Costco partners with Leverage to promote membership

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Costco has partnered with Leverage Inc., an online application that organizes gift cards and loyalty programs for users, to allow consumers to buy Costco membership certificates on LeverageCard.com.

Leverage will send Costco promotions and coupon booklets to those who purchase the certificates. Certificates can be used to renew, upgrade or purchase memberships worth $50-$100 at any Costco. Under the terms of the agreement, Leverage serves as the exclusive provider of these certificates outside of Costco stores.

“Costco is trying to do cool new things, combining the ways that they communicate with customers across memberships and promotions,” noted Mark Edward Roberts, co-founder and CEO of Leverage. “Leverage is giving Costco a way to talk to customers in a way that is micro-targeted and timed correctly, so rather than being interrupted by commercials, the communication only happens when consumers log into their Leverage account.”

On top of the membership certificate promotion, Leverage will also help promote special deals to its online community. Using its member database, Leverage will be able to target Costco coupons and offers to specific consumers, based on their buying habits and interests. An example of the targeting services Leverage allows Costco, Roberts said, is targeting men, by age group, in the Pacific Northwest, that hold a gift card.

Leverage is heavily promoting the certificates to its own online users, but Roberts could not comment on whether Costco was doing the same. The plan, said Roberts, is to gain some traction with the program and then spread the word more virally.

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