’ll want to participate, you provide a key benefit to recruiting more enrollment. This planning involves more than assumptions on what makes a program great. Taking the time to understand the audience’s needs, expectations, and competitive programs can feed into a compelling program design. Consider talking directly to archetypical members of the desired audience about their opinions, run polls, and gather feedback. All will be useful discovery to uncover what will make the program highly attractive to those who hear about it.
Sell It Well
Marketing an incentive program to key audiences is important. As crazy as it might sound, you often have to sell your audiences on joining a program to earn incentives. Even at no cost to join and only value to gain, program prospects in competitive markets might be experiencing program overload from all the brands they support. Leveraging good marketing and communication channels is an imperative that the most widely enrolled programs use to stand out. It isn’t typically enough to simply announce a new incentive program and share a link to sign up. Marketers can benefit greatly by putting time, thought, and strategy into how the program and all of its great benefits are described, branded, and illustrated to intended audiences.
Marketing an incentive program effectively means setting sights on all of the potential in your participant prospect pool — and not just your already active relationships. Consider segmenting the marketing communications that are hitting the channel. Active partners should receive messaging centered around what’s new — like products and exciting new incentives — in order to compel their enrollment. Inactive unenrolled partners should also get communication focused program benefits but with focused at a higher level on your brand values and product benefits to the customer.
Great strategies for marketing an incentive program look to diversify the avenues of partner communication. Here are the most leveraged communication channels used by some of WorkStride’s friends to drum up new registration.
What’s apparent is a pretty even split, which speaks to no single right answer, but rather a diversity of channels to best reach end users. Beyond direct email and field sales communication, leading programs with enticing incentives get the word out through local advertising, paid search, sponsored email campaigns, direct mail, and more.
If you’re looking for a great incentive program solution that provides inclusive support both on and off the platform — reach out and let’s chat!